Not content with forcing people into using its Messenger app, Facebook is continuing its aggressive tactics and driving users to install its photo-sharing app, Moments. The social network has warned users that their photos face deletion if they fail to use the Moments app.
Unsurprisingly, this has led to a huge surge in interest in the app, pushing it to the top of the download charts. Facebook has announced that it is going to delete Synced Albums and Synced Photos if Moments is not installed by July 7, sending warning emails to a number of users.
It looks like the next big movement in smartphone design is going to be physically customisable handsets. The latest company to do more than just add bigger screen, ramp up the processor speed and chuck in a bit more RAM is Lenovo. Today the company announces the Moto Z family with Moto Mods.
At the moment, the 'family' comprises just two phones: the Moto Z, and the more powerful Moto Z Force. Things get off to a promising start with the handset boasting impressive specs, and measuring just 5.2mm thick (which Lenovo boasts is 'The world's thinnest premium smartphone'). Which is just as well because, as you'll see, the available Moto Mods -- snap-on modules that clip to the rear of the phone to add functionality -- make it a whole lot thicker.
An Android update is rolling out that makes it easier to take full advantage of location-aware apps. You might be somewhere for which there is the perfect app to enhance your visit, but if you don’t know of its location-specific capabilities, you just might never use it. Enter Nearby from Google.
Google offers a number of example scenarios in which Nearby might be useful. Walk into a CVS, and you could be notified of the in-store photo printing service. Visit a key landmark, and you could enjoy a virtual tour, or learn more about it. Developers are being encouraged to deploy 'beacons' which, when triggered, will either call up a web site, fire up an app, or offer an app download when users are in particular locations.
One of the most stifling trends in modern times -- from a technology standpoint -- is the death of unlimited mobile data. Now that customers must monitor how much data they use, it can be argued that progress -- especially regarding the cloud -- is negatively impacted. As someone who still clutches to a grandfathered unlimited Verizon plan, I feel for my fellow smartphone users.
Thankfully, Google's Project Fi cellular service largely takes the worry out of data overages. While it is not unlimited, it offers affordable tiers -- you won't have to claim bankruptcy for using too much data. The most brilliant aspect, however, is that it aggregates multiple carriers -- Sprint and T-Mobile -- so that it can switch to the one with better coverage when needed. Today, Google welcomes a third carrier, U.S. Cellular, to the Project Fi family.
The summer is almost here, and I am so excited! Relaxing and having fun at the beach, pool, or my backyard are some of my favorite things. Unfortunately, water and sand are not good for electronics. While I absolutely adore my iPhone, I wouldn't dare bring it to the beach, or rest it on a table near a pool.
If you live a very active summer lifestyle, and cannot deal with owning a phone that you must treat gently (such as Apple's), a rugged such offering would be a wise choice. Today, Samsung announces that the all-new rugged Galaxy S7 Active is coming to AT&T as an exclusive. Best of all, it will be available just in time for the summer season.
There aren't many small Android tablets that can set your world on fire. The manufacturers that are still invested in this market no longer seem to be interested in producing smaller devices, as their attention is now either focused on larger slates or hybrid devices. So, if you are in the market for a small tablet that runs Android, you clearly aren't spoiled for choice.
This is why, after nearly three years on the market, the second-generation Nexus 7 is still my favorite. Google's last small slate got so many things right back in 2013 that I have been struggling to find an attractive replacement for it. But since Xiaomi introduced the Mi Pad 2, I have been wondering whether it is the successor that I have been waiting for so long. Given the opportunity to test it, I set upon to find out whether there truly is a small Android tablet to get excited about these days.
If you access Facebook on your phone, the chances are that you use the dedicated Facebook app -- but this is not necessarily the case. A lot of people prefer to make use of the mobile Facebook website, and the social network is making an aggressive change to the way messaging works that will force the use of the Messenger app.
Head to the messaging section of the mobile site today, and you'll be greeted by a large pre-emptive warning that reads: "Your conversations are moving to Messenger. Soon, you'll only be able to view your messages from Messenger". For now, you can continue to send messages through Facebook's mobile site, but this will end at some unknown date in the future. It's an aggressive tactic reminiscent of Microsoft's forcing of Windows 10 onto users.
Samsung Pay is nearly nine months old at this point yet it is only available in a handful of markets across the globe. That does not include Europe, though Samsung earlier this year announced that it would bring its mobile payments service to more countries in 2016.
The company is keeping its promise, as, after launching Samsung Pay in South Korea, US and China, it is now introducing the service in the first European market -- Spain. Here is what you need to know.
The "wearable" product segment is a bit curious. Quite often, it feels like smartwatches, bands, and more are merely solutions in search of a problem. For many consumers, they can end up being nothing more than money spent to get notifications on their wrists.
The one clear usage for wearables, however, is fitness. Whether you are an active exercise aficionado, or someone just wanting to shed some pounds, a fitness tracker or other activity-based wearable can be a godsend. Today, Samsung announces two such products -- the Gear Fit2 wrist wearable and the Gear IconX wireless earbuds..
Google is a company that's well-known for its beta products -- there is a long-running joke about so many of its services being in permanent beta. Beta testing on Android has tended to be limited to a select few, but with the Google Maps app the beta programme is being opened up to everyone.
After signing up to take part, you will be able to download a newer version of Google Maps than is currently available in the Play Store. At the moment there is a fairly insignificant version number difference, and no notable changes, but this should all change as beta testing progresses.
With the size of apps and games spiralling upwards faster than the amount of storage increases in phones, it's very easy to run low on space. To help overcome the problem of not having enough room to install a new app, Google is starting to suggest rarely used apps that could be installed.
The feature has not appeared completely out of the blue, with references having been spotted to it in APK teardowns some months ago. But now Google Play's intelligent uninstall manager has been spotted in action.
There are lots of services that help you find your lost smartphone, but nothing beats the convenience of a built-in tool like Android Device Manager or Find My iPhone. However, Google might have something that's even better.
Google believes that locating a smartphone should be as simple as a Google search, so the company has introduced a new feature in My Account that lets you do just that. And it works no matter if you have an Android smartphone or iPhone.
While most smartphones can backup photos and other content to the cloud on a regular basis, there are downsides -- backups handled by third-party apps might not always happen, free storage can quickly become full (I’m looking at you, iCloud) and of course cloud services could be compromised.
MEEM memory cable offers a low cost solution to all of those problems -- automatically, and securely backing up your iPhone or Android device every time you charge it.
When we reviewed the Oukitel K4000 Pro toughphone last month it came with a pretty standard Android UI.
Latest versions of the K4000 though will come with a new 'max' interface that puts fewer but larger icons on each screen. It also offers a bigger dial pad, so the phone should appeal to older users and to others who struggle to cope with smaller icons.
One of the concerns -- for those focused on privacy, at least -- with the likes of Siri, Cortana and 'OK, Google' is that the way these features works means they are constantly listening to what you say. In the case of Google, these recordings are stored in the cloud for the company to use to improve the service.
But voice recognition is an art rather than a science, and your phone is not always able to distinguish between commands you direct at it and ordinary conversation. As such, Google may well have recorded audio of you going about your day to day business. The good news, however, is that you can review these recordings and delete any of them -- or all of them if you want.