Google Testing Ads That Let You Try Mobile Games Before Downloading Them

Google Testing Ads That Let You Try Mobile Games Before Downloading Them

Sometimes, a mobile game may catch your eye — all bright, blinking, beguiling colors — but after you’ve downloaded it, it turns out to be rather… meh. Yes, you can simply delete it from your phone easily enough — but if wasn’t a free game, that might smart a bit. In an attempt to defeat downloader’s remorse, Google is playing around with ads that would allow folks to try games before they’ve taken the leap to install them on their mobile devices.

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Facebook Bringing 360-Degree Video To iOS Newsfeeds

Facebook Bringing 360-Degree Video To iOS Newsfeeds

While we once wondered why Facebook would spend $2 billion to buy virtual reality company Oculus, we’re starting to get answers. Two months after Facebook said it was working to bring virtual reality to consumers’ phones via newsfeed ads, the social media company unveiled an iOS version.  [More]

Apple, Google Pull Unofficial Instagram App That Harvests Usernames And Passwords

Apple, Google Pull Unofficial Instagram App That Harvests Usernames And Passwords

In yet another example of why unofficial apps aren’t always to be trusted, Apple and Google have yanked an app from their app stores that was supposed to let users know who was viewing their profiles. That’s not a thing, and a developer says that the app instead acted as malware, secretly collecting usernames and passwords and using them to post spam to users’ accounts.

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Apple Bans More Than 250 Apps From App Store For Accessing Users’ Information

Apple Bans More Than 250 Apps From App Store For Accessing Users’ Information

When you play a game on your phone, use an application to play music or order food for delivery, you probably assume the app is working in a pretty straightforward manner — it’s letting you crush candy or add extra tahini sauce to your order. That wasn’t the case for more than 250 apps previously available in the App Store, which have been banned by Apple for secretly collecting and storing users’ personal information.

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Amazon Shuts Down Music Importer Program

Amazon Shuts Down Music Importer Program

Now that Amazon’s music streaming service – Prime Music – has been up and running for more than a year, the e-commerce giant is apparently cleaning house in the music department by ditching a three-year-old application that allowed users to upload previously purchased music into their Amazon Music library.  [More]

Starbucks Mobile Ordering App Is Now Available To All Coffee Lovers

Just weeks after Starbucks said it would roll out its mobile ordering feature to all U.S. stores by the end of the month, the coffee chain made good on its promise, extending the feature – on both iOS and Android devices – nationwide on Tuesday. The coffee chain had previously anticipated mobile ordering would be ready by the end of the year. Executives for the company said that the service was so popular – allowing coffee drinkers to skip long lines as they order and pay for their beverages with their mobile devices – that the company sped up implementation. [The Seattle Times]

Feds Say Vision-Improvement App Not Backed By Science

Feds Say Vision-Improvement App Not Backed By Science

They say that staring at a computer for hours at a time can ruin you vision, so it might be hard to swallow claims that a mobile app can improve your vision… especially when science doesn’t back it up. [More]

Starbucks To Roll Out Mobile Ordering Nationwide, Accept Android Pay By End Of Month

Starbucks To Roll Out Mobile Ordering Nationwide, Accept Android Pay By End Of Month

Android users – and those living in areas of the country where mobile ordering isn’t available at their local Starbucks – can soon order and pay for their morning cup of coffee straight from the comfort of their phones with little human contact, as the coffee chain announced today that it would expedite the rollout of its mobile ordering feature to all U.S. stores by the end of the month. [More]

(Instagram)

Instagram Decides It’s Not Hip To Only Be Square, Will Now Allow Rectangular Images & Videos

If you’ve ever had to take a screenshot of a rectangular photo on your phone just so you could crop it into a square to post on Instagram, you’ll be glad to hear this news: the photo-sharing app announced Thursday that it’ll now allow landscape and portrait photos and videos instead of only square-shaped media.

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Amazon Launches App Store That Claims To Show Other Actually Free Apps

Amazon Launches App Store That Claims To Show Other Actually Free Apps

In a relatively novel idea, Amazon has launched a new store called Amazon Underground that claims to provide Android users with a list of top apps that are actually free – no hidden in-app purchases here. [More]

(Morton Fox)

Google Testing Feature That Lets You Put Your Food Photos On The Map

If you’re a diner that enjoys providing your social media followers with (sometimes) artistic shots of the food you plan to shove down your throat, but are getting tired of just getting little hearts from Instagram, have no fear. Google is reportedly working on a new feature that will put your foodie photos on the map, literally. [More]

App Called RoboKiller Takes Top Prize In FTC’s Anti-Robocall Contest

App Called RoboKiller Takes Top Prize In FTC’s Anti-Robocall Contest

The Federal Trade Commission’s vendetta against robocalls continued today as the agency announced the winner of a contest – and $25,000 – for building an app that blocks and forwards the annoying calls. [More]

Just What You Need: Yet Another Stand-Alone Single-Purpose Facebook App

Just What You Need: Yet Another Stand-Alone Single-Purpose Facebook App

Because Hello, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Groups, and of course Facebook itself aren’t clogging up your phone enough already, the big blue social juggernaut has an idea for one more app to add to the pantheon. And this time, they’re sort of homing in on a slice of Twitter’s turf.

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(dsuniaga)

NYC Car Service Companies Launching Their Own Smartphone Apps To Compete With Uber

In the pre-Uber days of New York City, if you needed a ride to show up at a certain time and location, you’d call a car service in your neighborhood (everyone had their favorites) and arrange for a livery driver to pick you up, instead of risking it and trying to find an available yellow cab. Some of those local car service companies are now turning to their own new technology, introducing smartphone apps to try to compete with the growing presence of Uber.

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Adidas Group Pays $240 Million To Download Runtastic Forever

Earlier this year, fitness gear maker Under Armour bought fitness-tracking apps MyFitnessPal and Endomodo for a total of $560 million. Now Adidas has decided to keep up with its competitor by downloading its own set of fitness apps, buying the eighteen apps in the Runtastic family for about $240 million. [More]

Target Testing System That Sends Customers Notifications On Deals While They Shop

Target Testing System That Sends Customers Notifications On Deals While They Shop

Target wants to track your every move while shopping at its stores. Or at least that seems to be the gist behind the retailers’ new test of transmitters – known as beacons – that link to shoppers’ smartphones through the company’s app, sending coupons, deals, product recommendations and recipes based on their location inside the big box store. [More]

Subway Launches New Mobile Payment, Ordering Options

Subway Launches New Mobile Payment, Ordering Options

Now that nearly every American has a smartphone permanently fixed to their hand, a long list of restaurants including Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell and Dominos have upped their mobile presence by way of ordering and payment apps, and now one of the largest chains in the country is joining the ever-growing list: Subway. [More]

eBay Shutters Same-Day Delivery Service eBay Now

eBay Shutters Same-Day Delivery Service eBay Now

Three years after eBay launched its rapid delivery venture, eBay Now, the company is nixing the service as other e-commerce companies and retailers like Amazon, Uber and Whole Foods continue to dip their toes in the fast-delivery market. [More]