Maps on Windows 10 for phones

To put it mildly, Windows Phone's official mapping options are... basic. However, Microsoft is promising a better experience with the mobile Maps app in Windows 10. Get a recent preview version of Windows 10 and you'll see a map interface that is not only decidedly more modern-looking, but ties in more closely with Bing and rolls in some Here Maps features. You'll get the usual photos, reviews and directions (including Here's in-car navigation), but you'll also have an easier time finding things to do. You can specify that you're looking for something to eat near your hotel, for instance, and book the table reservation on the spot. This upgrade probably won't get you to switch phone platforms, but it's a big deal if you're a Windows phone fan who'd like to get Microsoft's best mapping services in a single app.

0 Comments

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

Don't look now, but you may soon have more options for mobile internet access beyond the usual wireless carriers. The FCC has voted in favor of rules that not only make a wide 100MHz slice of 3.5GHz spectrum available for mobile data, but makes that data more accessible. Rather than simply parcel out the airwaves to the highest bidders (which are usually telecoms), the FCC has a "General Authorized Access" tier that lets any device use these frequencies, similar to WiFi's license-free scheme. The move would still let conventional carriers bolster their networks, but it also paves the way for cheap or free over-the-air broadband. Companies ranging from Google to Verizon are interested, so you should expect an eclectic mix of services once the devices are ready.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

0

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article below at TheWirecutter.com.

After surveying almost 1,000 Wirecutter readers and testing close to 100 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases over a period of about 50 hours (so far), our current pick for the best all-around case is the NGP from Incipio. The NGP line has protected several generations of iPhones (and many other devices) and has a reputation for providing solid protection and a good fit at a great price. It's slim enough not to detract from the iPhone 6's svelte dimensions while still offering comprehensive protection for the handset's body, including its buttons. Openings along the bottom allow for compatibility with a wide range of accessories.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

We've already seen Microsoft's Universal Office apps hit tablets, laptops and desktops as part of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, now the company has announced they'll be headed to phones by the end of the month. The Universal Office apps, which so far include Word, Excel and PowerPoint, are meant to show off a new touch friendly version of Microsoft's long-running productivity suite. But they're also an example of how developers can build one app that easily runs across a variety of Windows 10 devices. On phones, the Office Universal apps highlight the content of your documents, with typical commands and controls at the bottom of the screen. Microsoft says that should help with editing documents one-handed. On tablets, the Office apps look more like the full-fledged Office 2016 desktop apps, but with a interface tweaks to make them easier to navigate with your fingers.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Canadian iPhone users will finally be able to use Apple Pay this fall, according to the Wall Street Journal. Sources say Apple is in discussions with six major Canadian banks, including Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and National Bank of Canada, to launch its mobile payment service in the country in November. The big sticking points for many of the banks, though, are the fees Apple would take from every transaction, as well as security issues around authenticating cards, which has been a problem for some U.S. banks. If everything pans out, it would make Canada the first territory to get Apple Pay outside of the U.S. The WSJ notes that Canada's high iPhone penetration is one reason Apple may be focusing on it. iPhones make up a third of all smartphones in Canada, compared to just 20 percent globally, according to research company Catalyst.

0 Comments

Free. It's a price we love. Ironically, free usually comes at a price. Today, that price, is the loss of Amazon's try-before-you-buy TestDrive service for Android apps. It turns out, with more and more apps being free (at least to download), there was less demand for a service that let you test 'em out in the browser/virtual machine. Makes sense. Accordingly, Amazon has pulled the TestDrive feature from the appstore -- this has no effect on any apps that used it, just the feature is gone. The downside being there's no longer a way to (easily) check out apps that don't use the free-to-play/freemium model on Amazon's store any more. But, coming full circle... that's the price you pay for having more free apps, right?

0 Comments

Remember that crappy, top-down Halo game that came out a few years ago, Spartan Assault? Well, it got a sequel that's available on Steam, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and as weird as it sounds, even iOS. Anyhow, Halo: Spartan Strike will run you $5.99 or, if you're using one of Apple's mobile gizmos or a PC, you can grab the first game and the new one in a bundle for $9.99. Spartan Strike's story is a simulation (much like the last one was) set during the events of Halo 2 -- but there's a twist. Remember the cool new enemies from Halo 4, the Prometheans? They're in this game too, which raises more than a few questions regarding its fiction and timeline.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Pull to refresh in Chrome for iOS

Don't like that Chrome makes you use two hands to comfortably surf the web on your iPhone 6? Your life just got a bit easier. Google has updated Chrome for iOS so that you can pull down to not only refresh web pages, but open and close tabs. At this rate, you might only have to reach up when you want to type in a site address. There's also a Today View launcher widget that includes voice search, suggested answers for common searches and support for password managers like 1Password and LastPass. All told, you should spend more time browsing and less time stretching your fingers -- that's a worthwhile upgrade in our books.

0 Comments

US Restores Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

Now that the political relations between the US and Cuba have taken a turn for the better, American companies are pushing out marketing schemes to fit the bill. Today, Boost Mobile, Sprint's prepaid branch, announced a monthly plan that's geared toward customers who have loved ones in Cuba. The caveat, unfortunately, is that it's only available in Miami right now -- but the strategy makes sense, since it's a city with a dense population of Cuban-Americans. If you're there, $50 a month gets you unlimited text and 15 talk minutes to Cuba at 33 cents per minute -- which the company claims to be the lowest rate among prepaid carriers. Boost's Cuba Monthly Connection deal also includes 5GB of data and all-you-can-have texting and calling within the US, while $10 more monthly doubles your data.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

OnePlus I'm hoping...

Cyanogen has revealed that it will pre-install Microsoft apps on its modded Android OS later this year, including Bing, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook and Microsoft Office. The news doesn't come as a huge surprise, since it was rumored that Redmond had purchased a minority stake in Cyanogen with the express intention of bundling its software. As part of the deal, Microsoft will also create "native integrations" on Cyanogen OS, presumably to make all its apps play well together. Microsoft has avoided porting its productivity software over to Android and iOS for quite awhile, but finally made the jump earlier this year.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Meerkat

Can an Android launch save Meerkat? SXSW must seem like a long time ago for the folks behind the livestreaming app that took Austin by storm back in March. It was just a few weeks later that Twitter launched Periscope, which, thanks to the social network's clout and a better user experience, has quickly become the streaming app of choice. Right now both services are iOS only, though, and Meerkat is hoping to hook the hundreds of millions of Android users on its app with a public beta launch.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Google Drive's share-on-upload feature

Can't wait to share a photo as soon as it hits the internet? Google has your back. The company has updated Drive for Android so that you can start sharing files from the notification that your upload is done -- you don't even have to launch the app to get things going. The update also adds support for 23 more languages, including local Chinese and French dialects. Just be ready to wait a while for this no-waiting feature, as Google says the update will be rolling out over the next week.

0 Comments

kiwanja_uganda_texting_2

In Sub-Saharan Africa, mobile wallets are a huge deal. While it's been that way for years, the World Bank's latest Global Financial Inclusion database gives us solid details on just how prevalent they are in the region. According to the report, 12 percent of adults (64 million) in the area have mobile wallets or what Africans call "mobile money accounts," which aren't connected to banks. Half of those people have traditional bank accounts, but the half rely solely on their phones for their financial needs. It seems to be especially popular in Kenya, where 58 percent of adults access their money through a mobile device.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Yahoo sign at night

Yahoo may have a way to restore some of its former glory in the messaging world. Tipsters for The Information claim that the company is building a mobile app that includes text messaging, Snapchat-style recorded video and elements of live video apps like Meerkat and Skype -- think of it as a hedge that covers all the hot trends at the same time. While you would only broadcast streams to your contacts at first, live streaming would eventually extend to communities like your fantasy sports league.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Google's making it even easier to track down your misplaced mobile device. While Android Device Manager already exists to help find lost phones and tablets, just getting to your account's ADM menu often requires a search of its own. But Find My Phone is as simple as a web query. In fact, that's literally what you're doing. Simply open a Google omnibox and type "find my phone" to display a map that reveals the phone's current resting place. If the device is nearby, you can also opt to ring your cell. Unfortunately, Find My Phone does not allow you to lock or erase your device should it be stolen or, say, left at the local pub -- you will still need Android Device Manager to do that.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments