Facebook users required to install a separate messaging app

By Nixon Kanali

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Facebook has announced that it will be removing the messaging feature from its mobile apps. This means that users will no longer  send and receive private messages within its main smartphone app, instead, they will be required to install a separate messaging app.

According to facebook,, the standalone messenger app will feature the ability to make voice phone calls and is said to be faster than the messaging service that is currently featured on Facebook primary mobile apps. 

“We have built a fast and reliable messaging experience through Messenger and now it makes sense for us to focus all our energy and resources on that experience,” The Social Media giant said in a statement.

This move by Facebook will only affect iOS and Android versions of the service meaning one will still be able to send and receive messages as usual while you are using their desktop computer, Windows phone or iPad. 

Already, Facebook has started to notify users in France, England and other European countries of the change, saying that in a couple of weeks, the standalone messaging app will need to be installed to send and receive Facebook messages on mobiles and smartphones.

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Facebook Forces Users Worldwide To Download Messenger For Mobile Chat

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Over the next few days, Facebook will stop allowing messaging in its main iPhone and Android apps, and force all their users around the world to download its standalone Messenger app. Facebook first started requiring users in Europe to use Messenger back in April, but after seeing “positive results” in terms of engagement, its rolling out the plan to the everyone. Facebook tells me people on Messenger reply about 20% faster, and not supporting multiple version of mobile chat will help it make both its main apps and Messenger better.

Mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message in their main Facebook apps or sites like before, and will be spared from this forced migration for now.

Previously, people could chat from a Messages tab in Facebook’s smartphone apps. They also had the option to download Messenger, which would turn the Messages tab…

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Apple Updates Retina MacBook Pros With Better Specs

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Apple has updated its Retina MacBook Pro line, with new Haswell processors that edge their predecessors (also Haswell) by small amounts (200MHz), and with new base RAM for the low-end 15-inch model that doubles the amount of memory it carries within from 8GB to 16GB.

The Retina MacBook Pro update is similar to the MacBook Air update Apple issued earlier this year, in that it improves what’s under the hood but doesn’t introduce any sweeping changes to the Retina MacBook Pro line. Apple last updated the Retina MacBook Pro in October of last year, when it introduced new Haswell and Crystal Well processors from Intel to the line, and improved battery life to 9 hours for the 13-inch version and 8 hours for the 15-inch model.

Price points for the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros remain the same, the larger models are now $100 cheaper. Apple still ships the…

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Samsung launches the new Samsung GALAXY TabQ in China

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Samsung has launched the new Galaxy Tab Q in China. The Galaxy TabQ sports a 7-inch TFT display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels.

Samsung Galaxy TabQ specifications

  • 7-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD display
  • 1.2 GHz quad-core processor
  • Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
  • 8MP camera with LED flash
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • Dimensions: 191.8 x 99.7 x 8.9 mm; Weight: 250 grams
  • Upto 64GB expandable memory via microSD card
  • 4G LTE-A / 3G HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4 + 5GHz, Bluetooth, GPS / GLONASS, NFC
  • 3200 mAh Battery

Reports: Google and Motorola planning a Nexus phablet,

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The 7 Inch Asus Asus FonePad phablet
The 7 Inch Asus Asus FonePad phablet

A new Nexus phablet could be hitting the market soon if a report published by Android Police is anything to go by. The report claims that Google and the soon-to-be Lenovo-owned Motorola are working together on a 5.9-inch Nexus phone.

The report says that With the revelation that HTC is working on a 9″ tablet device , it seemed the Nexus program had at least one more device in store – expected to launch with Android’s L release this fall.

Android Police went ahead to point out the existence of a new Nexus device in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code base, code named “Shamu.

”We’ve also been seeing plenty of rumors concerning Motorola’s efforts with the “X+1″ phone – including full-on hardware shots of a device suspected to be the phone. What we didn’t expect, however, was that Motorola may be working on another device – for now code named Shamu, that may indeed be a Nexus phone. We’ve received information suggesting this is the case, with just a few additional details. Given the fact that this is a hardware rumor, we’re going to treat it like other rumor posts, assigning it a confidence rating before breaking down what exactly we’ve been told.” the report said.

Well, all we have to do is wait

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Apple admits it can access personal data on iPhones

Did you Apple can extract your Personal data including text messages, contact lists and photos  from iPhones through previously unpublicised techniques?, the company acknowledged this last week according to a report published by Reuters.

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The same techniques to circumvent backup encryption could be used by law enforcement or others with access to the “trusted” computers to which the devices have been connected, according to the security expert who prompted Apple’s admission.

In a conference presentation last  week, researcher Jonathan Zdziarski showed how the services take a surprising amount of data for what Apple now says are diagnostic services meant to help engineers. He said users are not notified that the services are running and cannot disable them, . There is no way for iPhone users to know what computers have previously been granted trusted status via the backup process or block future connections.

Read More here 

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Google plans to create a ‘baseline’ of health from extensive data collected in new study

Originally posted on 9to5Google:

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Google is planning to collect data from 175 participants in a new study to attempt to create a statistical standard for what is considered a healthy person, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The data collected in this study, called Project Baseline, will presumably be used at some point in the future to monitor technology users for any signs of potential medical issues and alert them.

In the study, which will eventually be expanded to thousands of participants, Google X’s Dr. Andrew Conrad and a team of as many as 100 scientists in varying fields will collect anonymous molecular and genetic data in order to determine the idea traits of a healthy individual. These samples will come in the form of tissue, tears, urine, and more which will be collected this summer.

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HERE named the Official Map of Red Bull

HERE, a Nokia company, has been named the Official Map of Red Bull. The Red Bull Media House will now use HERE maps across all of its digital channels as part of the inspiring content it delivers to millions around the world.

 

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Red Bull Media House has already begun integrating HERE maps into its wide range of websites and mobile applications. With the world’s freshest and most accurate maps, users can now find their way – either virtually or in person – even easier to action-packed events such as the Red Bull X-Fighter Finale in Pretoria, South Africa, or the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores.

The two companies are also collaborating on new consumer experiences. To re-introduce millions of F1 fans to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, Red Bull Media House created a stunning CGI video featuring Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo who explain the track’s specific characteristics as they dual around the circuit. With HERE’s highly-detailed maps and Advanced Driver Assistance System, viewers could so easily locate the racing track and experience the difficulty of driving it. Using these mapping technologies together for the first time gave F1 fans an even closer look into the sport they love.

Red Bull Media House is one of the world’s most innovative media companies, producing, distributing and licensing high-quality content through various digital channels. As a global leader in mapping and location intelligence, with almost three decades of experience in cartography, HERE is uniquely positioned to support this effort. Both companies share a commitment to delivering rich and immersive user experiences across every platform and every device.

“We are thrilled that a world-leading consumer, event and digital media brand like Red Bull has chosen to make HERE their official map,” said Christoph Erbenich, Chief Marketing Officer at HERE. “Location technology is driving totally new consumer experiences, and with HERE maps Red Bull Media House can tell its stories in a whole new way.”

Alexander Koppel, Chief Commercial Officer at Red Bull Media House, agreed: “With HERE we have found a partner who shares our expectation of always delivering top quality. Their innovative Location Platform provides the kind of accuracy, immediacy and quality that we strive to provide to our audiences, deepening the authenticity of the experience.”

 

Microsoft releases the Lumia 530 single and Lumia 530 Dual SIM

Microsoft has announced the release of a new range of its Lumia smartphone – the Nokia Lumia 530 and Lumia 530 dual sim.

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Loaded with Windows Phone 8.1 out of the box, the Lumia 530 has a minimal 4GB of internal storage, supports microSD cards and comes with 15GB of OneDrive cloud storage. It is powered by quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 CPU.

It also comes with 4-inch 854 x 480 display powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 CPU, 512 MB RAM. It will be available in bright orange, bright green, white, dark grey.  Nokia Lumia 530 will also be compatible with Nokia Shell for Lumia 530 and Nokia Flip Shell for Lumia 530 protective covers.

The phone has no front camera bu one can use voice commands to take selfies with the main camera using the GlamMe app, and edit them up with Creative Studio.

The Lumia 530 is expected to be priced at €85  before tax and will be made available globally, with rollout beginning in select markets in August 2014.

Full Specifications

 

  • Processor type: Quad-core 1.2GHz
  • Processor name: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 200
  • Main camera sensor: 5 MPmegapixels
  • Display size: 4”
  • Display resolution: FWVGA (854 x 480)
  • Maximum talk time (3G): 10h
  • Maximum standby time: 22days

 

  • Display

    • Display size: 4 ”
    • Display technology: LCD
    • Display resolution: FWVGA (854 x 480)
    • Touch screen technology: Capacitive Multipoint-Touch
  • Memory

    • RAM: 512 MB
    • Mass memory: 4 GB
    • Maximum memory card size: 128 GB
    • Free cloud storage: 15 GB

    Main camera

    • Main camera sensor: 5 MP megapixels
    • Main camera focus type: Fixed focus
    • Sensor size: 1/4 inch
    • Main camera f-number/aperture: f/2.4
    • Camera focal length: 28 mm
    • Camera minimum focus range: 60 cm
    • Camera image formats: JPEG/Exif
  • Power management

    • Maximum talk time (2G): 13.4 h
    • Maximum talk time (3G): 10 h
    • Maximum standby time: 22 days
    • Maximum music playback time: 51 h

    See the full specifications here

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The latest new Google Maps feature might seem annoying, but it’s actually terrific

Originally posted on BGR:

Advertisements can certainly be annoying, but they’re not always a bad thing. Problems arise most often when ads are intrusive or irrelevant, and when they do more to pester us than inform us. In the case of Google Maps, ads can actually be quite helpful in many scenarios, and Google just announced a few changes for the ads it serves in its Google Maps mobile app that might actually enhance users’ experiences.

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