CNN is not saying how much it paid for user-generated content app Beme, but sources tell The Wall Street Journal that it was around $25 million. “As part of the acquisition, CNN will by summer of next year launch a standalone media company led by [Beme co-founders Casey Neistat and Matt Hackett] that will focus on ‘timely and topical video and empowering content creators to use technology to find their voice,’” it writes.
Microsoft is finally offering iOS and Android users its own version of Solitaire. “While the game has existed on Windows for more than 25 years, the modern Solitaire Collection will now be available outside of Windows for the first time,” The Verge reports. “Microsoft is offering its Solitaire Collection on iOS and Android free of charge.”
Apparently, playing a certain .mp4 video in Safari on any iOS device will cause the device to slow and then freeze, 9To5Mac reports. “Viewing a certain video in Safari will cause iOS to essentially overload and gradually become unusable,” it writes. It’s not apparently clear as to why this happens … The likely reason is that it’s simply a corrupted video that’s some sort of memory leak and when played, iOS isn’t sure how to properly handle it, but there’s likely more to it than that.”
Mozilla is rolling out a Firefox Focus -- a browser designed to maximize user privacy. “It has no tabs, no menus and no pop-ups, but most crucially it contains, by default, the same ad and content blocking features as Mozilla’s previous attempt to encourage privacy on iPhones,” Forbes reports. “As such, Mozilla is trying to give iPhone owners more options to maintain their privacy in the face of increased government pressure on the likes of Apple to cough up user data.”
In response to complaints that the iPhone 6 Plus can become unresponsive to touch, Apple is rolling out a repair program for the phone. “According to Apple, some iPhone 6 Plus devices may exhibit Multi-Touch issues after ‘being dropped multiple times on a hard surface,’ causing damage to the device,” MacRumors reports. “Under its repair program, Apple will fix affected iPhone 6 Plus devices for a service price of $149.”
Apple’s system might not be as secure as some users think. “Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft has found that Apple’s mobile devices automatically send a user’s call history to the company’s servers if iCloud is enabled … but the data gets uploaded in many instances without user choice or notification,” The Intercept reports. As Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft, tells the online publication: “You only need to have iCloud itself enabled” for the data to be sent.
With the help of what it calls “neural machine translation,” Google says it has significantly improved its Translate app. The software “can translate whole sentences at a time, instead of breaking the text down to smaller chunks and translating those pieces,” CNet reports. “The result is translations coming out more natural, with better syntax and grammar.”
Security contractors has reportedly discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that monitors users’ every move, call, and text message. “The American authorities say it is not clear whether this represents secretive data mining for advertising purposes or a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence,” The New York Times reports. “International customers and users of disposable or prepaid phones are the people most affected by the software.”
Google is rolling out PhotoScan -- a new app designed to make preserving the memories of your old printed photos much easier. “PhotoScan improves on the old ‘photo of a photo’ technique that many now use to quickly get a digital copy of old prints,” Engadget reports. “It's also a lot cheaper than sending pictures out to be scanned by a professional, not to mention faster and more convenient than using a flatbed scanner.”
Led by mobile games, app removals on the Apple’s App Store increased by 238% in October, reports TechCrunch, citing new data from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower. “Earlier this year, Apple promised it would clean up its iOS App Store by removing outdated, abandoned apps, including those that no longer meet current guidelines or don’t function as intended,” TC notes.