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WhatsApp removes up-front fee iOS devices, moves to yearly subscription plan

WhatsApp has been quickly making its way to the top of the list for the world's most popular messaging platforms. Just a few months ago, its owners claimed that its servers see more than 10 billion messages pass through each day; that's more than Twitter or even iMessenge. The app is free on Android for the first year and then costs one dollar per year thereafter. Unfortunately for iOS users, until now they had to pay that dollar upfront.

 

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Today, the company announced that it is finally going to bring the iOS version of the app in line with Android and BlackBerry and offer the application free for the first year and then require a one dollar per year subscription thereafter. This move has been planned for quite some time and everyone knew it was coming; we just did not know when.

 

Existing iOS users should be ecstatic to hear that since they've already paid for the app, their subscription to the service will be free for life and they will not be required to pay the one dollar subscription fee each year. I use WhatsApp on a daily basis as it appears to be much faster than my carrier's text messaging service, is quite convenient, and is a free way for me to communicate with my brother and sister who live overseas. While none of us are iOS users, I know a few friends will be happy to hear of this announcement.

Google updates Play Store, includes mentions of Google Glass

Google has updated its Play Store's website to more closely align with the design features of Google Now-style cards, which actually makes the place look a little more organized and much more like the official app. While these updates are cool and certainly needed, the most notable change is the inclusion of apps for Google Glass.

 

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The addition of Google Glass compatibility checks were first spotted by Nicolas Gramlich. It's no surprise that Glass has shown up on the Play Store as Google likes to streamline their device management. Website androidandme.com has also posted a screenshot which appears to be of the official Google Glass app for Android. With these hints, it appears that Google Glass users will officially have access to the Google Play Store any day now.

Continue reading 'Google updates Play Store, includes mentions of Google Glass' (full post)

Foursqure begins displaying ads after check-ins

Foursquare has just stepped up their monetization efforts in an attempt to profit from the actions of its 35+ million users. Beginning today, those who use the service to check in at any location will instantly be served up a targeted ad that may benefit brands sold at the location they are at.

 

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One of the first advertisers to test out this new feature on Foursquare is Captain Morgan, a brand of rum from Diageo. The brand is using Foursquare to suggest a Captain Morgan cocktail to people immediately after they check in at bars, nightclubs, restaurants, or other places where liquor is sold. On the other side of the scale, Toys "R" Us has also been using the service to show coupons to select users who check into kid friendly areas such as parks, pools, and fun zones.

Instagram CEO says the photo-sharing app 'will be the biggest thing in the world', eclipsing Facebook

Instagram's CEO, Kevin Systrom, has some seriously high hopes for his company. Just how high? Sky high. Instagram has come a very long way, with the company being purchased by Facebook for $1 billion last year.

 

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Since then, their user base has expanded by a very hefty 130 million users. Systrom has said that if Instagram continues to grow at this rate, it will not only be bigger than Facebook, but it "will be the biggest thing in the world." I don't know about that, because Kanye West's ego is pretty big, but hey, who am I to judge?

 

I don't see Instagram maintaining this growth without serious change, as they have nothing like Facebook on offer apart from sharing a 15-second video or some pictures. During an interview with Fast Company, the Instagram CEO said: "Now, will we continue to grow at this rate [and outgrow Facebook]? Different question."

Aviary photo editing app makes its way on to Windows Phone 8, offers all paid content for free for limited time

Originally a plug-in for Flickr, Aviary took flight as a powerful image editor for smartphones when it graduated to a standalone application last year. Today, the company announced that it has given the app a complete makeover in preparation for its port to Windows 8. Download the popular Aviary App and add filters and stickers to your photos until your eyes hurt.

 

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To celebrate the Windows Phone 8 release of Aviary, the company is giving away extra in-app DLC packs that include filters and stickers that normally cost Android and iOS users $2 each. These freebies will only last for a limited time and once the event is over, they will revert to the $2 price tag. You can head over to the Windows Phone Store and download your copy of Aviary today by visiting the Source #2 link below.

WhatsApp for Windows Phone 8 gets updated, includes in-app dialing and more

If you're running a smartphone with Windows Phone 8 and use WhatsApp, you might want to make sure it's updated as there's a new version available for WP8 users.

 

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The latest version now promises to fix the notification issues, as well as adding support for Windows Phone background agents as well as in-app dialing. There are over 100 million WhatsApp users, but not many of them are using it on Windows Phone 8 right now. This new update just might help that number increase a little.

Google to shut down Alfred, the local recommendation app, next week on July 19

Lately, it appears that Google is shutting down more of its services than it is creating. Today, we learned that the local recommendations application known as Alfred will cease to exist after July 19. Alfred came to Google back in December 2011 when Google purchased Clever Sense, but development seemed to progress at a snail's pace as Google was focused on making its Google+ Local service better.

 

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Alfred was a sort of a digital concierge that would inform you of the best places to eat, drink, and party based on your taste. At one point it was even being pitched as a Pandora for the real-world. Google did not issue an official blog post about the shutdown like it has for previous service shutdowns such as Reader or Latitude. The announcement came, however, in the form of a notification when users loaded the Alfred app on their mobile device.

Chrome for Android gets updated to include built-in translation

If there is one thing Google does right, it has to be web page translation. Since the inception of Google Translate, the Internet has become a much more fun and open place. Those of us who use Google's Chrome browser have had the luxury of on-the-fly automatic web page translation for a while now.

 

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Unfortunately, those who use Chrome on their Android devices have had to use third-party apps or navigate to the Google Translate page for web page translation. This morning, Google has updated its Chrome app for Android to now include built-in translation that works much in the same way the desktop version of the browser does.

 

Also included in the Chrome 28 update for Android is full screen support on tablets which lets web apps such as video games and streaming video take over the entire screen. Google has also optimize the user interface for right to left languages including Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew. Support has been added for Google's experimental data compression service that lets fast Google servers read a Web page, optimize it for mobile devices, then transmit it faster to a mobile device using Google's SPDY network technology.

Path updates its app for Android and iOS devices to version 3.1

If the new stickers for Facebook chat have annoyed you, then you're really going to begin to hate your Path account. Today, the company updated its mobile app for iOS and Android and has moved the cartoony stickers out of private messaging and now allows users to post them in the comments section of your feed.

 

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Additionally, Path now generates a QR code that will let you easily find and add new friends. Path has recognized that this addition of QR codes could possibly generate a flood of new contacts and has improved the friends list in the update as well.

 

The company says it has also taken the opportunity to update Path for iPad by improving navigation in both landscape and profile views so you never miss a moment or message. The landscape view now has a fully functional composer button and feed so you can share in the moments however you prefer.

Google updates Maps for Android, will hit iOS devices soon

Today, Google released a complete refresh of its Google Maps for Android app. The company says that the new app brings forth an entirely new mapping experience that makes exploring the world and getting to the places that matter to you a lot faster and easier.

 

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Google says that the new Google maps for mobile builds on the design that was released last year for iPhone and improves on it with new search and navigation features. Additionally, this is the very first dedicated Google Maps for Android tablets and iPads.

 

The new app brings forth an explore feature that the company says is a fast and easy way to visually browse and discover new places without even typing. Users must simply tap the search box and you'll see cards that show great places to eat, drink, sleep, and shop.

Continue reading 'Google updates Maps for Android, will hit iOS devices soon' (full post)

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