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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 »

Bing Tell Me voice assistant beta coming to WP handsets this April

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According to latest online gossip, Microsoft’s Bing Tell Me voice assistant, also known by its codename Cortana, should debut this April at the annual’s BUILD conference. As previously suggested, Bing Tell Me will be voiced by Halo’s Cortana actress – Jen Taylor.

Just like Google Now, the Windows Phone voice assistant can be activated by a voice command (in this case “Bing Tell Me”) and it will understand commands such as “… will it rain today?”, “.. when’s my next meeting?” and “.. how do I get to the American Airlines Arena?”. Read more »

Updated Google Play Services bring turn-based multiplayer and more

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Google has updated its Play Services to version 4.1 bringing new features and improving on others. First off the update brings support for turn-based multiplayer – now developers can create games with turn-based gameplay and Google Play Services will distribute turns among players.

There’s also a preliminary Google Drive API, improved battery life with Google Location Reporting, Google+ sharing and Mobile Ad SDK improvements. Read more »

Xbox Music gains offline playlists on iOS

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Microsoft’s Xbox Music service launched on Android and iOS last year, but lacked one feature many users were longing for.

Saving playlists for offline playback has been something rivals have since their inception and finally, as of its latest update Xbox Music features it on Apple devices. The offline support is listed as coming soon for the Android version as well. Read more »

Samsung announces Smart Home service to help you automate your home

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Samsung Electronics has unveiled a new service dubbed Smart Home. The latest assistance from the global market leader will enable you to connect to your smart TVs, home appliances and smartphones through a single integrated platform.

Samsung’s Smart Home will allow you to control and manage your electronic devices such as refrigerators, washing machines, digital cameras and even a smartwatch through a single application. Read more »

Vine releases web profiles and full screen mode

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If you’ve been waiting for a way to interact with Vine on the web, rather than from a smartphone, you’re in luck. Vine has just released web profiles for its huge user base of over 40 million people.

Although users cannot upload clips from their web browser, they are able to like, share, and comment on Vine videos through the web site. Read more »

Google putting the Bump app to sleep in a month

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Back in September, Google acquired Bump, the smartphone data-sharing software developer, and now they are shutting it down. Bump’s CEO and Founder, David Lieb, announced in his blog that his two services, Bump and Flock, will be terminated officially on January 31st of this year. The apps will be removed from both the Apple App Store and Google Play, so users have until that time to export all of their data.

Bump was introduced in 2009, allowing smartphone users to share photos and contacts by simply bumping their phones together. Paypal adopted the technology briefly by allowing customers to transfer money via the software. Bump then ventured out with their own mobile payment application, and then released Flock; which was capable of aggregating pictures from various devices into one photo album. Read more »

98% of Google Play Store revenue comes from in-app purchases

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One of the biggest selling points of Android over iOS is the fact that there are more free apps available in the Play Store than the App Store. Sure, with free apps there are in-app advertisements and the occasional annoying pop-ups that users need to withstand. However, most people seem willing to deal with it, considering the growing popularity of Android. Now, new research from analytics firm, Distimo, indicates that this strategy is working, because a whopping 98% of all Google Play Store revenue comes from in-app purchases of free titles.

What about the the other 2%? Well that is divided equally between paid only apps and in-app purchases within paid applications. What kind of apps are people most likely to spend money on? Games. 90% of gaming revenue is made from in-app purchases. Read more »

Nokia scraps Here Maps from the App Store because of iOS 7

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Nokia has taken down its Here Maps app from Apple’s App Store. It is no longer available for download and won’t come back in a while. The only way to access the Here services on the iOS is through here.com.

There is no fallout between Apple and Nokia, at least we didn’t hear of any, but Nokia says the reason is in the iOS 7 recent changes. Read more »

Microsoft gives 20GB free SkyDrive storage to its loyal WP users

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It seems Christmas came early for some Windows Phone users. Microsoft is giving 20GB of extra SkyDrive storage for free to selected loyal customers.

As it turns out some WP-powered smartphone owners have received emails with instructions on how to get 20GB additional SkyDrive cloud storage for one year. Read more »

Google Play Music app gets updated for iOS 7

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Google has released an update to the recently launched Google Play Music app on iOS. The latest update brings minor UI changes to keep it in sync with iOS 7 design guidelines.

Other than the refreshed UI, the update also features the I Am Feeling Lucky radio function, which produces an auto playlist based on the music you listen on your phone. Read more »

WhatsApp now has 400 million active users

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Jan Koum, the CEO of WhatsApp has announced that the popular messaging service now has about 400 million active users across the globe.

In a blog post, Jan also claimed that WhatsApp has added 100 million users in the last four months. Read more »