Instagram update adds built-in Boomerang mode, mentions, and more to Stories feature

After launching its new Snapchat-inspired ‘Stories’ feature earlier this year, which allows users to share a time-limited collection of videos and photos in a slideshow-like format, Instagram is today rolling out an update that adds new functionality to Stories. 

New in the update is a built-in “Boomerang” mode that lets you tap into some of the functionality from Instagram’s standalone app of the same name. That is, the ability to stitch together a burst of photos into a GIF-like video…

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LG G5 teaser reveals ‘always on’ screen feature for the upcoming flagship

Yesterday, a patent revealed that Samsung might be planning an ‘always on’ display feature for its next flagship, the Galaxy S7. While Samsung hasn’t passed comment on those rumors yet, LG was quick to respond by confirming that its next high-end G-series smartphone will have an ‘always on’ feature.

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Galaxy A9 specs leaked, powerful mid-ranger likely to feature huge 4000mAh battery, Snapdragon 620 chip, 1080p screen, more

Just a couple of weeks ago, Samsung officially unveiled its A-series lineup for the next year. The Galaxy A3, A5 and A7 feature respectable specifications and will be sold at prices well below those of the more high end Galaxy S series while retaining the premium metal chassis. But the A-series doesn’t end there. Samsung’s official Weibo account revealed details of yet another Alpha device: The Galaxy A9.

As you’d expect, the A9 is bigger than any of the others. With its 6-inch, full HD AMOLED display, the A9 is easily the biggest of the bunch, perhaps bordering on ‘too big’. The leak also reveals a 13MP camera on the back and 8MP front snapper, as well as a huge 4,000mAh battery. While not in the same territoriy as the behemoth 10,000mAh battery in the Oukitel K10000, it should still be easily enough to get most users through two days on a full charge.

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SamMobile also pointed in the direction of another leak featuring more of the internal specifications. Those include a Snapdragon 620 processor clocked at 1.8GHz and paired with 3GB, alongside 32GB internal storage. Like the the other A-series phones, it also has a fingerprint sensor and Samsung Pay support. It runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, although an update to Marshmallow is expected. Samsung is likely to announce the new Galaxy A9 a little later this month. If all that pre-release info wasn’t enough, there’s a video showing off the A9 and A7 side-by-side.

Report: Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S7 likely to feature USB Type-C

In a rumor that’s no surprise to anyone, SamMobile‘s sources have told the publication that the next Samsung Galaxy flagship will have a USB Type-C port. In this case, I think we’d be more surprised if the next Samsung didn’t feature a Type-C connector. Sammy is regularly quick to jump onboard and adopt new technologies, and whether it’s NFC, fingerprint sensors, wireless charging or Quick-Charge compatibility, the Korean tech giant has historically been among the earliest to show off their potential.,, more…

Pebble Time v3.4 released w/ new ‘Quiet Time’ feature, standby mode, more

Following an update to the Android app earlier this month, Pebble today has announced a Pebble Time software update that bumps the watch itself to version 3.4 and includes a variety of new features and improvements.

First off, Pebble says the device’s calendar and reminder pin displays have been improved, while there is also now support for internationalization and locailization. There’s also a new standby mode that disables Bluetooth when the watch isn’t being worn. This feature should significantly improve battery life for users.

Next, the “Do Not Disturb” feature has been renamed to “Quiet Time” and has gained a few new features. Users can now disable notifications during calendar events, while holding back from a watchface will also now toggle Quiet Time. The feature can also now be enabled from notifications.

Pebble Time version 3.4 is rolling out now. More details can be found in the company’s official blog post here and in the complete change log below. Then latest version of the Pebble Time app can be downloaded from the Play Store now.

  • C’est bon, Wunderbar, Olé! Set the display and voice language for Pebble Time or Pebble Time Steel to French, German, or Spanish. Also requires the latest Pebble Time smartphone apps.
  • Quiet Time: Turn off notifications to your Pebble when you don’t want to be disturbed. Toggle settings for ManualCalendar AwareWeekdaysWeekends, and Interruptions.
  • Standby Mode: Automatically turns on Airplane Mode to better conserve energy while the watch is stationary.
  • Improved calendar and reminder details on timeline.
  • Bug fixes and stability improvements to version 3.3.
  • To update your Pebble Time or Pebble Time Steel to the latest firmware, select Menu » Support » Update Your Pebble within the Pebble Time app for iOS or Android.

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Google app 5.3 update rolling out with ‘Now on Tap’ feature for Dev Preview 3 users

Google is rolling out an update to its self-titled app for Android, bringing it up to version 5.3. It’s available to download for free for anyone running Android 4.4 or later, bringing a fresh look to the standard Google Launcher. For those running Android ‘M’ Dev Preview 3, the update also brings one of Marshmallow‘s most exciting features: Now on Tap…
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Snapdragon 820 will be first chip to include Qualcomm’s anti-malware Smart Protect feature

In a press release this morning, Qualcomm announced a brand new technology to help keep us protected from potential malware threats on our smartphones. Smart Protect will be built into chips in the near future and provide “real-time, on-device machine learning designed to support accurate and effective detection of zero-day malware threats for improved personal privacy and device security”. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip will be the first to feature the new technology when it hits the market in 2016.

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Google Maps traffic alerts feature expands, now available in India

Google announced in a blog post this morning that it has expanded its the popular Google Maps traffic alerts feature to India. This means that any smartphone user based in India will get real-time notifications during navigation if traffic conditions change for the worse, and before a journey is set to begin, so that they can choose the quickest route more easily.

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