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Google will lose $50 million or more in 2018 from Fortnite bypassing the Play Store

When Fortnite Battle Royale launched on Android, it made an unusual choice: it bypassed Google Play in favor of offering the game directly from Epic Games’ own website. Most apps and games don’t have the luxury of making this choice – the built-in distribution Google Play offers is critical to their business. But Epic Games believes its game is popular enough and has a strong enough draw to bring players to its website for the Android download instead. In the process,  Unlike Apple, which only allows apps to be downloaded from…

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Huawei P20 Pro has three rear cameras and one of them is 40 megapixels

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro both have the notch on the front, but you can hide it with a black bar if you like.Image: Raymond Wong/mashable Huawei has a new flagship, and boy is it hot.  The company officially launched the oft-leaked P20 and P20 Pro today at a special media event in Paris. (A third variant, the P20 Lite, was soft-launched in China a week ago.) This time, Huawei’s got one goal: Crush every other smartphone camera with an insane amount of resolution. SEE ALSO: Best Buy just screwed…

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Instagram now allows businesses to schedule their posts

Instagram today made a long overdue change to its product that social media managers have wanted for some time – it will allow businesses on Instagram to schedule their posts. Before, there were unofficial means to aid with this – like tools that would send out a push notification to remind you to publish a post at a given time, for example. But no functionality was available in Instagram itself. The closest Instagram got was the added support for Drafts, which allowed social media managers and other users to prep…

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WhatsApp officially launches its app for businesses in select markets

WhatsApp today officially launched its new WhatsApp Business app in select markets, including Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S., ahead of its planned worldwide rollout. The addition of business profiles and new messaging tools aimed at business customers is part of the company’s broader plan to generate revenue by charging larger enterprises for advanced tools to communicate with customers on the platform now used by over a billion people worldwide. The WhatsApp Business app is the initial entry point in this market. Aimed at smaller businesses, the free app…

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Venmo rolls out QR codes for user profiles in its mobile app

Venmo today rolled out a feature designed to make it easier to find friends within its mobile payments app, so you can add them to your connections list or get paid yourself. The feature, found under the new menu option Scan Code, is available now in both the iOS and Android version of the Venmo app. When tapped, it launches a new interface that allows you to either use the phones camera to scan a friends code or view your own, unique Venmo code. Your Venmo code itself is a…

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Amazons chat fiction app Rapids ties up with Amazon Studios with launch of Signature Stories

Todays kids arent just reading books. Theyre also tapping and playing with interactive stories on tablets as preschoolers, then delving into instant messaging-like chat fiction apps as teens. Amazons entry in this space, Amazon Rapids, was announced late last year as a way to bring this style of interactive fiction to readers in the 5 to 12 age range. The company more recently introduced a new program called Signature Stories that aims to make its stories more appealing by integrating characters from TV shows kids already know and love. The…

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Netflix was the top grossing app in Q2, with mobile revenue up 233% since last year

Netflixs booming subscriber growth, announced in the companys earnings last week, is also being felt on the App Store, where its app has again become the top earner in terms of revenue. According a recent report from app store analytics firm Sensor Tower, the app in Q2 saw 233 percent revenue growth year-over-year to $153 million in the most recent quarter. Thats up from the $46 million seen at this same time last year, across both top app store platforms, and on the iOS App Store alone. This level of…

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Outlooks mobile makeover includes a much smarter search, powered by Microsoft Graph

Microsoft today unveiled a redesigned version of its popular Outlook mobile app for iOS and Android, which most notably includes a more intelligent search feature, powered by Microsoft Graph, along with other changes to navigation and conversations. Microsoft Graph, the companys technology used to make productivity applications smarter, is being used to turn Outlooks search feature into a tool that can surface more than just emails it will be augmented to include things like contacts, attachments, flight and travel itineraries, package deliveries and more. Search is also becoming a more…

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The new Taster VR app brings VR content from the BBC to your smartphone

The BBC today released a new mobile application that will allow it to experiment with transforming BBC content into VR experiences. The app, called BBC Taster VR, comes from the broadcasters testing ground for new ideas, Taster, and uses technology from EEVO to publish videos in a VR format. Initially, Taster VR only offers a couple of projects, one of which is 360 video from the popular nature documentary, Planet Earth II. In the Planet Earth VR story, David Attenborough guides viewers through six of Planet Earths most amazing destinations,…

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Facebook is rolling out its Find Wi-Fi feature worldwide

Facebook is expanding one of its newer features designed to help mobile users find accessible Wi-Fi networks. The company had begun testing a Find Wi-Fi option last year on mobile, which highlighted free, public Wi-Fi networks nearby. At the time, the option was only available on iOS in select countries, as something of a test. Today, Facebook announced users worldwide on both iOS and Android devices will soon gain access to Find Wi-Fi. The company explains the addition is useful for those times when youre traveling, but especially so when…

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Virgin Mobile goes iPhone-only, offers a year of service for $1

In attempt to woo customers away from competitors, Virgin Mobile USA today announced a deal that will see it transitioning to become an iPhone-only carrier. The company is also partnering with Apple toactivate Virgins services in Apples stores. To kick off this change, Virgin introduced a limited time promotion that will see it giving away a years worth of unlimited talk, text and data for only a dollar. There are a few caveats to this deal, of course. Like most carriers, unlimited data is not exactly that. Customers who use…

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Target and Cartwheel apps to merge starting this summer, mobile payments and improved maps to follow

Targets mobile app strategy will undergo a significant change, starting this summer. The retailer announced this week it will soon combine the functionality of its Cartwheel savings app with its main shopping app, in preparation for an eventual Cartwheel shutdown. The Target app will also receive a notable upgrade this year, adding support for an indoor map that shows your location in the store, along with the nearby Cartwheel deals, in addition to support for mobile payments. According to Target, the decision to merge its apps into one is a…

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Sherpa turns Instagrams best photos into a travel guide

There are a number of places to find travel inspiration Pinterest, Google Destinations, travel blogs or media sites like Cond Nasts Traveler, among others. But a new application called Sherpa launching this week believes that some of the best travel ideas can be found on Instagram. The iOS application curates photos from top Instagram photographers and turns them into visual travel guides that are augmented with data from other services, like Foursquare and Wikipedia. Sherpa co-founder and CEO Paul Aaron previously founded NYC-based design studio Modern Assembly, which worked with…

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Ex-Apple designer & former Twitter engineer launch Halide, a premium iPhone camera app

An ex-Apple designer and former Twitter engineer have teamed up fora new take on iPhone photography, with todays launch of theiriOS camera app called website, the new apps gesture-based control scheme is meant to feel asintuitive and tactile as a great film camera, like an old Leica or Pentax. While there are a number of alternative camera applications for iOS today like Camera+ or Camera Awesome, for example these tend to bemarketed towards mainstream users who want to shoot like a pro. Halide, on the other hand, is designed more…

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Report: Smartphone owners are using 9 apps per day, 30 per month

Smartphone users are spending more time in apps than in years past, and now access over 30 apps on a monthly basis, according to a iPhone users tended to use slightly more apps than Android users, the report also noted, but Android users used over 30 percent more games. At first, news that users are accessing nearly 10 apps daily sounds like a notableincrease from a report from a couple of years ago, which had painted a different picture of app usage. According to just five non-native apps theyve installed…

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