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Google Hangouts update enables free voice calls to the US and Canada

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Ever since Google launched Hangouts, people have been waiting for the company to truly incorporate voice calling features into the app. There’s been a way to use your Google Voice number (if you had one of those) to call people, but from now on things got a lot simpler. The requirement to have a Google Voice number is gone, basically.

Rolling out during the next few days, an update to the Hangouts app for Android will let you call people for free – if they also use Hangouts, or if they’re in the US or Canada. For those who use Hangouts on iOS or the Web, voice calls will be available the next time you open the app. Read more »

Apple iOS 8 to launch on September 17

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On stage at the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcement today, Apple announced the availability details regarding their upcoming Apple iOS 8.

Apple iOS 8 will be available as a free download on September 17. Read more »

Opera Mini beta for Windows Phone now available for anyone to test

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The first public beta version of the Opera Mini browser for Windows Phone is now out in Microsoft’s dedicated app store. You can grab it and test it on your device, as long as it runs Windows Phone 8.x.

The beta was announced last week, when Opera prompted people to sign up in order to join its “beta testing group”. That seemed to imply that only those who signed up would be able to play with the Opera Mini beta, but that’s not the case – anyone can get it from the Windows Phone store. Read more »

WhatsApp Messenger for iPhone gets updated

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WhatsApp, the popular messenger for mobiles that recently fell under Facebook’s wing, has received an update to its iOS version.

The latest build includes the ability to share slow-motion videos directly from within the app, add captions added to photos, and archive chat logs and contact groups. Read more »

Google Play Movies & TV for iOS gains offline support

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Google’s Play Movies & TV app for iOS got treated to a significant update. Version 1.2.0 of the app brings offline movie playback to the Apple’s platform.

The app’s newly built-in functionality should appeal to those with limited amount of data in their wireless plan, or simply spend time away from less than perfect network coverage. Read more »

Sony Xperia Z3 launcher ported to Android 4.2+ Xperias

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Sony unveiled the new Xperia Z3 on Wednesday, which brought some improvements over the Xperia Z2. The changes weren’t groundbreaking though (the 6-month update schedule means smaller upgrades) and now Z2 owners have even less to feel envious about since the Xperia Z3 launcher and widgets have been ported to Android 4.2 and above.

Owners of other Sony smartphones can join the party too, it’s not a flagship-only event. Read more »

Oppo to offer Color OS on LG G2, recruits beta testers now

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Did you like the so called Color OS running on the Oppo Find 7 and Find 7a? Oppo’s take on the default Android looks and behavior was quite good, with lots of new eye-candies, features and services.

As of today Oppo is recruiting beta testers with LG G2 willing to test the Color OS ROM on their smartphone. Once completed, Oppo will launch the Color OS ROM to all compatibles LG G2. Read more »

Google details Android Wear updates for the rest of the year

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Today Google has posted an official list of features it will add to the Android Wear platform before 2014 ends. The company has also confirmed once again that all smartwatches running Android Wear will get the updates as soon as these are going to be ready.

This is no surprise, as Google is pretty much in charge of the update process for Android Wear devices, looking to avoid the fragmentation situation that’s persistent in its smartphone and tablet operating system. Read more »

Opera Mini beta goes live for Windows Phone devices

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Opera Mini beta is now available for Windows Phone devices. The developers behind the popular web browser have for users who are willing to join the beta testing group.

Once signed up, you should be receiving a download link for the beta version of the Opera Mini browser. Read more »

New Microsoft ad pits Cortana against Apple’s Siri

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In an effort to garner some interest for the as-yet underwhelming release of the HTC One M8 running Windows Phone, Microsoft has released a new ad on YouTube, highlighting their recently released Cortana voice assistant for Windows Phone.

Cortana is touted by Microsoft as being a complete virtual assistant, bringing the company’s Bing search capabilities and full-fledged organizational capabilities into a voice-activated package. Read more »

Windows Phone 8.1 GDR2 will bring alphabetical order to settings menu

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Windows Phone 8.1 has already received its first general distribution release (GDR1) but now rumors are pointing to the second one. According to sources claiming they’ve played with a functional WP device running the GDR2 software the settings menu can finally be sorted alphabetically.

Currently the WP settings menu is a list of settings prioritized the way Redmond saw best and is very confusing to many users. The source claims that the Action center will carry a mobile data toggle and that Cortana (while still in Alpha phase) will become available to more markets. Read more »

Google Maps update brings Hindi language support

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Google has released an update to the Maps application on Android. v8.3 brings with it support for Hindi language. Along with extending to the UI of the app, the Hindi language will also be available for voice navigation. This should be beneficial to the vast number of Hindi speaking people in India and other countries.

Along with the language option, 8.3 also brings improved notifications support for Android Wear devices. Other than that there are the usual bug fixes. Read more »

Nokia HERE Maps to provide free, offline navigation to Samsung Galaxy smartphones

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Samsung and Nokia have announced that HERE Maps are arriving in beta form on Android, free for Galaxy phones. HERE comes with voice-guided navigation capabilities and will work offline too, something which Google Maps doesn’t allow.

The Tizen-running Samsung Gear smartwatches are getting HERE maps too. The initial announcement was a little vague but now we have the full details. Read more »

Microsoft updates Windows Store app policy, removes over 1500 fake apps

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Microsoft recently reported that a large number of its Windows Store apps are misleading users with inaccurate titles and descriptions. This has prompted the company to purge more than 1500 apps from its app catalog.

The removal of the apps in question comes as part of an attempt by Microsoft to improve the quality of its app selection, and is also reflected by the company’s updated app certification requirements. Read more »

Instagram adds time-lapse video recording to its repertoire

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Instagram added time-lapse video recording to its repertoire of tricks. Dubbed Hyperlapse, the functionality is available only for iOS devices for the time being.

Like all things Instagram, Hyperlapse features clean, easy to ready interface. Read more »