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If you are a heavy online shopper, you probably search for a lot of things via Google. Since Google knows, what you are searching for it is taking that information and making it easier to find stuff you are interested in at local stores. A new feature has been added that will tell you when those items you searched for online are available in a store you are passing.
The feature would be triggered if you are out and a store you are near has the exact item that you had used Google to search for. The card for the feature could show multiple products if more than one item you have been looking at online is available at the location.
John McAfee is a name tied most closely in the tech world to the anti-virus software that bears the McAfee name. McAfee has rolled out a new messaging app called Chadder that is designed specifically to help users secure their chats.
Chadder was created with cooperation from McAfee Future Tense Private Systems and a company called Etransfr. The app is currently available for Android and Windows Phone users and is focused on privacy and security. Data sent between users who are taking advantage of the app is sent in the form of an encrypted message.
Foursquare is breaking out one of its more popular functions into its own app to better compete in the current market. Foursquare's check-in function is being split off to a new app called Swarm. Swarm is aiming at take on other apps in the location-based review market.
Foursquare announced last week that it would be making the big change to its app. The new Foursquare app will no longer have a check-in feature. It will aim to compete with services like Yelp moving forward with local recommendations.
Snapchat is an app that gained fame for allowing people to take pictures of themselves that promised to delete themselves shortly after viewing. The idea was to let you send images that you might not want to be around indefinitely, but it turned out to be pretty easy to store those pics early on. Snapchat turned out to be particularly popular with those who wanted to send nudie pics with less fear of them being posted online.
One thing that Snapchat has never had was the ability to actual chat in real-time. That has now changed with Snapchat gaining a chat feature. Chat is initiated by swiping on a friend's name. Once the user leaves the chat screen, the chat messages are automatically deleted.
When Disney purchased the rights to the Star Wars films, we all knew that lots of new movies and other items were going to hit the market. Disney Publishing Worldwide has announced that it is launching a series of apps for iOS users called Star Wars Journeys. These apps are episodic stories with heroes and villains from the Star Wars universe features.
The apps include fast-paced activities and game play and are designed to introduce people new to the franchise to the Star Wars universe. I am sure more than a few old school fans that have been around since the original Star Wars hit theaters will like the apps as well.
Google Now is quite incredible as it is, but it seems like it gains a new superpower every couple of weeks. It's new show off ability is remembering where you parked your car.
The way it does this, is utilizing your smartphones on-board sensors, remembering when you've exited a moving vehicle, storing that location in its memory. It's a great feature to have, especially if you park out in the sea of cars in a parking lot. There are also some new features being blasted out with the update to Now, including the ability to give contacts nicknames.
There's also a new reminders interface, and you can now control some new settings with your voice. The new update is rolling out as we speak.
After enjoying the new darker theme on desktop, Spotify for Android has received an update pushing in the new look, and more. The new darker theme is joined by refreshed typography and rounded iconography.
The Spotify blog notes: "We're not only improving our interface though. We know how much you love playlists, but that you've been looking for more ways to organise your favourite songs, albums and playlists. So over the past weeks we've rolled out Your Music: a feature that will help you save, organise and browse your favourite tunes. We're also improving our Browse feature. Regardless of whether you're looking for something to fall asleep to, or the perfect playlist to get you geared up for your big night out, we got you covered".
The latest version of Spotify is going out to users sporadically, but it should be available on the Google Play store soon enough.
Microsoft's voice-activated personal assistant that is baked into the company's Windows Phone OS will be not be capable of speaking to anyone under the age of 13, according to CNET.
Why? Because Cortana is capable of collecting data on its users in order for it to better assist users in finding answers to their questions. This data is collected and sent to Microsoft services, meaning the voice-activated personal assistant falls under the purview of United States' Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) of 1998.
COPPA restricts the information that children share online, or data that can be collected from them, without parents' permission. But for now, Cortana sits in the beta state, with the issue on a forum for Windows Phone developers, with one developer wanting to help his daughter use Cortana. The bigger issue at hand is that Cortana can only know a users age if she is told their age, it can't recognize grade voice patterns for someone's age... yet.
During today's earnings call to investors, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, announced that the company's iTunes service now has more than 800 million accounts. This is a massive number and includes accounts for iPhone, iPad, iPod and the Mac line of devices. Additionally, Cook said that Apple has $5.2 billion in billings through the iTunes service and more than 70 billion app, song, and other downloads.
What this breaks down to is that iTunes generated more than $5.2 billion for Apple in the last quarter, and that it has grown by about 225 million accounts since last June, when it reported about 575 million accounts. Apple wont release any specific metrics on where these accounts are tied to, but it is a safe bet that most are generated from iPod and iPhone sales, and a good number of them are long inactive.
The majority of connected HDTV owners believe video apps are critical, with 75 percent saying video apps are 'extremely' or 'very important' to their viewing habits. In addition to knowing which apps are available to watch, consumers also want to be able to easily discover new online content available to them.
"The importance of having core video aggregation apps such as Netflix and YouTube, has a lot to do with the convenience that allows consumers to easily access a multitude of programming options in one place," said John Buffone, NPD Group Connected Intelligence Executive Director, in a press statement. "The next wave of TV app user, however, is looking for a different experience than earlier adopters and is placing greater emphasis on TV Everywhere apps from their favorite networks."
The top 10 most important video and TV everywhere apps, according to NPD: Netflix, YouTube, The Weather Channel, HuluPlus, History, Amazon Instant/Prime Video, HBOGO, Fox News, PBS, and WatchESPN.