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Thursday
Dec062012

Skype updates terms of service to make mention of 'Video Messaging' feature

Skype hardly has a history of keeping its forthcoming features secret, but then again, surprises aren't all they're chalked up to be. This go 'round, an updated terms of service page has outed a heretofore unannounced update: Video Messaging. While it's not possible to indulge just yet, we're left to assume that an impending update will enable Skype Premium users (who pay $8.99 per month for certain privileges) to "send and receive an unlimited number of Video Messages." For those taking advantage of Skype's free offerings, you'll be able to send a "limited" amount, though you'll be able to receive an unlimited quantity of 'em. We're also told that non-premium members will see their video messages expire within 90 days -- unless it was sent by a premium member or you upgrade your account in time, of course -- but the TOS makes no mention of when any of this will find itself under public scrutiny. Hopefully it'll be before those year-end fireworks go up, you know?

[Source: Engadget]

Thursday
Dec062012

Google Street View and Maps coming to Wii U in January 2013

During today's Nintendo Direct presentation, Iwata-san had plenty of game footage to show to Japan-based fans, but he also casually mentioned that Google-powered maps and street vistas would arrive on the Wii U at the end of January 2013. As demonstrated by the man himself, you'll be able to swing the GamePad around to get the best view of anywhere that's been documented by Google -- including underwater. Navigation looks similar to the previously-seen Wii U Panorama View (which Nintendo confirmed would arrive Spring 2013) and although Street View isn't motion video, there's admittedly more to see from Google's cartography. You'll be able to navigate down roads, and use the vanilla map view and street view on both the big-screen and the GamePad. If you're liking what you hear, you'd better be quick: the app will launch free for two months, after which users will have to pay an as-yet-unmentioned price for access.

[Source: Engadget]

Thursday
Dec062012

Zensorium launches Tinké cardiorespiratory health and stress monitor for iOS devices

Planning a gluttonous holiday season and then a health kick in the New Year to balance it out? Well, when you start on the latter, you might want one of Zensorium's Tinké cardiorespiratory monitors to track your progress. The sensor is compatible with any of your old-fashioned 30-pin iOS devices (it'll work with the Lightning adapter, too), and with the press of a thumb, it can measure heart rate, blood oxygenation and respiratory rate using light. All this data is fed into the free companion app, which generates an overall fitness score called the "Vita Index" and logs it for later comparison. Stress levels can also be assessed, using fluctuations in your heart rate to score the "Zen Index." Sharing how unfit and stressed you are can be done via Facebook or Tinké's own network, which also allows you to compare results with other users worldwide. The monitor will set you back $119 and is available now from Zensorium in a choice of four colors.

[Source: Engadget]

 

Thursday
Dec062012

Instagram pulls Cards support from Twitter, favors its own web experience

Something's amiss with Instagram links on Twitter and it's not just the overabundance of unnecessarily filtered photos. Users have noticed that, upon clicking those links, images are displaying incorrectly and, in some cases, showing up as cropped. There's no need to drag out the fail whale though (apart from amusing lead image purposes), as both companies have acknowledged that the issue lies in the Cards - specifically, Instagram's disabling of them. What that means for end users is that preview thumbnail images will no longer show up from within feeds, reverting the integration to a "pre-cards experience." Speaking at LeWeb conference in Paris today, Instagram's CEO Kevin Systrom insists the change has nothing to do with the outfit's acquisition by Facebook and, instead, is framed as a way of promoting its own web service. As for those "lomo-fi" shots you're all so fond of snapping, have no fear, you'll still be able to tweet those out with same ferocity.

[Source: Engadget]

Thursday
Dec062012

Microsoft launches Socl into Beta, brings the part(ies) to social networking

Microsoft has unleashed Socl into beta for all comers to probe, bringing it out of the experimental stages and a step closer to a full-fledged site. We first heard about the project back in July when it was dubbed Tulalip, and MS Research's Fuse Labs officially launched it internally and into some universities back in October last year. The site carries the Windows 8 tile-like look, and Fuse says that imagery is emphasized over "blue links" for search, helping democratize the site "even for people who speak different languages." That lets you find others via posts, a people gallery, or someone's page -- where new posts, people and interests can be viewed all at once. A nav bar allows articles to be created by topics like web, videos or news, and users can create "parties," where they can chat, create playlists or watch videos with others in a similar fashion to Google Hangouts. The project was coded using Redmond's Java-hued Typescript to allow for rapid coding changes, according to Fuse's blog in the source below. To try it out for yourself, check the "more coverage" link.

[Source: Engadget]

Thursday
Dec062012

TomTom updates its Android app to make it, you know, work

We've journeyed with the TomTom Navigator app for Android and it's been great -- except for one brake-punching problem. Version 1.0 was only compatible with phones that happened to have a display width of 480 pixels (WVGA or FWVGA), which meant that our Galaxy S IIIs, Nexus 4s and other favorite handsets all had to be left at home. That issue has now been fixed in v1.1, along with some other, less fundamental niggles. In particular, you can now download the large offline maps to microSD rather than filling up internal storage, and TomTom also says map downloads can be completed with the app running in the background -- although there's no mention of downloads being resumable. One thing that certainly hasn't improved is the price -- if you want to travel across the USA and Canada, for example, you'll find that Navigator for Android is precisely $50 more costly than Google's offline offering or Nokia Drive for Windows Phones.

[Source: Engadget]

Thursday
Dec062012

Sony reveals 3.5-inch Xperia E single or dual-SIM Android phone, coming early next year

Sony has just announced the new Xperia E smartphone sporting a 3.5-inch HVGA 320 x 480 display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (though the specs indicate ICS), available with single or "Xperia Edual" mode SIMs. It's touting the new handset as a way to "stay on top of your data and battery usage," sporting special software that disables WiFi and data traffic when the screen has been asleep for more than a few minutes. With the dual-SIM option, you'll also be able to switch between carriers with a single touch "to stay on the most cost effective plan." It'll come with HD Voice and Walkman xLOUD technology for optimal sound quality, according to Sony, and other specs include a 1GHz processor, wireless DNLA connectivity, a 1500 mAh battery and black, white or pink color options. Pricing has yet to be announced, but it'll launch in Q1 2013 according to the PR, which you can find along with a video right after the break.

[Source: Engadget]

Thursday
Dec062012

Amazon Kindle FreeTime Unlimited launches, bundles kid-friendly media, menu for a fee

We got a peek at Amazon's Kindle FreeTime during its press conference back in September, but now it's making the family-friendly feature part of a subscription package available across the family of Kindle Fire devices. More than just a submenu of video like the ones offered by Netflix and Hulu Plus, it resembles theKid's Corner launcher in Windows Phone 8 by password locking children out of the rest of the device, but with a preselected package of content to fill it.

Available to Prime subscribers for $2.99 per month, per child or for $6.99 for a family-wide license of up to six kids (don't have Prime? you can pick it up for $4.99/$9.99 a month), kids can browse through the selection of educational apps, games, books, movies and TV shows. It also throws in other features parents will dig, with a personalized login and bookmarks for the kids, plus the ability to set time limits on use that can be specifically tailored by category.

[Source: Engadget - Click here to reade the full story]

Thursday
Dec062012

Windows Phone now home to 120k apps, downloads and dev revenue rising post-WP8

Windows Phone 8 is a roaring success! That is if you ask the platform's Senior Director, Todd Brix, who tweeted today that developer revenues and downloads have doubled since its launch in November. While this sounds all good, what does it really mean? Back in June, the former Windows Phone Marketplace surpassed 100,000 published apps. To further gauge the platform's progress, Nokia recently announced that the Windows Phone Store now has over 120,000 apps, with 46 of the top 50 iOS and Android applications being available for WP8.

While today's vague declaration of success didn't reveal any specific numbers, a 20 percent software increase in under six months is definitely something to smile about. As much as we'd like to slap Microsoft a high-five, we'll have to save our jubilation until we get a little something more concrete -- hopefully a set of official statistics will Surface sooner than later.

[Source: Engadget]

Thursday
Dec062012

YouTube app updated for iOS: now optimized for iPad and iPhone 5, complete with AirPlay streaming 

Good news for people who love downloading iOS updates -- just hours after Google refaced its Gmail for iOS app, here comes another heavyweight in YouTube. The standalone app is now fully optimized for use with iPad and the iPhone 5, and perhaps the biggest gift of all is the addition of AirPlay streaming for videos. Other updates include the ability to tap a logo to open one's Guide of channels, the ability to add / remove videos from your playlists, clickable links in video descriptions and improved accessibility with VoiceOver. Feel free to hit the source link to dive in, and let us know how it turns out in comments below.

[Source: Engadget]

Wednesday
Dec052012

Nexus 4 set to become available in the UK and Germany again today at 5PM local time

Canadians got their crack at it yesterday, and it looks like today's the day that those in the UK and Germany will have another chance to order a Nexus 4. Google has sent out emails informing subscribers that the phone will again be available to order from the Play store in Germany at 5:00PM CET (less than an hour from now), and from the UK store at 5:00PM GMT. Once again, there's no indication of quantities available, but if past history is any indication it's a good bet that they'll sell out fairly quickly.

[Source: Engadget]

Wednesday
Dec052012

The Times UK offers digital newspaper subscriptions with subsidized Nexus 7

While News Corporation's big tablet newspaper experiment, The Daily, may have ended with a whimper, it's not stopping the global media company trying new strategies to pick up more (paying) digital readers. The Times, one of the only UK national papers to keep its content firmly behind a paywall, has decided to offer a discounted Google Nexus 7 tablet alongside its digital subscriptions. Knocking £149 from the original £199 price of the 32GB Nexus 7, the device will arrive accompanied by an 18-month subscription with access to the full site and its mobile apps, costing £18 per month, discounted to just shy of £300 in total if you're willing to pay it all upfront. However, it's not the first time we've seen a news organization fold in a gadget incentive for new subscribers -- Barnes and Noble offered discounted Nooks alongside one-year subscriptions to The New York Times at the start of the year. UK readers can check out the deal at the source below.

[Source: Engadget]