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Facebook’s Snapchat competitor now lets you explore and follow interesting people

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Slingshot, Facebook’s answer to the very popular Snapchat, has today added a couple of new features. On both its iOS and Android apps, you now have a brand new Explore view.

This surfaces “funny, inspiring and creative people from across the globe”. It’s basically a list of popular people who are active on Slingshot. And you can immediately follow those who you consider to be interesting. Read more »

Chrome for Android will be dropping support for Ice Cream Sandwich

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Chrome on Android has really come a long way since its release back in 2014. 22 versions have been created, each one more capable than the previous and Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich was the scene, on which everything started.

The team behind Chromium, the open-source project which powers the development of the Chrome browser, has announced that it is leaving behind the software’s original Android 4.0 home, which will no longer be supported after version 42. Read more »

iOS 8 adoption rate reaches 75%, iOS 7 still going strong

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iOS 8 adoption got off to a slow start – it took three weeks to achieve 40% share. iOS 6 and 7 before took only a week to hit 50%. Now, close to half a year after iOS 8 was unleashed to the public, it has clawed its way up to 75%, Apple says.

Version 8 has already had one minor update (v8.1) with the next one (v8.2) expected in about a week and the one after that (v8.3) already seeding to developers. Read more »

Glympse location sharing app gets more car-friendly with a car mode and MirrorLink integration

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Glymspe has released a new application today, which is meant to simplify the usage of the location sharing service within vehicles. The new application is essentially an add-on to the main app and provides a new simplified dashboard interface as well as MirrorLink compatibility.

If you are unfamiliar with what Glympse does, it is basically a very user-intuitive location sharing service. It is meant to quickly tell your contacts where you are and when you are arriving all in a very simple manner.

To do so, you just fire up the app, select a contact and a period for active location tracking and simply hit send. The recipient will then receive a link where he or she can track you current whereabouts until the period you specified expires. Read more »

Uber acquires San Jose-based mapping tech startup deCarta

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Ridesharing company Uber has acquired deCarta, a San Jose-based startup that provides a software platform focusing on location and map services, including in-map search, location APIs, and turn-by-turn navigation. The financial details of the acquisition, which was first reported by Mashable, were not disclosed.

The deal, which will close later this week, will see Uber acquiring the startup’s technology and talent: 30 out of 40 deCarta employees, including its CEO and President Kim Fennell, will remain with the company. The mapping company will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, although it will still use its own name. Read more »

EPIC is making the popular Unreal engine 4 open source and free for all

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Tim Sweeney, CEO, technical director and original co-founder on Epic Games announced today that the company is making the latest version of its famous Unreal engine free to download and use. The fourth version of the complete and very impressive creative suite is now open source, which means that developers can not only use the powerful tools, but also freely tweak them and ideally make them better.

There is somewhat of a catch though. The software package is free for use in everything all the way from educational purposes to commercial projects, but Epic still wants to capitalize on its creation. The scheme they have come up with is ingenious. Instead of charging its current $19 monthly subscription fee, the team is making the entire platform free-for-all with the agreement that if your Unreal-based creation starts making more than $3,000 per month, per quarter, they are entitled to 5% of that gross revenue. Read more »

Google allows preinstalling Waze app on Android devices

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While most handset makers are reducing the pre-installed ‘bloatware’ on the Android devices, Google has added the social traffic and navigation app – Waze in the basket of Google Mobile Services (GMS). Now handset makers will be able to pre-install the Waze app as part of the GMS bundle on the newly sold Android devices.

Waze provides smart navigation solution to its users thanks to the crowd-sourced data collected by those very users. The data includes traffic conditions, road obstacles, or even police traps and is seeded to users in real time through the app. Read more »

Cyanogen rebrands itself with simpler, less Androidy look

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As Steve Kondik’s software-making company is trying to become more than just CyanogenMod we’re seeing the first rebranding. The new Cyanogen logo is cleaner and sees a clear move away from the Android look.

Cyanogen’s rebrand is more than just a logo change. The company is working with Qualcomm’s reference hardware for Snapdragon 200, 400 and 600 chipsets to build their own software. Read more »

Universal apps are a perfect match for all your Microsoft devices

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The Microsoft MWC event had a few interesting device announces, namely the new Lumia 640 and its bigger brother – the Lumia 640 XL. A large part of the company’s presentation, however was dedicated to the constantly improving universal application experience on Windows devices.

As most of you surely know, Windows 10 applications are now built around a brand new “One Windows” philosophy. The concept is incredibly straight-forward – have a uniform application ecosystem that will be supported across the whole range of Windows devices and allow developers to write uniform code and make for a seamless user experience transition from mobile screens all the way to full PC desktops. Read more »

BBM for Android and iOS gets an array of new features

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Blackberry has announced that a new version of their popular messenger app is coming for both Android and iOS shortly. The new build will bring a lot of interesting features and make for an improved experience, tailored to use product-specific features, such as Apple’s Touch Id and the Android Wear platform.

Some of the more interesting additions to the app include a new Custom PIN feature. Users will be able to purchase a custom 6-8 character alpha-numeric pin form the BBM store for $1.99 a month. Another new opt-in payment option is the removal of advertisements from the messenger feed, which will set you back an additional $0.99 a month. This all sound way too price, but Blackberry does need all the income it can get right now. Read more »

Samsung launches Samsung Pay service for mobile payments

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Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge were announced today in Barcelona. They both feature a new mobile service for payments called Samsung Pay and yes, you’ve guessed it right, is a competitor to Apple Pay.

Samsung Pay works with NFC and a newly developed technology called MST – Magnetic Secure Transmission. The MST will allow the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge owners to use their phones on most of the existing terminals and merchants won’t need to upgrade their payment solution. Read more »

Google updates Maps for iOS with nearby businesses, quick facts on points of interest

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Today Google has released the latest version of its Maps application for iOS. Google Maps 4.3.0 is already up for grabs from the iTunes App Store, for both iPhone and iPad (running iOS 6.0 or later). The update brings with it a few new features.

For starters, you now see nearby businesses when you look up an address. Additionally, you get quick facts on popular points of interest, and you can add transit directions to your calendar. Read more »

LINE Messenger app update for Windows Phone brings Timeline and Group Home features

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Today LINE Messenger app for Windows Phone has got a new update which brings Timeline and Group Home features. The LINE app for the Android and iOS was recently updated with Timeline sharing options.

Timeline, just like that on Facebook, allows the users to share their activities and images for their friends to like and comment on them. Read more »

Brazilian judge’s order to suspend WhatsApp halted by appeals court

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Earlier this month, a Brazilian judge passed an order to suspend WhatsApp across the country after the instant messaging service allegedly failed to cooperate in an ongoing investigation into “sexually graphic photos of children” that were circulated using the app. The Facebook-owned company appealed the decision, and now it is being reported that the suspension order has been halted.

“The suspension measure of WhatsApp services does not meet the requirement of proportionality,” the court said, while also maintaining that the company was legally obliged to help police with their enquiries. Read more »

Google Play Store will soon feature sponsored app placement

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It there is one thing Google knows how to do its advertisement. It is one of the main reasons the tech giant is such a formidable force nowadays. Google’s Play store has become an incredibly popular content hub, not only for apps, but movies and music as well. It was only natural that the company’s unique ad-supported suggestion system find its way to the store sooner or later.

The ads in question will only be present within the search results in much the same way you see results being pushed to Google’s web search. So you might start seeing suggested apps pop-up in you Play Store searches. These will look almost identical to other results but will be marked with a little “Ad” label. Read more »