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Google names Android 9.0, Pie - available now

Aug 10, 2018 - 3:22 PM - by Reverend
Android 9.0 has been dubbed ‘Pie' by Google and is available now for Google Pixel devices and both users of the Essential Phone.

Android One users will get the update later this year, with the Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Vivo X21 and OnePlus 6 slated to receive the update some time in the autumn.

Android 9.0 went into beta in March, so there are few surprises left in store in terms of features.

The update brings with it a new iPhone X-a-like gesture-based navigation system and improved artificial intelligence features, including a new app called Adaptive Battery that prioritises battery power for users' most-used apps.

"Today we're officially introducing Android 9 Pie. We've built Android 9 to learn from you - and work better for you - the more you use it," gushed Sameer Samat, Google vice president of product management for Android and Google Play, in a blog posting introducing the update and revealing its underwhelming new name.

"Android 9 also helps you get things done faster with App Actions, which predicts what you'll want to do next based on your context and displays that action right on your phone," he continued.

"Say it's Tuesday morning and you're preparing for your commute: you'll be suggested actions like navigating to work on Google Maps or resuming an audiobook with Google Play Books. And when you put in headphones after work, you may see options to call your mom or start your favourite Spotify playlist."

However, some of Android Pie's headline features, such as Google's Digital Wellbeing dashboard that shows users information such as how many minutes they've spent on each app and how many times they've unlocked their smartphone, aren't yet available.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 328 Views

Mozilla Firefox 61.0.2

Aug 10, 2018 - 3:17 PM - by Reverend
Firefox is a free, open-source and cross-platform web browser.

English (US): Windows 32-bit | Windows 64-bit | Linux | Mac OS X

Release notes

Firefox homepage
  0 Replies | 326 Views

Fortnite for Android will ditch Google Play Store for Epic’s website

Aug 06, 2018 - 8:39 AM - by Reverend
Epic Games announced today that it will not distribute its massively popular game Fortnite on Android through Google’s Play Store marketplace. Instead, the company plans to directly distribute the software to players through the official Fortnite website, where Android users can download a Fortnite Installer program to install the game on compatible devices. The news confirms reports from earlier this week that Epic would bypass Google for the Android launch of the game.

There is no concrete release date yet for the Android version of Fortnite, but rumors circulating suggest the game’s release will be tied to the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 9 launch. Epic declined to comment on the game’s release date or any partnership plans with Samsung.

Regardless, the announcement marks a bold departure from the widespread industry practice of using mobile operating system makers like Apple and Google for app distribution. For Fortnite on iOS, Epic decided to distribute the game on the App Store, most likely because it had no other method of getting iPhone users to easily download the software. (Apple, unlike Google, does not allow iOS users to download apps that are not first approved by its internal review processes and distributed through its proprietary marketplace.) With Google and its more open platform, Epic can get away with distributing the app itself.

CEO Tim Sweeney says the primary motivation here is twofold. Epic wants to maintain its direct relationship with consumers. (The company currently distributes Fortnite on PC through its own Epic Games Launcher, instead of using Valve’s popular Steam platform.)

“Epic wants to have a direct relationship with our customers on all platforms where that’s possible,” Sweeney told The Verge over email. “The great thing about the Internet and the digital revolution is that this is possible, now that physical storefronts and middlemen distributors are no longer... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 361 Views

Snapchat's new Lenses respond to your voice not your face

Aug 02, 2018 - 7:17 AM - by Reverend
Today, Snapchat announced that it is rolling out a new set of Lenses that will respond to your voice. There's no need to make a facial gesture, like an eyebrow raise or sticking your tongue out, to activate these. Simply say one of the recognized English words, like "Hi," "Love" or "Wow," and the Lenses will animate. These Lenses will begin appearing today in a global rollout.

If you come across one of these Lenses in the carousel, on-screen instructions will guide you in how to use these voice-triggered Lenses. For now, they only respond to pre-selected English words.

This isn't the first time Snapchat has rolled out an audio lens. Back in May, the social network introduced an animal mask that responded to the sounds it hears. Now, as promised, the company is taking sound-based Lenses to the next level.

Snap has been expanding the use of Lenses across Snapchat, from creating realistic iPhone X-exclusive ones to opening up Lens creation to its user base. Snapchat has been struggling to retain and increase its user base; clearly the company is hopeful that their investment in Lenses will translate into increased engagement.

  0 Replies | 561 Views

Apple Removes Apps From iTunes Affiliate Program

Aug 02, 2018 - 7:15 AM - by Reverend
Apple today announced that it is removing iOS and Mac apps from its affiliate program, which means websites who share links to Apple apps will no longer be able to earn affiliate revenue for directing traffic to Apple's App Stores.

According to Apple, it has made the decision to remove apps from its affiliate program due to the launch of the revamped App Stores for iOS and Mac. Apple rolled out a revamped iOS App Store in iOS 11, and is planning to introduce a new Mac App Store in macOS Mojave.

Apple currently offers its affiliate partners 7 percent of the money generated from an iTunes related purchase, including apps. Last year, Apple attempted to drop that rate to 2.5 percent on apps, but kept it at 7 percent after backlash from developers and publishers. Commission rates were, however, dropped to 2.5 percent on in-app content.

Apple plans to remove commissions for iOS apps, Mac apps, and in-app content from its affiliate program starting on October 1, 2018. Other content, including music, movies, books, and TV, will remain in the affiliate program.

  0 Replies | 583 Views

Firefox will get a new icon again, because today's is too confining

Jul 31, 2018 - 9:02 AM - by Reverend
Get ready for a new look for Firefox's icon -- again.

Less than a year after launching a simplified, brighter icon for its Quantum-branded versions of Firefox, Mozilla has begun another effort to modernize the icon. This time the plan isn't just to create a new Firefox icon but to craft a family of icons to accommodate what the nonprofit does beyond its flagship browser, such as new services or Firefox variations like Rocket and Focus.

"As an icon, that fast fox with a flaming tail doesn't offer enough design tools to represent this entire product family," said Madhava Enros, senior director of Firefox user experience, and Tim Murray, Mozilla's creative director, in a blog post Monday. "Recoloring that logo or dissecting the fox could only take us so far. We needed to start from a new place."

As a starting point for discussions, Mozilla offered two high-level "master brand" icons that can be rejiggered into a variety of incarnations for its services and software. One master brand is a stylized fox head, the other is a circularly curving flame, and both are examples of what's possible rather than final ideas.

Changing brands is a risky business. People can be annoyed when they can't find what they're looking for, and sometimes new designs trigger mockery and derision.

But revamping icons and logos also gives a chance to modernize for a fresh look. Firefox's icon over the last decade has moved away from its original 3D look of a fox wrapped around Earth to embrace the prevailing "flat" design style.

Plus, linking multiple icons with a unified design style can be useful. Many of Google's services employ the company's characteristic red, green, blue and yellow color pallet, making new apps more recognizable. And when Facebook's Instagram changed its... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 765 Views

Google blasts you with Windows and Mac error messages in new Chromebook ad

Jul 31, 2018 - 8:56 AM - by Reverend
Google isn’t holding back with its latest Chromebook commercial. The minute-long ad blasts you with Windows and macOS error messages, virus warnings, and blue screens of death all in an effort to demonstrate the simplicity of Chrome OS. Google’s message is that its Chromebooks come with virus protection, automatic updates, all-day battery life, and a variety of Android apps. It’s Google’s first clear shot at both Windows and Mac laptops, and it comes nearly five years after Microsoft launched its own attacks at Chromebooks.

Most of Google’s criticisms of Windows and macOS would have made more sense years ago, though, as both Microsoft and Apple have addressed many of the infamous problems Google has chosen to highlight. Windows 10 ships with built-in virus protection, automatic updates, and many laptops now offer “all-day” battery life. The strength of Chrome OS is its pure simplicity, and that’s not necessarily demonstrated well in an ad designed to highlight old error messages.
"Google’s new Chromebook ad is timed perfectly for back-to-school season"

Google’s Chromebook ad timing comes just as laptop makers head into back-to-school season. It’s a chance for Google and others to convince students and teachers to purchase new machines for a new school year. Microsoft is launching its new Surface Go this week which is clearly aimed at students, and Apple has already kicked off its free Beats headphones promotion for select MacBooks.

Google has a strong lead in the US education market thanks to its Chromebooks, and its latest ad suggests it’s ready to battle for even more market share. Chrome OS might not be ready to take on the iPad just yet, but Google keeps proving Chromebooks are ready to go head-to-head with Windows laptops and Macs.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 677 Views

Apple iTunes 12.8 (

Jul 28, 2018 - 6:34 PM - by Reverend
You can use iTunes to create your own personal digital music library and easily organize and listen to your collection of digital music files. You can also create your own custom audio CDs and transfer your music to an Apple iPod portable digital music player.

32-bit | 64-bit

iTunes homepage
  0 Replies | 792 Views

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July 28th, 2018 18:31 PM
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by Reverend
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Mozilla Firefox 61.0.1
July 28th, 2018 18:30 PM
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July 19th, 2018 17:50 PM
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Microsoft Offering Up to...
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