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A Google employee has taken to the Macworld forum to deny claims that Google Now for iOS is tough on battery life. There have been numerous reports that Google Now rapidly drains a device's battery, but this Google employee says these reports are "incorrect."
Many have blamed Google Now's Location Services, but Google counters this by saying the app is built differently to minimize the impact of Location Services. Instead of GPS, it relies on cell towers and WiFi hotspots. Reports claim that the Location Services arrow is displayed "permanently" after enabling Now and only goes away after deleting the Search app.
According to Google, who says they tested the Google Now for iOS app for months, they did not observe any significant battery drain. What qualifies as significant is up for argument.
Twitter has released yet another update for its iOS app, bringing with it the typical feature additions and bug fixes. This specific update brings with it support for location-based Trends, making it easy to view Trends in hundreds of locations.
Other feature additions include the ability to invite friends to join Twitter via the app. Twitter has also instituted numerous bug fixes and performance enhancements. Vine videos now feature improved playback, replies to retweeted Tweets now include both the author and person who retweeted the Tweet, and various other bug fixes have been implemented.
You can download the latest version of Twitter for iOS from the App Store.
Today Amazon announced that it had updated its Kindle for iOS app to incorporate more accessibility features for users who are visually impaired.
The biggest of the updates is the integration with Apple's VoiceOver technology, which is now capable of reading aloud more than 1.8 million Kindle Store offerings.
Also included in the update are improvements to UI navigation, Search Tools, and other features like X-Ray, End Actions, sharing, highlighting and bookmarking. Amazon said, "Accessibility features make it easier for blind and visually impaired customers to navigate their Kindle libraries, read & interact with books, and more. Enable VoiceOver in your device settings to begin."
Facebook is looking for volunteers to use its new beta app and recommend changes to make it better. The announcement was made via the Windows.com blog and calls upon "all tinkerers" who "love Facebook and enjoy playing around with pre-release software."
The app is available through the Windows Phone Store, though it won't show up in normal search results. You'll need to use this direct link to the app to be able to download and use it. They note that those who don't like app crashes should steer clear of this app as it is a beta product.
As you'll see, the app is undergoing a major redesign and now includes several much-requested features, including new support for high-res photos, post sharing, and Facebook Timeline. Once you've put the beta app through its paces, we hope you'll pass along bug reports, feature requests, and other feedback by going to Settings>About in the app. You can also post a Store review. Your comments and suggestions will inform future releases.
WMPowerUser received an anonymous tip that Instagram would finally be making the jump to Windows Phone 8 alongside the Nokia Lumia 928 launch. The report says that Microsoft is planning to release INstagram, Temple Run 2, and Jetpack Joyride to Windows Phone devices when the Lumia 928 is launched.
We expect the Lumia 928 to make its appearance sometime next month, so hopefully these apps will also materialize. These three apps would mark significant improvements to the app ecosystem over on Windows Phone, though Windows Phone is still lacking many popular apps that are on iOS and Android.
As with all rumors, it's best to take this with a grain of salt until an official announcement is made.
Social traffic and mapping app Waze is looking for beta testers ahead of its launch on the Windows Phone platform. For those who don't know what Waze is, let me explain. Waze is a social traffic app that allows users all over the country and world to report accidents, police, and hazards so others can avoid them.
Waze is one of the major apps that is available on Android and iOS and by working on a version for Windows Phone, it signals some belief in the Windows Phone platform. In order to apply for the program, you'll need to head over to waze.centercode.com. Note that applying does not guarantee a spot in the beta.
In order for Windows Phone to be successful, it needs to have some of these killer apps that are available on the competing platform. Waze is certainly one of them, but there are plenty more that Microsoft needs to bring over.
Beginning today Skype will be available via Outlook.com in the UK, enabling users to make and receive calls via their inboxes. US users should not get very excited just yet though as the service will not become available stateside for a few more weeks.
Microsoft has planned on merging the two services since it acquired Skype back in 2011. A browser plugin must first be installed before you can use the service, which will merge both your Outlook.com and Skype accounts.
Additionally, users will also be able to import all of their Skype contacts into Outlook.
With Glass set to be the best big thing, it would make sense that the second biggest social network in the world begin testing their application for the wearable eyewear from Google.
Google have been using the hashtag "#throughglass" on their Google+ posts using their Glass hardware, and earlier in the week we had Twilio developer Jon Gottfried hacking his own Twitter Glass application using Google's Glass API. He also used that same hashtag for tweets sent through his app, GlassTweet.
The developer also noticed some other tweets showing up with the #throughglass hashtag, but these tweets had an official "Twitter for Glass" label on them. If you're a developer, you can't just slap "Twitter" on any tweet, as the social network restricts the creation of apps with "Twitter" in the name. So this might actually be the real deal.
Rovio has taken to their official Angry Birds Twitter account to announce that Angry Birds Friends is coming to both iOS and Android on Thursday.
Angry Birds Friends is currently limited to being a web-only Facebook title, so Angry Birds fans should be happy to hear this news. Angry Birds Friends allows you to join up with friends and hold tournaments to compete together, a huge change in the usual way Angry Birds is played.
Google just launched its Google Now app via an update to the Google Search for iOS app. The app appears to be exactly the same as the Android version with the exception of users being able to swipe up to launch the Now application.
Google Now pulls information from all of your Google services like Search, Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Chrome browser history, and anything else that is connected to your Google account, then it provides pertinent information to the smartphone owner before they know they need it. Basically it is a concierge without an annoying voice.
Baris Gultekin, Director of Product Management at Google, had the following to say:
"The history of Search can put Google Now in the best context. It's gone from serving links to being able to serve up links, and images, and videos, and deliver a rich experience. And then we wanted to answer natural questions, both in text and in spoken word. So to us, Google Now is the next step. It is answering the question before you ever ask it."