YouTube has stopped supporting devices that make use of the second version of its Data API. In practice the move, which was announced more than a year ago, is forcing users to look into alternative ways of watching YouTube videos, and likely also taking many by surprise.
For those who are not familiar with it, YouTube's Data API allows developers to implement YouTube functionality into their apps. The second version is mostly used on older devices, with the list including TVs, smartphones, tablets, Blu-Ray disc players and more. Here's what you should do, if you're affected.
Twitter today announces a number of key changes to the way its messaging system works. Until now it has only been possible to exchange a private Direct Message with another user if you both follow each other. This all changes as Twitter introduces the ability to DM anyone as long as they have the feature enabled on their account.
Just last week, Twitter announced that it will use a Dublin-based branch to handle all non-US account data but today's news is all about communication. If you're happy to receive DMs from anyone on Twitter, you can flip the switch on a setting that makes this possible.
When I was a young man, I loved video games more than anything. Not only did I play the games, but I bought magazines about them and had fun discussing them with friends. Back then -- in the 80s' and 90's -- things were much simpler. You put in your cartridge, started the system and were playing in seconds. Nowadays, however, games take forever to load, are super complicated and offer in-game purchases. It can feel like a huge money-grab. Hell, sometimes you spend more time installing updates than playing the actual games!
When Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries released Halo: Spartan Assault last year, I was in heaven. The game was a throw-back to the glory days of gaming -- pick up and play. You shot stuff and tried not to die; a wonderful concept! Today, the follow-up to that game, Halo: Spartan Strike, sees release. You can download the game now for Windows, Windows Phone, iPad and iPhone. The best part? A paltry $5.99 price tag (and no in-game purchases)!
Microsoft thinks that typing on a mobile device is difficult. At the same time it understands that "you love to discover images" on the very same devices. To help make your mobile searches a little easier to conduct, the company is introducing a number of tweaks and changes to the iOS and Android Bing app.
Of course it is not possible to entirely eliminate the need to input words in order to conduct a search, but Microsoft has taken steps to reduce it to an absolute minimum. How has this been done? Enter simple search terms and you're provided with a couple of new ways to drill down to exactly what it is you're looking for with just a few taps.
When Logitech announced that it was crowdsourcing a video game using Reddit, I was dubious to say the least. I knew the company could pull it off, but I was fearful that anonymous Internet users would ruin the "Together We Game" experiment.
Luckily, my fears were unfounded, as not only has the game been released, it is actually very fun and normal. In other words, the Internet did not spoil the game. Best of all, the tower defense game is free and available for Windows, OS X and iOS. Will you download PX57?
Today Facebook launches a new standalone website for its Messenger service. The separate interface means that it is now possible to chat with your Facebook contacts without having to visit the main Facebook website where you might run the risk of whiling away too much time reading through your timeline as well.
On mobile devices, Facebook has moved users to a dedicated Messenger app rather than allowing them to chat within the main app. By bringing the web-based version of the social network's chat tool in line with the iOS, Windows Phone and Android versions, Facebook has made chatting a distinct feature that can now be conducted completely separately in its own tab.
A number of consumer groups have filed a complaint with the FTC suggesting that Google is targeting children with "unfair and deceptive" ads in YouTube Kids for Android and iOS. A letter signed by Children Now, Consumer Watchdog, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, and others says that ads are displayed in a way that would not be permitted on broadcast or cable television.
The letter makes three main complaints about the app. The first suggests that Google mixes programming and ads, while another says that the relationship between Google and the manufacturers of advertised products is not clear. The groups ask for the FTC to take action to stop the advertisements.
Facebook is about more than being social; it's about presenting a version of yourself to other people. When you share a photo of your meal, you're making a statement: "look at this delicious expensive meal I can afford", "look at the fancy restaurant we're visiting", or "gosh, aren't I healthy for making this salad?". But of course Facebook is not just filled with photos of food -- there are also photos of kids, presenting an image of family life.
Starting today, Facebook is rolling out a new scrapbooking feature designed specifically for pulling together photos of your child. The idea is to make it easier to collect together photos into one place so you can view all of your memories without having to jump from place to place.
Microsoft has announced that mobile device management is now available in Office 365 for commercial customers. The feature is built into the office suite and allows administrators to control access to Office 365 data by Android, iOS and Windows Phone tablets and phones.
Security is very much at the heart of Office 365's mobile device management, and it includes a remote wipe feature. For businesses who have embraced the BYOD philosophy, this will bring peace of mind as it allows for the remote removal of Office and associated files even on personal devices.
You've probably heard that size matters, and Microsoft agrees. If you're carrying about a mobile device that measures 10.1 inches or less, the chances are you're not using a "professional" device -- at least this is what Microsoft believes.
10.1 inches, 256.54 millimetres, 25.654 centimetres; this is the new dividing line between what is classed as a personal device, and which is professional. This is interesting to know, but what does it actually mean? For starters, if you fall into the "personal" category, you're entitled to a free copy of Office.
Foursquare (remember that app?) is joining forces with Twitter to make tweets more relevant to specific locations. At the moment it is possible to tag your location in a tweet, but you're limited to mentioning the town or city you find yourself in.
With the new partnership, you'll be able to tag individual locations such as the Starbucks you're sitting in with your iPhone or Android handset. It's a feature that takes advantage of the huge cache of data Foursquare has built up over the years and something that provides yet another way for users to search for data and, importantly, for Twitter to monetize data.
When I first pondered leaving Windows Phone behind, I imagined it would be for an Android flagship. It made sense. Android is, after all, much more permissive, has way more apps, and is available in a larger variety of smartphone flavors. And Google is committed to improving the operating system, launching at least one major update a year. Also, I use a Google Nexus 7 as my every day tablet; an Android smartphone would be a perfect fit. But things change.
Apple finally came up with bigger iPhones last year, and the prospect of ditching Windows Phone for a new iPhone suddenly became irresistible. It didn't hurt that iOS 8 dropped some of the annoying restrictions of its predecessors. Ultimately, I ended up with an iPhone 6 Plus. And, after two years of Windows Phones, using Apple's phablet as my daily driver can only be described as liberating.
Google has released Google Maps for iOS 4.4, a new version of its map app for iPhone and iPad users.
The new build promises one-tap access to a full-screen map, the ability to view transit colors when viewing public transport directions and the ability to filter search results for Zagat-rated restaurants.
I'm not going to open the 'which mobile operating system is best' can of worms -- let's get that clear from the offset. This is not me trying to push my preferred operating system on you, or trying to convince you that you're wrong about the OS you've opted for. This time it's over to you. What you do want?
Do you want things handed to you on a plate, or would you prefer to be granted more control over the operating system on your phone and tablet? Is there mobile platform that meets your needs at the moment, or would you like to combine elements from Android, iOS, Windows Phone and even BlackBerry OS? Just what is it that makes the perfect operating system for your phone or tablet?
Microsoft regularly pits its personal assistant Cortana against Apple’s Siri in a series of adverts, with predictable results. Cortana is always much smarter, funnier and more helpful. She’s certainly one of the high points of Windows Phone, and is set to make her debut on the desktop when she arrives as part of Windows 10 later this year.
However, it seems Cortana isn’t just going to be confined to working on Windows devices. According to Reuters, Microsoft is also working on bringing the personal assistant to iOS and Android in the form of a standalone app.