Popular leaker Evan Blass has made it known: Google's Allo app is due to launch this week on September 21.
Hello, Allo (launches this week).— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 18, 2016
9/21. https://t.co/8Ne6gj0NJS— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 19, 2016
The company launched its Duo video messaging app last month; users have been anticipating the text messaging complementary app Allo ever since. Allo was originally slated for a summer release; Google has just a few days to technically meet that deadline, lending credibility to the leak.
Android Pay gets better today with the addition of support for major US bank Chase. As of now, you can add your Chase Visas (Freedom, Slate, Sapphire, United Mileage Explorer, Hyatt Credit Card, etc) to Pay and use them to make quick payments in online and retail stores with your phone.
Note that if you have a Chase card grandfathered in from Google Wallet, you'll have to re-add it to get going.
UK customers will soon get some love, too, as Santander and TSB customers are to be added to the list of supported banks in the region, among others. No exact dates are set, but Google says they will announce each of them on the @Android Twitter account.
Google is giving its Maps-using Android owners a lot more freedom as of today.
A new update for the app means you can enable a Wi-fi only mode so as to save data, avoid spotty service, and/or save battery life.
Additionally, they're giving you the option to download maps for a given area to your SD card, to then be used for offline navigation -- handy if your primary storage is dedicated to other things and nearly full. Now if you could only download maps per country, state, and continent.
The Plex media organization app has been overhauled for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), its latest version now available on the Windows Store with a snazzy new interface and more.
The developer says it was built from the ground up for UWP, and with that comes Cortana support, Hubs and discovery, and Continuum (on mobile).
For now, the new app is only available on desktop; a mobile release will come "later." When it hits, expect a very similar design.
Google has finally updated Hangouts for Android, bringing its own Android version of Hangouts up to the same level of Hangouts for iOS - you know, Google's main competitor's mobile operating system.
Hangouts for iOS has supported video messaging since its February 2014 update, and now Hangouts for Android will allow users to record or upload up to 60 seconds of footage to their friends and family through Hangouts. Hangouts for Android supports 1080p videos, while Hangouts for iOS is limited to 360p.
While Android users win with 1080p video support, the iOS version of Hangouts supports up to two minutes of video, up from the one minute allowed on Hangouts for Android. Google has also ditched the SMS/Hangouts merged conversations, with Google explaining that low usage and confusion being the main driver behind dropping the merged SMS/conversations.
Hangouts for Android should be on the Google Play Store soon.
We have been pushing into Facebook Live streams quite a bit lately, but now YouTube is looking like it could be a good alternative - with the mobile YouTube app to soon support live streaming.
YouTube has supported live broadcasts on the desktop for a while now, but it has been behind the livestreaming game when it comes to doing it from your smartphone. YouTube is rolling out mobile livestreaming support to a small handful of its creators today, while the rest of us will have to wait a little while longer.
Spotify's last user count was 75 million; this week it confirms it's hit the 100 million mark.
What's more, 30 million of those are paid subscribers, meaning the service is bringing in $300 million each month even before advertising revenue. It's not all roses, though: the Swedish company spends over 80 percent of its revenue on rights and is yet to show a profit. Last year it reported an operating loss of $209 million, up from $165 million the previous year.
Meanwhile, Apple Music claims 13 million paid users.
Amazon is planning to launch a standalone music streaming subscription service late this summer or early autumn, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The service will cost $9.99 per month and will offer a competitive catalogue.
The online shopping giant already offers a limited streaming music service to its Prime customers, and recently offered a monthly fee Prime option, so a full catalogue standalone service based on the subscription model would be a natural leap. With the success of Spotify and Apple Music (which collectively serve about 43 million subscribers and many more non-subscribers), it makes even more sense.
Although Amazon would enter the game a bit late, it has the clout and financial power to significantly alleviate that disadvantage.
Tinder has been available to 13 year-olds and up since the app launched four years ago, offering minors the opportunity to date and/or hook up with other minors. That's going to change next week though when it goes 18+ only.
"On a platform that has facilitated over 11 billion connections, we have the responsibility of constantly assessing our different user experiences," reads the company's statement. "Consistent with this responsibility, we have decided to discontinue service for under 18 users. We believe this is the best policy moving forward."
Tinder's underage users currently represent three percent of its userbase.
Facebook, Twitter, and Tinder, among other services have enabled GIF support in recent times, and now WhatsApp is joining the party too.
The changelog for the latest iOS 18.104.22.168 beta, as interpreted by @WABetaInfo, indicates GIF support is indeed on the way. Unfortunately direct importing of GIFs doesn't appear to be apart of the deal (at least not yet), but you can link to GIFs and they'll show up as intended. Other GIF-related features include GIF saving to your camera roll, autoplay, static image conversion, direct reply, encryption, and peek and pop actions.
Look out for the new goods when the beta hits. Or if you're not the beta type, sit tight and wait for the public release, which shouldn't take long.