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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 »

Spotify gets free music streaming for Windows Phone

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After being free for Android and iOS for quite some time, Spotify for Windows Phone is finally set to offer ad-supported streaming to users at no cost.

The app will bring in the functionality from its Android and iOS counterparts by letting users stream playlists and music in shuffle mode. Read more »

An average Android user has 95 apps installed, only uses 35, says Yahoo

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How many apps you have on your phone? An average Android user has 95 but only uses 35 throughout a regular day. Often each app gets used more than once, you’re likely to have 100 interactions with apps by the time you turn in for the day.

These numbers come from the Aviate launcher for Android, with the help of Yahoo Labs. Read more »

LastPass for Android gets an update to be more independent from PCs

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The popular password manager LastPass now boasts an updated app for Android, getting it one step closer to be as standalone as its PC counterpart.

One of the major new features is the ability to share credentials between LastPass accounts. It is done in a secure fashion and makes it easy to share passwords with family members and friends. Read more »

WhatsApp now has 600 million monthly active users

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Popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp crossed another major milestone recently. The company CEO announced on Twitter that WhatsApp is now service over 600 million monthly active users.

The CEO was quick to point out that it’s active users, that is, people actually using the service everyday, and not just registered users, which would be a bigger number but a lot of those people won’t actually be using the service. Read more »

Opera and Microsoft sign a licensing agreement

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Opera Software signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft. Under its terms, Opera Mini will become the default web browser for the Redmond giant’s range of low-end phones, where its will replace the currently used Xpress Browser.

The agreement applies to phones which run Series 30+, Series 40, as well as those with the Asha platform. Read more »

Microsoft will reportedly release a Windows 9 preview on September 30

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According to a report in The Verge, Microsoft plans to unveil Windows 9 on September 30. The Redmond giant is tipped to be planning a press event, where a developer preview of the OS will be revealed.

The late September release date has been mentioned in past reports. Read more »

Facebook Messenger reaches 500 million downloads on Android

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Facebook carved out the chat functionality from its main app and transferred it exclusively to its Messenger app. Messenger is getting pummeled with 1-star reviews but that hasn’t stopped it from growing and it is now on over 500 million Android devices.

Only two other non-Google apps (so not Android defaults) have managed this – the main Facebook app and the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. Read more »