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Google might soon launch its own VPN service for Android

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Google could be working on its very own VPN service for Android, which might get an official launch at some point in the near future. This revelation comes from a look at one of the apps that are bundled in the Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the Motorola Nexus 6.

After applying the update, among the list of installed apps is something called Google Connectivity Services. You can’t see this in the app drawer, but it’s listed under Settings > Apps > All. You can run it, but only after fiddling with a dedicated app for handling the launch of activities (the string is quite long). Read more »

Snapchat getting a $200 million dollar investment from Alibaba

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You know Snapchat right? That kind of weird photo messenger that allows exchanging self-destructing shots. Well it turns out, that what started as a silly university startup has grown into one of those rare businesses that everybody wants in on.

Industry sources now hint that Alibaba, China’s online shopping giant is also taking a huge interest in the service and plans to invest $200 million in it, on a valuation of a whopping $15 billion. In fact, just last month, the Los Angeles-based chat company was in talks to raise another $500 million, independent of Alibaba’s offer. This would price the company even higher, between $16 and $19 billion. Read more »

Update to Google Messenger for Android goes live with new features

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Google updated its popular Messenger app for Android. Version 1.2 of the application is now available to download and install from Google Play.

The new Google Messenger build brings a couple of new features to users. Read more »

Here Maps returns to iOS, tops 4 million downloads on Android

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In late 2013 Nokia pulled the plug on its Here Maps for iOS because, well, it just wasn’t very good. After a successful launch on Android, Nokia has brought its app back to iOS and this time it’s built from the ground up for a great, native experience (the old one was a packaged HTML5 app).

The new app comes with all the bells and whistles, including offline navigation and public transport. Read more »

Here is a beautiful concept video of iOS 9, showing some features that we would love to see

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Apple’s “Spring Forward” event, held this Monday definitely put the Cupertino company back under the spotlight. And after all the discussions around the Apple Watch and the new MacBook, people have naturally set their sights on the upcoming iOS 9 update.

The new OS version, codenamed “Monarch”, should be arriving sometime around the WWDC conference in June, so there is still some waiting to be done. There have already seen some bits and pieces of information, surrounding iOS 9 and everything seems to point towards improved performance and a lot of bug and stability fixes, instead of a barrage of new features Read more »

Google releases Calendar app for iPhone, complete with Material Design

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Last November Google officially outed its redesigned (and Material Design-infused) Calendar app for Android, and today it’s bringing the same design and features to iOS. The search giant has released Google Calendar for iPhone, and it’s already up for grabs in the iTunes App Store.

Believe it or not, this is the first ever official Google Calendar app for iOS. So far to get Google’s calendar on Apple’s mobile platform you were able to use the system built into the OS, or countless third party apps. From now on you’ll also have this official alternative. Read more »

Update to Pandora for Android brings Google Now cards

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Pandora for Android received a major update. Version 5.8 brings support for Google Now cards to the music streaming app.

Google Now support means that users can search for and play music straight from the search giant’s personal assistant. Read more »

Apple ResearchKit transforms the iPhone into the ultimate research tool

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Apple’s “Spring Forward” event had a lot to offer users. A big portion of the presentation was devoted to a new Apple platform, dubbed ResearchKit. It aims to bring advanced technology to the hands of researchers, medical personnel and end users to simplify the way we track and care for our health. It also does much more, like diagnosis and even remote consultations.

ResearchKit is a new framework, which enabled developers to easily employ all of the iPhone’s sensors in a way, specifically tailored to battling diseases and delivering health services. It can aggregate data from various fitness applications and help them stay interconnected. When granted permission, the platform will use user data, like weight, blood pressure, glucose levels and asthma inhaler use, measured by the phone or third-party apps, couples that with live sensor data from accelerometer, microphone, gyroscope and GPS sensors and creates a full picture of the user’s health status. Furthermore, the platform is entirely open source so that everybody can easily get on board and build applications for a good cause. Read more »

Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets for iOS now let you make a copy of a file

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Google has updated its Sheets, Slides and Docs iOS apps with a feature that was previously only available in the web UI. Dubbed Make a copy, the feature allows you to make a copy of a spreadsheet, presentation, or document, depending on the app you’re using.

In addition, the update brings the ability to copy links to the device’s clipboard. There is also a new accessibility settings menu which appears within Slides and Sheets apps when VoiceOver is enabled in Settings. Finally, the updated apps also feature bug fixes and performance improvements. Read more »

Google has launched a dedicated PDF viewer on Android

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Google PDF Viewer is the latest addition to what can definitely be considered Google’s office suite for Android. The application is, like the name suggests, nothing more than a lightweight PDF viewer. Now, you might be saying to yourself – “Why would I need that, Google Drive has one built-in”. And you would be absolutely true. But there is still a reason for the app to exist and a very good one.

You might remember, that a few days ago we reported on one of Google’s new Android endeavors – Android for Work. The project’s goal is to make your personal Android device much more organized and convenient to use both for work and outside the office. The idea is to have a separate set of applications that are dedicated to your business and are separate from your main apps. This, of course, means that Google has to begin launching a new set of productivity apps, which appear to mirror existing functionality, hence the Google PDF viewer. Read more »

Imagine your SatNav software avoiding areas of poor cellular signal, Apple holds the patent now

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One of Apple’s numerous patent applications has been granted a green light today and unlike most other vague texts, this one is quite interesting, particularly in its implications. The Cupertino tech giant now has the sole legal right to produce a “Navigation system acquisition and use of cellular coverage map data”.

What this entails is a system, which is able to model SatNav routing options, based on cell signal strength. The idea is that you cell phone is pretty aware of the signal strength at any given time and thanks to anonymous data reporting, Apple has that information at hand. This can then be aggregated on a map and used to suggest routes that avoid areas with shady cell strength or even, perhaps, too congested places. Read more »

New Imgur iOS application offers browsing images in style

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Most of you have surely used Imgur’s services for instant and easy image sharing. The platform has come a long way since it was lunched, back in 2009. Today, Imgur is so popular that it is no longer merely an image hosting solution, it is now more or less representative of image sharing trends online.

Imgur has been capitalizing on that and it’s growing into a social network, rather than a simple image hosting website. A very logical step to further aid this development is to target the ever-growing mobile community in a proper matter and Alan Schaaf, the company’s founder and CEO, feels they might have finally achieved that with their new iOS application. Read more »

Gmail 4.0 for iOS brings quick actions to notifications

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Today Google has released the latest version of Gmail for iOS. Gmail 4.0 comes with a few new features, chief among which is the support for quick actions in notifications. So now when you get a notification about an email, you can archive or reply straight from the notification.

As this functionality is made possible by iOS 8, it will only be available to you if you’re on that version of Apple’s mobile operating system (or its later updates, of course). Read more »

Acer now preloads Swype keyboard on its smartphones

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Acer has signed a partnership with Nuance, the company making Swype, to bring the virtual keyboard to current and upcoming smartphones of the company.

Swype is now shipping on Acer’s Liquid S1, Liquid S2, Liquid X1, Liquid Jade, Liquid Jade S as well as the E3, E600 and E700. To enable it, you have to go to the input and language settings on your phone and change the default keyboard to Swype. Read more »

Twitter adds internal browser to Android app in the beta version

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Twitter is testing an internal browser for its Android app, which has been enabled for those on the beta channel. It’s a server side change that will automatically be enabled without having to update the app.

The current stable version of the Android app includes an optional quick read mode, that strips the page of its usual formatting and presents a simplified text and image view optimized for mobile reading. This new update will put the browser in your Twitter app, so links will look exactly like they do in Chrome. Read more »