Facebook bringing ‘Trending’ section to Android, improves web version

Facebook Trending Android iOS

Facebook introduced a new “Trending” section on the web in January to display trending stories that are frequently shared and discussed on the social network. Today, the company announced that it has improved this feature by organizing trending topics into five categories so that it’s easier for people to explore stories from different sources. Read more

Instagram hits 300M monthly actives, rolls out verified user badges & deactivates spammy accounts

Instagram-300-million

Instagram announced today that it’s now at 300 million monthly active users, up from 200 million users that it announced approximately nine months ago. The company is announcing the new milestone on its website alongside other update user stats.

In addition, Instagram is today rolling out verified badges for brands and public figures while announcing it’s making a “significant effort to remove spammy and fake accounts”: Read more

Google rolls out mobile Lightbox ads globally; adds custom columns to AdWords reporting

Lightbox – the scalable multimedia ads that Google first introduced to the desktop back in 2012 and finally brought to mobile devices in September of this year – are now available to all AdWords advertisers globally.

The Lightbox format allows advertisers to quickly and easily combine existing video, images and maps in an HTML5 ad that will scale correctly for all standard ad sizes and devices. Hovering over the ad expands them to full-size no matter what the device …  Read more

Googlers getting Android Wear watches for holidays this year

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Googlers in London are taking to Google Plus to show off their holiday gifts from the “World’s most generous company.” While the LG G Watches haven’t been fetching the highest prices lately, it is still a nice gesture. In year’s past, Googlers have been offered 7-inch Asus Nexus tablets or LG -made Nexus phones but with this year’s Motorola Nexus 6 fetching $650 + unlocked it might have gotten a little pricey for the 55,000+ strong employee base. Read more

There’s a new title-holder in the world’s slimmest smartphone race – and it’s just 4.75mm thick

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Just when you wondered how much slimmer smartphones could get, Chinese brand Vivo has set a new record with the X5Max at just 4.75mm thick, beating the 5mm thin iPhone 6 clone Gionee Slim 5.5. Astonishingly, it has achieved this while still managing – just – to fit in a standard 3.5mm headphone socket. It does, though, the now-standard cheat of allowing the camera to protrude by 2mm.

headphoneIt’s also no slouch in the specs department, with a 64-bit octacore Snapdragon 615 processor, 5.5-inch 1080p display, 13MP main camera, 5MP front camera, 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage – with a clever dual-SIM tray that allows you to substitute a microSD card of up to 128GB for one of the SIMs …  Read more

Google Hangouts for Android getting smarter with natural language parsing, consolidated contacts

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You’ve long been able to share your location with contacts in Hangouts chats, but the Google Hangouts for Android app is today getting a little smarter, noting when someone has asked where you are and automatically prompting you to share your location on a map.

Google indicates that this is merely the first step in building more intelligence into the app, describing it as “the start of something new.” Future versions of the app are thus likely to recognize more questions, offering the ability to answer them with a single tap.

The latest update to the app – which is rolling out during the course of the day – also offers a number of other new features …  Read more

Google begins notifying users of $19 million settlement with FTC over in-app purchases

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Google has started notifying users of its Play Store about a $19 million settlement it reached with the FTC in September. The company is being required to pay out refunds for in-app purchases made by children on their parents’ credit cards after one of Apple’s lawyers brought the case to the FTC’s attention.

Users will have until December 2nd, 2015 to log into their Play Store accounts and mark any in-app purchases that were made by a minor in order to qualify for a refund. The total refund isn’t limited to $19 million, as that number serves only as a minimum required by the FTC.

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T-Mobile announces new $100 unlimited 2-line data plan, $100 10 GB 4-line plan

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AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon need to watch out. The “uncarrier” has announced yet another couple of reasons they hope will get you to ditch your current cellular provider for T-Mobile. Today, CEO John Legere and his cohorts have come out to announce that T-Mobile is now offering a 2-line family plan that comes with unlimited talk, text, and 4G data, for $100 a month.

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Project Ara marketplace in the works will be like Google Play for hardware modules (Updated)

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Project Ara is still slowly but surely making its way toward being a commercial product, and today one of the mysteries of the device–how people will buy and sell various interchangeable hardware modules–has been answered. Globant, a company focused on delivering “innovative software” has announced that they’ve partnered with Google’s Advanced Technology & Projects (ATAP) group on the development of a marketplace made specifically for Project Ara.

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