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Amazon Echo Update Adds Support For Select IFTTT Voice Triggers And Audible Playback

Amazon's HAL 9000-style voice controlled gadget thing, the Echo, (yes, that's the best way to describe it in a single sentence) is gaining more capabilities with each software update. If you can get over the creepy implications of that, it's amazingly cool. The latest update adds the capability to interact with user recipes from the popular IFFT (If This, Then That) web service. At the moment it's mostly requests for music, to-do functions, and connected gadgets.

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Here's Google Web Light, The New Bare Bones Version Of Websites For Users On Slow Connections

We heard at Google I/O about Google's plans to help improve the experience of users on slow connections, especially in parts of the world where even 3G speeds are few and far between. They gave us a peek at how the search interface would change under those circumstances to improve those load times. Now, in select markets, the pages you click on will also be optimized to load much faster.

Google's estimates have you loading the page 4x as fast compared to the unaltered version when on a slow connection, with 80% less data. They claim, appealing to webmasters, that this results in 50% more pageviews due to the better experience and lower wait.

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[Update: Another New Feature!] The Stock Calculator App Has Been Overhauled, No Longer Uses Floating Point Arithmetic

We missed one good new feature - you can now just tap and drag your finger in the result field to adjust how many decimals the answer will be calculated to. That's awesome.

While the calculator in Android M may not look that much different on first inspection, it's actually almost completely new. According to several responses from Googlers on the Android issue tracker, a host of bugs and problems with the old calculator app should be solved in Android M.

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PayPal's Purchase Protection Now Covers Intangible Digital Goods Like Apps, Music, And Services In The US

PayPal is among the most well-known ways to send money over the web. Whether buying or selling, spotting the company's button on a site signals to many that they're in for a convenient time seeing a transaction through to the end. PayPal has long offered buyers protection against fraud in the case of tangible goods. Now it will do the same with digital purchases as well in the US.

With Purchase Protection, buyers can file a claim if the product that they receive is significantly different from what was advertised or if they never receive their order at all. This now applies to apps, digital albums, e-books, games, tickets, and services that provide a product you can't physically touch.

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[Deal Alert] BLU Vivo Air On Sale For $149.99 ($50 Off) Through Amazon Today Only

BLU has been making some respectable low-cost unlocked phones over the last few years, and you can get your hands on one for cheap today. The BLU Vivo Air is on sale for just $150 on Amazon (that's $50 off). This deal ends at midnight on the west coast, so you'll want to decide soon.

2015-06-12 14_22_26-Amazon.com_ BLU Vivo Air Smartphone - Unlocked - White Gold_ Cell Phones & Acces

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SoundCloud Introduces A Revamped Recording Experience And Redesigned Playback Widget In Latest Update

SoundCloud version 15.06.09 is now rolling out to devices, but its visual changes aren't immediately apparent. Here's where you need to look. When you go to record audio, you're in for a much whiter experience. And no, I'm not talking about anyone's lyrics.

SoundCloud1 SoundCloud2

Left: Old, Right: New

Rather than changing everything all at once, SoundCloud has introduced material elements bit by bit. The most pressing ones came at the beginning of this year, but the recording interface went untouched. Now it better fits in with the app's new current look and feel.

SoundCloud3

The same can be said for SoundCloud's playback widget.

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Google Announces YouTube Gaming To Take On Twitch, Launching This Summer In US And UK

You may remember Google nearly bought the game streaming service Twitch a while back, but then Amazon swooped in and snatched it up when the Google deal fell through. Now Google is announcing a new service that competes directly with Twitch, and it's called (predictably) YouTube Gaming. While it uses the YouTube brand, this will be a standalone service with its own website and app when it launches this summer.

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Virgin America Starts Rolling Out Android-Based In-Flight Entertainment System

Planes are usually very basic and drab inside, but Virgin America has been trying to make them slightly less so with built-in entertainment systems. The airline is rolling out a new beta version of its Red entertainment platform. Why do we care? It's based on Android, not that you could tell just by looking.

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Google Play Offers Its First Free App Of The Week—A PBS App Tucked Away In The Family Section

Giving away free apps is sort of Amazon's thing. Each day the company offers up a different piece of software in hopes of attracting Android users away from their default app store. Now Google seems to be dipping its toes in the water and trying out something similar. Instead of a free app of the day, we can download one for the week.

The offer isn't immediately apparent when you first open the Play Store. A banner advertising "New Family Fun" appears at the bottom of the screen. Clicking that will take you over to the family section, where you should see another banner advertising a free app of the week from PBS Kids.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Active Arrives On AT&T In Gray, Camo Blue, And Camo White For $695

Some of you abuse your phones. You know who you are. You're the folks who are willing to fundamentally change the look, feel, and size of your phone by cramming it into an OtterBox case. A number of you have what few would dispute as a legitimate reason (you work in construction, work as a crash test dummy's stunt double—that sort of thing), while others just feel clumsy enough that their phones can't possibly survive the number of times they will fall against carpet and concrete. Either way, you're the type of person who may want to pick up a Galaxy S6 Active, which is now available from AT&T.

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