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Samsung Look At Me app helps autistic kids make eye contact

Samsung Look At Me app helps autistic kids make eye contact

We often fancy technology and devices as great addons to our lives, but for some minorities, they can also be great enablers. Trying to harness the latest in smartphone technology, software development, and psychology, Samsung developed its new Look At Me app to help train children with autism make eye contact, recognize facial expressions and emotions, and ultimately help them develop better socials skills and bring them closer to family and friends. Best of all, to the kid, it's all just a game.

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Starbucks chooses their own payment solution over Square

Starbucks chooses their own payment solution over Square

When Starbucks teamed up with Square for their payment processing, it was seen as a big win for the mobile payment space. If Square could compete with traditional payment processors, it stood to reason any startup could. Over time, the relationship began to fracture, and now the mobile payment angle to their partnership is done. Square is shuttering Wallet and rolling it into Order, which lets you order ahead and pay for items before you get to the store. Starbucks won’t be accepting Order, instead concentrating efforts on their competing proprietary product.

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Google+ for iOS brings new sharing option, HD

Google+ for iOS brings new sharing option, HD

Google’s own social network, Google+, has been updated for iOS users. The new-look social app brings in a higher resolution to better support the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as some updated (and much needed) sharing options. The sharing is interesting because it adapts a very Android-y feature found in iOS 8, giving you the ability to add Google+ to your sharing options. Google+ users on iOS will also get the ability to vote on polls.

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Snapchat Windows Phone apps yanked by Microsoft

Snapchat Windows Phone apps yanked by Microsoft

Windows Phone users addicted to ephemeral messaging service Snapchat have found themselves without a way to access their self-destructing photos, with Microsoft yanking all third-party apps offering the system. The news leaves Snapchat completely absent from Windows Phone, since Snapchat itself still lacks a homegrown client. The writing was on the wall for workarounds like 6snap, however, after Snapchat had asked users not to use third-party clients over security concerns, following a spate of photo and data leaks blamed on unofficial apps.

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Facebook ‘Stickered’ app lets you overlay stickers onto your photos

Facebook ‘Stickered’ app lets you overlay stickers onto your photos

Int heir ongoing attempt to dominate your home screen, Facebook is announcing another app today. An accompaniment to Messenger, Stickered is a new app that lets you plaster stickers all over your photos before sending them along to friends via Messenger. Facebook Messenger is also getting some festive new tweaks in time for the holidays, with a “festive frame” for New Year’s Eve pics as well as snow-globe chat heads. Messenger will also get a holiday inspired sticker pack in addition to it’s new app.

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Volvo announces connected helmet for bicyclists

Volvo announces connected helmet for bicyclists

Whether you’re driving a car or riding a bike, road safety is important. We’ve seen various car manufacturers offer their take on the connected road, showcasing how your next car may be able to communicate with other vehicles or traffic lights. That’s wonderful, but what about bicyclists? If you’re in an urban setting, you likely run into bicyclists (like, not literally run into them, I hope) on your daily commutes. Volvo, in an attempt to include all road-going beings to the connected world, have created a bicycle helmet meant for the new age.

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Samsung plans to shutdown ChatOn service in 2015

Samsung plans to shutdown ChatOn service in 2015

Samsung rolled out its ChatOn service in 2011 as a way for it to compete with messaging services already on the market like BBM and iMessage. ChatOn originally launched in 120 countries and was supported in 62 languages. Users could send photos, video, voice messages, and share contacts, calendars, and other content on the service. ChatOn hasn’t been terribly popular with users around the world.

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Angry Birds Epic update brings player vs player feature

Angry Birds Epic update brings player vs player feature

Rovio teased its new Angry Birds Epic back in March, rolling it out a short while later with all its epic battles, worlds, characters, and upgrades in tow. Unlike most Angry Birds games, "Epic" features turn-based battles with the birds fighting against the green piggies. Ahead of Christmas and potential new downloads, Rovio has pushed out a fairly big update that brings with it, among other things, player vs. player battles, letting gamers go at it with friends rather than digital enemies.

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500px for iOS update brings Adobe, manual camera controls

500px for iOS update brings Adobe, manual camera controls

Photography sharing site/app 500px is already a destination for many photography enthusiasts, and now they’ve got reason to stay. After adding mobile uploads earlier this year, 500px has made another impressive move for mobile. A “professional” photo editor is cobbled into 500px’s iOS app, as is a dedicated camera interface. With the camera, you’ll be able to better take advantage of iOS 8’s granular camera controls. If what you shot doesn’t exactly set your world on fire, the Adobe-powered editor might do your photos justice.

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McDonalds puts notifications on the menu with iBeacon program

McDonalds puts notifications on the menu with iBeacon program

McDonald's has announced they’ve begun testing the power of beacons. At several franchise locations in Columbus, Georgia customers are being treated to deals via iBeacon technology. The rollout is done in partnership with Piper, a provider of low-energy beacon solutions, with plans for a wider rollout once the kinks are ironed out. If they've got Bluetooth on, customers may see special offers or coupons pushed to their handsets, which can be redeemed at purchase. According to Piper, it’s working well.

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