Google Maps v9.75 beta rolls out with notifications for transit maps, hints of bicycle sharing integration, and mystery LG “perks” [APK Teardown]

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Late last night, the latest version of Google Maps began rolling out through the beta channel. For many people, this will likely bring new notifications with convenient shortcuts to local area transit maps. There are also signs that Google is adding integration with bicycle sharing services, a vague hint of new activity around speed limits, and possibly some new perks for Local Guides.

What’s New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • Transit maps in notifications
  • Nearby traffic notification toggle

Transit maps in notifications (for India?)

Google Maps has been making huge leaps at improving mass transit features over the last couple of years with new and improved features like step-by-step navigation through stops and updated train schedules.

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Google Maps v9.75 beta rolls out with notifications for transit maps, hints of bicycle sharing integration, and mystery LG “perks” [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Facebook fights fake news with author info, rolls out publisher context

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Red flags and “disputed” tags just entrenched people’s views about suspicious news articles, so Facebook is hoping to give readers a wide array of info so they can make their own decisions about what’s misinformation. Facebook will try showing links to a journalist’s Wikipedia entry, other articles, and a follow button to help users make up their mind about whether they’re a legitimate source of news. The test will show up to a subset of users in the U.S. when users click on the author’s name within an Instant Article if the author’s publisher has implemented Facebook’s author tags.

Meanwhile, Facebook is rolling out to everyone in the U.S. its test from October that gives readers more context about publications by showing links to their Wikipedia pages, related articles about the same topic, how many times the article has been shared and where, and a button for following the publisher within an “About This Article” button. Facebook will also start to show whether friends have shared the article, and a a snapshot of the publisher’s other recent articles.

Since much of this context can be algorithmically generated rather than relying on human fact checkers, the system could scale much more quickly to different languages and locations around the world.

These moves are designed to feel politically neutral to prevent Facebook from being accused of bias. After former contractors reported that they suppressed conservative Trending topics on Facebook in 2016, Facebook took a lot of heat for supposed liberal bias. That caused it to hesitate when fighting fake news before the 2016 Presidential election…and then spend the next two years dealing with the backlash for allowing misinformation to run rampant.

Newsroom: Article Context Launch Video

Posted by Facebook on Monday, April 2, 2018

Facebook’s partnerships with outside fact checkers that saw red Disputed flags added to debunked articles actually backfired. Those sympathetic to the false narrative saw the red flag as a badge of honor, clicking and sharing any way rather than allowing someone else to tell them they’re wrong.

That’s why today’s rollout and new test never confront users directly about whether an article, publisher, or author is propagating fake news. Instead Facebook hopes to build a wall of evidence as to whether a source is reputable or not.

If other publications have similar posts, the publisher or author have well-established Wikipedia articles to back up their integrity, and if the publisher’s other articles look legit, users could draw their own conclusion that they’re worth beleiving. But if there’s no Wikipedia links, other publications are contradicting them, no friends have shared it, and a publisher or author’s other articles look questionable too, Facebook might be able to incept the idea that the reader should be skeptical.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Google rolls out a better way to search for movies

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Google is rolling out a new feature today that will help you better plan your night at the movies. While the company has supported displaying movie showtimes within Google Search results following the closure of its standalone movie site in 2016, this update will help you narrow down your options more efficiently, thanks to the additions of drop-down filters in the Movies Showtimes interface that appears at the top of Google’s search results.

After you perform a search for “showtimes” and are directed to Google’s Movies Showtimes screen as usual, you’ll notice a new set of drop-down filters at the top.

You can use these to filter the movies near you by a number of factors, including screen type (e.g. 3D or IMAX), the movie’s genre, ratings, the critic scores, language, and preferred chains. That way you could click a few buttons to do a very specific search for something like “Family” movies rated “PG” or “G” at Cobb or AMC theaters in the afternoon on Sunday, for example. Or “R” rated “Dramas” with a critics’ score of 70% or higher on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Critics’ Score filter supports reviews from Metacritic and IMDb, as well.

Once the filters are applied, you’ll be shown all the matching results that meet your exact criteria. When you’re ready to go, you can then click on the showtime you want to purchase your ticket using Fandango, MovieTickets.com, AMC Theatres, or Atom Tickets.

In addition to the showtime search filters, you can also now tap over to the “Theaters” tab to see what’s playing at your favorite theaters, that also matches your requirements.

Google says the update is rolling out to the Google Search app on Android in the U.S. and India in Hindi and English, as well as in mobile search in the browser, and soon, the Google Search app for iOS.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Quintacorn Robinhood’s free crypto trading rolls out in Cali, 3 more states

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Robinhood is rolling out its Coinbase-killer that’s already helped the fintech startup’s valuation grow 4X in a year. Zero-fee trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum is now available to all investors in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Montana. Everyone else is still on the waitlist. Robinhood users everywhere can already track 16 crypto coins including BTC, ETH, Litecoin, and Ripple, as well as trade traditional stocks with no transaction commission.

Announced in January, Robinhood Crypto vastly undercuts Coinbase’s U.S. fees that range from 1.5 to 4 percent. One million users waitlisted for Robinhood Crypto in the first 5 days after it was announced, and the app now has four million total registered users. Its lack of fees is proving to be a way to lure both veteran and rookie crypto investors to Robinhood, though it lacks support for trading as wide of a range of coins as Coinbase. Rather than charging per trade, Robinhood earns money from interest on money in users’ accounts and its Robinhood Gold subscription service. For for $ 6 to $ 200 a month in subscription fees, users can borrow between $ 1,000 and $ 50,000 to trade with.

Robinhood Gold’s success, adding options and web trading, and the new Robinhood Crypto helped the startup attract a $ 350 million Series D round led by Russian fund DST Global, which a source confirms will value it at $ 5.6 billion and bring it to $ 526 million in total funding. That’s up from the $ 110 million Series C at a $ 1.3 billion valuation it raised last year.

That massive valuation will put a ton of pressure on Robinhood’s co-CEOs Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt to keep it growing, build out its subscription and interest revenue, and invade the space of competitors. [Disclosure: I know the founders from college] Those include traditional brokers like Scottrade and E*Trade that can charge $ 7 or more per trade, crypto-specific exchanges like Coinbase, and news sources like CoinDesk.

Robinhood risks a down round if the heightened societal and regulatory skepticism about cryptocurrencies curtail investments from the public. Robinhood’s historical focus on younger, less wealthy investors who aren’t “accredited” could make it especially vulnerable to crypto backlash if users see the space as too volatile or scammy for amateur investors to join. There are also heightened cybersecurity concerns, as users might bail on the app if they fear their cryptocurrency could be stolen.

Robinhood might do well to get more serious about how it offers crypto education. It’s promised to provide a feed of crypto news to keep people informed about why markets are moving, though it’s still in testing with a small number of users right now. The problem is that the crypto journalism space is rife with integrity violations and reporters with questionable expertise. If Robinhood bought or built a truly neutral crypto news source, it could use that to attract investors to its crypto trading platform.

[Disclosre: The author of this article owns small positions in Bitcoin and Ethereum but does not day trade. Detailed disclosures can be found here.]

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Google rolls out April 2018 Android security update, includes functional improvements for Pixel and Nexus devices

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Google has started rolling out new over-the-air (OTA) update for Pixel and Nexus devices and also posted factory images as part of monthly Android Security release. The update for this month also includes a lot of functional improvements for these eligible Pixel and Nexus smartphones. Functional improvements for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X in April 2018 security update References Category Improvements Devices A-35963245 Performance Enable Assisted Dialing support Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-37681923 A-68215016 Logging Improve anomaly detection metrics All A-63908720 Logging Improve diskstats logging All A-64101451 Performance Improve handover from VoLTE to VoWi-Fi during Emergency calls on certain carriers Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-64586126 Camera Improve microvideo performance in Google Camera Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-64610438 Performance Reduce delays upon opening specific apps Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-65175134 Video Improve decoding of certain video streams Pixel, Pixel XL A-65347520 Performance Improve fingerprint and keyboard latency in certain situations Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-65490850 UI Adjust notifications when entering or exiting Wi-Fi coverage during a video call Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-65509134 Connectivity Enable IMS911 on certain networks Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel, Pixel XL A-66951771 Logging Detect Wi-Fi Passport statistics for developers All A-66957450 Performance Improve lock screen performance All A-67094673 Logging Improve start time logging All A-67589241 Performance Improve magnetic sensor performance on Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-67593274 Battery Reduce battery drain after modem issues Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL A-67634615 Stability Improve modem stability on Pixel and Pixel 2 phones Pixel, Pixel …
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Apple Health Records rolls out in iOS 11.3 to praise from doctors in 39 health groups

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Apple’s Health Records has rolled out in iOS 11.3 and is now available for patients in 39 different health groups covering hundreds of thousands of patients across the United States.
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AT&T rolls out Android 8.0 Oreo for the LG V30

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AT&T is now distributing the update to Android 8.0 Oreo to the LG V30 units it has sold. This follows the Oreo release for Samsung’s Galaxy Note8 yesterday, and thus the carrier has covered both Korean companies’ respective flagships from last fall. The update for the V30 also features the latest security fixes. After installing it you’ll have the March 1, 2018 security patch level. The new software version is H93120c. Oreo went out to V30 units in South Korea last year, and in the meantime we’ve seen both Verizon and Sprint update theirs. Of the Big Four US carriers, T-Mobile is now…

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T-Mobile rolls out low-band LTE to hundreds more cell sites

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In what is becoming a regular occurrence, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray revealed today that T-Mo has added low-band LTE to hundreds of cell sites across the U.S. in the past two weeks. His tweet announcing the news can be found below. Our network team added lowband LTE to 100s of sites in just two weeks, which means more and better coverage. And #WeWontStop!! @TMobile @MetroPCS #AcrossTheGrid pic.twitter.com/bO8RSNSDxg — Neville (@NevilleRay) March … [read full article]

The post T-Mobile rolls out low-band LTE to hundreds more cell sites appeared first on TmoNews.

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Google’s AI-powered Google Lens rolls out on iOS

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Google in a tweet on Thursday said its Google Lens visual search feature will roll out to iOS devices over the coming week as part of update to the company’s Google Photos app.
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Google Lens visual search rolls out on iOS

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After making a slow march across Android devices, Google's AI-powered visual search is coming to iOS. Apple device owners should see a preview of Google Lens pop up in the latest version of their Google Photos app over the next week. In case you've f…
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