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Microsoft updates Cortana’s Live Tile with new weather animation

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Microsoft has issued an update to Cortana’s Live Tile enabling users to have a quick glance at the current weather in their area.

The tile for the voice-activated digital personal assistant now shows a small weather animation (see video below), and flips to reveal weather-related information, including temperature. Read more »

Live video streaming app Meerkat now available for download from Google Play Store

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Just a couple of weeks after it was made available to external beta testers, the Android version of the live video streaming app Meerkat is officially available for download from the Play Store. The app, however, still carries a ‘Beta’ tag.

If you aren’t already aware, Meerkat allows you to stream live video from your smartphone to all of your Twitter followers at once. The app is already available on iOS, and has got a lot of coverage recently. Read more »

Best Apps and Games of the Week

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These are the best apps and games that came out this week.

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VLC for Android gets support for video playback in the background

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VLC for Android is a video player, which plays almost any video as well as audio file format from the get go. A new update brings the app a step higher than other video players by adding background playback for video.

The new version of VLC for Android also gets a new look for album view and audio player alongside more Lollipop-centric effects. Read more »

HTC Camera app update brings RAW file support for One M9

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Google has brought the much awaited support for the RAW file format images with the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. While many handset makers have not considered this special file format support in their respective camera apps, few are already marching ahead with it for the glory.

HTC has pushed a new update for its Camera app and added the RAW file format support but only for the flagship One M9. Hopefully this feature is made available to other HTC phones as well. Read more »

Fleksy for Android (full version) now available as a free download for one week

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Mobile keyboard company Fleksy has announced that the paid version of its Android app, which usually runs about $2, is now available as a free download for one week, i.e., until 05/07/2015.

You just need to download the free version of the app (remove and re-install the trial version if you already have it), and sign-in to the company’s cloud service, and you will be able to unlock the paid version for free. Read more »

Google Chrome Dev version is now available for Android

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On Android, Google’s Chrome Web browser has long had a Beta version in the Play Store for eager people to try. Yet until today the Dev channel releases that Chrome regularly gets on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux did not have a correspondent for Android.

If you love living on the bleeding edge of browser development, then you’ll be happy to know that starting today you can try Chrome Dev for Android too. This is already up for grabs in the Play Store, but it seems geo-restricted for now, so you may not be able to download it depending on your location. Read more »

Microsoft Office to get third party add-ins that will work on Windows, iOS, and the Web

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In the future, Microsoft’s Office apps will get their own third party apps – running inside them across platforms, so on Windows but also on iOS and in the Web versions of the Office suite. This has been revealed today during Microsoft’s Build conference.

An Uber app running inside Outlook was demoed, as evidenced by the shot above. The Uber app or add-in doesn’t seem to intrude very much into the main Outlook workspace, but it will allow you to easily schedule rides from your calendar appointments. Read more »

Google Now integration arrives for 70 more Android apps

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Google Now support is now available for 70 more Android applications. The search giant rolled out deep integration with third-party apps to the already mighty personal assistant back in January.

The newly integrated applications include popular news outlets, various offering for foodies, and fitness apps among others. Read more »

Tencent announces OS for smartwatches, VR headsets, game consoles and TVs

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A fashionable trend among multi-billion tech companies is to launch their own OS. The latest to join the fray is Tencent, the company best known for QQ and WeChat, which updated its TencentOS with a version to run on smartwatches, TV sets, VR headsets, game consoles and other Internet-connected devices.

Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Qualcomm have partnered with Tencent to work on TOS+ devices. Read more »

Instagram adds three new filters, emoji hashtags

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Today Instagram announced the latest update for its mobile app for both iOS and Android. The new release should become available by the end of the day in the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store. It sports three brand new filters.

This comes after the Facebook-owned service previously added five new filters back in December of last year. The new entrants this time around are called Lark, Reyes, and Juno. According to Instagram, these are “modern, subtle filters” which brighten and enhance your photos in “refined, beautiful ways”. Read more »

Facebook Messenger gets video calling

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Following the introduction of voice calling a while back, as well as other features such as sending money to friends, Facebook Messenger now supports video calls as well. The new functionality will become available today for people using the Messenger app on iOS and Android.

Video calls only work from a phone to another phone, but they do work even if the person you’re calling is on a different platform – so iOS to Android or Android to iOS, no problem. Read more »

VLC for Windows Phone receives yet another update, now consumes less CPU

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Just a couple of days after its last update, VLC for Windows Phone has received yet another new version, bumping the application to version 1.3.2 and bringing along some performance improvements as well as bug fixes.

The update not only fixes responsive design and UX issues in Search Pages, it also adds a new back button. The updated app now communicates better with the Windows Phone’s background audio task so it consumes less CPU resources and in turn battery. In addition, the update also brings along fixes to “a dozen of tiny bugs/crashes.” Read more »

Microsoft releases a new ‘contacts+message backup’ app for Windows Phone 8.1 users

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Microsoft has released an app that enables you to make backup of all your contacts and messages and store it in your phone’s SD card. Appropriately dubbed contacts+message backup, the app is compatible with Windows Phone 8.1 devices.

After installation, you can access the app by heading to Settings on your phone – it doesn’t appear in your regular list of installed apps. The backup it creates is stored in a folder named backup+restore. Read more »

WhatsApp for BlackBerry 10 updated with voice calling feature

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Less than a week after it was rolled out to iPhone users, the WhatsApp voice calling feature has been officially made available to all BlackBerry 10 users, too. The update is currently live, and is available through BlackBerry World.

The update, which bumps the application to version 2.12.1.2, also includes several other bug fixes and improvements, including the ability to instantly search for individual messages (as well as chats and contacts), improved font scaling, and custom ringtone selection. Read more »