Apps

Google Search protects your search history with these new features

Google Search protects your search history with these new features

Most people tend to use Google to search for anything they need information on, ranging from the mundane to the personal. Few people give a thought to how Google, by default, tracks those searches, one way or another, something that could induce fear and uncertainty in some users when they realize that fact. Fortunately, Google has become more responsible in handling that kind of data and giving users more control over their online lives. Now it is introducing new features in Google Search that will keep search histories safe from prying eyes, including Google's.

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Facebook Messenger adds Soundmoji, a type of emoji with sound effects

Facebook Messenger adds Soundmoji, a type of emoji with sound effects

Facebook has rolled out a new library of emojis for its messaging app that adds a new layer of expression to the commonly-used images: sound effects. Facebook calls these Soundmoji, explaining that when selected, the recipient will not only see the emoji but also hear a related sound, including everything from clapping and chirping crickets to sound bites from TV shows.

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WhatsApp true multi-device support arrives, but only for some users

WhatsApp true multi-device support arrives, but only for some users

Facebook has improved WhatsApp multi-device support and it is making it available to some users as a limited public beta test. With this beta, WhatsApp users can finally access their chats across multiple devices other than their smartphone -- and these devices won't be dependent on your phone to continue using the messaging service.

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Microsoft’s Clippy is about to make a big comeback, but not in the way you think

Microsoft’s Clippy is about to make a big comeback, but not in the way you think

Those who were Microsoft Office users back in the late 90s or early aughts undoubtedly remember Clippy, the paperclip office assistant who offered tips and tricks for Office that most found annoying rather than helpful. Even though Clippy hasn't been used in any Office apps for many years at this point, the irritating little office assistant still has quite the reputation. It seems that Clippy is about to make a grand comeback too, though you don't have to worry about it greeting you every time you open a new document.

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Xbox Family Settings app can now manage kids’ spending

Xbox Family Settings app can now manage kids’ spending

Gaming consoles like the Xbox are often considered to be a solitary machine for a solitary gamer, but that hasn't been the case for the past years. Consoles have even become a means by which families spend time together at home or for kids to develop skills often associated with safe gaming. The latter is an important consideration for parents who want to give their kids access to consoles and the games available for them. The Xbox Family Settings app tries to make that task less of a chore, and its newest features promise to save parents money or prevent them from accidentally losing some.

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Kindle Vella is a mobile-first episodic story platform

Kindle Vella is a mobile-first episodic story platform

Reading on the go has become more fashionable recently, and as much as Amazon would prefer that people buy and use its Kindle eReaders or Fire tables for that purpose, it has to concede that some people prefer reading on their phones. While certainly possible, the smaller screen and mobile use cases don't exactly make phones conducive for long materials. That's why Amazon is launching its new Vella platform that divides and deliveries stories into serialized chunks that you can pay for per episode.

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Speedtest for Videos is now on Android

Speedtest for Videos is now on Android

Most people only start to fret about their Internet's download speeds once those actually dip to the point of being noticeable. Ookla's Speedtest has long been regarded as one of the go-to tools for benchmarking those speeds, though not without some controversy and criticism. These days, however, raw download and upload numbers are less important than how those speeds will affect their video streaming binge. That's why Ookla expanded its Speedtest app to include tests for video streaming, a feature that is finally available on Android months after its initial announcement.

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Twitter on iOS could soon support Sign in with Apple

Twitter on iOS could soon support Sign in with Apple

There are innumerable online services and apps these days that it is almost impossible to keep track of all the usernames and passwords for them. Thankfully, some of those services allow you to sign up and log into their network using a Google account or, sometimes, a Facebook account. Two years ago, Apple launched its own take on that convenience with "Sign in with Apple," and Twitter might be adopting the technology to help make it easier for both old and new users to jump on board with their iPhones and iPad.

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WhatsApp betas for Android brings updates to video and image quality

WhatsApp betas for Android brings updates to video and image quality

Android users of the popular chat app WhatsApp have a couple of updates to look forward to. The updates are currently in beta and have been submitted to the Google Play Beta Program. The app moves to version 2.21.14.6 in the first update submitted earlier this month.

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Google Play Services is dropping support for Android Jelly Bean

Google Play Services is dropping support for Android Jelly Bean

Android is often criticized for its fragmentation, but that situation also has a rather interesting side effect. Even while manufacturers have abandoned very old devices, Google has maintained support for versions of Android going back almost a decade, as long as there are still enough users to justify the maintenance cost. It seems, however, that the death knell has tolled for Android Jelly Bean as Google announces the discontinuation of Google Play Services support for devices still running on the 2012 Android release.

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Google Pixel 5a leaks on FCC missing one key feature

Google Pixel 5a leaks on FCC missing one key feature

There's a set of versions of the Google Pixel 5a out in the radio registry universe this week with details on this device's release. Given the data that comes to the FCC and is shared with the public as a result, we can see that Google's created at least three versions of the Google Pixel 5a. One seems ready for the USA, while the others look like they're ready for international markets.

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This Android app can test your phone’s water resistance without water

This Android app can test your phone’s water resistance without water

A user on Reddit, going by rayw_reddit, recently posted in the r/Samsung subreddit that they had built a new app to test water resistance for smartphones. The app claims to test the IP67/IP68 water-resistance seals without having to dunk the device in water. The creator says the app was designed to give people confidence that their expensive smartphone is water-resistant.

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