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YouTube switches to HTML5 video as default

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YouTube has revealed it has switched to using HTML5 video by default. The company had already been doing so on certain browsers, including Chrome and Safari, but will now do so even on IE 11 and the latest beta versions of Firefox.

YouTube originally relied on Adobe Flash player to support all its features and be browser independent. Flash, however, is a bit of a resource hog, and also required installing the plugin on most browsers. Read more »

Snapchat introduces new ‘Discover’ feature

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Snapchat has added a new feature in the latest update of the app for iOS and Android, which is called Discover. With this, you can now access content from service such as Yahoo News, ESPN, National Geographic, MTV, Daily Mail, and Snapchat’s own network.

Snapchat has been working with media companies to be able to deliver content that fits into Snapchat’s format. With the latest update, you can now choose from any of these services, and then see the content within the app. The content appears in the form of short video clips, and you can swipe up to either see a full video, like on, say, National Geographic or MTV, or read the associated article, like on Yahoo News. Snapchat also has its channel, where you can get updates from events happening around the world, such as the current winter storm Juno happening in the western hemisphere. Read more »

Apple is a convincing leader in contactless payments

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Apple is well above all competitors in the field of contactless payments. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, two out of three dollars spent in such fashion come courtesy of Apple Pay.

The latest data is part of today’s record-shattering financial results for Q1 of the fiscal 2015. Read more »

Project Spartan web browser by Microsoft will support extensions

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The upcoming Project Spartan web browsed by Microsoft will support extensions a la Google Chrome. The development team behind the successor of Internet Explorer confirmed the news on Twitter.

Extensions will arrive to Project Spartan via a future update. Read more »

Sygic navigation app arrives on Windows Phone with free offline maps

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The Sygic GPS navigation app that’s apparently amassed more than 75 million users on iOS and Android is now finally available for Windows Phone too. The app will provide some interesting competition for Nokia’s own solutions, now licensed to Microsoft for use in its mobile OS.

Sygic for Windows Phone comes with “forever free” GPS use, offline maps by TomTom, points of interest, route planning, and map updates. Read more »

Motorola offers $140 off for purchases of $499.99 for Valentine’s Day

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Motorola has just announced its Valentine’s Day promotion. If you buy from the phone maker’s website directly, you’ll be able to save as much as $140 for a purchase of at least $499.99. The details are a little bit complicated however.

It all starts on February 2 at 11 am CT. From that time and until 11:59 pm CT on the same day, you’ll be able to register for a promo code worth $140 for a $499.99 purchase, or $50 off a purchase of at least $249.99. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 for Verizon gets sold even though it hasn’t launched

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Back in September the big US carriers launched the Galaxy Tab S from Samsung, but all but one went for the 10.5-inch model only. The sole company to have the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 on sale was AT&T. Interestingly though, an 8.4-incher for Verizon has been certified by the FCC, so clearly the carrier nicknamed Big Red had plans to release it at some point.

That said, here we are in 2015 and Verizon hasn’t done so, which means the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 probably won’t ever get official at this carrier. Intriguingly however, someone actually managed to buy this tablet, the Verizon model, back in December. Read more »

Lumia 535 now available in the UK for £79 off-contract, locked though

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Microsoft have flooded the lower smartphone segment with a plethora of Lumia 400s and Lumia 500s. New ones are released regularly, and existing ones remain in the lineup. The Lumia 535, which stands atop the 500 series, can now be purchased for £79 off-contract.

A minor note though, off-contract doesn’t mean unlocked in this case, as the Tesco offer is limited to the carrier’s network. Read more »

Twitter unveils group Direct Messages and video sharing

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Twitter is mostly a public social network, but it improved its private messaging experience with Direct Messages for groups. Another change today is the ability to record, edit and share short video clips publicly.

The new features will be rolled out gradually to all users, but you can view videos and be invited into conversations by people who have already gotten access to the features. Read more »

Samsung Z1 joins an elite club of company flagships, in Dropbox storage at least

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The Samsung Z1 is the first smartphone to boot the budget Android alternative, Tizen OS. Announced less than a fortnight ago, the device has already landed in the hands of more than 50,000 people in India.

Well, we bring some unexpected good news to those folks, as Samsung is offering 48GB of free Dropbox storage space for a year for owners of the Z1 when they log in to the service from their smartphone. Read more »

Krüger&Matz unveils affordable smartwatch, Android Wear nowhere to be found

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Smartwatch popularity has reached critical levels and new ones come from unexpected places – now including Polish company Krüger&Matz. The Krüger&Matz Smartwatch Classic runs a custom Linux build on a MediaTek Aster chipset and costs PLN 350 ($94/€83).

The smartwatch is compatible with iOS 7+ and Android 4.3+ devices. Read more »

Apple patents a gaming controller receptacle for the iPhone

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The smartphone is already so far removed from its phone legacy, packing an infinite number of functions and replacing a multitude of standalone devices. Samsung went ahead and fitted the Galaxy Note 4 within a headset, offering a virtual reality experience with the Gear VR. Sony capitalized on its PlayStation traditions enabling the pairing of a DualShock controller to some of its Xperia smartphones.

Apple is also set on exploiting the mobile gaming niche, it appears, as recent findings show that the Cupertino company has been granted patents for a number of controller-type holders, presumably for the iPhone. Read more »

Dropbox acquires Pixelapse creative collaboration and version control suite

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Dropbox has recently been putting a lot of effort into expanding its service and striving for better integration with various third-party platforms and products. The latest step in this direction is the acquisition of Pixelapse with the intent to eventually integrate the interesting service into the core Dropbox experience.

Pixelapse offers a modern take on managing the workflow of various creative areas. It is intended to provide artist and designers with a fluent, intuitive and very visual way of managing the work process and collaborating. The software itself is beautifully executed both visually and in terms of performance. It runs on both Windows and OSX and is completely free for hosting public projects. Read more »

Microsoft confirms legacy apps and full desktop experience will only work on 8-inch and larger Windows 10 tablets

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Last week all eyes were on Microsoft and the announcement-rich event, held on January 21. A lot of groundbreaking and game-changing plans were unveiled to make the next installment of the OS a truly revolutionary experience. But perhaps the thing that excites us the most is the future of Windows on mobile devices.

Microsoft has made it clear that it will spare no resource in following its One Windows strategy and unifying the user experience across all devices. This, of course includes the unification of the app ecosystem, allowing developers to write code that works seamlessly across PCs, smartphones, tables and even Xbox consoles. Read more »

€100 cashback on Samsung Tab S 10.5 and Tab S 8, Germany only

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If you’ve been postponing the purchase of a Samsung tablet on grounds of unacceptable price, now might be the best time. Provided you’re lucky enough to live in Germany, that is.

The company has announced a limited time €100 cashback offer on its premium models, the Tab S 10.5 and Tab S 8. The promotion covers both the WiFi-only and LTE enabled versions of the tablets, with a variety of color options too. Read more »