Vine sharing on an iPhone

So you've discovered a catchy Vine video that you know your friends will instantly appreciate, but they're scattered across multiple social networks. Will you have to sit there diligently tapping the share button over and over again to make sure everyone sees it? Not after today. Vine has updated its iOS app (Android is coming soon) with a revamped sharing feature that posts those six-second clips on multiple services in one shot. All you have to do to spread the word is mark the social networks you want to include (such as Tumblr, a new addition) and hit the share button. There's still no Instagram option, to no one's surprise, but this could otherwise save you a lot of effort.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

0

When its calling feature hit Android gadgets a couple weeks ago, WhatsApp founder Brian Acton said the tool would make its way to iOS soon enough. Well, today's the day. WhatsApp calling is rolling out to folks wielding Apple devices, allowing you to chat with friends and family around the world. If you'll recall, the feature uses WiFi rather than a data connection, so you won't have to worry about international rate hikes. While the new version of the app is already available at iTunes, the release notes warn that the calling feature is rolling out slowly, so it may not be available for you immediately.

0 Comments

Google announced in February that it would start highlighting mobile-friendly sites on phone searches -- today, that update is finally here. Now, when you search Google on your phone, you're more likely to see results that are optimized for smaller screens, rather than desktop sites that require a lot of tapping and zooming. Basically, it's a kick in the pants to lazy web developers who haven't yet catered to the growing number of mobile internet users. The update only applies to phones -- not tablets -- and Google notes that it affects individual pages, not entire sites. It also won't stop desktop sites from showing up in mobile searches if they rank highly enough. You can test the mobile friendliness of your site with this test, or by running the Google's Mobile Usability Report on your site. Naturally, if you don't spruce up your site, you can expect a drop in mobile traffic from Google.

0 Comments

Disney Research is apparently developing plastic accessories that can control phones, which might even be more far-out than MIT's thumbnail trackpads. They're called acoustruments, and they can control phones with sounds from their own speakers. How? Well, each acoustrument comes with a U-shaped tube that feeds ultrasonic sound from the phone's speaker to its mic. You can control the phone with that setup by disrupting the sound, say, by blocking holes on the tube like you would on a flute. Its controls don't necessarily have to be holes, either -- they could be buttons, switches, knobs, wheels, sliders and anything else that can alter the sound wave to indicate an action.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

If you own a smart TV or an iOS device that's getting a bit long in the tooth, you may need to do some upgrading this week if you want to continue using the YouTube app. Due to certain changes in the app's API, it'll no longer work on a number of models released in 2012 or earlier, including second-generation Apple TVs, Panasonic TVs, Sony TVs and Blu-ray players, as well as devices running Google TV versions 1 or 2. You'll know you're affected if a video showing the notice above plays upon firing up the app, though most models released in 2013 or later are safe.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Push notifications on Chrome for Android

Chrome's website push notifications are no longer confined to your desktop -- they now surface on your phone, too. Grab Chrome 42 for Android and you can opt into alerts from websites that show up no matter what you're doing. You won't have to worry about missing out on breaking news, even if your favorite sites don't have dedicated apps. You'll also have an easier time adding home screen shortcuts for those sites if you always want them close at hand. It'll be a while before many of the sites you frequent can deliver notifications (eBay, Facebook and Pinterest are some of the early adopters), but it's worth upgrading now to get ready.

0 Comments

"China is the number one market with connected products."

That was how Intel's Senior Vice President Kirk Skaugen kicked off his keynote at IDF in Shenzhen, citing China's staggering 30 percent share of worldwide connected-device purchases in 2014. The country gobbled up 40 percent of the 46 million Intel-powered tablets shipped globally. Not bad, but 46 million is hardly anything compared to the 420.7 million smartphones shipped in China alone in the same year -- only a tiny percentage of which packed an Intel chip. Most others relied on Qualcomm, MediaTek and Samsung. Intel's smartphone market share is so small that it never dared to share the stats; it could be as low as 2.81 percent in the Android space, according to benchmark specialist AnTuTu.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Samsung Galaxy Tab A

After the better part of a year, Samsung is ready to launch new tablets in the States -- if not quite the high-end models you might be looking for. It's releasing 8- and 9.7-inch versions of the Galaxy Tab A, a low-cost slate whose centerpiece is an iPad-like 4:3 aspect ratio that gives you more breathing room when you're browsing the web or reading a book. Neither model is especially powerful between the 1.2GHz quad-core chip, 1,024 x 768 screen, 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front shooter, but they do carry Samsung's lighter-weight software loadout, including bundled Microsoft apps. You'll also get between 16GB to 32GB of storage, depending on the model. The Tab A will reach American shops on May 1st starting at $230 for the 8-inch model, and $300 for the 9.7-inch version. And don't worry, cost-conscious Galaxy Note fans, Samsung hasn't forgotten about you: a version with a bundled S Pen is due on May 17th for $350.

0 Comments

If you're feeling brave, Twitter is (once again) letting you receive direct messages (DMs) from any old person. As before, you'll have to opt-in by ticking a box in the settings -- but once you do, even folks who don't follow you can send you a note. On top of that, you can now reply to anyone who DMs you, even if they're not a follower. That's a big change from the status quo -- previously, you've only been able to receive messages from people you follow, and send them to those who follow you. To drive home the point, Twitter put a Direct Message button front and center on your contact page for its iPhone and Android apps.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Wood and leather are so yesterday. What you really want is some genuine marble on your precious gadgets. At least that's the pitch from Native Union, which recently announced its Clic Marble iPhone 6 case, available in matte black or glossy white -- the latter consisting of the nice Carrara white marble from Italy. Don't be fooled by its simple look, as the company took a year and a half to figure out how to carefully slice marble at just 0.8mm thick, and then reinforce it with fiberglass to keep it flexible and shatter-resistant. The case does add 2mm of bulk onto your device, and it does ask for $80 in the US or £70 in the UK, but these are the kinds of sacrifices that some are willing to make in return for that cold luxurious feel.

0 Comments

EE Power Bar

Mobile operators very rarely offer something for free, so when they do, you can expect that people will be quick to take advantage. That's exactly what's happened in the case of EE, which has seen over a million of its subscribers sign up for one of its free branded "Power Bars" in just four days. The rush for the 2,600mAh blue and yellow charger helped drive a 300 percent increase in visitors to stores over the weekend, inevitably resulting in a complete wipeout of stock.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Now that it's been on the market a full year, you can finally buy a OnePlus One without an invitation. Sound familiar? The company has opened up sales on the well-liked, $300 smartphone for brief periods before, but today said that "the One will be available without an invite. Forever." Calling the reviled invitation system a "fascinating, evolving experiment," the company admitted that "feelings toward (it) vary, and we understand that." In the same breath, however, it revealed that its next model, the OnePlus Two "will initially launch with invites."

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

When Nokia sold its devices and services business to Microsoft, we assumed it was getting out of the hardware game for good. Not so. The company has since launched its N1 tablet in China and now, according to Recode, it's developing a new phone too. Exactly what it'll look like and, perhaps more importantly, the software it'll run is unclear at the moment though. The company has made some strides with its alternative Z Launcher, but its debut Android slate is fairly unremarkable. That's because it was actually designed by Foxconn -- not the old Nokia team that's given us so many bold and beautiful Lumias over the years. If the Finnish company sticks with Android, it's going to need something a little more original to stand out from the competition. (The Nokia brand will only go so far, after all.)

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Microsoft Cortana

Microsoft is already poised to bring Windows' Cortana voice assistant to other platforms, but the duo behind the OrangeSec team isn't willing to wait that long. They've developed and shown off Portaña, a simple Android adaptation of Cortana that uses a proxy to talk to Microsoft's servers. While it's nowhere near a complete recreation of the official software (you have to speak in Italian, for one thing), it does work -- you can ask a question and expect an answer back. Portaña is sadly likely to remain in a rough state as is, though, so you'll want to tinker the source code if you just have to speak to the Halo-inspired helper before there's an official solution.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Sony's unveiled its new smartphone in Japan, the Xperia Z4, and like you might tell from the press images, it's a mighty familiar-looking one from a company still looking for its next big hit. Yep there's a lot of similarities compared to the Z3 (a phone that we were pretty happy with), including a 5.2-inch screen, metal frame, support for Hi-Res audio and the same wide-angle 25mm lens on the main camera. Upgrades since last year's model include a frame that's both thinner (down to under 7 mm) and lighter, while camera upgrades are focused on the front, which now gets the same wide-angle lens of the primary shooter as well as digital image stabilization to keep your selfie game completely on point.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments