In October 2016, Facebook released Facebook Messenger Lite, a stripped-down version of Messenger with a reduced feature set.
The app is aimed primarily at old Android phones and, when released, regions where high-speed Internet is not widely available. The app was first made available in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela.
Facebook has now finally decided to expand Messenger Lite's reach, and the company made the app available in 150 additional countries, including Germany, Colombia, Italy, Vietnam, Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Turkey, Japan, Taiwan and the Netherlands.
Google has very, very quietly launched a new app with Areo, a new destination that lets you order food and home services. The major downside here is that Areo is only available in Bangladore and Mumbai in India, but we should expect Google to eventually launch it around the world.
Areo lets you order food from local restaurants from a single tap to your smartphone, with search features built-in, and more. Google is also pushing in some home services into Areo, with local electricians, plumbers, pest control, cleaners, and more can be ordered from an app and a tap of your finger.
There's no news on whether Google will bring Areo to other countries, but if it's this useful, I don't see why they wouldn't either roll it into its own app available throughout the world, or build it into Google Now.
Apple is shifting into the content business in a big way with teases that it will acquire Disney, which owns Pixar, LucasArts, and Marvel - their collective properties worth tens of billions of dollars. Now the company is reportedly looking at offering a premium TV service that would include HBO, Showtime, and Starz for a single monthly price.
If you were to subscribe to each of those premium TV channels, it would cost $35 per month, but according to Redcode, Apple is wanting to make it more convenient by offering the bundle as a standalone product. Instead of bunch of separate apps, Apple would offer the premium TV channels in a new app - with the power of having shows like Game of Thrones and Homeland on its side.
There haven't been any external comments from the premium TV side, or Apple, but with the previous rumors of the Disney acquisition - the race towards being a content king is something Apple has its sights set on.
Razer has had yet another cloud storage server failure, the second in March, with Razer peripheral owners forced back to their default settings - yes, everyone - all across the world.
The server outage happened over the weekend, when millions of gamers are you know - gaming. The profiles are stored both on the cloud, and on your local machine - but as TechPowerUp notes, you'll need to "use a XML editing hack to get the software in offline mode to make it actually use the local profile on your machine. Otherwise, the software prefers to just go to defaults and give the end-user an arguably irritable situation".
One of the TPU readers said that Razer lets you create "Tournament Mode" drivers, which makes an offline installer with your driver and profile in one spot. Razer doesn't advertise this, but with two cloud server outages and profile wipes in a month... I'd recommend doing this.
Facebook has made quite a few tweaks to Messenger, with reactions and @-mentions added - you can now react to individual messages, or even tag a specific friend in a group chat.
When you're using Messenger, reacting to a message is as easy as pressing and holding a message to see Facebook's love/laugh/cry emojis to show up. A small counter will add up the reactions, showing you who exactly is spamming that emoji button - it even has its own notification on your lock screen, a nice touch by Facebook.
Moving onto the mentions feature, where you just need to use the @ symbol, and then Messenger will show a drop down menu of all of the people in the chat - you can then tag their name, and they'll receive an individual notification.
These new features should be rolling out to Messenger users now, and over the next few days.
Most AMD partners are phasing out the older Radeon RX 400 series cards in favor of the upcoming rebranded RX 500 series cards, with a rumored price of $199 on the new Radeon RX 580, and just $149 for the new Radeon RX 570.
As for the GPU-Z 1.18.10 changelog, here it is:
- Added support for NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, Quadro P4000, P1000, P600, P400
- Added support for AMD Radeon RX 580, RX 570, RX 560, RX 550, HD 6430M
- Added support for Intel HD Graphics 500 (Apollo Lake Pentium N4200)
- Update check will now display the latest version number available
- Fixed error message display during BIOS upload
- Improved tray icon creation code when GPU-Z is launched during Windows startup
- Fixed clocks read as -1 on Pascal cards with overclocking disabled
- Invalid readings are no longer included in sensor average calculation (avoids -1.$ output)
- Added support to display Boost clocks on Intel
So YouTube has just made a major announcement, with a new streaming TV service called YouTube TV with a monthly cost of $35 - offering broadcast TV channels, some cable channels, and of course the near unlimited library of videos on YouTube.
YouTube is aiming at AT&T's DirecTV Now service, and Hulu and Sling - but there will be iOS and Android apps, as well as support for set-top products like Chromecast. Google won't be providing a massive lineup of channels, but YouTube TV will be offering up Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as a bunch of cable channels like ESPN, Fox News, and Bravo.
YouTube TV will have an unlimited cloud-based DVR, a spiffy Google-powered recommendation system, and more. The question is: will you pay $35 for YouTube TV?
WhatsApp has introduced two-step verification feature for its Android, iOS, and Windows Phone users. The feature was initially available only to beta users, but now is officially available to everyone.
The feature is optional, and it allows you to create a six-digit passcode which you will have to enter when your phone number is being verified on the app.
To enable two-step verification, open WhatsApp > Settings > Account > Two-step verification > Enable.
I have been live streaming from my smartphone to Facebook Live for over a year now, and finally - finally, Google is catching up with YouTube and mobile live streaming.
YouTube originally pushed into the mobile live streaming game in mid-2016, but it was limited to a very small handful of people. Now, YouTubers with over 10,000 subscribers can get into mobile live streaming, with the rest of the world needing to wait until later this year.
If you have over 10K subs, you can use the mobile live streaming feature to set a custom title, enable/disable the live chat, and choose whether to send a notification to all of your subscribers. YouTube allows mobile live streamers to blast their video in portrait or landscape, with messages appearing on the screen in fast-moving bubbles.
Better yet, there are some "new revenue opportunities with the introduction of SuperChat", reports TechSpot, which will "allow users to highlight their messages for a fee". These messages will be highlighted with bright colors, and will be pinned to the top of the chat window for up to 5 hours.
The push into the cloud is taking more shape, with Google teasing the future with their announcement of the testing of Instant Apps - a feature that will run select Android apps, without needing to install them.
Google makes Instant Apps work by being a smaller version of their native Android apps that run as soon as you tap their URL, without an installation. Once you've closed the app, it will disappear from your phone with no memory of icons on your desktop, but stays in your phone cache for a few hours if you open the link again.
A few applications work with Instant Apps, including Buzzfeed, Wish, Periscope, and Viki. Google Play software engineer Aurash Mahbod explains: "By collecting user feedback and iterating on the product, we'll be able to expand the experience to more apps and more users".
Why would Instant Apps be useful? For the apps you might install once, it is perfect - no installation, and it doesn't take additional space on your storage. You can quickly install the app without going to the Play Store, without installing it - if it's not good, no installation. Move onto the next, find something more suitable, try it out - and then download it.