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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2144

Skype for Android reaches version 4.0, has been 'rebuilt from the ground up'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 2, 2013 4:33 am

Skype for Android has been updated today, a major release by the looks of things as we're hitting version 4.0 with a major redesign. Skype has passed 100 million downloads on Android, and has now been totally redesigned to look like other platforms' versions.

 

 

Skype 4.0 for Android includes a cleaner "conversation-first" UI, which shows the instant messaging part of Skype in a brighter light. It's no longer thrown to the side like previous versions of the app. You can now tab through different parts of the app, and change tabs using swipe gestures. Skype have said that underneath, it has been "rebuilt from the ground up" in order to be more reliable, and most of all, faster.

Continue reading 'Skype for Android reaches version 4.0, has been 'rebuilt from the ground up'' (full post)

Google Glass updated, sees improved voice controls and full website viewing

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jul 2, 2013 4:07 am

Google have pushed out an update to their wearable device, Glass, which improves the experience for most people. Voice controls have been improved, which now handle the incoming and outgoing text messages, answering calls and sharing directly with your friends with voice-only commands.

 

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Glass can now interact with your entire Google Contacts list, compared to the previous firmware which could only handle the previous ten favorite friends list. Google have also included full web page viewing from Google Search results in Glass. This means that after you make a search, you can tap on a "View website" screen to be taken to a full view of the page.

 

From here, you'll be able to scroll up and down with two fingers on the touch pad to the side of your Glass, or hold two fingers and move their head to pan around the page.

Microsoft adds a "Search By License" feature to Bing that lets users filter images by usage rights

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 2, 2013 2:30 am

Today, Microsoft announced that it has added a "Search by Rights" filter to its Bing search engine. This new feature will allow users to search images by use rights so users do not have to worry about copyright infringement when using them in blog posts, presentations, and other non fair use work.

 

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Before this feature was implemented, when searching for an image, users had to individually cycle through the details of each photo to verify if there was any license information provided. Now the process as simple as clicking a drop-down and sorting by the license type attached to the photos.

 

In the image above, you can see that there are multiple options: All, public domain, free to share and use, free to share and use commercially, free to modify/share/use, and free to modify/share/use commercially. Microsoft says these choices should cover bloggers, teachers, students, publishers, and small business owners.

 

[Editors note: Google has had this ability for a while now]

Ex Apple CEO tells BlackBerry to forget hardware and focus on software

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jul 2, 2013 1:44 am

There are not many companies in Silicon Valley that would take advice from former Apple CEO John Scully. After all, he was responsible for almost killing what is now one of the largest companies in the world. The lack of people listening is not stopping him from offering up advice.

 

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In an interview with Bloomberg, the former CEO said that BlackBerry is at the point where it can still turn around, but it must stop building hardware. Sculley said that BlackBerry can "come back if they drop hardware and focus on secure messaging," although he also cautioned that "the clock is running out" on the company.

 

At this point, I'm not sure if anything can save BlackBerry. Instead of taking the proven road and developing a smartphone around Android and incorporating their corporate and messaging features, the decision to go it alone and create their own operating system most likely will be their downfall.

Russian ISP giant Mail.ru drops Google in favor of it's own search engine

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jul 2, 2013 12:56 am

Russia's massive internet service provider Mail.ru has announced today that it will be dropping Google in favor of using its own proprietary search engine for all queries searched through its service. We first heard rumors that this may take place back in November of last year when Mail.ru suggested it would be canceling are Google contract.

 

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Mail.ru is essentially the Google of Russia and operates a range of online services including 2 social networks, instant messaging services, online gaming properties, its own proprietary browser, and of course it's very own search engine. That search engine for the most part has been powered by other search engines in the past including Google and most recently fellow Russian search engine Yandex.

 

"It's remarkable that there are fewer countries with their own search engines today than those with their own space program," says Dmitry Grishin, Co-Founder and CEO of Mail.Ru Group. Mail.ru says that in the past few years it is expanded its search engine team from just 15 people to well over 200 while its index volume has doubled in size from 5,000,000,000 to 10,000,000,000 documents.

Live radio streaming app, iHeartRadio, arrives on Windows Phone 8

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 2, 2013 12:26 am

Until today, the most popular live radio streaming app was only available on iOS and Android devices, fortunately that ends today. Microsoft announced today that iHeartRadio has finally landed on Windows Phone 8 and is available for immediate download through its app store.

 

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For those unfamiliar with the app, iHeartRadio allows users to tune in to more than 1500 live radio stations across the United States. Additionally users can create commercial free, custom stations from a pool of more than 15 million songs and 400,000 artists.

 

To celebrate the launch the folks over at iHeartRadio are giving away a bunch of Nokia Lumia 920 smartphones, so check out Source #2 to find out how to win one for yourself. The new Windows Phone 8 app brings forth several other unique features which I have listed below.

 

  • Recommend stations - Find the soundtrack for studying, driving-even cleaning house.
  • Sleep Timer - Doze off to your favorite station.
  • Lock screen album art - Displays album art on the lock screen
  • Bookmarking - Pin favorite stations to your Start screen.
  • Universal search - Now you can search across the app.

RumorTT: Next-generation iPhone to support LTE Advanced if carrier is correct

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 11:29 pm

Recently, mobile carrier company SK Telecom told the Korea Times that the next generation iPhone widely rumored to be named the iPhone 5S will support LTE Advanced. SK Telecom says that they approached Apple with the idea and that they are "in the middle of negotiations" as we speak.

 

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The Korean Times says that Apple will probably use a QUALCOMM chip to support the standard instead of their own "A" series SoC. LTE Advanced is the next generation of the 4G LTE standard which could potentially double the download speeds available to the iPhone in supported areas. The technology works by spreading a single download over multiple radio channels. At the moment, only South Korea has an extensive LTE Advanced network in place.

Facebook for Windows Phone gets complete makeover, now features high-resolution photos, post sharing and more

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 10:31 pm

In what seemed like a landslide of app announcements, Microsoft has chimed up and announced a major update to Facebook for Windows Phone. This new release brings a plethora of new features and improvements that Microsoft claims its users have been asking for for months.

 

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The user interface has been completely overhauled and is now skinned in a more Windows Phone-esque skin that Microsoft says improves navigation. Also implemented is support for high-resolution photos, post sharing, as well as Facebook Timeline view. This app overhaul is the direct result of the beta program Facebook and Microsoft implemented a while back. To check out the new and improved Facebook for Windows Phone App, head over to Source #2. To join the beta program so your feedback can be heard, Source #3 is your destination.

RumorTT: Microsoft poised to shut down Technet August 31

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 9:48 pm

Since 1998, Microsoft has offered the highly praised TechNet subscription service to IT professionals and developers. For a nominal fee, professionals were given access to the entire catalog of Microsoft software which greatly aided in development and system administration. Today, Microsoft announced in a letter to its subscribers that it will retire its TechNet subscription service effective August 31, 2013, the date in which all current subscribers' contracts end.

 

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The service was also used by PC enthusiasts worldwide as it offered a cheap way to get access to Microsoft software that otherwise cost thousands of dollars. This led to enthusiasts activating enterprise-level software and consumer-level operating systems and software that were normally meant for "evaluation use only." Unfortunately, this also led to a rise in piracy of Windows software. Pirates figured out that they could subscribe to TechNet and sell the keys along with ISO files downloaded from the site at prices that were always too good to be true.

 

Microsoft has repeatedly tried to tighten the clamp on piracy by cutting the available keys to TechNet subscribers back in 2010 and then doing the same thing two years later. Fortunately, Microsoft is not leaving its subscribers out in the rain as it will offer current subscribers the option to renew their subscription for one additional year after the shutdown in August. Check out source #2 below for the full announcement from Microsoft.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Microsoft poised to shut down Technet August 31' (full post)

Redbox app comes to Windows Phone 8, lets you browse titles at a kiosk near you

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Apps | Posted: Jul 1, 2013 9:33 pm

This morning, Redbox announced that it has finally released its mobile app into the Windows Phone 8 ecosystem. The app appears to be identical to the Android and iOS version and will allow users to find the nearest Redbox kiosk via Bing maps.

 

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Redbox says that with the app you will be able to browse and reserve movies as well as games at any Redbox kiosk you choose, which is very similar to how Redbox online works. Additionally, users will be able to sort their searches by release date, genre, rating, and title, as well as watch trailers straight on their mobile device. The app is available now for download at Source #1 below.

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