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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 »

WhatsApp web client now also compatible with Firefox and Opera

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When WhatsApp launched a desktop version of its messaging service last month, it worked only with Google Chrome. But that’s not the case anymore, as the company has announced that the client is now also compatible with Firefox and Opera.

The sign up process remains the same, which means Firefox and Opera users will also have to scan a QR code from within WhatsApp on their handset, something which can be done through a new Menu option, labeled WhatsApp Web. Read more »

Microsoft makes Android tablet keyboard for hardcore Excel users

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Microsoft has released a new keyboard specifically for Android tablets called Keyboard for Excel. It works only on Android tablets and is aimed at hardcore Excel users who enter a lot of numbers in their sheets.

The main feature of this keyboard is the 10-key number layout or a numpad on the right that makes it convenient to quickly enter numbers and offers similar experience to the numpad on your computer keyboard. Read more »

Apple Maps updated with 9 new 3D Flyover locations including Venice and Edinburgh

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Apple has added nine new cities to the list of locations that are covered under the 3D Flyover feature offered by its iOS and OS X Maps applications. The new cities include Baton Rouge, LA; Boise, ID; Edinburgh, Scotland; Cáceres, Spain; Guadalajara, Mexico; Ponce, Puerto Rico; Venice, Italy; Linz, Austria; and Rennes, France.

If you aren’t already aware, the Flyover feature, which first debuted in iOS 6 and OS X Yosemite, lets you take a high-resolution 3-dimensional tour of locations, allowing you to zoom in on important buildings, landmarks, and other areas of interest. Read more »

Leaked People Sense app by Microsoft launches on Windows Phone as SquadWatch

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The People Sense Windows Phone app leaked just a couple of days ago, and now it’s gone live in Microsoft’s mobile app store. However, it’s done so under a different name. The app is called SquadWatch, though its functions are unchanged.

Internally codenamed Buddy Aware, SquadWatch is basically a location sharing app for groups of people. It’s bidirectional, so the users you add won’t see your location unless you can also see theirs. Read more »

Google Calendar 5.1 for Android rolls out with 7-day view on phones, more new features

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Today Google has started rolling out the latest update for its Calendar app for Android. Google Calendar 5.1 brings with it a 7-day view for phones. Additionally, you can now add Google Drive files to events, and Drive will even check if everyone who’s participating in an event can open them.

These are the main new features, but there’s more stuff in this update. For example, you can now control whether birthdays from your Google+ contacts are shown on your calendar. This setting will arrive on the Web version of Google Calendar too, but next week. Read more »

Twitter launches its ‘While you were away’ feature on Android

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Last month, when Twitter rolled out its While you were away feature on iOS, it said that the functionality will arrive on Android (as well as the Web) soon. Now, the company has made good on that promise by making the feature available for users of Google’s mobile operating system.

For those who are not in the know, the way it works is: if you haven’t checked in on Twitter for a while, the feature gives you a recap of some of the top Tweets (determined by engagement and other factors) that you might have missed from the accounts you follow. Read more »