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The majority of connected HDTV owners believe video apps are critical, with 75 percent saying video apps are 'extremely' or 'very important' to their viewing habits. In addition to knowing which apps are available to watch, consumers also want to be able to easily discover new online content available to them.
"The importance of having core video aggregation apps such as Netflix and YouTube, has a lot to do with the convenience that allows consumers to easily access a multitude of programming options in one place," said John Buffone, NPD Group Connected Intelligence Executive Director, in a press statement. "The next wave of TV app user, however, is looking for a different experience than earlier adopters and is placing greater emphasis on TV Everywhere apps from their favorite networks."
The top 10 most important video and TV everywhere apps, according to NPD: Netflix, YouTube, The Weather Channel, HuluPlus, History, Amazon Instant/Prime Video, HBOGO, Fox News, PBS, and WatchESPN.
WhatsApp was involved in one of the biggest deals to hit the tech world on the last few years. Facebook purchased the app for $16 billion. That purchase made some fans of the app upset in part because Facebook doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to privacy. Despite angering some users, WhatsApp continues to grow under the Facebook umbrella.
WhatsApp has reached 500 million users according to the company. The company wrote, "Thanks to all of you, half a billion people around the world are now regular, active WhatsApp users. In the last few months, we've grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day."
Domino's Pizza now accepts payments for orders through Google Wallet, with the new payment method now baked into the company's Android-based application. Once you're in the check out with your pizza order, you can select "Buy with Google" to complete the order.
In order to promote the new payment method, Domino's is offering a free order of its specialty chicken to anyone who places an order of $10 or more, and pays through Google Wallet. This deal is all good until June 15, so get your Google Wallet ready, and order yourself some pizza!
Google is about to push out a new update to Hangouts, bringing it up to version 2.1, which will bring forth some major changes for Google's messaging application. It will finally merge conversations, making it easier to keep track of your conversations between SMS, and the usual Hangouts chats.
This means if you were talking with a friend through SMS, but had a simultaneous chat with them through Hangouts, those two world's will collide. The messages will be visually distinct, so you'll be able to tell the difference between SMS and the instant messaging chat. The contact lists has been simplified, split into two sections: People you Hangout With, and Phone Contacts.
Video call quality has been improved, as well as SMS and MMS reliability. One of the surprise new features is a new homescreen widget, making it much easier to access your conversations. The updated Hangouts app should be made available later in the week.
Google I/O isn't far away, but now the Mountain View-based giant is warning its developers to work more on the design of their apps. The warning fires have been shot, so we should see some big changes at the event in June.
Google's Staff Designer and Evangelist, Nadya Direkova, took to a blog post saying: "When Google launched, it was a crisp white page with a simple search box. You might not have thought there was much in the way of design, but its appearance underscored two of our most important principles: simplicity and usefulness".
The company wants its developers to emphasize design as they consider the best way to develop and distribute their apps and services. Google's Director of Developer Relations, Billy Rutledge, said in a blog post that the goal Google has it to help developers "build and prove your app from start to finish".
Facebook has just rolled out a new "Nearby Friends" feature which joins a bunch of other location-broadcasting apps that are already available. Nearby Friends will allow you to see which of your Facebook friends are close to you.
The new feature is an opt-in option, where you'll have to enable it on your account. The service will let you see which of your friends are nearby, but you can turn the location tracking off whenever you want. Both you and your friends will need to have it enabled in order to see each other on the map, but once it is activated on both sides, you'll receive a push notification telling you that your friend is nearby.
Samsung has announced that a new app is available globally for Samsung device users. The new app is called Kindle for Samsung and it will deliver millions of best selling digital books from the Amazon Kindle platform. Samsung says that 500,000 of those titles will be exclusive to Samsung users.
The application is available for download on any Samsung smartphone or tablet that runs Android 4.0 or higher. The app is a free download. Most of the books will be titles that you have to purchase. However, Samsung will offer Samsung Book Deals that will deliver up to 12 free eBooks each year.
YouTube for Android been updated, with version 5.5.27 of the app adding in some new features. The latest version of YouTube for Android now supports the ability to cast live videos to Chromecast.
The Preloading menu on the app has also been removed, but there's a new Captions menu that has been added to the latest version of YouTube for Android. You can get the latest YouTube for Android from the Google Play store.
Google has just pushed out its Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android, something that has been floating around in the beta world, but it is now an official thing you can download today.
Android-based users can use their devices to remotely access their Windows or Mac machines, with the Remote Desktop app available on the desktop for a while now, but now the mobile world can enjoy it. An iOS version of Chrome Remote Desktop will be made available in the near future. You can download Chrome Remote Desktop from the Google Play store now.
Amazon has just rolled out an update to its Cloud Drive service for iOS, and the app has been given a completely new look. In addition, the redesigned user interface is said to improve navigation of the service and make sharing images even easier. Amazon Cloud Drive Photos version 3.0 now includes 5GB of free storage space, and also allows videos up to 20-minutes in length to be uploaded.
The new look ushers in a much more refined look for the app, and now users can set a filter to only see photos or videos, which makes navigating through the thousands of files you upload much easier and faster than before. Additionally, users can sort images by name and date as well, making fining that image you took five months ago quick and easy. Finally, Amazon has improved the back-end and now your images and videos will upload faster than ever before.