14 gifts that keep on giving

2016-gift-guide-subs-feat Hit songs of the season ask: why can’t we make everyday a holiday?
The answer is that we can. By giving loved ones a subscription-based gift that has new parcels, experiences or digital content arriving every season, we can spread the cheer across the year. Read More

Gadgets – TechCrunch

Meet Aaron Brown, One Of The Amazing Volunteers Giving Kids New 3D-Printed Hands

Fg2lJuf If you’ve been following my coverage of E-Nable, a volunteer organization dedicated to 3D-printing prosthetic hands for kids, you’ll be familiar with Aaron Brown’s work. He makes “superhero” hands in multiple colors and recently completed this fun Wolverine model for a young man born without fingers. The hand includes removable “blades” and is blue… Read More

TechCrunch » Gadgets

ElecFreaks Is Selling (And Giving Away) A DIY VR Drone

elf-releases-tips-3d-printing-open-source-drones-1 A new 3D-printed drone called the ELF VR Nano is available for pre-order on Indiegogo and for download on Thingiverse. That’s right: you can either buy the product and receive pre-printed parts or you can simply print it yourself. It’s one of the purest open source hardware plays I’ve seen in a long while and it just goes to show how cool it is to be able to print your own… Read More

TechCrunch » Gadgets

Apple’s iPhone 6 Success Is Mostly Android’s Loss, Giving iPhone Plenty Of Room To Grow

iphone-6-plus-rear-low-close Apple’s newest iPhone customers aren’t just old customers upgrading older devices – in fact, the vast majority are migrating from other platforms. Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that over 85 percent of consumers buying iPhones lately are coming from devices that aren’t iPhones, and that most of those are shifting over from Android. This… Read More

TechCrunch » Gadgets

Hangouts 1.3 Will Reportedly Add SMS, Giving Android Its Own iMessage Equivalent

android-sms-hangouts

Google is said to be prepping an update to its Hangouts instant messaging/video chat Android app that would allow it to integrate with SMS, making it possible to get all text and MMS messages right in the same inbox. That would fulfill a promise made a long time ago, near when Hangouts was first announced, by Hangouts and Chat community manager Dori Storbeck.

The new info comes from Android Police, which says it had heard that Google would be building SMS integration into Hangouts in a version releasing soon, a report that was then corroborated by screenshots from an anonymous tipster. In the screenshots, Hangouts is depicted as showing messages clearly sent “via SMS,” as well as being able to “Send an SMS message” in the existing compose screen. There’s also a screenshot of the settings where SMS can be toggled on and off.

The update would also offer up video sharing via Hangouts, the report claims, but the biggest news for both Google and for other third-party messaging platforms would be the SMS integration. It would consolidate one more service/app offering into Hangouts for Google, which has already subsumed Google Talk and Google+ Messenger. It would be easy to see it taking the next logical step from there and offering VoIP services, too, providing a complete over-the-top service.

It would also be potentially bad news for competitors like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. FB’s messaging app already offers SMS integration, but Google’s Hangouts version would ship on devices pre-installed, and could conceivably replace the Messaging app altogether, making it the default option for Android users. It could also eat away at more carrier business, as combining the two and favoring Google+ based messaging first would have a similar effect to iMessage, where carriers eventually derive less revenue from shuttling SMS content back and forth.

SMS has long been in the cards for Hangouts, and hopefully it’s arriving soon. There’s no timeline attached to the report, apart from some speculation it could arrive with Android KitKat, but in all likelihood this functionality will be generally available to Hangouts users regardless of their OS version.


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