Instagram launches walkie-talkie voice messaging

You’d think Facebook would be faster at copying itself. Five years after Facebook Messenger took a cue from WhatsApp and Voxer to launch voice messaging, and four months after TechCrunch reported Instagram was testing its own walkie-talkie feature, voice messaging is rolling out globally on Instagram Direct today. Users can hold down the microphone button…

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Google Maps’ new personalized suggestions come to iOS

A more personalized version of Google Maps is now arriving on iOS. At Google’s I/O developer conference earlier this year, the company introduced a series of new features designed to help Google Maps users learn what’s happening around them, track area businesses to receive updates about their events and promotions and receive personalized suggestions of…

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Here’s what caused yesterday’s O2 and SoftBank outages

It appears that most mobile carriers, including O2 and SoftBank, have recovered from yesterday’s cell phone network outage that was triggered by a shutdown of Ericsson equipment running on their networks. That shut down appears to have been triggered by expired software certificates on the equipment itself. While Ericsson acknowledged in their press release yesterday…

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MoviePass announces new pricing plans for 2019

It’s been a rocky year for MoviePass, something that CEO Mitch Lowe acknowledged in an interview this week with Variety. “We have a lot to prove to all our constituents,” Lowe said. “We don’t just have to prove ourselves to our members, we also have to prove ourselves to the investment community, our employees, and…

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FB QVC? Facebook tries Live video shopping

Want to run your own home shopping network? Facebook is now testing a Live video feature for merchants that lets them demo and describe their items for viewers. Customers can screenshot something they want to buy and use Messenger to send it to the seller, who can then request payment right through the chat app.…

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Pandora’s Podcast Genome Project goes live for all

Last month, Pandora announced it would soon be bringing its “Genome” technology to a new space outside of music: it would leverage a similar classification system to make podcast recommendations, too. Initially, the feature was only available to select users on mobile devices, ahead of a broader public launch. Today, Pandora says its Podcast Genome…

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Yandex gets in the smartphone game

“The Google of Russia” is a fairly apt description, as far as those things go. Yandex has its hand in just about everything internet in its native Russia. Recent additions include a Prime-style service, a smart speaker and, yes, self-driving cars. So it was really only a matter of time before the company unleashed a…

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Facebook ends platform policy banning apps that copy its features

Facebook will now freely allow developers to build competitors to its features upon its own platform. Today Facebook announced it will drop Platform Policy section 4.1 which stipulates “Add something unique to the community. Don’t replicate core functionality that Facebook already provides.” Facebook had previously enforced that policy selectively to hurt competitors that had used…

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