Facebook Messenger Update Brings Free Voice Calls to iOS/Android in Canada

fbThe world’s largest social network with over one billion users, Facebook, has made a significant improvement to its mobile Messenger apps for iOS and Google Android, bringing voice clips and free voice calls (VoIP), allowing users to directly talk with their Facebook friends.

The VoIP feature is currently only available for Canadian iOS users, and works over either WiFi or a cellular connection.

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Google Currents Takes on Flipboard, Other Elegant Newsstand Apps

googleThe world’s largest Internet search company, Google, today unveiled a new HTML5-powered news and media aggregator for mobile and tablet devices, Google Currents, that elegantly displays user customized content from a number of sources, including from Google News, Google Reader, RSS Feeds, and even the company’s latest social network Google+.

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Rockstar Games Unveils First GTA V Trailer

gta-vMoments ago, Rockstar Games, the maker of the popular game series Grand Theft Auto, unveiled the first trailer to the forthcoming game, GTA V.

The setting in GTA V is based in Los Angeles (San Andreas), the same location GTA 3 was based on, but GTA V will include multiple areas. We can also see from the trailer that there are animals in the game now and there are different types of planes players could use. This title will be a lot more comprehensive compared to previous titles and we will get a closer look as new trailers are released.

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Google Now Indexes Some Facebook Comments

googleThe world’s largest online search engine, Google, is now indexing Facebook comments that are posted using the Facebook Commenting plugin on websites that use the plugin to power their commenting system.

If you use your Facebook account to post a comment on a website that uses Facebook Comments, your comment (with your name) can now be indexed by Google’s web spiders and will be directly ranked and searchable in Google’s index.

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iPhone 4S Voice Assistant Siri Gets Fully Ported to Previous Generation iOS Devices

About a few weeks after the iPhone 4S was announced, hackers have tried to fully jailbreak the new smartphone and to also port the new voice assistant system, Siri, to previous generation iOS devices.

Troughton-Smith was the first person to port Siri to the iPhone 4, but the system was not functional since it required authentication with Apple servers, only the user interface was working.

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Apple Granted “Slide to Unlock” Patent in U.S.

iphone-lock-patent

Apple “Slide to Unlock” patent image

In 2007 at the MacWorld Expo, former Apple chief executive Steve Jobs took to the stage to unveil the iPhone for the first time, and during that unveiling the Slide to Unlock gesture on the iPhone was first shown to the world.

At the time, Jobs touted the feature as a seamless and elegant fix to an otherwise common annoyance: unknowingly pressing buttons on your phone while it is tucked away in your pocket.

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RIM to Challenge Apple FaceTime with New BlackBerry Video Chat

stock-chart

Demonstration of how Apple’s FaceTime works on iOS devices, which is now also supported with Mac computers.
Source: CNet

A look at the current BlackBerry Messenger service.
Source: RIM

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RIM’s overhauled BlackBerry Bold 9900, includes capacitive display and keyboard.
Source: RIM, via Bloomberg

The Ontario-based maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion Ltd, is working on a new communications platform that will include video chat capabilities directly from BlackBerry Messenger to compete with Apple’s FaceTime video chat service, according to a person familiar with the plans that spoke to us on condition of anonymity because the plans were not yet made public.

The platform will only support QNX-powered BlackBerry smartphones that will include a front-facing camera for video chat.

The delayed release of the first QNX BlackBerry smartphone is likely the result of compatibility issues with RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server platform.

The first QNX powered BlackBerry smartphone will be released near the end of the first quarter of 2012 and will include the new communications platform complete with a front-facing camera, according to the same source. It is unclear if current BlackBerry OS 7 powered devices would support the application with limited functionality.

The latest U.S. mobile subscriber market share data published by comScore puts RIM’s platform market share down at 23.4% in June 2011, compared to Google at 40.1% and Apple at 26.6%, respectively.

RIM’s dated portfolio of devices have pushed consumers to competing platforms that offer a super user experience with push email, which largely explains the decline in RIM’s stock price as well. Consumers and businesses alike have largely been loyal to the BlackBerry platform because of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

Apple has announced iMessage, which largely offers the same functionality as BBM, complete with Delivered and Read receipts, for iOS 5 powered devices, which includes the iPad, the current iPhone 4 and the upcoming iPhone 5 that is expected to launch in mid October of this year.

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Microsoft Offers Biggest Security Bounty Ever to Developers

microsoftThe world’s largest software vendor, Microsoft Corporation, today announced the company has set up a massive $250,000 fund for its Blue Hat contest as part of the company’s latest efforts to challenge developers to enhance security for the world’s most popular operating system, Microsoft Windows.

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Is the FTC Investigation Into Google’s Operations Warranted? Definitely, Here’s Why.

googleThe world’s largest online search engine, Google Inc., is now subject of a U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) review, after the agency officially announced the formal investigation last Friday.

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Best Buy to Launch Music Streaming Cloud Service in U.S. This Year

best-buy-logoThe world’s largest consumer electronics retailer in the world, Best Buy Co. Inc., will launch a new cloud-based music service, Music Cloud, in the United States, which will directly compete against a number of new cloud products from top competitors including Amazon’s, Google’s, and Apple’s cloud products.

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