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Say the name Intel to a handful of people and the thing that comes to mind for most of them will be computer processors, but that's not all Intel is about. A good example is a new chat app that Intel has unveiled called Pocket Avatars. The app is a video chat service for mobile users that uses cartoon avatars to relay your facial expressions, and is available on Android and iOS.
Pocket Avatars uses the front camera on your smartphone to record a message, and it then combines the voice and facial expressions with one of 40 characters making it look like the character is delivering your message.
A new Navigation app has landed for iOS users on the App Store that costs under $1 in the States. The app is called Garmin viago and it promises some features you won't find in free apps. Viago offers international map browsing and regional navigation.
Users can search for locations by address and browse points of interest. Turn-by-turn navigation on foot or in a car are supported. Other features include photo realistic junction views with lane assist. Your current speed is shown along with the legal speed limit for the road you are on.
We can send all sorts of messages around the world today in digital form. A first was recently made with the transmission of a scented message across the Atlantic. This week a message was sent across the ocean that carried with it the scent of champagne and chocolate.
The message was sent from Paris to New York and was sent by freelance chemist Christophe Laudamiel. He sent the message to a professor at Harvard named David Edwards and to the co-inventor of the tech from the Museum of Natural History in New York.
Facebook tried to buy the popular photo sharing app Snapchat for $3 billion, but Snapchat went with another buyer. Facebook said at the time that it would roll its own competitor and that competitor is now fresh out of the oven and called Slingshot. You might recall Slingshot from news headlines recently after it leaked out a bit early.
Slingshot is now available for Android and iOS devices. With the app installed users can send photos and short videos. Once the videos and photos are shot with the smartphone the user can write or draw directly on them.
Amazon has been operating its Appstore for a while now and it has bragged recently that it has significantly increased the number of apps on its store. Amazon says that in the last year alone it has tripled the number of apps available. Amazon also says that its developers earn similar money compared to developers focusing more on the Apple App Store.
That claim comes from a survey performed by IDC and sponsored by Amazon. Amazon is seeking more developer attention for its Appstore. Currently Amazon has over 240,000 apps and games in its collection. That is a fraction of the million apps Apple claims in its store as of October 2013.
The Department of Transportation (DoT) is struggling to keep up with navigation apps on smartphones and tablets, seeking regulation from Congress regarding mobile devices behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would be given permission to restrict navigation apps, and make future changes if needed to preserve driver safety.
Automakers support the measure, as they are used to adhering to voluntary guidelines that put restrictions on built-in navigation systems. Not surprisingly, technology companies are against government interference, saying legislation would be difficult to enforce.
"They don't have enough software engineers," noted Catherine McCullough, Intelligent Car Coalition executive director, said in a recent interview. "They don't have the budget or the structure to oversee both Silicon Valley and the auto industry."
One of the most time consuming parts of working in the health field is all the charting that has to be done to record what health professionals do in appointments and during treatments. A company called Drchrono has developed a new application for Google Glass that it claims to be the first wearable health record.
Doctors who sign up for the Drchrono app for Glass will be able to use it to record patient consultations or surgery. That is assuming the patient gives them permission. Any videos or photos taken with the device are stored in the patient's electronic medical record.
Apple is well known for being very restrictive on what apps can be placed on the App Store. Apple checks out all of the apps submitted to be sure that they don't have nefarious components among other things. A while back Apple banned Bitcoin wallet apps from the App Store.
Apple has now reversed that decision and revised policies to allow Bitcoin wallets back on the App Store. The first app to make it back is called Coin Pocket. This app lets users send and receive Bitcoin. Using Coin Pocket users can also check the price of Bitcoin and collect private keys.
Google has finally baked in 480p and 1080p streaming options into the latest version of its YouTube app. In order to get the supported resolutions, you'll need to update your YouTube app, of course.
As you start your video, simply tap the three-dot overflow menu in the top right, where you'll be greeted with a gear icon - tap that, and choose your desired resolution. This hasn't rolled out to everyone just yet, but it shouldn't take too long to have this new option in your YouTube application.
Google Maps is a widely used application, with the navigation app now passing 1 billion installations on devices across the world. It's a little easier for Google to get there, as Maps is pre-installed on quite a number of Android-powered devices.
Google has crafted one of the most important mobile apps on the market with Maps, but passing 1 billion downloads is a huge milestone. I'm sure they're definitely popping some champagne over in Mountain View right about now.