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Our sponsor this week is ETheme Launcher. It is a launcher that boasts over 2000 themes, 200 fonts, a light feel, and more. It comes with a home screen set up to help you get to your apps quickly with additional home screens available if need be. It also comes with a lock screen and new themes every week. It’s free with no in app purchases if you want to check it out!
Welcome back the newly redesigned Google Play Weekly show, now called Android Apps Weekly! We hope you enjoy the new format. Here are your headlines for this week!
- Google finally addresses WebView security issues and their advice is pretty simple: It’s broken, don’t use it.
- Dish’s SlingTV web TV service is now available via invite with a public release slated in a couple of weeks.
- Law enforcement is asking Google to shut down Waze because it allows people to “stalk police”.
- The Marriott Android app has apparently left credit card info open to hackers for years. It’s now been fixed.
- Former Opera CEO has announced a new web browser called Vivaldi with a lot of features.
- Rolling Stone Magazine is publishing their entire archive to Google Play via the Newsstand app.
- Spotify is running a promo to give people 60 days of free Premium Service. They’re also now partnering with Sony to create PlayStation Music.
- With only a few days left, Humble Bundle 10 has added three new games to the Bundle. Act fast!
Here are some of the big Android app updates that took place this week!
- Google Search on mobile is getting an update to bring us gloriously gorgeous movie information.
- Plex updated with a new UI, casting your camera roll to a Plex client, and a new purchase model.
- Twitter now allows Direct Messages (DMs) with up to 20 people at once and has in-line clip sharing (think Vine).
- Snapchat releases a new feature called Discovery which is essentially a mashup of a news feed and Snapchat.
- Hotspot Shield VPN updated to bring three new protection modes for improved simplicity.
And here are the new Android apps releases this week!
Microsoft has released Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for Android tablets after a year of hearing us complain about not having it. The basic functionality of each app is free to use but to get the full experience, you’ll need an Office 365 subscription. So far, each app seems to work pretty well but do keep in mind that these are early releases and improvements are likely right around the corner.
You can pick up Microsoft Word by using the button below.
Download Microsoft Excel from Google Play here.
Download Microsoft PowerPoint from Google Play here.
Facebook has released a new lite application that is intended for devices with spotty connectivity and lesser specs. The interface is very scaled down although it is noteworthy that the messaging is built back into the main app here. Otherwise, it’s a basic Facebook experience without too many frills. It’s only available in some countries and on some phones but you can get the APK for yourself by clicking here.
If we missed any great Android apps or games news, let us know in the comments!
While Facebook made waves last year with its investment in Oculus and WhatsApp, it continues to make most of its money from just plain ol’ Facebook. And, in particular, from mobile. In the last quarter of 2014, the social networking giant made $3.85 billion. Of that revenue, about $3.59 billion was from advertising, and ads from mobile accounted for a whopping 69 percent of that. That means Facebook now makes almost two thirds of its money just from mobile advertising. Facebook also posted its overall numbers for 2014, where it made $12.47 billion for the year alone. It marks the first time the company’s made over $10 billion in a single year.
And it’s no wonder, as the site is still enjoying its spot as top dog in the social networking space — it now has 1.39 billion monthly active users (up 13 percent from last year) and around 1.19 billion monthly active users just on mobile (up 26 percent). What’s even more impressive is the number of people who go to Facebook every day — that’s gone up to 890 million users, while daily active users on mobile skyrocketed to 745 million on average. Facebook’s other properties enjoyed growth too — Instagram recently reached 300 million users, Messenger has 500 million, while WhatsApp has around 700 million.
Part of that growth comes from Facebook’s increasing push towards video. In the investor’s call today, Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook now has around three billion video views per day. Videos posted per person has increased by 75 percent, while over 50 percent of folks in the US watch at least one video per day. Additionally, over 65 percent of video views are on mobile.
“The evolution of content on Facebook is moving toward richer formats that convey more of the moments that people care about,” said Zuckerberg. “Before, a lot of Facebook was primarily text, now it’s primarily photos,” adding that around 2 billion photos are now shared each day across Facebook’s properties. “I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future, if that shifted more towards video.” He also hinted at an increased focus on the photo and video production side of things in the next few years, with perhaps an easier way for you to create “higher quality moments.”
Of course, with the increased push towards video, expect more video ads too. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, said on the call that this presents a great opportunity for the company to grow their video advertising business.
[Image credit: Shutterstock]
The Super Bowl, the enormous advertising event that has some American Football between the commercial breaks, takes place this Sunday. If you’re not a fan, then you may have wanted to find some respite inside your Facebook feed but, unfortunately, that avenue has been closed off this year. According to Reuters, the social network is hoping to muscle in on Twitter’s real-time advertising turf by letting businesses target users depending on what messages they post.
For example, if you post a status mentioning New England, Patriotism or the inflation levels of a football, then a flashy clip sponsored by Toyota might pop up. In many ways, the move is an attempt to capture the instant-reaction adverts that brands like Oreo post to Twitter whenever an event happens in-game. Also, considering that the price of a regular TV spot during the event is around $4.5 million per 30-seconds, targeted advertising gives companies a cheaper, more effective way to reach prospective customers. It’s just a shame that no-one asked us if we wanted to be distracted in this way.
France is eying new laws that would make the likes of Facebook and Google accountable for hosting extremist messages. As Bloomberg tells it, the new talk is a direct response to terrorist attacks from earlier this month, and should the draft law pass, it’d make online entities “accomplices” for hosting hate speech or terrorism sites. French president François Hollande addressed the sharp increase in terrorist recruitment over the internet, saying:
“We must act at the European and international level to define a legal framework so that Internet platforms which manage social media be considered responsible and that sanctions can be taken.”
Speaking at an event marking the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust, President Hollande also called on social networks to stop the spread of anti-Semitism and other forms of hate speech. He asked, “how in 2015 can we accept the need for armed soldiers to protect the Jewish people of France?” Like Canada and other nations, France has strong laws against Holocaust denial, racist statements and other forms of hate speech.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will soon travel to the United States to meet with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter and get their help in the matter preemptively. As The Verge points out, however, France will reportedly also ask internet companies for greater cooperation with law enforcement, which some fear could curtail privacy and lead to a European version of the Patriot Act. That means it may prove a tricky act for the Gallic nation to balance security with the EU’s strong privacy rules.
Steve Dent contributed to this report.
[Image credit: Getty Images]
Via: The Verge
Snowmageddon might not be all that fun those experiencing it on the East Coast, but it could well be affecting the rest of us too. Starting around 1am ET, Facebook and Instagram were both inaccessible, as well as apps that require FB credentials. Tinder, lonely hearts, also went down in the process — globally. (We saw problems accessing servers across the US, Europe and Asia.) We’ve also seen Hipchat and, er, AIM also knocked offline at the same time. Snow in the servers? We don’t know just yet. Facebook and Instagram have just come back after an hour. Interestingly, as TechCrunch noted, Facebook’s other app, WhatsApp went strong through out.
Facebook has just released a low resource version of their immensely popular app onto the Play Store aptly named Facebook Lite. Staying connected and being able to like your friends statuses 24/7 comes at a price with the app historically being a resource hog. With their recent updates the app has gotten better but for those with low end phones this is going to be a much better alternate.
Facebook Lite comes in at less than 1 MB and is designed for 2G networks and areas with limited connectivity. Facebook Lite is a great step forward in the emerging markets sector where keeping a stable connection can be an issue or if your phone just cant handle high resource apps.
Facebook lite has not been made available worldwide but you can check to see if your country made the cut by using the widget below.
The post Facebook Lite Launches to Target Low-End Phones and Emerging Markets appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Looks like Facebook has added another app to its portfolio today with the release of Facebook Lite. The new app is an ultra slimmed down version of the full featured app coming in at just 252KB. It isn’t one that users in the states will see in the Play Store though as Facebook created this app […]
The post Facebook Lite heads to emerging markets, hopes to keep people with slower data using the service appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Every six months, Facebook reveals how many times a nation requests that the site block content that’s considered illegal. In the first half of 2014, for instance, India lobbied for nearly 5,000 deletions, putting it well ahead of second-placed Turkey. Those positions may switch around, however, now that a Turkish court has ruled that unless the social network blocks a raft of pages that have been deemed as blasphemous, it’ll ban Facebook outright.
The court may see itself protecting the rights (and safety) of its citizens in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, but the move is also the latest in a series of heavy-handed attempts at censorship. The country has previously blocked YouTube and Twitter for periods of time — with the latter currently being threatened again unless it deletes the account of a paper that’s revealing information the powers that be would prefer remained secret. Combine that with the recent arrests of more than 20 journalists and it’s clear that Turkey has more than a few questions to answer about its approach towards free speech.
Via: The Verge
With tech companies targeting mobile growth in developing markets with low-specced entry level devices, some of today’s apps may be a bit heavy around the waist to perform well on these devices. Facebook is one of these apps, and while the company was worked toward making the app faster and more responsive through an endless series of updates, the app can still struggle on lower-end devices. Facebook seems to know this because it’s released Facebook Lite, an app that comes in at 0.25 MB.
You read that right. It comes in at one quarter of a megabyte. Of course there’s a reason for that. It appears the app is just a wrapper for the mobile web site with native Android notifications built in. It also allows people to open messages sent you in the app rather than forcing you to use Facebook Messenger. So, those of you who don’t like that aspect may want to install this just for that. The app is said to be designed with 2G access or limited connectivity in mind and is said to be “efficient with data.”
We have the download link and QR Code for you below.
Come comment on this article: Facebook Lite puts Facebook on a diet for low-specced phones
Facebook is targeting users of entry-level Android devices with a new app that is now available in a handful of developing countries.
The app is called Facebook Lite and is basically a low-fi version of the full app known by hundreds of millions of users worldwide. Lite, which appears to be actually a wrapper for a web app, is just 262KB in size and it should work even on devices with very low processing power and slow 2G connections. As TechCrunch’s Jon Russell notes, the app is based on Snaptu, an app that Facebook acquired in 2011, which allows Facebook to run on some feature phones.
The app is fairly basic in functionality and design, but all the key components are present, including Messenger, Pages, Groups, and more. There’s also notification support, so users should be able to rely on it for the core Facebook experience. Here’s the app’s Play Store description:
- Fast to install — the app is less than 1 MB
- Quick to load
- Efficient with data
- Designed for 2G networks and areas with limited network connectivity
From testing the app on my Mate 7, performance and responsiveness are clearly several notches below the full Facebook app, but that is to be expected from an application designed to run on basic devices.
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The app appears to have been quietly launched on January 20. For now, Facebook Lite is available in Bangladesh, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. These are all markets where connectivity is spotty, at best, and where smartphone penetration is still low. Facebook appears to be using these locales as a test bed before rolling out Facebook Lite to more regions.
Facebook has a clear interest in getting more users online, given how user acquisition has tapered off (or even turned negative) in most developed markets. Facebook Lite is just one of the initiatives that Mark Zuckerberg’s company is pursuing in developing markets, with other examples being Internet.org (bringing free Internet access to underserved areas) and Facebook Zero (sponsored access to Facebook).