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Google Now update for Android brings support for 40 third party apps

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Google has updated its Google app for Android with support for 40 new third-party apps, including Airbnb, Urbanspoon, eBay, Waze, Instacart, Pandora, and The Guardian. This means that you’ll now see lots of new Google Now cards, giving you information that’s helpful to you, right when you need it.

“In the morning, catch up on news of the day with cards from The Guardian. On your commute, Pandora can give you recommendations for music to play, based on what you like, or you can be reminded to complete your daily French lesson on Duolingo,” the search giant said in a blog post. Read more »

Nexus 7 3G and Nexus 7 LTE finally get Lollipop factory images

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The Nexus family is treated like Android royalty and is among the very first devices to get updated to a new software version. That’s great, except the Nexus 7 tablets with mobile data did not get the princely treatment they deserve and their update was delayed.

This affected both the original Nexus 7 and the Nexus 7 (2013). No more though, Google released the factory images for Android 5.0.2 Lollipop for both devices. Read more »

Google Now gets deep integration with third-party applications

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An update to Google Now brought deep integration with third-party apps to the already mighty personal assistant. Initially, there will be 40 apps available as as a source of Google Now cards.

Those 40 new apps include popular titles such as The Guardian, Pandora, Lyft, Shazam, The Economist, and Ebay among others. Read more »

Vine Kids launches for iOS, it’s exactly what it seems

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Today the folks behind Vine, the app that lets you create six second looping videos, have announced a new venture. It’s called Vine Kids, and, like its name implies, it’s basically a special version of Vine, created just for kids.

Apparently a lot of kids were already into using the ‘normal’ Vine app, so the company thought a specialized offering for them would be an instant hit. Read more »

Microsoft launches Office for Android, Outlook for iOS and Android, updates OneDrive

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Under its new leadership, Microsoft has embraced other Mobile platforms and Office for Android is officially available starting today (having gone through a preview stage). Also, it’s bringing Outlook to Android and iOS and updating the OneDrive apps to handle photos better.

Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android tablets offer an “unmistakably Office experience”, which means the Ribbon UI. Read more »

Rolling Stone archive will be freely available on Google Play Newsstand

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The legendary pop culture magazine – Rolling Stone has announced that it will open most of its huge archive for free public access on Google Play Newsstand. Articles span over almost fifty years and every single issue since 1967 will have its place in the digital edition. According to fastcompany.com three to four big stories per magazine will be available digitally for free including every single cover story ever published.

This is a huge deal for both parties and is a part of a strategic advertising program. Google apparently purchased “seven figures” worth of Rolling Stone advertising as part of this deal. Never the less the exclusive availability should really boost Google Play Newsstand’s popularity on both Android and iOS. The magazine is also sure to reel in some new fans and recapture the love of current ones. Read more »

Windows 10 will bring FLAC support on phones and small tablets

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Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President, Operating Systems Group at Microsoft has been busy on Twitter answering a lot of questions around the future of Windows 10. Ever since last week’s event, when Microsoft showcased a lot of exciting details about the future of its popular OS and the tech world users have been impatient to receive answers to a few pressing question, mostly regarding Windows 10 on mobile devices.

The smoke was already clear around legacy app support on smaller devices and today Joe has shared another much anticipated piece of information – namely that Windows 10 on mobile devices will have native FLAC support. Read more »

Octa-core Windows 10 phones expected to arrive soon

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January 21 marked an important milestone for Microsoft as the Windows 10 Next chapter event took place and revealed an amazing amount of new information concerning the future of the popular OS on both desktop and portable devices. One of the things that became abundantly clear is that us tech giant is really making progress and investing in its new One Windows philosophy.

Windows 10 on smartphones and tablets will essentially share the core of the full distribution and more importantly will support a uniform app ecosystem that allows the same applications to be used seamlessly across the entire range of Windows 10-powered devices. This is all very exciting, but even though Microsoft cleared the smoke around a lot of aspects of the new OS there are still some pressing questions of availability and future devices. As we have already reported, the new OS will surely be available for the Microsoft Lumia 435, 735 and 930 and if Microsoft keeps its word, most other current Lumia devices as well. This is an admirable decision, but we can’t help that the Microsoft mobile family is severely lacking on flagship models lately. Luckily this might change pretty soon. Read more »

Paper by Facebook for iOS updated with improved Camera Roll and photo sharing

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Just a few months after adding support for the larger displays of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Facebook has updated its Paper app for iOS to version 1.2.5, bringing improvements to Camera Roll and photo sharing, as well as faster performance.

Photos and videos are now organized by the date they were taken, making it easy for you to find what you’re looking for while selecting media to share. In addition, the updated app also introduces the ability to share photos from the new Favorites album introduced in iOS 8. Read more »

Bill Gates working on a Personal Agent project at Microsoft

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When Bill Gates stepped down as Microsoft chairman last year, he vowed to “substantially” increase the time he spends at the company, with a particular focus on “ambitious scenarios,” though he didn’t reveal what exactly he would be doing. However, in an Ask Me Anything question and answer session on Reddit yesterday, Gates revealed that he is currently working on a project dubbed Personal Agent.

“One project I am working on with Microsoft is the Personal Agent which will remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to,” he said. “The idea that you have to find applications and pick them and they each are trying to tell you what is new is just not the efficient model – the agent will help solve this.” Read more »

Sony announces PlayStation Music powered by Spotify

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Today Sony has unveiled a new music streaming service that will become available in the spring. It’s called PlayStation Music, and it will be powered by Spotify. It will be available on PS3 and PS4, as well as unnamed “Xperia smartphones and tablets”.

You may be wondering what this means for Sony’s in-house developed service called Music Unlimited. Well, nothing good as it turns out. Music Unlimited will be shut down on March 29 in all the 19 countries where it’s available. Prior to that, from February 28, all of its users with active subscriptions will get free access to the service until it closes down. Read more »

Sygic navigation app arrives on Windows Phone with free offline maps

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The Sygic GPS navigation app that’s apparently amassed more than 75 million users on iOS and Android is now finally available for Windows Phone too. The app will provide some interesting competition for Nokia’s own solutions, now licensed to Microsoft for use in its mobile OS.

Sygic for Windows Phone comes with “forever free” GPS use, offline maps by TomTom, points of interest, route planning, and map updates. Read more »

Twitter unveils group Direct Messages and video sharing

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Twitter is mostly a public social network, but it improved its private messaging experience with Direct Messages for groups. Another change today is the ability to record, edit and share short video clips publicly.

The new features will be rolled out gradually to all users, but you can view videos and be invited into conversations by people who have already gotten access to the features. Read more »

Microsoft confirms legacy apps and full desktop experience will only work on 8-inch and larger Windows 10 tablets

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Last week all eyes were on Microsoft and the announcement-rich event, held on January 21. A lot of groundbreaking and game-changing plans were unveiled to make the next installment of the OS a truly revolutionary experience. But perhaps the thing that excites us the most is the future of Windows on mobile devices.

Microsoft has made it clear that it will spare no resource in following its One Windows strategy and unifying the user experience across all devices. This, of course includes the unification of the app ecosystem, allowing developers to write code that works seamlessly across PCs, smartphones, tables and even Xbox consoles. Read more »

Yelp update brings event RSVP and improved photo/video upload for Android and iOS

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Online reviews service Yelp has updated its app for both Android and iOS with some small but useful features, including event RSVP and better media uploads.

The updated app now allows you to RSVP to events – you can check out your profile to see as well as comment on all the events that you’re attending. Read more »