The complete redesign of version 7.0 is nicely suited to compliment the iOS 7 look. At first glance, you should notice that the homescreen has been simplified for a more scannable look to the entire feed with new iOS 7-inspired fonts and colors, among all the other design improvements throughout the app.
Foursquare started testing smart push notifications with a group of users a few months ago, which works by automatically recognizing your current location and occasionally triggering a tip that is sent to you about a nearby venue -- like a popular meal at a restaurant, or a special deal that saves you some cash. You'll never have to manually open the app to get these notifications.
Overall, these are some nice new additions to an app that has sort of fallen off the radar lately, especially if it means that it will suck a lot less battery life out of your device. The updated versions are available now from the App Store and Google Play.
Photo © Foursquare Labs, Inc.
A few weeks ago, a report broke out about YouTube's big plan to launch its very own paid music video streaming service before the end of the year. Although YouTube has yet to officially announce anything, people familiar with the plan have confirmed to The Verge that the launch of the service will be delayed until 2014, but is expected to be unveiled sometime in the first quarter.
YouTube is already the world's largest source for free music, so keeping a competitive edge up against other recently popular services like Spotify and Rdio by offering similarly priced premium subscription packages for unlimited music content makes a lot of sense. It will be interesting, however, to see just how YouTube plans to integrate user-created music videos into the paid service, like song covers and mashups.
After the recent launch of Google Play Music All Access earlier this year, this will be the company's second music service.
More to come in 2014.
Photo © Getty Images
Facebook is on a mission to become a premiere source for high-quality news. Yesterday the company announced some interesting tweaks to its News Feed, suggesting that the world's largest social networking site is desperately trying to figure out a way to better compete with Twitter as a breaking news platform.
"Our surveys show that on average people prefer links to high quality articles about current events, their favorite sports team or shared interests, to the latest meme," writes Engineering Manager Varun Kacholia and Software Engineer Minwen Ji. "Starting soon, we'll be doing a better job of distinguishing between a high quality article on a website versus a meme photo hosted somewhere other than Facebook when people click on those stories on mobile."
Facebook explained that you can expect to start seeing more news articles in your News Feed related, and less meme photos that have been hosted somewhere other than on Facebook. Friends of yours who click on popular articles will influence the types of stories that will show up in your News Feed on both desktop and mobile versions, but Facebook says you might notice it slightly more on mobile.
In addition to more newsworthy links, Facebook will start recommending up to three more related stories under the occasional shared news link. And as they continue to attract more comments over the course of the day, stories you've seen already may resurface in your News Feed so that you're less likely to miss out on a popular conversation.
Photo © Getty Images
Everyone has been yammering on and on about Amazon's bold new plan to launch delivery drones in the next few years.
CEO Jeff Bezos revealed Amazon Prime Air to the world during a segment that aired yesterday on 60 Minutes, and after word got out about it, a big chunk of the web seemed pretty convinced that it either had to be fake, or just a weird marketing ploy for Cyber Monday. Or both.
For what might seem like something straight out of a science fiction movie, Amazon's flying delivery robot service is actually very real, and according to Bezos, it's definitely going to happen. Check it out if you haven't already, and make sure you watch the video.
At first thought, a lot of obvious questions come to mind. What if the drones crash into people, trees, cars or each other? What about high winds and bad weather? What if people start shooting them out of the sky like ducks and running away with all that free stuff? So many questions.
Despite the amount of press and social buzz that this whole idea has been stirring up since yesterday evening, delivery drones actually aren't even a new thing, believe it or not. In fact, they totally exist already. You just didn't know about them. Take a look at this Hacker News thread that includes a list of links about how to get pizza, beer, cake and tacos delivered by drones.
So, was it really just a clever Amazon PR stunt all too perfectly timed with the day before Cyber Monday? Who knows for sure, but that's certainly what a lot of the skeptics are saying.
Check out what our About.com Expert to Logistics had to say about it, and feel free to enjoy some of the hilarious parodies that started popping up online nearly as soon as the announcement was aired.
Photo © Amazon.com, Inc.
Retailers have been hyping up their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for what seems like at least a good month now. Just do a simple Google search for "Black Friday gift guide" and you'll get something like 460,000,000 results. Seriously.
Are you excited? Are you frightened? Have you set up camp in front of Best Buy already?
Holiday consumerism is about to get more intense than ever, both online and offline this year. And whether you decide to brave the overcrowded malls and big box stores or opt for spending the day with your laptop and credit card in hand, you can bet that the amount of spending that will take place over the course of the next few days is going to be absolutely nuts.
Whatever your plans may be, About.com can help you out. Have a look at what some of our experts have recommended for the massive seasonal retail discount palooza that's about to go down:
- Apple's Black Friday Event Starts at 12:01 am on November 29th
- Best 2013 Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day Electronics Deals More than 50% Off
- Black Friday & Thanksgiving 2013 Freebies
- Black Friday Freebie Giveaways Offered On Thanksgiving Day
- The #1 Best Deal of Black Friday Week 2013
- Baking & Dessert Gift Ideas for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2013
- Fitness Deals for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2013
- Cyber Monday Online Coupons and Deals
- Walmart 101 - Mastering Black Friday Events
- The Best Black Friday Deals and Shopper Applications
Photo © Getty Images
It's the season of giving, and now you have one more option from PayPal to consider taking advantage of for the holidays.
PayPal users can now take any prepaid gift card from Visa, American Express, MasterCard, or Discover and spend it anywhere online that supports the PayPal Checkout platform.
In the announcement blog post, PayPal pointed out that a lot of people who try to use prepaid cards online tend to run into problems -- like when a card has no billing address. Of course, now that prepaid cards are PayPal-friendly, you shouldn't run into any such problems as long as the merchant site you're shopping on lets you pay through PayPal.
Thoughtful gift straight from the heart? Maybe not. But hey, it's still an option that at least will take the headache out of needing to call the card provider when it doesn't work.
Happy Thanksgiving / Hanukkah / Black Friday / Cyber Monday to all who are celebrating this weekend!
Photo © John Lamb / Getty Images
Google just brought Street View to 16 major airports as well as 50 train and subway stations all over the world. Although it would have been useful for all the crazy holiday traveling that's about to go down across the U.S. this week, Google unfortunately did not add any major U.S. airports just yet... but there are a lot of other cool international transit hubs you can look at!
As of right now, you can take a look at this interactive world map to see a few initially selected locations spread across the US, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe and East Asia. In the U.S. you can visit several "points of interests" for the time being, but if you want to check out one of the airports, you'll have to look somewhere else, like Tokyo or Dubai.
For years now Google has been working very hard to map the entire world. There are still a lot of places to go, so even though the addition of these new transit locations may seem kind of sparse at first, you can certainly bet that more will be added over time.
Photo: Screenshot of Google Maps
Instagram is arguably most people's favorite mobile app for sharing photos on the go, and even though we've all been able to take great advantage of liking, commenting and tagging people in photos, there has still always been one major feature missing -- private messaging.
According to a report from GigaOm, Instagram is preparing to launch a new private messaging feature, possibly before the end of the year. The company may also be experimenting with group messaging as well.
A private messaging option on Instagram would certainly eliminate the need to swap emails or Facebook profile links if two or more users want to chat privately. Right now, the only way to get somebody's attention is to leave a public comment on their photo, and even then, if that user already receives tons of interactions, they may never even see it.
Video on Instagram was a big move for the young company. It would make sense for it to keep these big competitive feature launches going and build on its massive community of 200 million users.
Photo © Getty Images
Dropbox just updated its iPhone and iPad app with a fresh new design, inspired by the new iOS 7 look. Version 3.0 of the app features a much cleaner interface with more and improved functionality on the iPad, including a new option to tap files or photos so that you can easily switch in and out of fullscreen view.
In addition to its brand new simplified look, the app update brings support for AirDrop so that you may wirelessly send files to other nearby devices through Dropbox. PDFs are now much more streamlined view, and some major speed improvements have been worked into both the photo viewing and video playback features.
Dropbox version 3.0 is available for iOS 7 devices now from the App Store. There's been no word on when or if Dropbox for Android will receive the same updates.
Photo © Dropbox
As an added bonus, the university has also planned to launch the very first Master of Science Degree in Digital Currency next year. Of course, given that many residents of Cyprus turned to bitcoin during the financial crisis that the Mediterranean island nation found itself sinking into last year, it almost seems fitting that its largest university would decide to jump on the bitcoin bandwagon.
"The intention of this initiative is to ease transmission difficulties for certain students and to build our own practical knowledge about this field, not to engage in currency speculation," a UNic spokesperson told GeekWire.
If you've been following along with the news about bitcoin, you probably know about the crazy fluctuations in value it's been experiencing lately. Just a couple days ago, bitcoin was valued at about $900, but today it dropped below $500.
Photo © Siegfried Layda / Getty Images