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

Google Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay — full comparison (Video)

autovs

Apple and Google are back at it again and attempting to bring a safe and friendly mobile experience to your car. Android Auto and CarPlay are the two company’s re-imagining of mobile user interfaces for the car and both are gearing up for a major rollout over the next year.

Each system is designed to work with its respective native mobile platform, but there are differences between the two that may appeal to different people. Today we’re comparing Apple’s CarPlay to Google’s Android Auto using the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. This car comes packed with both systems, so you won’t have to compromise either way, but there are some important differences between the two…

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Samsung announces Flow, offering the ability to seamlessly work between devices [Video]

samsung-flow

Samsung has announced Flow, providing seamless transfer of content, work in progress and phone calls between different Samsung devices.

People today use multiple devices in their daily activities: phones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, TVs, and more. But the way we work is still device-centric. We still use one application, within one device, with data that is tied to that application and device.

Samsung Flow is a platform that enables developers to create seamless transitions across devices, so that people can change devices in the midst of an activity and continue right from where they left off.

Flow is compatible with anything that works with Android’s Share feature: if content can be shared with other apps, Flow can be used to to hand it off to other devices …  Read more

Chinese iPhone clone maker Xiaomi investing $1B in YouTube clone

xiaomi-miphone-3-3

Xiaomi, the Chinese Android manufacturer which heavily bases its product designs and marketing on Apple products, is to invest $1B in the Chinese YouTube equivalent, Youku.

Xiaomi has long been aware of the importance of an integrated hardware-and-services offering, initially selling its smartphones at cost-price in order to build market share, relying on its app store to generate profits. A tie-in with a video service makes similar sense – smartphones and tablets providing an audience for video content, and video content driving demand for devices on which to view it – but the move is likely to be primarily driven by Xiaomi’s move into the smart TV market …   Read more

Mozilla calls out Android and iOS as ‘closed systems’ with ‘almost a complete lack of transparency’

Firefox OS

While it has yet to become a significant player in the smartphone market, Mozilla is hoping that its open-source Firefox OS will be a game changer when the mobile operating system gains a larger presence in countries like the United States and United Kingdom. In the meantime, the software maker has gone on the offensive against rival platforms Android and iOS. Read more

Disney’s ‘Movies Anywhere’ app, previously exclusive to iOS, comes to Android and web

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 12.12.22 AM

Back in February, Apple and Disney teamed up on a new app called Movies Anywhere that allowed iOS users to access their library of purchased movies—whether bought on the iTunes Store, DVD, or other media (with the appropriate redemption code in the box).

Today, Disney has launched the same service for Android users. Movies Anywhere owners will now be able to access their movie library featuring titles from Disney, Pixar, and Marvel from any of their devices. Because this is a cross-platform solution, movies previously purchased on the iTunes Store will now be available to users on Android devices, and iOS users will be able to watch Disney movies they’ve purchased from the Google Play Store.

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Android called ‘unbeatable’ as it trumps iOS with 84% global market share in third quarter

iPhone 6 Nexus

The latest numbers from Strategy Analytics reveal that Android was installed on over 8 of 10 smartphones worldwide in the third quarter, as the mobile operating system captured 84% global market share for the three-month period ending September. That figure arrives just one day after the research firm reported that Chinese company Xiaomi has become the third-largest smartphone maker in the world.

Android continued to be a dominant player in global smartphone operating system market share, increasing its lead over iOS by three percentage points compared to the year-ago quarter. Apple’s mobile operating system held 12.3% market share during the third quarter, trailed by Windows Phone (3.3%) and BlackBerry (0.7%). Other mobile platforms accounted for less than 0.1% market share. Read more

Google Wallet adds recurring bank transfers for automatically adding money, low balance alerts

Google today announced it’s adding new ways to add money to its Google Wallet service in addition to some new features that will make keeping an eye on your balance easier. The app also appears to be getting a bit of a Material Design update on Android (as pictured above).

First up, you will now be able to setup automatic bank transfers that will ensure there is always money to spend in your Google Wallet account. The recurring transfers allow you to schedule weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deposits and can be cancelled at any time: Read more

Google updates its official Analytics app with iPad support

Earlier this year, Google released an official app for its Google Analytics service on iOS allowing users of the popular service to view data and reports on the go, but the dedicated app has only been available for iPhone and iPod touch users. Today that has changed, however, as Google has updated its official Analytics app for full iPad support. Read more

Inbox for Gmail: hands-on and first impressions

Mail for Inbox

Google this afternoon announced Inbox for Gmail, its all-new emailing solution that is intended to coexist with the regular Gmail platform. Inbox for Gmail is available on an invite only basis for Android, iOS and Chrome. I am fortunate enough to have received an invite to Inbox for Gmail, and I have been giving the iPhone app a rundown to see how it works. For the most part, Inbox is everything that you know and love about Gmail in a sleeker package.

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Microsoft latest to mimic Snapchat with new Skype Qik ephemeral video messaging app

Microsoft has just joined the ranks of companies looking to capitalize on the success of ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat. Through its Skype division, the company has launched a new cross-platform app for iOS, Android, and (of course) Windows Phone called Skype Qik. The premise of the application, as can be seen in the video above and screenshots below, is simple: you can record a quick video, and then share it to either one person in your address book or multiple groups of people.

By default, videos will expire after two weeks, and you can also un-send messages at any time. A cool feature of Skype Qik is the ability to pre-record various 5 second GIFs that you can send as instant replies. So, if you don’t have the ability to send a live video reply, you can just choose one of your pre-record defaults. The app is free today on the aforementioned platforms, and Microsoft says that updates, such as one for blocking iPhone contacts (that feature is available today on Android and Windows Phone), will come often to enhance the feature-set.

You can view some screenshots of the Android app in action below:

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FBI director continues push against Google & Apple on smartphone encryption (Video)

James Comey FBI Director

FBI Director James Comey isn’t backing down from his position that Google and Apple are wrong to encrypt customer smartphone data preventing law enforcement agencies the possibility of access if requested. After last month sharing that the FBI was in talks with the two companies to discuss concerns with marketing devices as being inaccessible to third-parties including the government, the FBI Director spoke with CBS News in an interview where he continued to make the case against such encryption… Read more