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While Samsung's Wallet app has been available in the US in beta form for several months now, the company has just launched the full version of the app on the Google Play Store for select Galaxy devices. Unlike Google's Wallet app, Samsung's version allows users to store items such as plane tickets, membership cards, coupons, and other important items.
At the moment, the app is limited to Samsung devices and will only run on the Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4, Note, and Note II. Additionally, the app is only currently supported by Walgreens, Major League Baseball, Expedia.com, Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Lufthansa.
Today, Microsoft announced that has released an update for Skype for Windows Phone 8 that incorporates feedback the company has been receiving from users. Improvements have been made to the way contacts are managed and a new refreshed home screen layout has been added.
The new features include Skype contacts being split out in the Skype people list, which was something Skype users requested Microsoft change. Microsoft added the people list filter so that you can see all your contacts or only available contacts. Home screen changes include the ability to put it through Functions as well as smaller favorite contact tiles that now are able to fit three across the screen instead of the two users were able to fit previously.
This morning, Nokia Asha owners have one more reason to use the phone today. Nokia has announced that the popular professional networking site LinkedIn has just released an app for the full-touch versions of its Asha smartphones, making it even easier to stay in touch with colleagues and coworkers.
"LinkedIn for Nokia Asha essentially brings the most popular features of LinkedIn to an app built specifically for Asha touch devices," said LinkedIn's Giovanni Iachello, responsible for international product management. It's made up of four main features:
- Update Stream: Keep up to date with your network and access information about your industry. You can like, comment and share updates to stay in the loop with what's going on.
- Inbox: Accept connection requests and communicate with your contacts.
- Search: Search through the global network of over 225 million LinkedIn members. There's also a People You May Know feature, which suggests professionals you may know and want to connect with, based on your current contacts.
- Profile: Check out your own profile, and see who's been viewing you. You can reach out to them with a message or an invitation to connect.
Today, Microsoft announced an update to its Bing for Windows Phone 8 app that brings forth several months of refining user experience on mobile. Once updated, users will notice that search filters have been reduced to just three which include web, images, and video, which will help greatly with providing more relevant content on the first screen.
The app will also show more usable results on the main screen with immediate results for searches such as flight schedules, movies, and word definitions. Infinite scrolling has been added to photo searches as well as auto-sized thumbnails. Not everyone will get the update immediately as Microsoft plans to roll it out nationwide over the next few weeks. No information was released on when the worldwide rollout will take place.
Today, Google announced a new app that will soon help Android owners track down there lost or stolen devices. The app is named Android Device Manager and will allow users to track down their device on a map in real-time as well as activate the ringer or even delete the phone's contents before any sensitive information has been stolen.
Google says that the new app will be available on Android devices that run version 2.2 or higher. Given that 98.7 percent of all Android devices out in the wild today run Android 2.2 or better, it is safe to say that almost any phone or tablet has the possibility of being easily located if lost or stolen. Theoretically, parents can even use this feature to track their children, or any other Android phones they may have access to.
Google says that the app will be available in the Google Play Store later this month and will be available free of charge. Apple has had similar functionality for iOS devices for years, and I have always wondered why Google never released anything similar for Android.
Google released Android 4.3 into the wild last week, but the latest iteration in their mobile OS includes some improvements to Photo Sphere. Photo Sphere is used to take 360-degree photos, and is quite a nice ability of Android.
The latest software improvements to Photo Sphere in Android 4.3 make it easier to upload and share pictures on Google Maps. Google have taken the how-to a step further by providing a couple of handy tips:
- Hold the phone close to your body
- Keep the phone in portrait orientation
- Make full rotations holding the phone at each angle until a full 360 is achieved
If you're a Cut the Rope addict, you might want to prepare yourselves for the "Cheese Box" update, which will add 25 more levels to the physics-based puzzle game.
The 25 new levels will feature cheese-filled backgrounds, if you're into that kind of thing. Since Cut the Rope launched in 2010, it has had 15 updates, with the latest Cheese Box update seeing you use mice to catch and carry food. The trailer above should give you a good idea of what to expect.
Google pushed out an update to its Drive app for iOS this morning. The update brings forward several new features including the ability to open links from within files in either Chrome or Safari. The app also allows users to insert new rows and columns by using the "+" button in Google Sheets.
Version 1.5.0 of the app also addresses several bugs and has improved overall app stabilization, which should alleviate some of the app crashes that some iOS users have reported. Reports say that the app now appears to be faster overall and more responsive. No updates were made to the Android version of the app. Windows Phone users as well as those running BlackBerry 10 have nothing to worry about as Google has yet to release a Drive app for either of the alternative mobile operating systems.
Apple introduced podcasts as a huge part of iTunes eight years ago now, and in that time they've seen some mammoth success with their software. It has become the center of Apple's consumers digital lives.
Now, the company have passed 1 billion podcast subscriptions, with the milestone being celebrated. Apple are using the milestone to highlight some of their most popular podcasts, which include This American Life, TWiT and All Songs Considered, as well as an upcoming program called The Alton Browncast. I would've expected more from the milestone, such as the company giving away something for free, but whatever, Apple.
BlackBerry has not made any attempt to hide the fact that its mobile messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, will be coming to Android and iOS this summer. The company has, however, been quite tight lipped on when exactly BBM will launch on both platforms. In a recent interview, India's managing director for BlackBerry accidentally let a hint slip that September could be the official launch month for BBM on Android.
"The service is coming to Android this summer. But summer as per North America, where it remains till September," said Sunil Lalvani. He did not elaborate whether or not his claim actually meant it would arrive at the end of September nor did he make any mention of a release date for iOS.
Previously we were led to believe that BBM would make its Android and iOS debut sometime on or around June 27 but that date has obviously come and gone. BBM on iOS and Android could play a major role in companies who have multiple smartphones all running different operating systems but need a central form of mobile messaging. Some analysts say that it could once again become the de facto messaging service for professionals on the go.