Author Archives: Adam Westlake


Waze’s incident reporting is coming to Google Maps on Android

Waze’s incident reporting is coming to Google Maps on Android

Google Maps has long been the definitive mapping and directions app on both Android and iOS. One recent challenger to that standard has been Waze, which features crowd-sourced data on driving conditions to keep its information accurate and up-to-date. Waze was such a stand-out service that Google actually acquired it about five years ago. While Waze has never been absolved into Google Maps, like many expected, one of its best features might finally be making the jump.

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WhatsApp lets admins set group chats to broadcast-only mode

WhatsApp lets admins set group chats to broadcast-only mode

Multi-platform messaging app WhatsApp has announced a new option that essentially allows group chat admins to create one-way broadcast channels, a feature seen on other social services like Telegram and Discord. On the surface it's a way for the Facebook-owned WhatsApp to give group admins more control, but it's also a big step towards letting users turn the app into a way of receiving announcements or breaking news.

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8BitDo NES Classic wireless controller is perfect for the mini console’s relaunch

8BitDo NES Classic wireless controller is perfect for the mini console’s relaunch

In case you haven't already heard, Nintendo released new shipments of the NES Classic Edition this week, the first since the mini console's debut in 2016. If you managed to place an order in time, or were lucky enough to grab one over a year ago, there's a new controller you should know about. The makers of the best wireless controller for the NES Classic, 8BitDo, have announced a new version that's both cheaper and significantly improved.

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Electric GT EV series debuts its race-ready Tesla Model S

Electric GT EV series debuts its race-ready Tesla Model S

It's been just over two years since the Electric GT series was announced: similar to Formula E, it's an all-electric racing series, but one that uses a modified version of the consumer Tesla Model S. With the series' first season finally kicking off in November, Electric GT Holdings unveiled its race-spec Model S this week in Barcelona, and it's clear it's a Tesla ready for the track.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 rumored to be specifically built for PCs

Qualcomm Snapdragon 1000 rumored to be specifically built for PCs

Qualcomm is gradually making its push into the PC processor market, namely with its latest Snapdragon 850, aimed at notebooks. That chip, however, is just a higher-clocked version of the Snapdragon 845, a processor originally designed for smartphones, which means the 850 still doesn't make the cut in keeping up with Intel's CPUs. The much rumored Snapdragon 1000, however, is expected to be a different story.

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Apple drops Modern Buckle watch band from US stores

Apple drops Modern Buckle watch band from US stores

When the Apple Watch was first introduced in 2015, it featured several fancy watch band options, like the magnet-based Milanese Loop, or the Modern Buckle, which resembled a traditional buckle-style band but actually used a clasp to close. It appears Apple has unceremoniously killed off the latter, however, as the Modern Buckle has been removed from online stores in the US.

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Mercedes discontinues plug-in hybrids ahead of upcoming EQ models

Mercedes discontinues plug-in hybrids ahead of upcoming EQ models

If you're in the market for a new plug-in hybrid vehicle, you can safely cross Mercedes off your list. The German carmaker has discontinued production on their PHEV models of the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, and GLE. For the time being, anyway. Mercedes isn't giving up on the plug-in market altogether, but instead making room for next year's debut of their new generation of hybrids under the EQ branding.

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Google Play Store adds ‘security metadata’ DRM to all Android apps

Google Play Store adds ‘security metadata’ DRM to all Android apps

A small but significant change was made to the Play Store this week, and it affects all Android apps. Google is now adding a "small" string of security metadata to all Android APKs, which is designed to ensure the apps are authentic and have come from the Play Store or other approved source. In other words, it's DRM (digital rights management), but Google's intent is to improve the security of the Android platform by making it harder for fraudulent apps or those with malicious code to be installed.

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Facebook admits it leaked developer reports to app testers

Facebook admits it leaked developer reports to app testers

As Facebook tries to recover its damaged reputation following controversies over how it handles users' personal data, it seems the social media giant still has a few other privacy issues to work on. It was discovered this week that the company had accidentally emailed analytic reports intended for developers to outside testers.

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SpaceX wins $130M bid to launch military satellite on Falcon Heavy

SpaceX wins $130M bid to launch military satellite on Falcon Heavy

SpaceX continues to make real progress on its Falcon Heavy project. After successfully launching the new, bigger rocket for the first time earlier this year, the company has landed a $130 million contract to launch a classified military satellite for the US Air Force using the Falcon Heavy. We're still awaiting SpaceX to announce additional test launches for the Falcon Heavy, which can carry much larger payloads than the standard Falcon 9, while the AFSPC-52 satellite isn't scheduled to launch until 2020.

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Amazon Prime Exclusive phones now feature Moto G6 Play, Z3 Play

Amazon Prime Exclusive phones now feature Moto G6 Play, Z3 Play

Amazon's Prime Exclusive selection of phones is becoming one of the best places to find a deal on discounted Android handsets. The online shopping giant offers a range of subsidized phones to Prime subscribers, often pre-loaded with Amazon's apps and services. The company has announced that two new devices will be joining the lineup, the Moto G6 Play and Moto Z3 Play, each with Alexa installed as the digital assistant.

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Facebook continues to push Messenger Kids, releasing app in Canada and Peru

Facebook continues to push Messenger Kids, releasing app in Canada and Peru

Back in December, Facebook released a new kids-focused chat app, prompting widespread criticism from child health advocates, including calls to pull the service altogether. Despite this controversy, Facebook has continued to make Messenger Kids available on iOS and Android, and has now announced the app's rollout to Canada and Peru.

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