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Facebook agrees to purchase WhatsApp for $19 billion

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Facebook has agreed to purchase WhatsApp. The social networking giant will pay the staggering $19 billion for the massively popular cross-platform messaging client in cash and stock ($4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock, and additional $3 billion in restricted stock which will vest over the four years after the deal’s closing).

As part of the agreement, WhatsApp will continue to operate independently. Read more »

OneDrive is now live, Android’s app gets automatic upload

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Just as planned, Microsoft has just launched the new OneDrive service – the renamed and updated SkyDrive. In case you need a refresh, Microsoft was forced to rename its cloud storage service after a trademark infringement. Now, the rebranded cloud storage service OneDrive got an updated version of its Android app

OneDrive is available to anyone – either existing or new user and the updated Android app brings brand new subscription services. Read more »

Google buys sonic-based password company SlickLogin

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Google acquired today Israeli startup company SlickLogin. Five months ago, the company made its debut on the internet password security scene offering an interesting alternative – sound-based passwords.

The announcement of the acquisition sits on the company’s homepage, where the small team says that now they’ll be making the Internet safer for everyone. Presumably, Google has decided to replace its 2-step verification with a better authentication method. Read more »

Viber considers an acquisition offer worth $300-400 million

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According to Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist, popular instant messaging platform Viber is currently in talks to be acquired by a rival company in Asia. While nothing is confirmed just yet, it’s said that the Asian instant messaging company has made an offer for Viber worth $300 to $400 million dollars.

Popular Asian mobile chat applications include WeChat (China), Line (Japan) and KakaoTalk (South Korea), but the newspaper doesn’t confirm which one has placed the bid. Viber boasts 200 million registered users based in 193 countries and is available on nearly ever mobile and desktop platform there is. Read more »

Google Search for Android updated with a bunch of new features

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Google is rolling out an update to its Search app for Android bringing a bunch of cool new features and improvements.

One of the major novelties that come with the update is the ability of Google Now to let you know when you should leave for work, airport, events and dinner in order for you to get there on time. Read more »

Foursquare to power upcoming WP 8.1 Cortana voice assistant

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Microsoft’s recent investment of $15 million into popular location-based app Foursquare means that it will use the app’s data in its anticipated Cortana voice assistant as part of the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 release.

The Windows Phone 8.1 update, with which Microsoft aims to get all of its major OSs to the same build number, is set to feature Cortana of the Halo universe as its voice assistant. Read more »

Evernote beta for Android gains handwriting support

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The Evernote’s beta app for Android has gained handwriting support and now lets you scribble down notes or just doodle around, saving everything as is – not transforming your handwriting into neat text like on the Galaxy Note 3 for example.

The update will take its time getting to the official Android app but for now you can test the beta through the Google+ group. Read more »

Facebook’s Paper taking on Flipboard and Currents on February 3

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Facebook unveiled its own news delivering app called Paper. It’s a minimalist app that’s heavy on eye candy and is mostly swipe-operated. It’s also quite immersive by bringing a full-screen clutter-free interface.

Instead of bringing you your news feed the app will let you chose from a list of curated genres – photography, design, sports, food and science. Big names in said categories will get their fair share of showing off but Facebook also promises to shine a light on emerging voices, letting you subscribe to their feeds as well. Read more »

Microsoft is in trouble for the new OneDrive name

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Microsoft seems to have really bad luck with its SkyDrive cloud service. First a UK court ruled out Microsoft is infringing British Sky Broadcasting Group trademark last summer and Microsoft has agreed to change the name.

Just two days ago Microsoft announced the new name of the service – SkyDrive was re-branded to OneDrive. And as of today Microsoft is in trouble once again for the same reason. Read more »

Microsoft drops SkyDrive brand, renames the service OneDrive

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Microsoft has renamed its cloud storage service from SkyDrive to OneDrive. This was expected after a UK court found Microsoft infringing British Sky Broadcasting Group trademark last summer.

Microsoft says it chose the OneDrive name because the cloud storage should be the one place where you store all of your pictures, videos, documents and files. Read more »

Viber 4.2 on Android lets you block any number or contact

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Viber has released a new update for the Android version of the app. v4.2 brings with it some useful new features, most importantly call blocking. You can now specify any number or contact you don’t wish to receive calls from and it will be blocked for you.

Other changes include ability to send up to 10 images at the same time, ability to customize your messages and call sounds, new media gallery within conversations and other improvements and bug fixes. Read more »

Google’s Street View car goes around the Top Gear track

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Google and BBC have teamed up for a little reasonably-priced car challenge at Top Gear’s track – the Dunsfold Aerodrome. The project involved the most popular tame racing driver, the Stig, and the Street View Opel (that’s Continental Europe for Vauxhall) Astra.

Aside from the standard Street View walkthrough of the famous track there’s also a video of the Street View car and a rampant Mercedes SLS AMG driven by the Stig going alongside it. Read more »

iOS leader in mobile ad consumption, despite Android’s market lead

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The latest State of Mobile Advertising coming from browser-maker Opera shows that while Android leads iOS in terms of browsing on smartphones 36% to 29% and when factoring in tablets, where Apple’s iPad is dominant the numbers are 38% for Android and 43% for Apple. Android is bringing in 32% of Opera revenues, while iOS churns in a massive 56%.

The numbers show that mobile ads are much more valuable on iOS devices. The numbers come from Opera’s Mediaworks, which serves over 60 billion monthly page impressions to some 425 million users. Read more »

Samsung teams up with illy, not going to make coffee machines though

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Samsung has teamed up with popular espresso maker illy in the UK but the partnership doesn’t have coffee machines planned. Instead Samsung and illy will represent their products in each other’s stores, starting on London’s Regent Street.

Samsung VP Yoinghee Lee has revealed to Pocket-Lint that “this partnership is about sharing a communality between two brands.” – hopes are that by the end of this year Samsung devices will be in two illy coffee shops and illy coffee in two Samsung flagship stores in the UK. Read more »

Skype brings HD video calling on iPhone 5s, forgets non-A7 devices

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Skype for iOS has received an update which mainly benefits Apple’s A7-capable devices. The iPhone 5s, iPad’s Air and iPad mini 2 will get two-way HD video calls, receiving messages while Skype is minimized while other iOS devices will also get faster syncing across all devices.

It’s a big step as the iPhone currently relied heavily on Apple’s FaceTime service, which is limited to the unimpressive HVGA (480px by 360px) resolution. Read more »