Apps

Social Listening might be Spotify’s edge in music streaming wars

Social Listening might be Spotify’s edge in music streaming wars

With a bunch of different services now competing for the largest slice of the music streaming pie, Spotify is looking at ways it can hold onto its crown. Though the company is still on top for the moment, it's facing some heat from companies like Apple and Google, so it's only natural we'd see it roll out new features to give it a competitive edge. A prototype of one such feature was discovered today, and it aims to make music streaming a bit more social.

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Google Maps uses AI to highlight most popular restaurant meals

Google Maps uses AI to highlight most popular restaurant meals

Weeks after the category first started appearing for some users, Google has officially unveiled a new Google Maps feature: popular dishes. The app now shows a restaurant's most popular menu items, making it easier for prospective customers to get an idea of what the location offers. The feature is powered by machine learning and involves existing user reviews.

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Plex Android update brings PiP, video preloading and new viewing modes

Plex Android update brings PiP, video preloading and new viewing modes

Home entertainment software company Plex has pushed out an update for its Android app, adding a number of new features in addition to improved scrubbing capabilities. The update revolves around the Android mobile player and marks the public arrival of features previously launched under beta. Joining the new features is an overall UI update that mirrors the music interface.

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Google denies Pixel Digital Wellbeing bug, unrelated fix coming soon

Google denies Pixel Digital Wellbeing bug, unrelated fix coming soon

When Google launched the Pixel 3, one of its key features, which eventually spread to other Pixels and Android phones, was Digital Wellbeing. The feature was intended to help users become aware of their smartphone use and detach when necessary. It turned out that it partly accomplished the latter by reducing Pixel phones' battery life, unintentionally, of course. Google has finally spoken up and refutes users' observations but will roll out some changes to improve the Pixel's battery life in some other way.

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Google now requires Play Store games to include loot box odds

Google now requires Play Store games to include loot box odds

As part of a number of changes to its Play Store policies, Google now requires developers to disclose the odds of getting loot box items before players purchase the boxes. The move follows growing backlash from consumers and public health officials who compare loot boxes to gambling, expressing concerns that some kids and vulnerable adults are engaging in unhealthy spending patterns related to these offerings.

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Uber will start deactivating some riders who have low ratings

Uber will start deactivating some riders who have low ratings

Though Uber drivers are able to give riders ratings, they never seemed to actually matter. Many obnoxious, rude, or otherwise problematic riders have remained live on the system, but that's about to change. The company recently revealed a change of plans that will result in some riders being deactivated due to very low ratings given by drivers.

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Pokemon Home puts your Pokemon collection in the cloud

Pokemon Home puts your Pokemon collection in the cloud

The Pokemon Company made a lot of announcements during last night's press conference in Tokyo, covering everything from new mobile games to accessories and even a new Detective Pikachu game for the Switch. One of the most exciting announcements, however, was that of Pokemon Home, a new app for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. A lot of people were wondering what would happen to Pokemon Bank once Pokemon made the jump to the Switch, and now we know that it'll be succeeded by Pokemon Home.

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Flipboard reveals nine-month data breach: Here’s what was exposed

Flipboard reveals nine-month data breach: Here’s what was exposed

News aggregator Flipboard has revealed that it was the victim of a security breach in which hackers gained unauthorized access to a "subset of user data." The databases that were accessed stored Flipboard user account credentials, and after a recent investigation, Flipboard has determined that whoever got in had access for as long as nine months.

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Google Lens new filters start rolling out to iOS, Android

Google Lens new filters start rolling out to iOS, Android

Google Assistant can be pretty smart about the things you ask it but it has the limitation of requiring you to speak out your question or at least type it. There are things, however, that are not exactly to ask out loud and are better expressed through images. That's where Google Lens comes in, sort of like the visual side of Google Assistant. A new update that's now rolling out to both iOS and Android users makes it even smarter by letting you know the most popular dish in a restaurant just by pointing it at the menu.

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Shift click highlight text broken in Chrome? Here’s the fix

Shift click highlight text broken in Chrome? Here’s the fix

Over the past several days I've been struggling with a change in the way my computer handled a key combination I use ALL the time. I write articles (like the one you're reading) all day long, and I need to highlight, copy, paste, and move text from place to place with almost every single article I produce - so when Shift-Click highlighting text stopped working, I lost my groove.

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Snapchat is not private, nor is it safe

Snapchat is not private, nor is it safe

This week a report cited multiple sources from Snapchat describing the non-private nature of the apps' back end. Both iPhone (iOS) and Android versions of the app notwithstanding, Snapchat user data (including Snaps) are accessible with a tool called SnapLion. The SnapLion software is supposedly only accessible by Snapchat employees - but as the rules of the internet state: If it's data that exists, it can be shared.

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Google Duo group calling arrives with data saving mode in tow

Google Duo group calling arrives with data saving mode in tow

While instant messaging and chat is probably still the most popular way to communicate with a group of people, some find it more efficient and practical to actually say what they want face to face. Group video calls are definitely better when facial expressions and body language are just as important as the words being said or when you need to actually show things rather than fumble around with words to describe them. To that end, group calling is now being made available to Google Duo users but with one very important catch.

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