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BBM for Android update comes with Material Design, new Private Chat feature

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Today BBM for Android finally starts looking like an Android app. Following a period of less than stellar looks, the app now fully embraces Google’s Material Design principles. A beta version with the new UI went out at the beginning of the month, and now it’s stable enough for everyone to use.

Thus, you can already find it in the Play Store. But the new paint job isn’t the only changed thing about BBM for Android. It also comes with a new feature called Private Chat. Read more »

Facebook’s new ‘Add a Link’ feature lets you easily find and share Web links

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Facebook has launched a new feature that allows you to easily find and share Web links on the social network. Dubbed Add a Link, the feature is currently only available for iPhone users, but will eventually launch on Android and the company’s Messenger app as well.

“Now, whenever you want to share a specific web link in your posts, just tap the new link icon, type in a few keywords to search for a link from our index of posts, and share it,” the company said. So effectively, the feature makes sure that users won’t have to leave the Facebook app when searching for Web links. Read more »

Google’s Hangouts reaches 1 billion installs in the Play Store

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Another Google app for Android has passed the 1 billion install threshold today. This time it’s Hangouts, following other apps such as Gmail. Apparently up until this point there have been only ten apps in this exclusive club, and only three of those aren’t made by Google.

Interestingly, all three are made by Facebook – we’re talking about the social network’s main app, Messenger, as well as WhatsApp. The last two of those are direct competitors to Google’s Hangouts, and it definitely seems like they are a lot more successful right now. Read more »

Amazon is offering yet another batch of paid apps and games for free

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Amazon has really been trying hard to expand its vast online store to the realm of Android apps – a niche mostly monopolized by Google. The etailer giant has been continuously running major promotions giving away select paid application for free and todays sees the latest such giveaway.

We have seen Amazon offer as much as $140 worth of software in previous promotions, so, it is definitely worth checking each bundle out as it comes. The latest installment has a value of just over $50, but includes quite a few quality apps worth owning, especially free of charge. Read more »

Microsoft Office for Android is now available for everyone

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Microsoft took the Office apps for Android out of their beta status. The productivity applications are now available for users across 83 different countries.

Microsoft introduced the Office for Android preview for smartphones back in May. The preview was also available for certain Android tablets since last year. Read more »

Facebook Messenger no longer requires a Facebook account

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WhatsApp and similar mobile-first (or mobile-only) messaging apps have pioneered the concept of using your phone number to log in years ago. But so far Facebook’s Messenger has required people to have a Facebook account in order to use it. Not anymore.

Starting today, you can sign up for Facebook Messenger even if you don’t have a Facebook account. After you install the Messenger app, when you run it for the first time, you’ll see the screen above. You can choose “Not on Facebook?” to be able to sign up using your phone number. Read more »

WhatsApp voice calling comes to Windows Phone

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After launching it first on Android and the later bringing it to iOS, WhatsApp has finally brought over its voice calling feature to the Windows Phone version. You can now finally call your buddies using Android or iOS devices on WhatsApp, instead of Viber, or Skype, or any of the other dozen services.

Along with voice calling, the update also brings with it the ability to send voice notes, which is only available on devices running 8.1 and above. Other than that there is not much else new in this update. Read more »

WhatsApp for Android now lets you perform an app-wide search

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The Android version of popular messaging app WhatsApp now allows you to search across all your conversations. According to an Android Police report, the feature was possibly added in the version 2.12.134 of the app.

Previously, you could only perform a text search in a single WhatsApp conversation, but now when you start a search in the app’s Chats tab, you are also presented with results from within various conversations in addition to your contacts. Read more »

Latest Instagram update brings revamped Explore tab and better search

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Instagram 7.0 for iOS and Android has been made official today, and it should become available in both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store within the next few hours. The newest version of the popular photo sharing app comes with some pretty big changes, though unfortunately one of them is US-only for now.

The Explore page inside the app has been completely revamped. It now shows trends as they emerge, making it easy for you to follow current events and conversations through Instagram. You will see trending tags as well as trending places. Read more »

Google Play Music gets free, ad-supported radio in the US

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Clearly meant as a response of sorts to the launch of Apple Music, Google has today announced it’s adding a free tier to its Play Music streaming service. Previously, this was accessible only through a subscription.

From this point on, however, it also has a free, ad-supported radio version. Unfortunately it’s only going to be available in the US for the foreseeable future (Google has yet to announce when it will go international). Read more »

Periscope for Android update brings new notification settings and ability to edit profile information

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The Android version of Twitter’s live video streaming app Periscope – which was launched last month – has scored yet another update. It bumps the application to version 1.0.2, and brings along several new features as well as bug fixes.

The updated app now not only lets you edit your profile information, including your photo, display name, and description, but also allows you to watch your personal broadcast history. In addition, it brings along improved comment synchronization for replays, as well as new sound/vibrate/silent notification settings (see image above). Read more »

Here Maps now has live traffic coverage in 50 countries

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Here Maps (still owned by Nokia, but that’s something that may change soon) has announced a new milestone today. The service now has live, real time traffic information in 50 countries across the globe. In the map below, every territory that’s blue is covered.

The light blue places are the newest additions, joining the other 44 countries from today. So, starting now you’ll also get live traffic coverage in Bahrain, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Romania. Read more »

Best Apps and Games of the Week

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Here are the best apps and games that came out this week. Read more »

Facebook’s recently launched Moments app won’t be available in Europe

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Just days after Facebook released Moments – a private photo-sharing app that uses facial-recognition technology to identify people in images, the company has said that the app won’t be available in Europe.

According to the company’s European policy chief Richard Allan, the decision was taken in the wake of concerns raised by European regulators over the facial-recognition technology used by the app. Read more »

Google Clock lands in the Play Store with Material Design

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For whatever reason, Google decided that today would be a good day to add another one of its apps to the Play Store. In this case, we’re talking about Clock, in its most recent iteration that is.

You can now install Google’s Clock if you so wish, and you’ll get an app that is heavily infused with the Material Design language that the search giant has been in love with since last year. Read more »