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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."
This morning Google implemented changes to its terms and conditions to ensure that apps can no longer push updates from outside the Google Play Store. This update comes not long after both Facebook and Adblock Plus began pushing updates to their apps independent of Google and Google Play.
"An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play's update mechanism", reads the new sentence in Google's terms and conditions.
While this change will have very little effect to Facebook, it seems like another major roadblock for Adblock Plus who was using the independent update method to keep its banned app updated.
Google have just pushed out an update to the Chrome Beta for Android, which increases page rendering performance and fixes some frequently occurring crash issues. The full list of changes is as follows:
- 179250: Black screen during load on Huawei tablets
- 224379: Cannot scroll images after zooming in
- 226193: Blue line displayed below the omnibox
- Improvement to page rendering performance
- Fixes for some frequently occurring crashes
You can read more on Chrome Beta for Android, and download it, from the Google Play Store.
News on the BlackBerry 10 front has been a little slow as of late, but this morning we are learning that Skype has finally made it into the company's app store. This is a pretty big deal considering how much Skype on BB10 was talked up at the launch, yet it has taken four months to appear.
BlackBerry Z10 owners should not get excited, though. The popular messaging and video chat service is only compatible with the Q10, which runs the latest version of BB10. This means that while the Skype is technically available on BB10, no one in the US, UK or Canada can use it at the moment.
BlackBerry says that Skype support for the Z10 is coming, but we will not see any progress made until the Q10 goes on sale. The Q10 is expected to hit the UK on April 29th with Canada following on May 1st, and a US launch in late May.
Rightware have announced that their mobile benchmark, Basemark X, is now available for iOS. Basemark X is a cross-platform benchmark, something we took a look at a couple of weeks ago when it was released for Android.
The iOS version can be downloaded from the Apple App Store, and can be run on iOS devices to see how they fare against Android-based devices. The next step for Rightware is Windows Phone 8, something they're working on - they're having to wait until the Unity engine is supported under Microsoft's mobile operating system.
In the near future, we'll also see the release of Basemark X for Windows on the PC, then the fun will really start! You can get Basemark X for iOS from the App Store.
Swype seems to have come out of the rock that was shaped like the word beta, and has now reached the point of being called Swype 1.5 for Android. The latest version of the keyboard replacement for Android is now available on the Google Play Store.
Version 1.5 adds a quick shortcut to Dragon Mobile Assistant for those who have it installed, expands Living Language to 20 dialects, adds two new themes and refines both Smart Touch and Smart Reselect. The biggest change, is that it is available directly from the Google Play Store, and not from the Swype website.
Nuance is charging just 99 cents for Swype 1.5 on Google Play, but for a "limited time" only.