Google Allo updated with Smart Smiley emoji suggestions and chat themes


Google may be having a hard time getting enough users to switch over from their messaging app of choice, but that isn’t stopping the Mountain View company from continuing to add new features to its Google Assistant-powered chat app Allo. Today, they are announcing an update to Allo that brings in contextual emoji and sticker suggestions, a brand new Fantastic Beasts sticker pack, and new chat themes.

Join us after the break for the details.

Google releases PhotoScan for saving your old physical pictures


Google has launched a new companion app to Google Photos that wants to save your old physical prints and give you a digital copy to save and upload to Facebook. The premise is pretty simple; take a picture of your picture and let the app crop, zoom, and adjust the image automatically for you. Then you’ll have a copy saved in your Google Photos library to do anything with.

Twitter expanding mute option to phrases, hashtags, and entire conversations


Twitter, in addition to financial struggles leading to all sorts of buyout rumors, has long been trying to combat online abuse and harassment on its platform. While finding ways to censor such speech across the board is almost impossible, and would surely introduce ethical issues, the ability for individual users to control what they do and do not see is an important issue. Today, Twitter has announced that their existing “mute” feature will now also include the ability to mute keywords, phrases, hashtags, etc., even in notifications.

Join us after the break for more.

Samsung Pay to be a more rewarding experience


Samsung announced today a new program being rolled out in connection to their Samsung Pay app. Following the lead of the credit card industry, Samsung is introducing a new program called Samsung Rewards that will award points to users for their use of the Samsung Pay platform. Samsung says this is to help recognize their loyal users, but it will also be a motivator to help get more people to use the service. There is a bit of a downside to the new program though – it is only available to users in the U.S.

Amazon’s Music Unlimited streams in to the UK for £9.99 monthly


Here in the UK, we tend to lag behind the US when it comes to video or music streaming services being launched, but we’ve only had to wait a single month for Amazon’s Music Unlimited that launched in the States last month. The service has more than 40 million songs available to choose from costs £9.99 per month. If you are an Amazon Prime customer of own an Echo, though, you can subscribe at a discounted monthly fee. Join us after the break to find out more.

New ‘Go Insta!’ live streaming on the way to Instagram


Live streaming on social media platforms is the latest bandwagon that everyone seems to be jumping on. The latest app that appears to be getting ready to roll out this feature for its users is Instagram. According to a report out of Russia, a user there who was testing a beta version of the Instagram app discovered a new button used to launch a live video stream. Now, the CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom has confirmed the live video feature is on its way.

UK, Facebook still at odds over WhatsApp privacy despite ‘pause’ in sharing


When Facebook acquired WhatsApp consumers were likely concerned about how their personal information may be shared between the apps. That fear was confirmed when the two platforms revealed in August that some information, notably phone numbers, would be shared between WhatsApp and Facebook. That development did not sit well with the UK Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, or other regulatory bodies as well as consumers. In the UK, an investigation was launched and Commissioner Denham provided an update yesterday that was a mixture of good news and bad news.