Apps

Apple threatens its first ban on iMessage prank sticker app

Apple threatens its first ban on iMessage prank sticker app

Depending on your point of view (and probably your age bracket), Apple's introduction of stickers and screen effects to iMessage is either a blessing or a curse. For those who dig stickers, there's plenty of funny and creative third-party offerings on the App Store. One popular option — the most popular, in fact, sitting at the top of the paid iMessage apps list — is "Phoneys," a sticker pack with blue text bubbles that are designed to replace a message sent from a friend. Apple, however, doesn't find this funny, and is about to put a stop to it.

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SwiftKey’s neural network keyboard adds three new languages

SwiftKey’s neural network keyboard adds three new languages

SwiftKey is shaking up the way its keyboard works, and it involves neural networks. This is a first for keyboards, according to the company, and it better enables it to understand what a person is trying to type. The SwiftKey language engine was remade from the ground up, and unlike before, it can now better predict the rest of your sentence by looking at the whole rather than only parts of it. Thanks to the new technology, the keyboard can even make accurate predictions for sentences it hasn’t previously been exposed to.

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Facebook Messenger testing feature akin to Snapchat Stories

Facebook Messenger testing feature akin to Snapchat Stories

Mostly everyone is familiar with Snapchat Stories at this point, and Instagram recently rolled out its own Stories feature that is similar in many ways. Now Facebook is apparently looking into getting into the mix, and is testing a somewhat similar feature for Messenger apparently called "Messenger Day." The feature cropped up via a user in Poland who is apparently one of the people with access to the test.

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Microsoft News Pro app lands on Android

Microsoft News Pro app lands on Android

Android users can now download Microsoft’s News Pro app, joining the iOS users who got access to it awhile ago. With the app, users can sign in using one of four methods (email, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) to view personalized news from all sorts of categories, as well as sign up for an email digest. In addition to delivering a variety of news based on personalized interests, the app also enables users to search for specific news items or categories.

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Google Maps gains new voice commands via “OK Google”

Google Maps gains new voice commands via “OK Google”

It’s not a good thing when you are driving to take your eyes of the road for any reason. This includes taking eyes off the road to mess with your navigation device. Google Maps has gained some new voice controls that will make it easier to control Maps while you drive without having to touch the smartphone. When in navigation or driving mode, say "OK Google."

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Google expands Waze Rider ride-sharing service to San Francisco

Google expands Waze Rider ride-sharing service to San Francisco

Waze started as a navigation app with the goal of giving you better directions and allowing crowd-sourced maps and traffic information to be shared via the app. It has now expanded into a ride-sharing platform called Waze Rider that has quietly been expanded into the San Francisco area. The expansion is part of the pilot program for the service that sees Google stepping in to challenge Uber and other ride hailing apps.

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Skype for iOS updated with Siri support

Skype for iOS updated with Siri support

Now that Apple's iOS 10 has been out for over a week and is making its way to most users' iPhones, lots of popular apps are updating to take advantage of the software's new features. One such release is today's update for Skype, which allows the app make use of the new Siri API for third-party developers. Now users can ask Siri to place a Skype call to someone without even opening the app.

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Spotify arrives in Japan debuting new lyrics feature

Spotify arrives in Japan debuting new lyrics feature

After years of waiting, streaming music listeners in Japan finally have the option to check out Spotify. The service arrives in the country, said to be the world's second largest music market, this week, albeit as an invite-only beta for the time being. It's likely that the hold up for Spotify's Japanese debut was due to difficulties in reaching deals with local music labels — streaming music hasn't yet caught on like it has with the rest of the world — but the service is using the launch to show off its new lyrics features.

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Google iOS app gets incognito mode, YouTube video playback in search

Google iOS app gets incognito mode, YouTube video playback in search

Google may be gearing up for its big announcement event on October 4, but the massive company has taken some time out of its preparations to deliver an update for the Google app on iOS. It's a pretty straightforward update, bringing only three new changes with it, but those changes are almost certainly ones that users will be pleased to see.

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FOX Sports Go app hits Chromecast and Xbox One

FOX Sports Go app hits Chromecast and Xbox One

Earlier this month, the FOX Sports Go app launched for Roku, arguably the most popular set-top-box platform on the market. Many people use other devices to stream their content, though, including Google’s Chromecast and the Xbox One. As of today, owners of both those platforms can also download and use the FOX Sports Go app, joining the Android, Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku users who already have access.

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Germany orders Facebook to halt WhatsApp data collection

Germany orders Facebook to halt WhatsApp data collection

It would seem that users aren't the only ones perturbed by Facebook's decision to begin collecting data from WhatsApp users, as we're now seeing an actual country enter the fray. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information has issued an administrative order against Facebook and WhatsApp, essentially demanding that Facebook stop collecting data from WhatsApp users.

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Robo C2 and R2 smart 3D printer are controlled via Robo app

Robo C2 and R2 smart 3D printer are controlled via Robo app

A pair of new 3D printers have landed on Kickstarter looking for funding called the Robo C2 and the Robo R2. Both of the 3D printers are equipped with WiFi and are controlled via an app that allows you to print whatever you can dream up right from your smartphone. The printers both promise innovative print features with the goal of simplifying the path to every print made.

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