Gmail Updates Its App On Android

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Google has updated its Gmail app on Android and the new update brings along more app shortcuts to the app on Android 7.1 Nougat and later versions. Apart from the app shortcuts, the search giant has also added support for Exchange Tasks to the email client on Android.

Previous to this update, there was just one app shortcut available that permitted users to compose a new mail message, as pointed out in a report by 9to5Google. Even though this shortcut still exists, now it is accompanied by shortcuts for up to three email accounts. The app shortcuts can be hauled to the home screen and therefore make it easier to gain access to different mail accounts.

Facebook Launches ‘Disputed’ Tag To Fight ‘Fake News’

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Social media giant Facebook has launched its much hyped “fake news” crackdown initiative in the US, tagging as “disputed” the stories that are believed false by fact checking organizations, the media reported on Sunday. The new feature uses non-partisan third-party organizations like Snopes and Politifact to assess the factual accurateness of stories reported as fake by users.

On its help center page, Facebook has added a question “How is news marked as disputed on Facebook?” However, the section noted that this feature is not yet accessible to everyone. It is unclear how many people currently have access to the “fake news” debunking feature. The new tool was first revealed by users on Twitter, who shared screenshots which identified links to sites known to produce misinformation.

WhatsApp’s New COO

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WhatsApp has hired Matt Idema, a Facebook executive who was leading product marketing for all the business products made by Facebook worldwide. This hire is suspected to lead WhatsApp into a totally different and contrasting direction than the current scenario. Facebook acquired the company in 2014 for $22 billion. The interesting part of the acquisition is the fact that WhatsApp does not make any money for Facebook. The company also decided to eradicate the subscription fee that WhatsApp charged the users after one year of free usage.

There are hints that the company is thinking about a mechanism to make money out of the massive userbase that WhatsApp commands all over the world. The decision of hire Idema hints towards a push in direction of monetization as reported by Recode. Even though his role has not yet been chalked out inside WhatsApp and it may not be the same as that of product marketing while working with Facebook. But it may very well fit in if rumors are true about WhatsApp working on adding ‘Business profile’ to the platform which will make it easier for businesses to operate and reach consumers beyond emails, calls and SMS.

Yahoo Mail Updates App

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Yahoo has been in a lot of trouble with data breaches, SEC investigation, and slow acquisition proceedings, but to keep its Yahoo Mail running, the company has rolled out few new features for its mobile app.

The app now also syncs a user’s smartphone photos to the desktop and a new Caller ID feature to help recognize phone numbers.

The caller ID feature identifies incoming phone calls by cross-referencing the phone numbers with those found in your inbox. This is quite smart as it reads numbers in the email along with signature lines and other references, but they are not saved in your phone’s contacts.

LinkedIn Has A New Competitor?

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Facebook began letting businesses in the US or Canada post jobs and take applications from job seekers, posing a challenge to Microsoft-owned LinkedIn.

The platform’s users will be able to find help-wanted posts at business pages on Facebook or by looking in a new ‘jobs’ bookmark on the leading social network’s mobile application.

“Businesses and people previously use Facebook to fill and find jobs, so we’re rolling out new features that permit job posting and application directly on Facebook,” the California-based internet giant said in an online message.

Job postings may appear in news feed streams if companies pay to endorse them.

Clicking on an “apply now” button will open an online form already filled out with relevant information from a person’s Facebook profile, according to the social network.

WhatsApp Posts Their First ‘Status’ Update

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WhatsApp has posted the first series of ‘Status’ updates on the revamped status feature that the company is working on. We previously reported approximately 3.5 months back about WhatsApp working on this disappearing status interface in addition to the company trying to test the WhatsApp broadcast list. The company posted a series of first status updates to present people with the new ‘WhatsApp status’. The statuses seem to be working on all the platforms that comprise Android, iOS and Windows Phone. We could not confirm if they work on WhatsApp Web or WhatsApp for the desktop.

The company sent about six ‘disappearing status’ updates specifying the features of new WhatsApp Status. It established that you can ‘Tap to move to the next status’, edit and post photos, videos and GIFs as your new status. Each update will vanish after 24 hours with no way to access the old status updates. Users can quickly share the highlights of the day with their contacts along with the capability to control who can see your status updates from privacy settings.

Check Out Facebook’s New App

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Facebook has mentioned that the social media giant is currently working on a separate app focused on the video content on the Smart TV platform.

This app will run on set-top boxes like the Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV and Amazon Fire TV. This new app will only focus and push out video content to the TV so that you don’t get lost in other media formats like text and photos that are not meant to be consumed on larger screens.

The company detailed that this move is to target all the Smart TV and set-top box users who wanted more selections to consume videos. The new app will roll out soon and is not limited to the platforms mentioned. You can watch all the videos on your Facebook newsfeed which comprise the videos that have been shared by your friends, family or pages that you follow. One of the most important inclusions is the ability to watch the videos that you have ‘saved to watch later’.

Facebook To Auto-Play Videos

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Facebook has announced a slew of updates to its video platform, mostly for the better. Facebook will now start auto-playing videos with sound. Earlier, videos would still load in the background but you had to tap on them for audio playback. This was comfortable and less intrusive.

As with everything Facebook does, however, this new auto-playing of sound will be enabled by default, whether you asked for it or not.

Internet of Things Expected To Grow Rapidly By 2020?

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Internet of Things (IoT) units in India are expected to see a rapid 31-fold growth to reach 1.9 billion by 2020. The market value of IoT is expected to reach $9 billion by 2020. IoT is going to be the next big thing for operators as India will rapidly grow into a hub for IoT lsolutions.

“With advances in reliability, accuracy and technology of advance tech measures such as biometric authentication, digitisation will gain popularity in various business applications,” the company said in a statement. Even with over 750 million cards in circulation and significant growth, mobile-based and digital payments will eclipse physical card payments.

Google Maps Announces New Feature

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Google has announced a new feature that lets users to track and share locations on Google Maps. Maps now lets you create custom lists of places of interest, and share them as links through email, instant messenger clients or social networks. If someone shares a list with you, you can follow that list, and that gets added to your Google Maps app for easy access at any future point of time.

To use the feature, users only have to search for a location, tap on it, select save, and give a name to the list. Google suggests that the feature be used for making bucket lists, or keeping track of local Wi-Fi hotspots. The places saved to list will always show up as icons on the map, so that users are alerted any time they are in close proximity to one of the places in their saved lists.

Microsoft Introduces Spectator View

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HoloLens offers immersive mixed reality experiences, overlaying digital elements onto the real world. Microsoft introduced Mixed Reality Capture (MRC) to permit sharing of HoloLens experiences, by letting users record videos of what they were seeing through their perspectives. However, viewing this content can be a disturbing experience because of head shakes, and there are restraints when it comes to specifications of the device. Microsoft has solved this problem with the introduction of Spectator View.

Spectator View is good for demonstrations, livestreaming and presentations, but there is a pretty intricate setup. Users should connect a dSLR camera to a HoloLens device using an HDMI cable. The HoloLens then interfaces with a computer over Wi-Fi. Spectator View is only available for HoloLens applications that are shared experiences on the Windows Universal Platform. Users need to adjust the setup, and then they are good to go.

Apple Releases Artificial Intelligence Paper

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At the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) conference earlier this month, Russ Salakhutdinov of Apple showed a slide that Apple would initiate to publish research papers. The previous ban on publishing research papers by Apple meant that less researchers in the cutting edge of AI research would work for the company. AI researchers present at the conference were blown away by the design and the type face of the slide, more than the announcement.

Barely a month has gone by, and Apple has already published its first research paper. The paper is published on Arxiv, and demonstrates a unique approach to quickly train machines. Machine learning approaches for machine vision use big databanks of real images, which need the features of the images to be mapped. This is an expensive and time consuming process. An alternate method is to train computers on generated images, the features of which can be effortlessly tagged.

Microsoft To Reach $1 Trillion In Market Value

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The $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn can propel technology giant Microsoft to be the first tech company to achieve a market value of $1 trillion, an analyst has said. A report in GeekWire quoted Michael Markowski, who writes for Equities, as saying that Microsoft will reach that threshold before other big companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple.

“Microsoft will do it by leveraging LinkedIn to become a leader in social media and the emerging crowd funding industry,” the report said. “A pair of rulings from the US Securities and Exchange Commission this year opened up crowd funding by letting companies directly advertise to the public” the report said.

Apple, Google and Microsoft Partners with LG

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The three biggies of the tech world – Apple, Google and Microsoft – have reportedly partnered with LG for the development of fold-out display technology.

These foldable displays will not even enter production till 2018, so you can forget about those dreams of playing with a flexible phone any time soon. It’s likely that these companies are merely investing in the technology to keep a toehold in innovative display technology.

Facebook To Start A New Programme

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To educate people, Google has been serving users a new Doodle on every special day. But now social media giant Facebook has planned to implement a similar programme that will serve the same purpose that Google’s service has been fulfilling.

“We are introducing a marketing programme to invite people to share and talk about events and moments that are happening in their communities and around the world,” Gary Briggs, Chief Marketing Officer at Facebook, wrote in a post.

Similar to a Google Doodle, which is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepage that is intended to celebrate holidays, events, achievements and people, messages from Facebook will look at the top of News Feed about a specific event or moment. The goal of the message will be “to give people ways to connect and share with friends during holidays and events”.

Yahoo Disables Automatic Email Forwarding

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As Yahoo’s embattled email service agonizes through a slew of bad news, with a hack that compromised more than 500 million accounts, some users are finding it hard to leave. Automatic email forwarding was disabled at the beginning of the month, numerous users told The Associated Press. While those who’ve set up forwarding in the past are unaffected, some who want to leave over recent hacking and surveillance revelations are struggling to switch to rival services.

“This is all enormously suspicious timing,” said Jason Danner, who runs an information technology business in Auckland, New Zealand, and is trying to quit Yahoo after 18 years with the email provider. Yahoo Inc. originally declined to comment on the recent change beyond pointing to a three-line notice on Yahoo’s help site which says that that the company temporarily disabled the feature “while we work to improve it.”

Do You Know Google’s Promise on Google Chrome 55?

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Google Chrome is a notorious resource hog. It’s been known to guzzle up all the free RAM on your system and drain your battery at an alarming rate. Come December, and all this is set to change.

Chrome 55, which debuts on 6 December, will seemingly use an updated JavaScript engine, reports CNET. Google says that the updated engine uses much less RAM and that the benefits can amount to 50 percent more free RAM.

As far as most of the web-browsing world is concerned, however, they’d rather be using Chrome than any other browser. There are those who’ll stick to the default browser, be it Safari or Internet Explorer (IE) or even Edge, but those folk are doubtful to care about things like RAM consumption and battery life.

WhatsApp Introduces Snapchat Style

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WhatsApp just updated the application with extra features for chatting and sharing multimedia. WhatsApp has introduced stickers used by Twitter and Snapchat. The sticker set is called Twemoji, made by Twitter Open Source and is accessible for use by anyone under an MIT and Creative Commons license. The stickers can be slapped on to videos and images. Text can be added on top of the multimedia shares as well, with options to change the font and colours.

Users can draw directly onto the image as well, in various colours. Multiple stickers can be layered onto an image, along with the drawings. The stickers can be dragged around, rotated and the pinching gesture can be used to resize. There is a color gradient offered that can colour the stickers and text, and these have more colours on offer than Snapchat. Additionally, WhatsApp permits users the option to use speech and thought bubbles as well.

Facebook Launches Messenger App

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Facebook Inc launched a stripped down version of its popular Messenger app for emerging markets on Monday as it seeks to expand its international footprint.

Messenger Lite, which uses less data and is designed to work in areas with slower internet connections, will roll out in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Facebook said it will develop to other countries in the coming months.

Facebook has mainly saturated Western markets, including North America and Europe, and has set its sights on developing countries, in part by rolling out “lite” versions of its main Facebook app and now Messenger, which have fewer capabilities than the main apps.

Users with Android phones will still be able to use the core features of Messenger, including the capability to send text messages, photos and links but will not be able to make video or voice calls or make payments.

Facebook Announces Marketplace

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Facebook has announced the launch of “Marketplace”, an online extension of social network experience wherein people can join with each other to discover, buy and sell items. This provides a more efficient approach for people to quickly list the products that they want to sell or are interested in buying.

The discover suggestions are focused on the community while taking into account the distance to the seller. The service is presently limited to Android and iOS users over 18-years-old of age in USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The company has announced a gradual rollout of the service to additional countries as announced on the Facebook Newsroom post.

Marketplace offers an instinctive design to make posting items for sale easier. To add an item to market for sale, you just have to click or upload the image of the item, add product name, description and price including the location and category of the listing. The company is now working on the desktop version of the Facebook website, and it will reach in coming months.