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Where would the world be today if we did not have services that let us apply fun and artistic filters to our images? Ok so maybe we would be in the exact same place with the only difference being that I would not be writing this news post. Today Instagram announced that it has finally launched a version of its app for Windows Phones.
That's right boys and girls, now those who own Nokia Lumia devices as well as all other Windows Phone devices now have access to the same zany, and creative photo filters that Android and iOS users have had for a while now. While the app is there and appears to function, some features are missing such as photo tagging, viewing Geotaxis, and taking photos from within the app. Instagram says that they are not finished with the app yet, and will be updating it soon to add in new features, and make the Instagram experience on Windows phone as enjoyable as possible.
With more newspapers, magazines, and publishing companies moving away from print media and into digital form every day, managing all of your subscriptions and content is becoming increasingly more difficult. Google hopes to fix those issues with its newly launched Google Play Newsstand app.
The app currently provides access to more than 1900 publications with both free and paid business models. The Android app allows users to chose which newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites that the user may want to read, and then formats them all into a mobile friendly version for easy reading on your smartphone or tablet. The service is a direct competitor to Flipboard, and is expected to replace Google Currents, and will allow offline access to selected content as well. Android users can head over to the source link below to pick up their free copy of the app today!
Another day, another Dropbox update, with today's update including a trio of new features. We have a new notifications feed, which will give you quicker access to recent activity, and more. The full change log states:
- New notifications feed for quick access to recent activity
- Send photos and videos to contacts (adds contacts permission)
- New payment options for Pro (adds camera permission)
All you have to do is let your Dropbox app automatically update, or grab it from the App Store or Play Store, depending on your device.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Microsoft has released a 3D printing application for Windows 8.1 called 3D Builder. There's some steep requirements, though, where you'll need both Windows 8.1, and a Windows 8.1-capable 3D printer.
But, once you're through those hoops, it's a cool app, thanks to Windows 8.1 being designed to support 3D printing, and now with the help of 3D Builder, it should get some more adoption for the OS. MakerBot will support Windows 8.1 shortly, which should help shuffle things along. The application itself will help you design, which is the hardest part of the 3D printing process.
Since Microsoft are pretty much on the ground level with 3D printing, versus say Google and Apple, could we see some early dominance, which will turn into future control of 3D printing? It would be nice to see ground level support for 3D printing from a giant like Microsoft, wouldn't it? As much as people dislike the company, it could do great things for the world of 3D printing.
With mobile broadband growing faster than traditional landline broadband, it is important to keep a watchful eye on the companies who sell the service to its customers. Today the FCC released an app for Android that will do just that. The all new Speed Test app from the FCC is designed to inform consumers of the actual broadband speeds their mobile data plan is providing them.
After installation the app will run in the background on the consumers mobile device and will periodically run a Speed Test scan in the background. The results will then be uploaded to a database that the FCC will use to compare with carrier claims. The FCC says that the app will not consume more than 100MB of data each month, so users wiil data restrictions need not worry.
Almost half a year ago, Google announced its music streaming service known as Google Play Music. Much like Spotify, Google Play Music is a monthly subscription-based music streaming service with hundreds of thousands of songs waiting to be listened to. In the beginning, the service was only available on Android and through a Web App, but this morning Google released the streaming service to iOS.
Google Play Music for iOS retains most of the features that are seen on the Android version, and initial reports say that it is very refined for iOS and feels like it is a native Apple-built app. It will be interesting to see how reviews of the service stack up against iTunes Music, and if iOS customers will open up to the $9.99 per month price that is required to access Google Play Music. Personally, I am still calling Spotify the best streaming service on mobile and the web. I have been a subscriber since it hit the US and have yet to find any flaws.
Dropbox has announced some changes in its cloud storage goodness, where it won't stop Dropbox for Business users from combining their personal Dropbox accounts on the same device.
From now on, Dropbox will allow personal and business users to combine their cloud storage content, but it will still allow business IT departments to keep business as business, keeping users out of their personal storage. You can now link your Dropbox accounts together if that's what you're after, where you'll see two accounts on mobile devices as separate folders: Business and Personal.
Coin is made by a company that is based in San Francisco. It looks like a credit card but can store up to eight different cards that can either be debit, credit, gift or even membership cards. Coin uses an app and a card reader adapter for your smartphone to input all your cards into one. It uses a magnetic strip on the back much like a regular card but with a press of a button it can cycle through your cards and change the strip. Coin detects if you get certain distance away from it and will tell your smartphone with an alert sound if you accidentally leave it behind. It does this using Bluetooth Low Energy, which is the same thing used in most smartwatches and fitness tracking devices. The device does not have a changeable or rechargeable battery, but the battery in the Coin lasts two years and at that point you replace the unit.
Coin isn't available yet, but you can get your hands on one next summer. The company has started a campaign through their site and is looking to raise $50,000. At launch it'll be available for $100 but early backers can get them for $50.
Now when users utilize Google Voice Commands, their Android phone may talk back to them. In a recent Google Now update, the company has added conversational voice commands that react to user commands and queries much like Apple's Siri does. Users can give their device a verbal command such as "Send a text message," and the phone will ask who to send the message to.
The service is quite handy, but it is not completely hands free yet, as it will not read search phrases back to you like Siri does, This update greatly improves the voice command functionality on Android, and after trying it out for myself, I have to say that I like it. For now the update only affects Android phones, but it is safe to assume that Google will roll it out with search features on the iPhone eventually.
I admit it: I used to be a huge Facebook Messenger user, but I've converted over to Hangouts for most of my chat now. I still use Messenger for chatting with people I can't chat with on Hangouts, but Messenger has just received a new update, and it looks swish.
It was previously only made available for a limited number of users, but now it has rolled out to the public, with an all-new design and fresh new features. We have a nice white and light blue design, as well as improved performance, and new chat features. The new chat features include the ability to message people with just their phone number, which is a nice touch.
You can grab the latest version of Facebook Messenger from the Google Play Store, if your device hasn't auto-updated already.