services

Amazon launches Home Services, puts you in touch with pros

Amazon launches Home Services, puts you in touch with pros

If you own your home, chances are you’ve got some chores that have piled up. Amazon’s Home Services is aimed at folks like you who are just to busy (or not knowledgable enough; please don’t try electrical work) to get the small things done, but its limited availability left most wanting. Today, Amazon is broadening their scope, and taking their Home Services platform to a larger swath of the country. Reaching over 85 million people, Amazon Home Services might be just what you need to get those lingering chores done.

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AnyMeeting’s email scheme makes conference call scheduling simple

AnyMeeting’s email scheme makes conference call scheduling simple

Sometimes, a long email chain puts everyone off message, with scattered ideas and confused goals. In those days, it’s probably best to clear things up with a call, but even getting everyone on the phone can be like herding cats, let alone actually setting up a conference call. With AnyMeeting, you can now schedule a conference call — via email. Already an easy-to-use service, AnyMeeting is going next-level; you can now set up a conference call by adding talk@anymeeting.com to an outgoing email.

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Yelp adds 5 new businesses for you to use and review

Yelp adds 5 new businesses for you to use and review

Spring is in the air and while you're encouraged to get up and about and get moving, that doesn't mean your mobile can't help you with some of the more tedious or mind-numbing menial tasks. Taking advantage of what should be the new bounce and energy brought about by the season, Yelp is introducing a bunch of new business categories to the service that you can use to get things going, from reserving a table, booking a a spa appointment, or even setting some time for a game of golf.

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Apple patent points to real-time location tracking

Apple patent points to real-time location tracking

In the ‘Messages’ app on your iPhone, it’s possible to see where the people you’re chatting with are on a map, should they share their location. The feature was touted as a reason we should all have Family Sharing groups, as keeping track of each other is sometimes critical. Apple’s Find My Friends app is central for letting you know where all your contacts may be on a map, and a newly granted patent takes the location sharing much further, possibly allowing for location tracking.

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Twitter partners with Foursquare for better location tagging

Twitter partners with Foursquare for better location tagging

You have been able to include your location within tweets for quite some time, but that feature is about to get a lot more contextual, and quite a bit smarter. In a deal with Foursquare, which will see Twitter gain access to Foursquare’s impressive location knowledge base, your location tags will soon provide the name of businesses you’re at, or landmarks you’re near. Users will also get the ability to monitor the places they’ve been by tapping the link associated, which brings up tagged tweets from others.

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Shazam looks to access camera for more context

Shazam looks to access camera for more context

If you find yourself looking to Shazam for song recognition routinely,you already know how capable it is. The listening app is typically pretty adept at finding that song you can’t quite place, and even makes itself aware of what certain TV commercials are talking about. Instead of just listening, Shazam might also want to take a look at what is going on. Show Shazam what you’re looking at through your phone’s camera, and you might get a wealth of info.

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Google experiencing widespread outage affecting most services

Google experiencing widespread outage affecting most services

Having trouble signing into Google stuff today? You’re not the only one. According to several Tweets sent out over the last hour or so, Google services are seeing disruption. Hangouts, Gmail, Google Play, and Play Music all seem to be seeing interruptions. Google has yet to comment on the outages, but so many complaints can’t lead to some sort of user error. Some users are even seeing authentication errors, while others simply can’t access services they rely on, like Hangouts or email.

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Ad company’s drones are tracking mobile locations in LA

Ad company’s drones are tracking mobile locations in LA

Personal drones are once again a hot topic in the media, but this time in a not so favorable light. Recent events, like the drone that landed at the White House and the FAA's proposed rules, have cast drones in a negative light. This latest news might very well sour the taste buds of the public even more. Several drones flying over San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles have been reported to be tracking smartphone and tablet locations. Their purpose? To eventually serve ads to mobile device owners.

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Windows Phone getting its own find friends app with People Sense

Windows Phone getting its own find friends app with People Sense

There are a number of ways to track and locate friends and family on both iOS and Android devices, but what if you're a Windows Phone user? Well, it seems Microsoft is developing its own app for such features, so you may soon be in luck. Assuming you actually have a friend or family member that owns a Windows Phone. The app is called People Sense and is still in development, but a quick video preview shows that it functions much like Apple's Find My Friends for iOS.

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Imgur drops ‘Pro’ subscription service, gives tools to all users

Imgur drops ‘Pro’ subscription service, gives tools to all users

A recently announced GIF making tool was pretty neat; handy if you’ve ever wanted to get a looping snippet from publicly available YouTube or Vimeo video (or any other publicly hosted video, really). While Imgur could have stopped there and still found favor with users, they’ve instead gone ahead and made everything free to use. The paid tier to Imgur, Imgur Pro, is going away, and all the goodies in the Pro version will be wrapped up in Imgur proper.

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‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

Do you know what a Google ‘Local Guide’ is? It’s the latest re-branding of Google’s community outreach program, once dubbed “City Experts”, which was previously led by teams of Googlers actually doing stuff in your city. The ‘Local Guides’ program was announced last month, but google is getting serious about their crowdsourced restaurant review program. The feature is now baked straight into the Maps app, and apparently resides in both iOS and Android versions of Google Maps. It also steps right on Yelp’s toes.

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Keep Android apps in check, save your battery life

Keep Android apps in check, save your battery life

Last time we shared how you can significantly prolong your iPhone 6's battery life without gimmicks or accessories. It all boils down to corralling your apps and keeping them under your control, never letting them do stuff without your consent, like access data or incessantly trying to grab your attention. You can do the same for your Android smartphone, with almost exactly the same steps, of course in different places. And we're going to show you how, plus some other steps you might have to take on Android.

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