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Rooms message board app by Facebook launches for iOS

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Facebook launched a brand new app for iOS dubbed Rooms. The newcomer allows users to create or participate in message boards that cover any topic they might be interested in.

The app consist of rooms that are organized by area of interest. Read more »

Microsoft makes a lockscreen app for Android

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Microsoft is on a roll these days… making apps for Android. Made by the same Microsoft Garage division that brought us this comes the new Next Lock Screen.

As you can tell from the name, it’s a lockscreen app. It presents notifications on the lockscreen similar to the way Android Lollipop does. You can see them at a glance or swipe them away. But more than showing notifications, the lockscreen also shows relevant information from your apps directly on the lockscreen so you don’t have to go hunting inside the app. Read more »

Torque by Microsoft is a nifty search app for Android Wear

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Microsoft launched a crafty search application for Android Wear devices dubbed Torque. The app activates on the Android Wear device via a twist of the user’s wrist.

Of course, the search engine used by the app is powered by Bing, not Google’s own solution. Read more »

Google Earth 8.0 for Android adds new 3D tech, quicker map updates

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Google has just announced a pretty big update for the Google Earth app for Android. The new version will be rolling out over the next week, bringing with it faster and smoother transitions as you’re zooming in.

Mountains and cities get sharper 3D views too, thanks to an overhauled 3D rendering technology that was built from scratch. This is, in fact, the first big upgrade for the 3D tech since Google Earth launched 10 years ago. And more 3D updates are promised for the coming months. Read more »

Google launches Inbox by Gmail, a brand new take on email

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Google has just unveiled a new service. It’s called Inbox, and it uses the data in your Gmail account. But it presents this to you in some pretty interesting new ways.

It’s designed to “focus on what really matters”, the company says. It does this by surfacing important information from emails, and by letting you add reminders to your new inbox. Read more »

Google Play Music gets contextual music stations, Material Design

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Google has announced a big update for its Play Music service. First off, the Android and iOS apps have received a new, Material Design-infused coat of paint. Second, the service now brings you contextual music stations.

These have apparently been “hand crafted” by a team of music experts, including DJs, musicians, music critics, and ethnomusicologists, to give you exactly the songs you need for a particular moment. Read more »

HERE maps beta officially released for all Android devices

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Nokia’s HERE Maps launched on Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones recently to offer “true” offline navigation and an alternative to Google’s preloaded Maps.

But the app was in testing only on Samsung’s smartphones even despite the leaked apk file that allowed us all to sideload the HERE navigation on non-Galaxy smartphones. Now that’s about to change – Nokia is releasing the apk for all Android smartphones so you can try HERE maps for yourself. Read more »

Google publishes a guide for users transferring from iOS to Android

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Apple published a switch from Android to iOS guide? Two can play that game – Google has a dedicated page that helps new users switch to Android.

It’s not Google’s first guide though, last year Eric Schmidt himself posted an iOS to Android guide. Read more »

Ambient display mode spotted in Android Lollipop [Update: Only for Nexus 6]

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One of the cool features of iOS is that the screen lights up whenever you get a notification. This does consume a bit more battery than just having a notification light but it’s far more informative, and you know not just what the notification is about but can also get a brief look at the contents of the notification, making it easier to decide if you should act upon it or ignore it.

With the updated lockscreen notifications in Android Lollipop, Google has now also added a feature called Ambient display mode. This will allow the phone to light up the display when notifications arrive. Even better, it will wake the screen when you pick up the device, similar to the Moto X. Read more »

Next Gmail app for Android will handle all your email accounts

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The next version of Google’s beloved Gmail app for Android will feature a a lot more than new material design. Gmail 5.0 for Android is bound to make most email clients for the OS redundant by offering support for accounts beyond those hosted by Google.

Gmail’s hot new feature appeared in a short walkthrough video. Read more »

Skype for Windows Phone adds drawing feature

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Microsoft has published a new update for Skype in the Windows Phone app store. The new version is 2.24, and it debuts an interesting feature: drawing.

It’s just as it sounds, basically. You can tap the “+” icon in any chat and then select “drawing” to, well, draw – a picture, or whatever else your talent level allows you to. There’s also the possibility of adding a “personal touch” to a photo, or to annotate a Bing map. Read more »

Dropbox adds Touch ID support for iOS 8

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Dropbox has updated its mobile app for iOS today, and with the new version comes support for Touch ID. Specifically, you can use the fingerprint sensor embedded into Apple’s wares to get access to your Dropbox.

This means no more entering passwords to view the files you have stored in this particular cloud service. Read more »

Nexus 4 receives a functional Android 5.0 Lollipop port

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Thanks to the hard work of very talented developers over at the XDA-Developers community, the LG Nexus 4 has received Android 5.0 Lollipop earlier than Google is rolling it out officially. In addition, you can now get all of the Google apps with the updated looks on your own phone.

However, only rooted users may apply and the apps won’t work on all smartphones. Currently, the latest Material Design Google apps that are available as downloadable .apk files include Play Music, Play Books, Keep, Calendar, Gmail, Drive, Maps, Messenger and Fit. Read more »

Jolla teams up with Rovio to launch Angry Birds Stella Android launcher

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Jolla and Rovio have teamed up to introduce the Angry Birds Stella launcher for Android. Jolla did an Android launcher in the summer, but now the latest version comes with an Angry Birds theme focusing on one of the game’s latest characters, Stella.

Since in its functionality, the Jolla Stella launcher is the same as before, you can experience the nice gesture-based controls while quenching your Angry Birds thirst. On top of that, the launcher comes with unlimited access to ToonsTV. It is accessible by making a swipe from the edge of the screen. Read more »

New Skype-made Qik app lets groups chat with 42-second videos

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A small team at Skype went the startup route with the popular “send [arbitrary number] second videos!” formula. The new app is called Skype Qik (“quick”) and lets you record 42-second videos that you can send to one person or a whole group.

The app is available on Windows Phone, Android and iOS starting today. Read more »