Inbox for Gmail: hands-on and first impressions

Mail for Inbox

Google this afternoon announced Inbox for Gmail, its all-new emailing solution that is intended to coexist with the regular Gmail platform (Think Paper for Facebook?). Inbox for Gmail is available on an invite only basis for Android, iOS and Chrome. I am fortunate enough to have received an invite to Inbox for Gmail, and I have been giving the iPhone app a rundown to see how it works. For the most part, Inbox is everything that you know and love about Gmail in a sleeker package.

Read more

Apple adding ability to track what you do inside retail apps to serve targeted advertising

iad

Apple is reportedly adding the ability to track what users do inside certain apps in order to present them with targeted in-app ads across iOS devices, reports digital media site Digiday.

Say, for example, a visitor to a retailer’s iPhone app adds a pair of shoes to his cart but ultimately decide not to buy it. In this scenario, the retailer will now be able to retarget that user with an ad for that exact pair — even in another app on his iPad. When tapped, the ad would direct him back to his abandoned checkout page and automatically add the shoes to his online shopping cart.

Ad agencies say that Apple has been pitching the new capability since last month …
Read more

Microsoft latest to mimic Snapchat with new Skype Qik ephemeral video messaging app

Microsoft has just joined the ranks of companies looking to capitalize on the success of ephemeral messaging apps like Snapchat. Through its Skype division, the company has launched a new cross-platform app for iOS, Android, and (of course) Windows Phone called Skype Qik. The premise of the application, as can be seen in the video above and screenshots below, is simple: you can record a quick video, and then share it to either one person in your address book or multiple groups of people.

Differentiating itself from some of the other players, the Skype-based solution is video-focused, and Skype is positioning it as a communication tool for in between full-scale Skype video chats. Notably, the whole service is connected to your phone number and existing contacts list, so it doesn’t require signing up with a standard Skype account. If you send a message via Qik to a user without the Qik app, the other person will be sent an SMS text message with instructions for downloading the Qik app to view the video message. This app is based on the technology from startup Qik, which Skype acquired a few years ago.

By default, videos will expire after two weeks, and you can also un-send messages at any time. A cool feature of Skype Qik is the ability to pre-record various 5 second GIFs that you can send as instant replies. So, if you don’t have the ability to send a live video reply, you can just choose one of your pre-record defaults. The app is free today on the aforementioned platforms, and Microsoft says that updates, such as one for blocking iPhone contacts (that feature is available today on Android and Windows Phone), will come often to enhance the feature-set.

You can view some screenshots of the iPhone app in action below:

Read more

iPhone 6/Plus cameras ranked joint 1st in highly-respected DxOMark Mobile tests

iphone-6-camera

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus cameras have taken joint first place in the influential DxOMark Mobile ranking of smartphone cameras – three points ahead of the two Android smartphones which previously headed the list, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z3.

DxO Labs tests the image quality of literally thousands of cameras from entry-level smartphones to professional DSLRs, and is considered by many in the photography field to be the definitive database. The company said that Apple has “set the gold standard for smartphone image quality” …  Read more

Talking Schmidt: Google’s executive chairman challenges Tim Cook on privacy citing Chrome’s ‘incognito mode’

Key Speakers At Global Investment Conference

In his letter on privacy shared last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook contrasted the business model of Apple against that of its competitors while strongly taking a shot at Google, Gmail, and Android without actually naming the company and services. The infinitely entertaining executive chairman of Google and former Apple board member Eric Schmidt was recently asked by ABC News about Cook’s open letter on the company and privacy.

In short, Schmidt, who is making the media rounds to promote his upcoming book How Google Works, said Cook’s description of Google and privacy is incorrect, which you would expect from the Google chairman. But his first shot at debunking Cook’s claim was sort of out of left field (okay, as you also might expect): Read more

Review: T-Mobile’s $25 Personal CellSpot is a no-brainer for Magenta customers and handover Wifi calling may even win some converts

In all of the hoopla over the new iPhone 6/Plus, T-Mobile in the US and EE in the UK got themselves a pretty big exclusive (for now). T-Mobile has been offering Wifi calling for years but it’s recently come to the iPhone – and with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, gets even better with cell/wifi handover. (T-Mobile partnered with Gogo to enable texting and voicemails on participating airline journeys as well).

Wifi calling, for some, may be the type of feature that makes or breaks a carrier relationship. With it, you can make calls anywhere there is a wifi signal. That means basements, country homes and even foreign countries are all now open to making and receiving calls from your carrier phone number… Read more

Samsung releases new set of ads taking jabs at the iPhone 6’s battery, screen, and more

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 11.39.39 PM

Samsung was already taking shots at the iPhone 6 this morning with some new ads, but the Android handset maker has gone even further by releasing a set of new videos on YouTube today mocking everything from the iPhone 6 livestream problems to the device’s hardware (via Engadget). The ads are part of the “Note the Difference” campaign, and these specific videos belong to a playlist called “It Doesn’t Take a Genius.”

The ads feature two guys in blue shirts—the titular Apple Store “Geniuses”—discussing the upcoming device’s features (and lack of a stylus) and the companion Apple Watch. Each ends with a promotion for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 smartphone. You can check out all six ads in the playlist below:

Read more

In-depth, high-quality hands-on video of iPhone 6 assembled from leaked parts

iphone_6_1.Still003

We now have our best look yet at the iPhone 6 until Apple officially launches the device on September 9th. Russia-based YouTuber Rozetked has put together what appears to be a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 (hands on footage of the 5.5-inch model went online this morning) with several of the leaked components that we’ve seen all over the web the last several months. The comparison shows both black and white front plates, along with a space gray rear shell. The video compares the design to the existing iPhone 5s and gives a very close look at the overall design aesthetic. You can find the video along with some more still photos below:

Read more

Where’s the best place to trade in an iPhone? $400+ offers compared at Apple, Amazon, NextWorth, Gazelle and more

iPhone-upgrade

We’re 2 short weeks away from Apple’s iPhone 6 announcement and that of course means it is almost time to trade in your current but now outdated tiny iPhone 3/4/5/s/c. Giving your non-sapphire 4-incher to a friend or relative? That’s nice of you but for those in the US who prefer cold hard cash, there are lots of great options out there.

In years past, we’ve put together roundups (2013, 2012) that include 12 different options but things change pretty quickly so we wait right until launch week to update ours.  This year, Statista compared the major US trade in options out there two weeks ahead of time to find the best pricing.

The TL;DR is that Amazon gives you the most credit for an iPhone across all carriers and models and we’ve had good success here using Amazon. Additionally, Amazon credit for most of us is almost as good as cash (compared to say Best Buy where we might not be making another electronics purchase in the near future). That said, Amazon doesn’t offer the iPhone directly as a purchase and many folks will prefer to use the credit to directly buy their next iPhone.

As for cash money options, Glyde and NextWorth seem to be the winners with Gazelle bringing up the rear in most cases (Gazelle is offering a price lock which might be driving down their current offer).

9to5-image 2014-08-26 at 11.50.31 AM

Stay tuned for our launch day guide and see results for all carriers as of yesterday below: Read more

Skipping the US Customs and Border Protection queues? There’s now an app for that …

mobileapp

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is trialling an iPhone app that allows travellers returning to the United States to bypass the normal immigration queues by entering their details into the app and getting a QR code containing their electronic approval.

You still have to show the code to a CBP officer, but you can bypass the normal queues and use a special Mobile Passport Control lane that should be significantly quicker …  Read more

Google Play Music for iPhone updated w/ ability to remove music on-the-go, improved playback, more

It’s been just over a month since the last big update to Google Play Music for iPhone, and today the Google Play Music team is rolling out another update with new features and improvements. The latest release brings the version number to 1.3.2.2559 for those keeping track at home, and adds a handful of new functionality like the ability to remove music from your library via the iPhone app. The update also boasts additional accessibility features which will surely be appreciated as well as fixes for issues with skipping during track playback and eliminating duplicate listings in the music library. You can see the full change log below. Read more