Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone update expands Cortana to more countries

More than three months after the first builds of Windows Phone 8.1 hit the scene, Microsoft is ready to tick more features off the to-do list with the OS's first refresh. Known aptly as Update 1, the download will be available as a developer preview starting next week. Understandably, Cortana is on the top of the release notes, because the beta program will officially expand to the UK and China as promised in April. This means users in both countries can enjoy different voices and more localized options, such as air quality info (in China specifically), local celebrities, specialized suggestions and commute times. Additionally, the Chinese version supports Mandarin and comes with unique animations, sounds and other visual features.

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Apple updates Retina MacBook Pros with faster processors, more memory

new macs 2

As expected, Apple has refreshed its family of MacBook Pro with Retina display laptops this morning. The updates add faster processors and more memory, and come just after the launch of the company’s annual back-to-school promotion.

There are three new 13-inch models and two new 15-inch notebooks, all of which have received the latest versions of Intel’s i5 and i7 Haswell processors. In terms of additional memory, Apple has doubled the entry-level RAM for both lines…... Read the rest of this post here

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Yelp app updated with new video review feature

yelp 1

Yelp posted an update for its mobile app yesterday that’s been garnering quite a bit of buzz in the tech community. The update, which brings the client to version 8.1, adds a new feature that enables users to post and view video reviews.

Using your iPhone, you can now take 3-12 second videos of your experiences at your favorite bar or business and post them to Yelp via the mobile app. You can also view videos in-app, giving you a better idea of a place’s atmosphere…... Read the rest of this post here

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Activator receives major update with new icons, developer APIs and more

activator 1-9

Popular jailbreak tweak Activator has been updated today, bringing the package to version 1.9. Developer Ryan Petrich says that this is the “largest release” for the tweak in over a year, as it brings about many new features and enhancements.

We’ve posted the lengthy change log down below, but just to give you an idea of what to expect, Activator 1.9 includes several new icons, new developer APIs and custom actions. It also offers a number of bug fixes and various other improvements…... Read the rest of this post here

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Cortana now taps into Foursquare to give you recommendations for lunch

It turns out that Microsoft had bigger plans for Foursquare than just search and maps for Bing. The check-in service is now accessible by Redmond's digital assistant, Cortana, as spotted on Reddit by Neowin. The addition apparently makes for customizable, local recommendations based on your whereabouts, and presumably, your account history too. As Winbeta notes, because the Cortana updates take place on Microsoft's servers, you won't need to download a software patch to take advantage of them either. Whether the blue helper will get to love bees, though, is up to her creators.

Update: Microsoft's Bing Blog has confirmed the change and revealed how to turn it on: "pull up Cortana's notebook go to Interests, look for "best nearby" and then toggle to ON."

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Via: Neowin, Winbeta

Source: Reddit, Marcus Ash (Twitter), Bing Blog

Windows Phone’s next update will support smart cases and giant devices

HTC One Dot View case

Windows Phone 8.1 may have only just reached the general public, but it's already in line for a surprisingly large update. Microsoft has posted developer documents (sign-in required) for Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1, a tweak that fills in a few key hardware and software gaps. Aside from previously revealed folder support, the upgrade will allow for smart cases akin to HTC's Dot View or LG's QuickCircle. Phone makers will get to run special apps when the cover is closed, and specify what happens when it's open. This seemingly simple addition could be important, since The Verge claims that HTC is preparing a Windows Phone version of the new One -- such a device would need smart cover features to perform the same tricks as its Android counterpart.

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Via: NokiaPowerUser, WPCentral

Source: Microsoft (1), (2)

Gmail for iOS update adds Google Drive support


Google has released an update for its iOS Gmail app that adds support for saving attachments directly to Google Drive and inserting Google Drive files directly into email messages.

There are also new account management options for hiding accounts in the Gmail app without removing them altogether. Additionally, users can now change their profile picture in the app’s settings.... Read the rest of this post here

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Foursquare announces new app, new logo and more


Foursquare, the popular location-based social network, made a string of significant announcements today. Apparently the company has decided it’s time to move all check-in activity—its trademark feature—over to its Swarm client, and create an all-new application.

The new app, Foursquare says, will be all about ‘personalized local search.’ No two people will have the same experience, as it will be based on a number of factors including user taste, people they follow, and places they visit. Oh yeah, and there’s a whole new logo too…... Read the rest of this post here

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Foursquare shows off its new look for local searches

The Foursquare faithful have had some time to get used social venue tracker's Swarm option for sorting check-ins, as the outfit jettisoned the activity to a second app. Folks who didn't want to give up the OG method were still able to tally stops, but now the redesigned search-focused software is imminent. As of tomorrow, you'll have to use Swarm for all check-ins, and Foursquare claims that about 75 percent of your fellow users have already made the leap. What's more, the company has a new logo to go along with the upcoming app that it's teasing as well. Once you pipe in info on your personal tastes, follow a few experts and make a few stops, the new Foursquare will learn about your delicate sensibilities and make recommendations based on the gathered info. However, you don't need to have Swarm installed to make use of the original app's new focus on "personalized local search." As you can see in the screenshots above, the directory will offer to hop over for a check-in -- if you've installed both applications, of course. Unfortunately, there's no date for the official arrival, but the announcement claims you'll be leveraging the tidied up ratings and tips "really soon."

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Source: Foursquare

Hearthstone ‘Curse of Naxxramas’ expansion now available


Just a heads up for all of you gamers out there, the highly anticipated ‘Curse of Naxxramas’ expansion for Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now available. It’s available on both Mac and iPad, and the first quarter is free.

Blizzard intends to release the Naxxramas expansion in five quarters over the next five weeks, beginning with the Arachnid Quarter. Additional quarters will cost money, but Arachnid is free to anyone who participates in the launch event…... Read the rest of this post here

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