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If you're in constant communication with friends, family and loved ones, video calls can really come in handy. Until now, it is something that has been mostly dominated by the likes of Skype and Hangouts, but now Facebook is joining the fold with Messenger.
Messenger is now capable of video calls thanks to the latest app for both iOS and Android, where a single tap has you starting a video call with a friend. Facebook has rolled the feature out to 18 countries across the world, including the US and UK. Let us know what you think, especially if you use something like Skype or Hangouts for your video calls.
Google has released the Arc Welder tool that is able to test Android apps on any device with a Chrome browser, opening the door to cross-platform testing on Microsoft Windows, Linux distributions, and Mac OS X.
Arc Welder is currently in beta/developer preview right now, and can only run one app at a time. Once it has been downloaded, interested users must download and install APK files, which can be done using something like Raccoon.
There is still a discussion among many coders saying it's better to have natively created apps, but a conversion tool seems to be a step in the right direction.
The current marketplace for mobile apps is maturing and usage is mellowing, according to a survey from the Gartner research group.
Users are integrating apps more deeply into their lives, but it's now becoming more difficult for app providers to try to stay one step ahead. App creators must focus on development, marketing and branding as even more apps seem to hit the market for smartphone and tablet users.
"It's not that smartphone users have lost interest in apps, users remain excited about what apps can do for them in their daily lives, including for work and nonwork app scenarios," said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. "However, app users need to be convinced about the value of the app. Their willingness for new app experiences is open-ended, but their plan is to keep their same patterns of use. Users will try new apps, but they need to be convinced of an app's value before they adopt them and change use patterns over the long term."
Google has released an updated version of Gmail for Android that includes a new "All Inboxes" option which does exactly what it sounds like; offers all of your inboxes in one spot.
Even if you have inboxes from Outlook or Yahoo, Gmail for Android will display them, and you'll be able to read and reply to each e-mail, without swapping tabs or logging out. The Mountain View-based search giant has also teased that e-mail threads from external accounts will now be displayed with the same threaded conversation format that internal Gmail e-mails use.
The new integrated accounts will also make use of the improved autocomplete function, larger attachment previews and one-touch saves to your Google Drive account.
A growing number of mobile users in the United States are relying on smartphones and tablets to access their bank accounts, using apps and mobile websites.
Thirty nine percent of mobile phone owners are using mobile banking in 2014, a slight increase from 29 percent in 2012 and 33 percent in 2013, according to a survey from the Federal Reserve.
If you have a bank account, chances are very good that your bank has a mobile app that you can utilize to check your balance, recent transactions, and other typical activities. Regional and national banks are pushing users towards mobile banking - and it's becoming a major selling point - as 26 percent of respondents noted they switched banks in the past year because of a more enjoyable mobile experience elsewhere.
Even though mobile apps are becoming more popular in the workplace, ensuring the apps are secure isn't a major priority. Companies must ensure that apps are properly tested to make sure only authorized users have access to data, even if that makes bring your own device (BYOD) a bit more complicated.
"Building security into mobile apps is not top-of-mind for companies, giving hackers the opportunity to easily reverse-engineer apps, jailbreak mobile devices and tap into confidential data," said Caleb Barlow, VP of mobile management and security at IBM, in a statement.
Security verification is important, and companies that neglect this process leave themselves open - especially when apps access company Wi-Fi networks, and are used to share corporate documents. Even worse, clever hackers are finding new ways to breach confidential networks, relying on unsecure mobile apps as an entry point.
McDonald's wants to fully embrace technology to boost sales and keep one step ahead of fast food and fast casual restaurants. The company could use kiosks, wearables, smartphones, mobile apps, and other technology solutions to give customers a wider method of ordering food.
One such development could be using next-generation kiosks, so customers can walk into a restaurant, sync a smartphone to the kiosk, and receive food recommendations, see order history, and get an updated menu.
"We see the experience being made so much better through technology," said Atif Rafiq, chief digital officer at McDonald's, in a statement to Fast Company. "It's an environment where it's really built around you as opposed to operations of a restaurant."
First being released solely to Windows OS, we've seen HERE maps now expand to the Android and iOS platforms.
As according to the HERE team, the old version of this app was based on HTML 5 and an unworthy product for general use, however, it has now been updated and completely redesigned.
Nokia Press Services has told us that HERE has already seen 4 million downloads of its Android version alongside being provided to users for free - making it a serious competitor for Apple's and Google's standard maps offerings.
There are over 150 countries available for their offline maps service, alongside public transport support for 950 cities in 50 countries and traffic information updates for those in France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and more.
Google Play Music has been steadily improving its services in the recent past in order to compete with other popular streaming platforms like Spotify. The latest installment has seen it increase the capacity of its free locker service from 20,000 to 50,000 total songs.
This means that you can store 50,000 of your own songs on Google's cloud storage and listen in to these tracks from any device that you may have connected to the service. Spotify has some kind of local file support, but nothing as large or in-depth as Google's offering.
After taking over the playlist company Songza in 2014, Google allowed users access to a song suggestion feature alongside letting subscribed members play YouTube content in the background on their mobile devices.
How much time to you spend being entertained by your phone? Presto has joined Stan and Quickflix, fighting for your eyes by providing another video streaming subscription option in Australia.
With Netflix said to launch in 'The Land Down Under' next month, Citrix Mobile Analytics claims that "the mobile user experience is, increasingly, a video experience," which would explain the sudden surge in openings.
Compatible with iPhone 5S, 5S and higher Apple models, Android users will see multiple devices supported across Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony and ZTE. Access can be granted through the Presto app on either the Apple App Store, Google Play or the Samsung App Store.
As we've written previously, Presto is a project by Foxtel and Seven West Media in order to take control of this emerging scene.