Out on the streets people may be keeping an eye open for killer clowns, but on Facebook this Halloween things are also taking a frightening turn. The social network is using this spooky time of year to introduce augmented reality masks to Live video -- with a Halloween twist, of course.
At the same time, Facebook is also adding "limited-edition" Halloween reactions. These transform the now familiar Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry reactions in something rather more ghoulish.
Two days before Apple's next media event, where long-overdue new laptops presumably arrive, the Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant released fiscal fourth quarter and full-year 2016 results. You could feel the anticipation after the Bell closed on Wall Street today—and, honestly, it had been palpable for weeks. Shares closed $118.25, up .51 percent.
The drama is a TV thriller: Release of iPhone 7 and 7 Plus set against a backdrop of saturated global smartphone sales; launch of Apple Watch Series 2 into an already declining market for smart timepieces; analyst data showing calendar third quarter to again be bad for PC shipments—with even Macs losing momentum. So everyone wants to know: What was the quarter's financial crop?
You've probably noticed that there's an election just around the corner. As Trump and Clinton battle it out there have been accusations that Russia is trying to interfere with the result, Julian Assange has been cut off from the internet to prevent him meddling, and Google has released a fact checker to help separate political fact from fiction.
There's no denying that this is one of the most important US elections ever, and the balance of power could be tipped by an important demographic -- millennials. With this in mind, a new app aims to help educate younger voters so no matter who they vote for, they are doing so in an informed way. Enter Sway Democracy.
Facebook is keen for people to keep talking. Recently the company has been pushing its Messenger app as a way for people to stay connected in a variety of ways, but it has also noticed a problem -- people don’t always have something to talk about.
But Facebook (of course!) has a solution. To help those who struggle with small talk, an experiment is underway whereby Facebook Messenger will suggest possible topics for conversation. These are, obviously, not just random suggestions, but topics based on the activities of the participants -- opening up the usual privacy concerns that tend to be associated with Facebook.
The Moments feature could be set to disappear from Twitter's mobile apps. Having only recently announced the roll out of a curation option to everyone, Twitter is now experimenting with replacing it with a more inviting Explore feature.
Speaking to Mashable, Twitter confirmed that a "content discovery"-focused Explorer tab could replace Moments in the future. For now, though, there is an experimental change visible to some iOS and Android users that sees the Moments and Explore tabs show up side by side.
Google Photos has received a fairly significant update that sees the arrival of four key new features. Three of them are focused on sharing and viewing your photos, but the fourth is an AI-powered auto-rotate function that ensures you'll no longer have to look at photos on their sides.
As Pixel and Pixel XL owners (as well as other Android users who don't mind a drop in quality) have unlimited Google Photo storage at their disposal, Google is introducing a Facebook-style restrospective feature. Google says it will "make it easier to look back at your fondest memories", but there is more to discover.
Playboy is a name synonymous with nudity -- or at least it was. It's been some time since the top shelf stalwart decided to drop pictures of completely naked women (the prevalence of hardcore online porn was too much to compete with), and the cleaner image means that the title is now available in the App Store and Google Play.
The title can now be downloaded as an app which provides subscribers with access to "sexy, seductive pictorials of the world’s most beautiful women". But of course you only buy it for the articles, so you'll be pleased to hear that the magazine "remains committed to its award-winning mix of long-form journalism, interviews and fiction".
Facebook's recently rolled-out Secret Conversations heralded the arrival of not only end-to-end encryption for users, but also disappearing messages. Not to be outdone, Edward Snowden's favorite messaging service, Signal, has followed suit.
The company behind the app, Open Whisper Systems, points out that the feature is not really designed to further improve security and privacy; rather it is a way "to keep your message history tidy".
If you're a keen Facebook user, you may well have accepted invites to events advertised on the social network. To help make your life a little easier, Facebook has now launched a new, dedicated app called simply Events from Facebook to more easily find out what's going on nearby.
More than this, the app can pull in information from your existing calendar so you can see all of your events and appointments in one place to avoid double-booking yourself. It's iOS-only for the time being, but an Android version of the app is in the pipeline.
Today, Facebook launches a new way to buy and sell goods online -- Facebook Marketplace. While the service may not win any prizes for the originality of its name, it provides a more efficient and effective way to find things that are for sale near you than currently exists on the social network.
To start with, Facebook Marketplace will be available to mobile app users on iOS and Android, but it will also come to Facebook on the desktop eventually. Facebook is taking a very hands-off approach to buying and selling, and is not getting involved in the murkier aspects of transactions such as payments or handling feedback.
Looking to paint a more accurate picture of what mobile coverage is like across the country, UK communications regulator Ofcom has released an app that can pull in data from millions of Android users.
The app, called Ofcom Mobile Research, is only available for Android and has been designed to measure not only mobile broadband performance, but also voice call quality. While building up a mass of data from participating Android users, iPhone owners are locked out of contributing because of the way iOS works.
Subscriptions can generate a lot of revenue for developers, which is why we are seeing them in so many apps these days. And it is not just new titles that now involve regular payments, as subscriptions are making their way to existing apps as well.
This is now the case with CloudMagic, one of the best -- and my favorite -- cross-platform email apps. It just got an update that changes its name to Newton and adds a number of new, premium features. The latest extras are offered as a rather costly one-year subscription.
Google's dream of bringing virtual reality to the masses just took another big leap forward. The popular Cardboard Camera app is now available for iOS, giving iPhone users the chance to capture and share VR photos.
For many people Google Cardboard has been all about finding a cheap way to enjoy virtual reality experiences that other people have created. Cardboard Camera gives you the chance to create your own.
At today’s Apple event, Tim Cook spoke about the success of the App Store, with the big numbers being 140 billion downloads to date, 106 percent year-over-year growth, and 500,000 games in the store. But while there are some excellent games and franchises available, someone, he lamented, has been missing, until now… Mario!
Yes, Nintendo’s most famous character is set to finally arrive, officially, and exclusively on iOS, but anyone hoping for a traditional Super Mario Brothers game will likely be disappointed.
Facebook, like Twitter, is going all in on video. The social network's latest move is to bring video to its second greatest love -- Facebook Messenger. You'd be forgiven for thinking that this is not exactly new, and you'd be right.
Facebook Messenger has included a video calling option, but Facebook is concerned that this is being reserved for 'special occasions'. Instant Video is an extra new feature that is designed to make it easier to show things that can't be properly described in words, or even static pictures.