Tech

Sinemia takes aim at MoviePass again, with new $9.99 plan
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Sinemia continues its campaign to take advantage of MoviePass’ high-profile struggles and win over the better-known movie ticket subscription service’s customers. Today, it announced a new plan priced at $9.99 per month. MoviePass, after all, recently announced that it would be keeping its monthly subscription price at $9.95, but limiting subscribers to three movies per month (with discounts on additional tickets). The new Sinemia tier also includes three tickets each month, but it has the additional benefit of allowing subscribers to buy tickets for any 2D, non-IMAX screen, and to buy those tickets in advance. MoviePass, in contrast, is rotating the available movies each day, and it requires subscribers to buy their tickets at the theater, on the same day as the screening. Ju [...]
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LG is releasing an Android One handset with near flagship specs
techcrunch.com
Android One is one of a handful of Google projects aimed at helping the mobile operating system run better on entry level devices. As such, those handsets that qualify for the program are generally pretty middling, at best. But LG’s G7 One bucks the trend, with some specs that wouldn’t be out of place on a 2018 flagship. Leading the way is the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm’s top of the line processor, coupled with a 6.1 inch QHD+ display and a 3,000mAh battery. There’s also that familiar notch up top design that’s all the rage on flagships these days. There are certain cost cutting measures. The bleeding edge dual camera tech that LG prides itself on isn’t on board here. The 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage are not great, but perfectly acceptable for most. The headphone jack is stil [...]
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Netflix tests a bypass of iTunes billing in 33 markets
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Netflix is one of the highest-grossing apps on the iOS App Store, but it looks like the video streaming giant is contemplating how it might make an even bigger margin on its iPhone and iPad users. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that Netflix, in its own words, is “testing the iTunes payment method” in 33 countries. More specifically, Netflix is testing how to bypass iTunes. Until September 30, new or lapsed subscribers in selected markets across Europe, Latin America and Asia will be unable pay using iTunes. They are instead getting redirected to the mobile web version to log payment details directly with Netflix. Others like Spotify also have moved users away from using iTunes to pay for subscriptions. It’s notable that both Spotify and Netflix have something else [...]
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Google Fit gets a redesign, adds Heart Points and coaching
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Google Fit is getting a major update today. The company’s activity tracking app has been around for a few years now but until today, it pretty much worked and looked that same as on the day it launched. Today’s redesign is quite a departure from that old look and feel, though, and it also introduces quite a few new features that help take the service in a new direction. The most obvious new feature in the new version is that instead of only focusing on active minutes (or ‘Move Minutes’ as they are called now), Google has now introduced the concept of Heart Points. With this, you don’t just score points for moving, the app will also reward you for activities that actually get your heart beating a bit faster. Google Fit will give you one point for every minute [...]
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Fortnite’s Android installer shipped with an Epic security flaw
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Google has clapped back in tremendous fashion at Epic Games, which earlier this month decided to make the phenomenally popular Fortnite available for Android via its own website instead of Google’s Play Store. Unfortunately, the installer had a phenomenally dangerous security flaw in it that would allow a malicious actor to essentially install any software they wanted. Google wasted exactly zero time pointing out this egregious mistake. By way of a short explanation why this was even happening, Epic explained when it announced its plan that it would be good to have “competition among software sources on Android,” and that the best would “succeed based on merit.” Everyone of course understood that what he meant was that Epic didn’t want to share the rev [...]
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For IGTV, Instagram needs slow to mean steady
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Instagram has never truly failed at anything, but judging by modest initial view counts, IGTV could get stuck with a reputation as an abandoned theater if the company isn’t careful. It’s no flop, but the long-form video hub certainly isn’t an instant hit like Instagram Stories. Two months after that launched in 2016, Instagram was happy to trumpet how its Snapchat clone had hit 100 million users. Yet two months after IGTV’s launch, the Facebook subsidiary has been silent on its traction. “It’s a new format. It’s different. We have to wait for people to adopt it and that takes time,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told me. “Think of it this way: we just invested in a startup called IGTV, but it’s small, and it’s like Instagram [...]
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A majority of U.S. teens are taking steps to limit smartphone and social media use
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It’s not just parents who are worrying about their children’s device usage. According to a new study released by Pew Research Center this week, U.S. teens are now taking steps to limit themselves from overuse of their phone and its addictive apps, like social media. A majority, 54% of teens, said they spend too much time on their phone, and nearly that many – 52% – said they are trying to limit their phone use in various ways. In addition, 57% say they’re trying to limit social media usage and 58% are trying to limit video games. The fact that older children haven’t gotten a good handle on balanced smartphone usage points to a failure on both parents’ parts and the responsibilities of technology companies to address the addictive nature of our devi [...]
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PayPal revamps its app to remove clutter, add more personalization
techcrunch.com
PayPal is revamping its mobile app. Again. In an effort to keep pace with newcomers like the bank-owned Zelle, PayPal says its new app will focus on making it easier to use its core features – that is, sending and requesting money. That means many of the app’s homescreen buttons – like Offers, Donate, Order Ahead and others are being tucked away underneath a new “More” menu to eliminate some of the clutter. The PayPal homescreen had gotten a little too busy with all the extra features it has been promoting, which aren’t central to the PayPal experience. For example, it threw in a button suggesting “Invest with Acorns,” after taking a stake in the mobile investing app that rounds up purchases and automatically invests the extra change on yo [...]
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