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Google is mixing things up a bit with Chromecast, renaming the app Google Cast, in what it says is an effort to "better reflect that Google Cast technology is now supported across a wide range of devices such as Chromecast, TVs, displays and speakers." It revealed the news just after confirming its partnership with Vizio, which will see Google Cast built into the company's upcoming P-series displays, as well as to its soundbars and speakers.
Along with a new name comes an update, which will roll out this week. With it you can expect video content discovery, expanded app discovery, customizable backdrops, and more.
The "Father", CEO, and Founder of Spotify Daniel Ek has revealed via Twitter that his music streaming service has hit 30 million subscribers. About this time last year, the count was 20 million, so it's fast-growing, to say the least.
By comparison, competing service Apple Music sat at 11 milllion subscribers as of last month. Catching up or exceeding the Swedish company is certainly plausible, but it has quite the headstart and appears to know what it's doing, so watching this cat and mouse game in the coming years will prove interesting.
Windows 10 Insiders get the benefit of some major enhancements to the Maps app today, namely to search, but also navigation and interface, among other areas.
For search, there's the new ability to conduct and view multiple searches simultaneously (e.g. see nearby hotels and restaurants at the same time, or see multiple directions at the same time), with the option to view them separately if need be. Algorithms are improved, too, which closer and better results.
Regarding the interface and navigation, navigation buttons are now at the top of the app on desktop and at the bottom on mobile, making everything more intuitive whatever device you're on; labels are now found directly on the map; elements can be hidden or shown at will; public transit routes are easier to follow with more precise instructions and an improved design, and Cortana will give you instructions when enabled.
Twitter is retiring the Tweetdeck standalone app, supposedly to "better focus on enhancing your TweetDeck experience." As of April 15, it will be a web-only application, although as Twitter reminds, Chrome users can pin it to their desktop by following these instructions:
- Open tweetdeck.com in Chrome
- Click Customize and control > More tools > Add to taskbar
- You can now launch TweetDeck directly from your taskbar
Things get a little smoother between Twitter and Tweetdeck, too: if you log in to Twitter.com, that will also keep you logged in at Tweetdeck.com, so there's no need going forward to keep switching back and forth. This change will be slowly rolled out over the next few weeks about.
That new Twitter for Windows 10 design that launched last year for PCs and tablets is now available for mobile devices too as of today.
With it, you can try out 'Moments' (essentially a 'best of Twitter' feature), group DMs, Tweet video support (including capturing and editing), easier tweet quoting, and more. To grab it, head to the Windows Store.
And for desktop and tablet users, there's a new treat for you, too: a dark mode theme. To access it, navigate to Settings > Personalization.
Apple has partnered with digital distributor Dubset Media Holdings to bring many thousands of previously unlicensed DJ remixes and mixes -- or in old people terms: that DJ music the kids are listening to -- to its Apple Music service. For now, these aren't available anywhere else, but Dubstep claims every distributor will be supported in time.
The deal is made possible by Dubset's agreements with over 14,000 record labels and publishers, as well as its MixBank technology (used in combination with other proprietary and related software), which can analyze songs to determine original artists and make sure their labels and publishers as well as DJs are paid accordingly, all at flat rates. It's an impressive feat given one of these mixes can have more than 600 different rights holders, and one that's already making both DJs and labels happy.
Traffic app Waze has arguably been the best of its kind for some time now, except for two major flaws: a wretched interface and high battery consumption. Both are fixed today with the new 4.0 update, which brings numerous quality of life improvements:
• Fresh new design for easier navigation, reporting, and sharing.
• Significantly reduced battery consumption.
• Fewer taps to start a drive, send locations and directions.
• New ETA panel organizes everything you need in one place. View reports, check alternate routes, add a stop on the way, or instantly send ETA to friends and family.
• Smart reminders to leave on time for your Calendar events based on traffic conditions and drive times.
While the Windows 10 Facebook app is pretty great for serving your Facebook needs, you may prefer to use the Messenger portion only, as many do on mobile. That's where the upcoming Facebook Messenger Windows 10 app comes in, which we get a first look at today courtesy of screenshots leaked by Windowsblogitalia.
There aren't any big surprises aesthetically: it's pretty much what you get now. However, it includes more features such as GIF support, voice, a like button, and so on.
Not pictured: notifications, live tile support, contact groups, and message forwarding.
If you rely on the Netflix Mobile App to get your fix of drama, action or comedy on a regular basis, it's likely that your phone plan data is suffering as a result.
As seen on Gizmodo Netflix has been, and will be, working on a better experience for users, implementing what Gizmodo's Campbell Simpson explained as "a number of small but significant changes." Recent changes to this service include the evolution of the home screen, with plenty more improvements currently in testing and on the horizon for this media giant.
A large planned change is a 'data saving' feature set for availability to mobile users on iOS and Android platforms. Explained as an algorithm based service, rather than a clear-cut bitrate or resolution limiter, it means that the quality control and limitations will be fluid and change user to user.
The new Google Material design for Facebook Messenger on Android has been revealed. As you can see, it's much cleaner than what's in use currently, and features a 'new conversation' button.
"If you're using Messenger on Android, you've been wanting a brand new material design for a bit," says Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook David Marcus. "Any major redesign of an essential app used by hundreds of millions of people around the world is painstakingly hard, and that's why we took every precaution to ensure you'd truly enjoy this evolution."
The fresh look will start rolling out approximately... now, if not later today.