It was over a year ago that Google started adding custom URLs to Google+, but the unwashed masses still haven't gotten them. The simplified addresses have been restricted to Googlers and a few select people/brands so far, but no longer. Google is expanding Google+ custom URLs to most users over the next few days.
A vanity URL won't be automatic when a new Google+ page is created – there are some preconditions before Google will let you ditch the string of numbers.
Last month Amazon announced MatchBook, a new service that gives customers the option to get discounted Kindle versions of physical books they've already bought. It launched today with support for over 70,000 titles, seven times what the company promised would be available from the get go. Discounted books range from free to $2.99.
Eligible books date back to 1995, the year when Amazon first launched its online bookstore. Just remember that only purchases tied to your current account will apply, so while many of us didn't have email address way back when, those that did probably haven't held on to them.
As we're all still trying to come to grips with Motorola's newly revealed modular phone platform known as Project Ara, the folks at Phonebloks aren't missing a beat. They've uploaded a new video that explains a bit more about how they teamed up with Motorola. Also, there's a quick peek at Project Ara.
When Phonebloks started talking to companies about how to make the concept real, the Phonebloks guys found Moto was particularly interested.
We have a second screen problem. The TV may have the largest display in the house, but it fails to consistently hold our attention even during engaging content, let alone commercial breaks. Cable and satellite companies have tried to respond to this phenomenon by releasing companion apps that place their content on both screens at once. Unfortunately, these apps typically aren't that good. The DIRECTV Android app was completely revamped not too long ago, but already a new update is available that changes things around a bit.
The Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth-enabled door lock is the type of product that can change people's lives. No more fumbling for groceries and keys at the same time. No more scratching up the door at night. No more giving out spare keys to friends and family members. This lock opens at just a touch as long as paired smartphones or key fobs are within range. The lock became available for pre-order in the summer, and now it's up for sale directly on Amazon.
Facebook's Messenger app for Android and iOS is about to receive an extensive reworking, and will drop SMS support in the process. According to a Facebook product manager, the SMS feature "just didn't take off" in the way the company had originally expected, and as such, the feature is being given the axe.
The Messenger app, though, is about to look a whole lot different. Here a couple shots of the Android version, which I must say is impressively clean.
Following the new improvements to Hangouts revealed at today's event, Vic Gundotra announced a slew of new features for Google+ photos, including new auto-enhance options, 1000 additional image recognition words, Auto Awesome Movies, and other tools aimed at making backing up, editing, and retrieving your content even easier.
Google+'s new auto-enhance options improve upon the tweaks Google already applies to images that are automatically backed up to the service. Faces look brighter, noise is reduced, and vignettes are applied.
It's just a few days until Halloween, and that means it's time for some spoooooky sales. Well, just regular sales, I guess. But Halloween is the excuse developers are using to put things on sale. That means a lot of deals. Get ready to spend some money.
Aside from that, you'll also be able to share your location with a simple tap. Oh, and GIFs. Prepare for all sorts of animated crap in Hangouts. It's happening. Unfortunately, we're not exactly sure when it will be happening – there's no word right now as to when the updated APK will hit Google Play.