Facebook is again throwing money around to get a leg up on the competition. The social network is reportedly buying messaging app WhatsApp for a staggering $16 billion in cash and stock, plus an extra $3 billion or so in stock for WhatsApp employees. For those keeping track, that's 19 Instagrams.
We were left wondering what Google had planned for its annual developer conference this year as we inched closer to the usual time of year. Now Google's Sundar Pichai has finally spilled the beans. Google I/O 2014 is happening June 25-26 at Moscone West in San Francisco.
As usual, there will be live streams if you can't get there. Those interested in attending will want to keep an eye out next month.
Adaptxt 3.0 isn't ready for the big league yet, but a beta is available that's introducing some rather intriguing functionality. Most interesting, it gives users the option to have the keyboard's built-in dictionary auto-populate itself with nearby street names, relevant addresses, and nearby landmarks. Of course, this somewhat creepy feature is optional, and typists who don't trust it can choose to manually save addresses instead.
Google Fiber coming to your city, with its promise of gigabit Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than what most of us currently put up with, is about as awesome as winning the lottery often enough to buy Time Warner Cable yourself and using all of the company's resources to funnel a connection to your house and yours only. Thus far the service has only appeared in a few parts of the country, namely Kansas City, Austin, and Provo.
We've known the day was coming for a while. The Currents app has finally hit the end of the road. An update to version 2.3 is rolling out through the Play Store that officially closes up shop and points users in the direction of Google Play Newsstand. Subscriptions are automatically transferred over to Newsstand and the old Currents app disables itself after users tap through for the first time.
In between those countless hours spent cutting fruit, flinging birds, and laughing at cats, it might be beneficial to put your mind up to something more productive. Lynda.com already provides a way to learn new skills from the comfort of your desk, but its pre-existing Android app could use some tender loving care. Today, it has received it. Lots of it.
The new native app that fits on both phones and tables has more courses, a sidebar for navigating through its content, voice search, and support for playlists.
That Google Wallet icon is looking awfully lonely in Android 4.4's Tap and Pay menu. Twin announcements from Visa and MasterCard could finally mean a few more options for NFC payments on Android, though. Both payment technology firms will be providing tools for card issuers to support Host Card Emulation (HCE) on user accounts.
This doesn't mean that all your Visa and MasterCard accounts are going to magically start working with HCE, but some of them might in the not too distant future.
It's hard to put into words the frustration of a junky cell phone signal. On one hand, the fact we are able to communicate to any degree with devices that fit in our pockets is cool, but getting reliable data is also a big deal these days. Maybe Glove can help. It claims to have the ability to tell you which network is best for your usage after just three days of analysis.
Pathogen is a turn-based strategy game, but it doesn't involve armor-clad warriors waging war against hordes of miscellaneous fiends. Instead, it tasks shapes of one color with overcoming similar shapes of another hue. It's the kind of simplistic, easy-to-grasp, abstract experience that tends to be very successful on mobile platforms. Now, after having made itself cozy in a competing app store a couple months ago, Pathogen has found its way onto Google Play.
Samsung's advertising has been somewhat hit or miss lately, ranging from pretty decent scifi ads for the Galaxy Gear to cringe-worthy infomercials for the same product. But it looks like there's been something of a shift in the company's promotional direction, or at least in the way that it responds to Apple's sometimes hyperbolic TV ads. Check out this new one-minute spot for the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1.
The ad plays up the TabPRO's high-resolution screen with a better aspect ratio for movies versus the iPad Air, plus its ability to fit multiple apps on the screen at once, which has been a staple of TouchWiz for a while.