location services

TrackR app tracks your iPad, iPhone with Crowd GPS

TrackR app tracks your iPad, iPhone with Crowd GPS

Without the need of an internet connection, the TrackR Tablet app is able to track down your tablet and make it ring. Why would I want to do that, you might ask? Why not just do the same sort of thing with Apple's own iCloud-based Find my iPhone or iPad? Because the TrackR system works with Crowd GPS, and does not require that your tablet be connected to the internet to be found. That's unique - and quite helpful when you're in a jam.

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Google bakes IoT beacon support into Chrome for Android

Google bakes IoT beacon support into Chrome for Android

Google is set to further blur the lines between the real world and the digital one, integrating beacon support into Chrome for Android. Initially to be included in the beta channel for those testing pre-final versions of the mobile browser, but eventually set to be released for all users, the new functionality will allow Chrome on Android smartphones to spot and react to Bluetooth-based "Physical Web" markers around them.

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HERE’s how you prove smart cities are the future

HERE’s how you prove smart cities are the future

Turned off, HERE's 3D cityscape is the sleeping San Francisco that never really exists. The white, stylized version of the California tech hub - complete with a miniature chunk of the Bay Bridge - is tranquil in a way the real thing could never be. Turn on the projector overhead, though, and the city is flooded with data and light.

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Uber fixes ETA privacy gap that left full trip details public

Uber fixes ETA privacy gap that left full trip details public

Uber has fixed a gaping privacy hole which left ride details for some passengers visible in Google searches, with full address information available even months after the journey. The glitch was a side-effect of Uber's "Share my ETA" feature, launched in 2013, which allows users to show others the progress of their trip.

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Google Eddystone open-source Bluetooth beacons revealed

Google Eddystone open-source Bluetooth beacons revealed

Google has launched Eddystone, a new open-source Bluetooth LE beacon platform which plays nicely with iOS, Android, and other OSes. Aiming to power a new age of location-based services, as well as give those responsible for managing a flock of Bluetooth beacons the tools to make sure they're working properly, Eddystone arrives with two main features: telling mobile devices exactly where they are and what's nearby, and linking a physical location with online data.

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HERE’s why everyone wants Nokia’s maps business

HERE’s why everyone wants Nokia’s maps business

The war over knowing exactly where we are is going to be expensive. Interest in Nokia's HERE division from big German car makers, Uber, and others is tipped to have driven the potential purchase price to $3bn or even higher, as old automotive faces off against new tech darlings. Turns out, the value of accurate maps is about more than just knowing which junction to take to get to the Ikea parking lot.

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Apple patent points to real-time location tracking

Apple patent points to real-time location tracking

In the ‘Messages’ app on your iPhone, it’s possible to see where the people you’re chatting with are on a map, should they share their location. The feature was touted as a reason we should all have Family Sharing groups, as keeping track of each other is sometimes critical. Apple’s Find My Friends app is central for letting you know where all your contacts may be on a map, and a newly granted patent takes the location sharing much further, possibly allowing for location tracking.

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Twitter partners with Foursquare for better location tagging

Twitter partners with Foursquare for better location tagging

You have been able to include your location within tweets for quite some time, but that feature is about to get a lot more contextual, and quite a bit smarter. In a deal with Foursquare, which will see Twitter gain access to Foursquare’s impressive location knowledge base, your location tags will soon provide the name of businesses you’re at, or landmarks you’re near. Users will also get the ability to monitor the places they’ve been by tapping the link associated, which brings up tagged tweets from others.

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Shazam looks to access camera for more context

Shazam looks to access camera for more context

If you find yourself looking to Shazam for song recognition routinely,you already know how capable it is. The listening app is typically pretty adept at finding that song you can’t quite place, and even makes itself aware of what certain TV commercials are talking about. Instead of just listening, Shazam might also want to take a look at what is going on. Show Shazam what you’re looking at through your phone’s camera, and you might get a wealth of info.

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Windows Phone getting its own find friends app with People Sense

Windows Phone getting its own find friends app with People Sense

There are a number of ways to track and locate friends and family on both iOS and Android devices, but what if you're a Windows Phone user? Well, it seems Microsoft is developing its own app for such features, so you may soon be in luck. Assuming you actually have a friend or family member that owns a Windows Phone. The app is called People Sense and is still in development, but a quick video preview shows that it functions much like Apple's Find My Friends for iOS.

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‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

Do you know what a Google ‘Local Guide’ is? It’s the latest re-branding of Google’s community outreach program, once dubbed “City Experts”, which was previously led by teams of Googlers actually doing stuff in your city. The ‘Local Guides’ program was announced last month, but google is getting serious about their crowdsourced restaurant review program. The feature is now baked straight into the Maps app, and apparently resides in both iOS and Android versions of Google Maps. It also steps right on Yelp’s toes.

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Keep Android apps in check, save your battery life

Keep Android apps in check, save your battery life

Last time we shared how you can significantly prolong your iPhone 6's battery life without gimmicks or accessories. It all boils down to corralling your apps and keeping them under your control, never letting them do stuff without your consent, like access data or incessantly trying to grab your attention. You can do the same for your Android smartphone, with almost exactly the same steps, of course in different places. And we're going to show you how, plus some other steps you might have to take on Android.

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