Apps

Facebook experimental app CatchUp is like Messenger for voice calls

Facebook experimental app CatchUp is like Messenger for voice calls

Facebook's experimental products team has published a new mobile app called CatchUp that is similar to Messenger, only it is dedicated to voice calls. CatchUp builds upon traditional voice calling to add more modern features, including the ability to see who is currently available, to poke dormant friends, and to send invitations to contacts who haven't yet downloaded the app.

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Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up is an AR story game made for phones

Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up is an AR story game made for phones

Aardman Animations has teamed up with Fictioneers to launch Wallace & Gromit: The Big Fix Up, a new mobile game that uses augmented reality and smartphones to tell a story in an interactive way. The companies have revealed the game in a teaser trailer and announcement, though it isn't yet available to download. The game will be available on iOS and Android with an initial launch in the UK.

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Spotify update just removed Save limits on Your Library

Spotify update just removed Save limits on Your Library

This week Spotify began rolling out an update that'll remove limits on "Your Library." Before now, you were limited to a total of 10,000 items in your Spotify library. Once you'd reached that point, the Spotify tracker system would send you a message - that message will no longer be sent, after this update is fully released.

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Google Podcasts app gets support for Apple’s CarPlay

Google Podcasts app gets support for Apple’s CarPlay

Google Podcasts, the company's audio show app that has steadily evolved from a barebones offering to something more sophisticated, has finally added support for Apple's CarPlay automotive platform. With this support, iPhone owners can use the Google Podcasts app to stream their favorite shows in their vehicle using CarPlay, making it a bit more useful for those who often listen to content while driving.

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Instagram makes it easier for users to avoid music copyright issues

Instagram makes it easier for users to avoid music copyright issues

This week, Instagram shared an update to its guidelines on the use of music in videos, including live broadcasts. The company is clarifying its restrictions to make it easier for users to understand what is acceptable and what puts their videos at risk. As well, the company has introduced a new alert that gives users a heads up when they're close to crossing the line.

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WhatsApp beta update adds real security and QR codes

WhatsApp beta update adds real security and QR codes

The next major update for WhatsApp will add some real encryption for chat history in iCloud. That's not to say that WhatsApp was necessarily unencrypted in any other way in the past, but this newest update adds a key component to the mix, specifically for iOS user. There's also a QR code element that'll soon - we can only cross our fingers and hope - be added to the system to make the sending of user details faster and simpler.

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Facebook Messenger Safety Notices will warn you of scams, suspicious people

Facebook Messenger Safety Notices will warn you of scams, suspicious people

Uncertain and desperate times bring out the best and the worst of people. While there will always be those who will go out of their way to be humanity's brightest stars, there are others that exemplify mankind's biggest weaknesses. While we always need to be on guard against such malicious agents, it's not always possible to defend one's self against more cunning individuals. That's why Facebook is applying a dash of machine learning to give Messenger users a bit of confidence or at least warn them if something is a miss.

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Google Maps Accessible Places will show wheelchair-friendly locations

Google Maps Accessible Places will show wheelchair-friendly locations

It may be hard for most people to get around these days but it has always been a gamble for less able people to go out. Although mandated by many laws across the world, accessibility for those with physical handicaps hasn't always been implemented properly and uniformly in places that should. Wheelchair access, for example, is still a hit or miss, which is why Google Maps is now rolling out its latest accessibility feature so that you can check if a location has wheelchair access even before you leave home.

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Google Action Blocks would make iPhone simple again

Google Action Blocks would make iPhone simple again

Google Action Blocks was launched as an Android app in May of 2020, but it's the latest round of iPhones and iOS 13 that stands the most to gain. With the latest version of iOS and most iPhones released in the last couple of years, Apple's smartphone ecosystem's become a bit of a new-user nightmare. Based on my experience as resident "looks like he'd be good with computers" tech supporter for several iPhone users Baby Boomer age or older, Google Action Blocks looks like a dream come true.

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YouTube mobile app can now tell you when it’s time for bed

YouTube mobile app can now tell you when it’s time for bed

If you've ever fallen down the YouTube rabbit hole, you've likely experienced the rapid passing of time as you jump from video to video, failing to notice how late it is getting. The company previously introduced a 'take a break' reminder to help deal with binge-watching and now it is back with a similar tool, one made to help with bedtime.

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Google app on Android and iOS finally gets a dark mode

Google app on Android and iOS finally gets a dark mode

Google has been rather slow in jumping on the dark mode trend. That was true not just for Android itself but even truer for its mobile and Web apps. On the one hand, it's understandable that it would be cautious about breaking the user experience with a haphazard implementation. On the other hand, it's not really that understandable when it only rolls out that feature in bits and pieces across its apps. One of the last to get that is, ironically, its core Google mobile app but, as they say, better late than never.

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Google Photos gives users more control over shared albums

Google Photos gives users more control over shared albums

Google has announced a change to its Google Photos app that gives users more control over shared albums and who can access them. The company says this new feature builds upon the direct sharing feature Google introduced back in December for individual videos and images. Similar functionality is being added for shared albums, though the old sharing method isn't going anywhere.

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