Facebook is bullish on bots. At its F8 developers conference in April, Facebook had lots to say about making Messenger a platform for third-party chatbots, so you can do things like order food or book tickets right in Messenger, without opening another app or a browser. But the company didn't have an update on Facebook M, its own free, Messenger-based personal assistant, named after James Bond's boss.
That's because M is still in training. According to... Read More »
Spotify makes your plays, posts, and playlists public by default, so everyone can see that you're totally into Carly Rae Jepsen, Wham, or any number of bands that your fellow music fans might not find respectable. And if you're connected via Facebook, Spotify can share your musical business over social media, too. Don't give up those guilty pleasures -- avoid public humiliation by changing your Spotify settings.
Note: Some info can't be hidden, including your Spotify username, your Facebook... Read More »
Today Google kicked off its 10th annual I/O developers conference with a vision of its future that extends far beyond Android and Chrome. Google talked up an Amazon Echo-like voice-activated assistant for the home, a more immersive VR experience, and Allo and Duo, new messaging and video-chatting apps that will take better advantage of Google's strengths.Google Home
When Microsoft launched Windows 10 last year, it declared that the OS would be free to Windows 7 and 8.1 users until July 29, 2016, with a few exceptions. On May 6, the company reiterated this expiration date, possibly to address a rising tide of customers who were hoping for an extension. If you qualify for an upgrade but have not yet gotten a Windows 10 license, you'll need to go to Microsoft's website to get... Read More »
Topics: Windows Software
This week, WhatsApp announced Windows and OS X versions of its popular messaging app. Until now, desktop users have had to use WhatsApp through a Web browser. Like the Web version, WhatsApp's desktop apps mirror the messages on your phone.
The desktop apps may offer better security than the browser client, giving you and WhatsApp more control over the bits getting sent back and forth. That's important, because WhatsApp now advertises end-to-end encryption on all platforms.
End-to-end encryption means that... Read More »
What's the point of taking nice-looking photos if you can't share them with others? Apple's Photos for OS X offers a handful of ways to show off your snapshots, from emailing images to friends to creating high-quality photo books.Be social with Apple Photos
From Photos, it's a snap to show others your work. You can either click the File menu and choose Share, or click the Share button in the Photos toolbar, to email a photo or post it to Twitter... Read More »
Apps have one great advantage over face-to-face conversations: You can block the topics and people that annoy you on Facebook, Twitter, and news sites. That could be a friendship-saving feature in this election year, when your Bernie buddies are battling your Trump uncle. But you can banish any subject at all -- never want to see another story about the Kardashians or a friend's posts about their kid's potty training? These apps and Chrome extensions will make those... Read More »
If you've been following the VR craze, you've probably noticed that the headsets can cost several hundred dollars, and the games and apps aren't free, either. However, you can try VR on the cheap with free Android apps and the Cardboard VR viewer, available on Google's site for $15, along with several similar viewers. Cardboard's app helps you set up your phone and add apps to your library, though Google's app store doesn't do a good... Read More »
Google has released an update to Slides that lets an audience participate in your slideshow.
Called Slides Q&A, the feature lets audience members submit questions and comments via a Web link displayed at the top of a slide. Participants can also upvote or downvote questions submitted by other audience members.
The presenter can see questions on the Audience Tools tab of Slides presenter view. The highest voted comments appear at the top of the list. Tap the Present button to display... Read More »
For those of us with the attention span of a cat, software developer Marco Arment has just released Quitter, a free OS X utility that puts distracting apps out of sight, allowing us to focus on the work at hand.
Quitter is exclusively a menu bar app and appears on the right side of the menu bar, among the status menu icons. To get started, tap the Quitter icon in the menu bar and choose Edit Rules.
A window opens... Read More »
Topics: Mac Software