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Apple iOS App Store saw record 7.8M downloads per day in October

Apple saw a drastic increase in iOS App Store downloads in October, increasing from 5.5 million daily downloads up to 7.8 million downloads month-over-month, according to mobile tracking company Fiksu. The iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 were all released in the fall, and as users upgraded to iOS 8, downloads skyrocketed.

 

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The data covered the top 200 free iOS apps available, and a 42 percent jump compared to September - and 39 percent year-over-year - is a major success for Apple.

 

As of September, there are more than 1.3 million apps in the App Store, with more than 300 million visitors every week.

WhatsApp for Android introduces end-to-end encryption

WhatsApp for Android is currently being updated, with the latest version providing end-to-end encryption. Previously, WhatsApp couldn't decrypt user messages, even if they wanted to for legal reasons. Most have said that it is the strongest encryption on any major text service.

 

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The company has teamed up with Open Whisper Systems in order to usher in the secure feature, with Open Whisper responsible for multiple apps, but mostly TextSecure that had WhatsApp noticing them. This forces forward security to keep messages encrypted, even if the key is compromised in the future.

 

Open Whisper Systems spent around six months preparing TextSecure for WhatsApp, but at the moment it's locked to Android only. There's no word on when the iOS version will be updated, but it should roll out in the future at some point.

Snapchat might block users from having third-party apps

After private Snapchat photos were leaked online - caused by the use of third-party apps that the chat service doesn't condone using - users that install these apps could be locked out of their accounts. The service is now contacting users suspected of having third-party apps installed, informing they should change their passwords and stop using the apps.

 

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"This is just another step in our ongoing efforts to improve the security and reliability of our services," a Snapchat representative told The Huffington Post, not confirming if the move is to prevent a potential future security breach.

 

The service started sending the following message to those believed to be using third-party apps: "We've noticed that you're using a third-party application to access Snapchat, putting yourself (and possibly your friends) at risk. Please change your password and stop using third-party applications when you access Snapchat."

iPhone 6 Plus can now play Netflix content in 1080p

Netflix has just enabled 1080p content for Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus, with the company updating its iOS application so that the higher-resolution iPhone can now enjoy Full HD content.

 

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The latest app is now capable of 1080p playback, just like its older Android 4.3 counterparts. The new Netflix for iOS app has a few other improvements for iOS 8, as well as improved Chromecast streaming.

SoundCloud will soon offer music lovers a subscription service

While Spotify and Pandora continue to scoop up millions of users, SoundCloud is preparing its own paid subscription service that has seen the company team up with Warner Music Group. Warner being one of the biggest music distributors in the world doesn't hurt now, does it?

 

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SoundCloud's paid subscription service will use its ad program On SoundCloud, and will begin sometime early next year. The program will allow artists granular control over how their content is made available to fans, and how they can make money from it. We don't know much else about the subscription plan, but when we do, you can be sure we'll be here reporting on it.

Gmail 5.0 for Android will allow support for Outlook and Yahoo

Google has only just unveiled Android 5.0 Lollipop, but one of the bigger surprises it has is Gmail 5.0 for Android. Gmail 5.0 for Android will sport a new look, pulling it alongside the new refreshed look of its Android apps of late, but it will do something that should shake up other companies: supporting Outlook.com and Yahoo accounts.

 

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This sees Google wanting to have Gmail as a one-stop-shop for all things email, baking in support for two of its biggest competitors. In a leaked video, we can see that other mail services that are supported, apart from Outlook.com and Yahoo, will include IMAP and POP3, as most would expect. Some rumors suggest that Google has sprinkled Exchange ActiveSync over Gmail 5.0 for Android, which will stop people from having to switch between email apps, keeping it all within Gmail.

 

We should expect Gmail 5.0 to roll out when Android 5.0 Lollipop launches in a couple of weeks time.

Spotify announces family plans, allows up to five separate accounts

Spotify has announce that it will soon allow multiple accounts under a new family plan, something that will see existing Spotify accounts priced at $9.99, with additional members adding on $5 per user, versus $9.99 for a new subscription.

 

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This means that two users will cost $14.99, three at $19.99 up toi a total of $29.99 per month for five users. The streaming music outfit hasn't said how it will enforce the 'family' part of these plans, and whether it would force them under a single IP address, which would stop a group of friends sharing one single account, at $5 cheaper per month or not.

Google Now will now remind you to pay your bills

Google Now continuously receives new updates and superpowers, with its latest ability: warning you of your unpaid bills. Google has just unveiled the new feature, which is simple to activate and get working.

 

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The company explains: "When you can't remember whether you've paid your bills - or you simply can't remember how much money you need to pay - you can now just ask Google. Tap the mic on the Google app (g.co/googleapp) and say, 'Show me my bills' or 'My bills due this week.' If you have the payment due date and amount in your Gmail, you'll see a quick summary of upcoming and past bills".

 

This is a nice feature, as it simply runs in the background. You might remember randomly one day, 'oh, have I paid my phone bill', to simply access Google Now and find out.

Google updates Gmail for iOS, works better on the new iPhone 6

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are still fresh in consumers' hands, with Google releasing an updated version of Gmail for iOS. The new version of Gmail works better with the higher resolution displays found in the new iPhones.

 

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It's not a massive change, but the increased resolution, especially on the iPhone 6 Plus, is messing up a slew of apps. At least now, Gmail for iOS isn't one of them. The added pixels on screen allow Gmail users to see more messages at once, without losing Gmail features to a lack of pixels like labels and stars.

Google Maps breaks into 20 additional countries

Google Maps is an incredible part of Google's ecosystem for Android, with the company bringing its Maps and Navigation app to 20 new countries. Google Maps will include free driving, walking, and bike directions to millions of people in the following countries:

 

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  • Angola
  • Bahamas
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Fiji
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania
  • Tobago
  • Trinidad

 

If you're in one of these countries, go and grab Google Maps now!

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