Report: Facebook's Portal 'video chat device' to be announced next week

Report: Facebook's Portal 'video chat device' to be announced next week

When the original Amazon Echo device launched in November 2014, it kicked off a wave of "smart speaker" home appliances that connect people to AI like Alexa or the Google Assistant to let them stream music, send texts, make phone calls, and perform other digital tasks hands-free.

SEE: How to use Google Maps in Apple CarPlay: Think different

The second wave of this phenomenon is shaping up like this: Add a screen to the device and basically make it a stationary tablet.

In... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

WhatsApp shows photos to notifications for Android Pie

WhatsApp shows photos to notifications for Android Pie

Anyone with an Android 9 Pie wishing they could see that funny cat photo from a friend before even touching their smartphone is now in luck. WhatsApp will now let you see a small snapshot of a photo that can be expanded to a larger version with the flick of a finger.

WhatsApp just added the feature to iOS in their version 2.18.80 update at the end of July, hinting at the time that a similar addition was coming... Read More »

Topics: Digital Photo Software , Android Software

Audible launches on Apple Watch so you can listen to audiobooks without your iPhone

Audible launches on Apple Watch so you can listen to audiobooks without your iPhone

Audible is bringing your favorite novel straight to your watch with their new app made specifically for the recently unveiled Apple Watch Series 4. A simple sync with the Audible app on your iPhone will give you access to all of your favorite titles.

Audible has been working to break into the health content field and just last month they announced a partnership with Aaptiv to create audio fitness programs. The push ties well with Apple's stated desire for users... Read More »

Topics: MP3 & Audio Software , iOS Software

Twitch video game streaming platform gets blocked in China; no explanation given

Twitch video game streaming platform gets blocked in China; no explanation given

Tech companies in the western world have had an increasingly difficult time accessing and maintaining a foothold in China, and Amazon's Twitch video game streaming platform (Android, iOS) appears to be the latest casualty, as the country has just banned it without explanation, CNN reports.

This move follows in the wake of China formally cracking down on perceived video game addiction, to the point of restricting the release of new games altogether.

SEE: WeChat rival Alipay to spend $146 million developing its own 'mini apps'

According... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

New apps use AI to help make the world more accessible for blind and visually impaired people

New apps use AI to help make the world more accessible for blind and visually impaired people

There are millions of people who are blind or visually impaired in the world. In this increasingly digital age, accessibility should be an issue more thoroughly addressed by technology.

Several tech companies haven't neglected the struggles the visually impaired community faces while doing what otherwise is considered a simple task. Shopping, for example, despite stores being compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), is still a struggle.

The ADA's rules for businesses are tailored more to wheelchair accessibility.... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software , Android , Apps And Software

All AdGuard ad blocker account passwords have been reset to fight off hackers

All AdGuard ad blocker account passwords have been reset to fight off hackers

The past few years have taught us a lot about online security. Junky re-used passwords are going extinct in favor of password managers, and two-factor authentication is adding an additional layer of security to protect your banking, shopping, email, and more. But sometimes the things that protect us can be targeted themselves.

SEE: How to beef up your Chrome and Firefox security in 2018

Today, the company behind the AdGuard ad blocker announced that an unknown group of hackers recently... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

'I Think We're Alone Now' cast Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, and Reed Morano share their favorite apps

'I Think We're Alone Now' cast Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, and Reed Morano share their favorite apps

Whether humanity is wiped out by nuclear war, a viral outbreak, a natural disaster, or zombie hordes, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic films continue to capture the imagination. "Game of Thrones" actor Peter Dinklage guesses that it's because "we like to see people struggling to survive while we're sitting in a movie theatre." "Maleficent" actress Elle Fanning surmises that it's "the mystery of the unknown" that appeals to us. "The Handmaid's Tale" director Reed Morano is convinced that... Read More »

Topics: Android Software , iOS Software

Facebook's new dating feature keeps social media playing matchmaker

Facebook's new dating feature keeps social media playing matchmaker

Facebook's new dating service doesn't plan to take out Tinder but is ready to get serious about creating virtual love connections.

The new feature debuted yesterday in Colombia after the F8 announcement in May. Facebook users in the South American country can opt-in to the service and create a profile detailing location, basic bio, and more.

Facebook finds your matches by asking questions about your favorite songs and what a perfect day might look like. You... Read More »

Topics: Entertainment , Android Software , iOS Software , Android , Apps And Software

Instagram reveals 4 updates that could fundamentally change how you use the app

Instagram reveals 4 updates that could fundamentally change how you use the app

Instagram has been rolling out updates, new features, and additions to its app almost all year. From its standalone shopping app, to video tagging, Instagram shows no sign of slowing down.

Here are four new and upcoming features entering beta testing that users can expect to see:

1. GIFs

Replying to messages with a GIF is more fun than regular emojis. The options are practically infinite to find the perfect response with GIFs. Now, thanks to Instagram's partnership with Giphy, users... Read More »

Topics: Entertainment , Android Software , iOS Software , Android , Apps And Software

Google Maps mobile app adds elevation chart for bicycle riders

Google Maps mobile app adds elevation chart for bicycle riders

While Google Maps has become the biggest turn-by-turn navigation app around, its options for bicyclists and pedestrians have remained limited over the years. After all, mapping bike paths, hiking trails, and walkways isn't nearly as easy, since you can't exactly cram one of the company's map-making vehicles into these spaces. And you can't pile Google's map-making tech onto a person or bicycle.

One thing Google can do, however, is give you elevation data. It's actually been doing this for some time,... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Microsoft warns Windows 10 users to free up storage space for the big October update

Microsoft warns Windows 10 users to free up storage space for the big October update

A few years ago, this author reviewed several Windows tablets for another publication, and only one of them had more than 32GB of storage. While it was an interesting concept, this ultimately wasn't a credible amount of space for a device whose operating system would occupy about 20GB.

At the time, even an iPhone with 16GB of storage was more generous, because iOS took up relatively little space. None of these tablets ended up creating much of a market, and their... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Apple removes Freedom time management app; does it compete with iOS 12's Screen Time?

Apple removes Freedom time management app; does it compete with iOS 12's Screen Time?

As you've probably heard by now, mobile phone addiction is becoming a real problem. Market research firm BankMyCell reported recently that Americans are spending an average of four hours a day staring at their phones. Several social networking platforms and other popular apps have felt compelled to introduce tools to help people avoid unhealthy bingeing, and Android and iOS are getting features built into the operating system to help us monitor our usage habits.

SEE: How Android 9's Digital Wellbeing tool helps control your app time

Another... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

How to turn off push notifications in iOS 12 and look at your smartphone less

How to turn off push notifications in iOS 12 and look at your smartphone less

Notifications serve to keep you engaged in an app. They can let you know how much attention your social media accounts are getting, or they can shame you into logging a meal or practicing your Spanish.

Push notifications don't help when it comes to breaking your smartphone addiction, though. Our need to keep up with alerts, who liked our photos, the latest news, and more has become so intense that WebMD has gotten involved: Phantom Vibration Syndrome is being so... Read More »

Topics: iOS Software , Apps And Software

Spotify now lets indie musicians skip distributors and upload their own tracks

Spotify now lets indie musicians skip distributors and upload their own tracks

If you've ever played a first-person shooter against other players online -- take Fortnite, for example -- you know that one of the core rules of survival is that you should never stand still for too long. As long as you're on the move, you're harder to target.

Market-leading apps are more or less in the same boat -- you must constantly evolve to maintain your position (but not so much that things spin out of control). For Spotify, who recorded... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Google gives parents option to lock their kids' smartphone remotely, raising security concerns

Google gives parents option to lock their kids' smartphone remotely, raising security concerns

Google's Family Link app (iOS, Android) introduced new features that allow parents to remotely lock their kids' devices with Google Assistant.

After telling Google Assistant to lock a child's device with voice command, the child has five minutes to finish what they're doing before their phone locks. The update also lets parents set restrictions on kids' screen time.

The Family Link app dropped last year and gave kids younger than 13 the ability to have their own... Read More »

Topics: Parental Control , Android Software , Android , Apps And Software

You can now listen to Apple Music in Android Auto

You can now listen to Apple Music in Android Auto

Apple Music's latest update on Android is that you can now use the program on Google's in-vehicle platform, Android Auto. The app updated with the new capabilities September 19 in the Play Store. Apple began beta testing the integration in August.

The update also adds the ability for users to search for songs by lyrics and keeps the new, decluttered artist view added earlier this month. You can create a Friends Mix from the songs your friends are... Read More »

Topics: Streaming Audio Software , Android Software , iOS Software , Android , Apps And Software , Music Software

Telegram X encrypted text messenger rebuilt iOS app in Swift, making it faster and slicker

Telegram X encrypted text messenger rebuilt iOS app in Swift, making it faster and slicker

In the world of text messaging, Apple Messages and Facebook Messenger get a lot of the spotlight, and it can be difficult for alternatives to get a foothold. One method is to promote a security or privacy angle, and the free Telegram app (iOS, Android) is one such option.

But your app also needs to perform smoothly and look nice, and Telegram announced today that its path forward on iOS requires tossing out almost all of its original programming... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Apple adds 'Device Trust Score' to iOS 12 in effort to prevent fraud in iTunes and App Store

Apple adds 'Device Trust Score' to iOS 12 in effort to prevent fraud in iTunes and App Store

For several years now, Apple has been fighting legal and technical battles to ensure customer privacy while also staying on the right side of the law. In 2016, it wrestled with the FBI over device encryption, And in the wake of the 2016 election, users have become a lot more aware of how their personal data can be used to manipulate and influence people's voting decisions.

Apple has responded to the manipulation issue in part by getting experts to help curate content in its news app.... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software

Google Podcasts app will finally let you cast to Chromecast devices

Google Podcasts app will finally let you cast to Chromecast devices

Google was on the receiving end of a lot of complaints after they released Google Podcasts at the end of June due in no small part to the lack of some basic features available on most apps dedicated to podcasts.

Since the announcement in June, Google has steadily added features to remedy its initial missteps, bringing Android Auto and now Cast support to the app.

AndroidPolice received a tip from a user in Brazil who said they spotted a new... Read More »

Topics: Podcasting Software , Android Software

Ghostery relaunches privacy-focused mobile web browser app with new features

Ghostery relaunches privacy-focused mobile web browser app with new features

With personal data breaches seeming to occur on a weekly basis around the web, we wouldn't blame you feeling ambivalent about what kind of info websites can collect about you. Such concerns having been getting met by a cottage industry of web browsers that claim to protect you from the bad guys.

Ghostery, known primarily for its ad blocking browser extension, has had its own such browser (Android, iOS) for several years, and TechCrunch reports today it's gotten... Read More »

Topics: Windows Software , Mac Software , Android Software , iOS Software