Chrome for Android shows the weather in auto-complete suggestions

Google's as-you-type search suggestions have only offered the tiniest bit of help so far. They can handle basic math, but they won't answer questions that require more than a few numbers. However, that might soon change. Chrome for Android now has an experimental feature that answers some of your queries before you've even finished asking. Switch it on and you can get the weather, historic dates and other valuable info without ever seeing Google's usual results page. While the feature isn't all that vital when you have access to Google Now, it may save you the trouble of switching apps (or leaving the page you're on) when you just want to get a small factoid. There's also no hint as to when Google might make the feature standard on Android or bring it to the desktop, but let's hope that an upgrade comes soon -- it could save a lot of unnecessary keystrokes.

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Macy's iBeacon shopping during its trial phase

Macy's experiments with location-sensitive shopping have apparently paid off -- in the wake of a successful trial, the retail behemoth has unveiled plans to put iBeacons in all of its stores. Once they're activated this fall, you can get discounts and other promos on your iPhone as you wander through the store; you only need to install the Macy's app and keep Bluetooth turned on. There will only be regular deals at first, but an upgrade in the spring will offer department-specific discounts. You may get a special deal on a coat right as you're swinging by the men's or women's clothing sections, for instance. You're probably not going to go out of your way to shop at Macy's just to see bargains appear on your mobile screen, but this could be a useful perk if you're already a frequent customer.

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Health on iOS 8

Apple briefly hinted last week that hospitals would soon try out HealthKit's patient tracking technology, and we now know how those experiments are going to work. According to Reuters, both Duke University and Stanford University are weeks away from launching trial programs that will let doctors monitor vital stats with patients' permission. In the Stanford test, young Type 1 diabetes sufferers will carry both an iPod touch and a smart glucose meter to keep tabs on their blood sugar levels. There are fewer details surrounding Duke's pilot, but it will track the blood pressure and weight of those with cancer or heart disease.

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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Apple's new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went up for pre-order just three days ago, and as expected, they've helped set a new sales record. The company announced today that combined sales of the new 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhones topped 4 million in the first 24 hours. While the company hasn't broken down sales by individual models, giving us an early insight into which form factor consumers prefer, it says that initial supply of both units are scarce, which shows people want what the bigger iPhones are capable of offering. To put that into context, Apple saw more than 2 million orders for the iPhone 5 over the same period, but the company didn't share first-day for the combined launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c, which went on to sell more than 9 million units in three days. Given that Apple is pretty much the only phone maker that indulges in obligatory back-patting during every launch window, we're unable to draw much of a comparison against its rivals. However, if you were waiting to grab a new iPhone when they go on general sale this Friday, expect to get in line super early.

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Phones4u Store Croydon

Now that news of the Phones4u collapse has begun to settle, details are starting to emerge about how customers will be affected. The good news is that the company has said that it will honour existing contracts, but it has also confirmed that people who pre-ordered the new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus last week will miss out on getting their new smartphones, at least from them. In a statement shared with the Huffington Post UK, Phones4u noted that "any orders that have not already been dispatched will be cancelled and any payments refunded to customers." Phones4u has yet to ship any devices to customers and its online store has already been replaced with a sad-looking page full of support line phone numbers. Customers who ordered last Friday will now need to place their order again with a different retailer, but they'll be placed at the back of the queue as Apple's official delivery times begin to slip.

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The image above shows the backside of British manufacturer My Go's upcoming handset, the GoFone -- no, the company likely didn't forget adding "Phone" at the bottom of the Windows logo. Thing is, according to an internal document leaked to the internet recently, Microsoft's dropping the "Windows Phone" branding (and even the "Nokia" brand) in favor of just "Windows." This image, taken from GoFone's unlisted page (it even says "For internal use only") spotted by Neowin, hints that the earlier reports were true. Unlike the HTC One (M8) for Windows, which just omits "Phone" from its full name but still displays the platform's logo on the back panel, this one completely leaves out the branding. Microsoft's reportedly looking to unify Windows and Windows Phone under one name, because it plans to merge Windows Phone and RT into one platform. Redmond hasn't confirmed any of these yet, but we'll let you know if and when the company officially speaks up.

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Motorola G (Second-Generation)

Although Motorola has offered phones in the UK for decades, the company has never let you buy direct. Even when it was owned by Google, it chose to point customers in the direction of retailers like Amazon. Now that Motorola is now part of Lenovo, however, the company has decided to take matters into its own hands by opening its first UK-focused online store. From today, you'll be able to order the second-generation Moto G in black or white for £149.99, although they both currently show pre-order availability. While it'll cost you £5 more to buy it from Motorola over Amazon, the online retail giant does note it could take between 1-3 weeks to reach your doorstep. Sure, only the Moto G is available today, but Motorola's UK launch does show that it's ready to handle the upcoming release of the Moto X and Moto 360. For the first time, Brits will be able to customise their Moto X using the company's Moto Maker tool, which is set to go live later this month.

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As predicted, Google has just revealed the first Android One phones at an event in India today. Micromax, Karbonn and Spice Mobiles are the companies working with Google at launch, all three launching new handsets this morning. What can we expect from an Android One device? Karbonn, for example, is launching the "Sparkle V Red," (pictured below) which comes with dual SIM slots, a 4.5-inch display (480 x 854), a 5-megapixel primary camera, 1GB of RAM and, importantly, the latest version of Android (KitKat).

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Scotland Yes Vote Sign

On September 18th, Scotland will vote on whether it will break away from the UK. As politicians ready their final campaign strategies ahead of the Referendum for Independence later this week, the UK's biggest telecoms companies have now got involved, warning of the potential consequences of a 'Yes" vote. BT, joined by TalkTalk, Telefonica UK (O2), Vodafone, EE and Three, issued a joint statement this weekend stating that while all parties would remain committed to "investing in high-quality, affordable services" for all of their UK customers, indecision over new regulations and spectrum allocations could force them to increase costs in an independent Scotland.

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Phones4u Store

Less than two weeks ago, we remarked that things were looking tough for Phones4u. Today, it looks as though the company no longer has a future. After Vodafone said it was dropping its partnership deal with the company to go all in with Dixons Carphone, EE, the biggest carrier in the UK, has done what it threatened to do earlier in the year and announced it too is going alone. In a statement, Phones4u said that EE has decided not to renew its current contract, which expires in just over a year, leaving the company with no other choice than to call in the administrators. "The unexpected decisions by both Vodafone and EE have come as a complete shock to the business," it noted, adding that it'll honour existing contracts (no word on iPhone 6 pre-orders) but close stores while it assesses its options.

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Glympse Keyboard for Android

It's not hard to share your whereabouts from your phone, but you usually have to dive into specific apps to do it; what if your friends on a new social network want to know that you're nearby? That's when Glympse's new Keyboard app for Android may come to the rescue. So long as you have the regular Glympse on your phone, the input method lets you share your location through virtually any app. If there's a text box, you can probably let others know where you are. You don't have to give up keyboards like SwiftKey or Swype, either, since there's a Quick Send mode that gets out of your way as soon as you're done. Glympse Keyboard isn't going to be as sophisticated as apps that have position sharing built-in, but its sheer ubiquity could help the next time you're meeting your friends for a night on the town.

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Some places have lanes for bicycles, others for motorcycles, but there's a place in mainland China that boasts a different type of lane altogether: one for phone addicts glued to their screens. According to a Chinese publication, the cellphone lane above was spotted along a place called Foreigner Street in Chongqing city, one of the five major cities in the country. The sidewalk was most likely painted on for everyone's safety, because, hey, if there's distracted driving, there's also distracted walking, as perfectly demonstrated by the woman in this video. If the idea sounds familiar, it's because the National Geographic did something similar back in July as an experiment. The society stenciled "NO CELLPHONES" on one-half of a DC sidewalk and "CELLPHONES: WALK IN THIS LANE AT YOUR OWN RISK" on the other half. The result? Well, among other things, they found that the people actually glued to their phones didn't even notice the markings at all. Typical.

[Image credit: News.cn]

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"The sharing economy" is a buzzword that's thrown around to talk about services like AirBnB and Lyft, and now it looks as if Toyota wants in on the trend. The automaker is putting 70 electric cars into commission in France, half of them being i-Road EVs, as spotted by Gizmodo. Instead of competing with the existing public transit system that's in place, however, Toyota says this will work alongside the city of Grenoble's infrastructure making the likes of one-way trips, among other things, easier. So long as there's a drop-off station near your destination, there's no need to worry about parking or a return trip, either, apparently. Reserving a ride can be handled with a smartphone app and rental fees start at €3 (about $4) -- cheaper than minimum fare on Uber. In the land of baguette and interested? Service starts in October.

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Apple made a pretty big deal about WiFi calling at its event this week, but if you preordered an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus running on AT&T today, you won't be able to use it right out of the box. That feature, according to LightReading, won't be available until next year. The carrier's Ralph de la Vega says the delay is because he wants to make sure that actually using the tech is a good experience for customers and doesn't result in annoyances like, say, dropped calls when switching from WiFi to mobile data. T-Mobile believes it's sidestepping that by giving every customer a router that prioritizes voice calls -- something that AT&T apparently doesn't need to do because it doesn't share the magenta network's coverage issues. De la Vega says he sees the tech not as a replacement for voice over LTE and 3G, but a complement. Shots fired?

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Need to hear more from Tim Cook after this week's new iPhone and Watch event? Charlie Rose will air a two-part interview with the Apple CEO tonight and Monday, and excerpts posted to YouTube point to a few popular topics about the company. Cook discusses his company's purchase of Beats by pointing out the brand Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre were able to build, and their recognition of the human element in putting together playlists. In another clip, he continues the longstanding tradition of pointing out how ancient and backwards the TV experience still is, and that Apple is interested in it (we'll reference our advice from 2012 on how to handle these rumors) -- without revealing anything about plans to actually enter the market or adjust the approach of its Apple TV box. You can view the clips embedded after the break, and the first part of the interview tonight (likely at 11PM) on your local PBS affiliate.

Update: The full episode is embedded after the break via Hulu Plus, and pt. 2 will air Monday night, again probably at 11PM on your local PBS affiliate. In part two Tim Cook will talk a bit about privacy and the NSA, there's also a clip of that below.

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