Editor at 9to5Mac + 9to5Google
Zac covers Apple news and product reviews for 9to5Mac. Zac also contributes to 9to5Google.
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Instagram continues Snapchat assault, lifts 24 hour limit on Stories clone
Instagram is continuing its assault on Snapchat (which is working) by opening up its Stories clone to any photos and videos in your photo library. Stories were originally limited to shots and footage captured in the app, then later updated to include photos and video captured within the last 24 hours.
Pokémon GO is kicking off its second in-game Halloween event with new ghost-type pocket monsters from the Hoenn Region, a special Pikachua with a witch hat, and more rewards and perks.
Snapchat is partnering with several services including OpenTable and Lyft to launch something new called Context Cards. These location-based cards bring relevant information like business hours, reviews, contact information, and travel options to Snapchat.
In addition to promising Google Assistant support next year, Sonos has unveiled its latest wireless speaker: the Sonos One. The new model replaces the Sonos Play:1 in the lineup at the $199 level with models available in both white and now black. Sonos One is the company’s first wireless speaker with built-in voice control.
It looks like Siri and Google are friends again and Bing is in the rear view mirror. In a major shift, Apple is changing its search results provider for Siri and Spotlight on iOS and macOS from Microsoft’s Bing to the vastly more popular Google.
TechCrunch says the change has started to roll out today (it’s also live for me) and should be in effect for all users by the end of the day. For users, this means Siri and Spotlight will now provide the same search results as Safari by default (and in a lot of cases show better search results).
It’s been a whole year since Instagram rolled out its Snapchat-cloned Stories feature that lets users share ephemeral photos and videos on the service, and today Instagram has shared new data on Stories changing user engagement.
Earlier this summer Instagram shared that its Stories feature has 250 million users. Now Instagram says Stories has also helped increase the amount of time users spend in the app.
Plex brings Live TV with DVR support and ‘Time Shifting’ to Android
Earlier this summer Plex announced its new Live TV feature that works with its DVR function to turn the app into a traditional TV replacement. After initially rolling out in beta on select devices, Plex has announced new updates to Live TV and DVR including the feature coming to Android…
The latest update to Snapchat coming today brings two new features: Multi-Snap and Tint Brush. Multi-Snap lets you create up to a minute of video now by separately recording up to 10 seconds at a time, and Tint Brush is a new color editing feature for selecting and editing a specific part of a photo.
Snapchat is rolling out a new feature it calls Snap Map which lets you view Snaps by location and view Stories from around the world.
With the Snap Map, you can view Snaps of sporting events, celebrations, breaking news, and more from all across the world 🗺️
Snap’s new location feature even lets you share where you are with friends and follow their location as well.
As the second year of Pokémon Go arrives, Niantic has detailed major changes to the gameplay centered around how gyms and gym battles work. Gyms will soon work like PokéStops and include exclusive items, badges, and more while battling is getting more advanced with new social features coming.
Microsoft is launching a new task management app for Android today called Planner. Previously available as a web app only, Planner works with eligible Office 365 accounts for organizing tasks visually and collaborating across teams.
Facebook introduced its Instant Article format for publishers two years ago as a way to make loading content in the News Feed much faster, but the format hasn’t been adopted as widely as the social network had hoped. Now Facebook is rolling out new tools for publishers to make Instant Articles compatible with Google AMP and Apple News formats.
Instagram’s Explore tab already features search and discovery for finding new photos and videos on the service, and now the social network is introducing new location and hashtag stories.
The new location stories will appear when you’re near that current location and other Instagram users are posting with the format and tagging location. Hashtag stories will appear from search results and include stories that use specific hashtag stickers.
Instagram is rolling out a new Snapchat-like AR feature today called face filters. These work with both the photo and video camera to apply real-time face-tracking filters over subjects.
Oppo beats Samsung in global smartphone sales during Q1 2017
New data from Strategy Analytics points to a surprise runner-up to Apple on the list of top selling smartphone makers during the first quarter of 2017. Thanks in part to Samsung’s Note 7 misfortune, Chinese company Oppo is ranked #3 globally with its R9s smartphone.
Instagram has become quite competitive lately with new features that take on Snapchat directly, and now the social network has shared that it has 700 million users which is a new milestone. Instagram made the announcement in a blog post this morning:
Apple’s recent tvOS 10.2 software update broke AirPlay streaming for third-party utilities like AirFoil and Doubletwist by requiring hardware verification. Now DoubleTwist is out with an update for its Android app that includes a workaround and restores audio streaming over AirPlay to Apple TV.
Microsoft bought the task management app Wunderlist back in 2015, and today the company has released the first public preview of its eventual replacement called To-Do. Microsoft’s new To-Do app is available to try on Android phones now, and preview versions for tablets will soon follow.
Strava for Android gains running & cycling Club Events on mobile
Strava has a new version of its Android app out that includes a major new feature just in time for warmer weather: access to Club Events for runners and cyclists without using the web.