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BUSINESS
April 19, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Facebook has begun expanding the free voice calling feature on its Messenger app to Android users. Earlier this year, the company introduced free voice calling for iPhone users, letting them use the Messenger app to call other Facebook members. The app uses smartphones' Internet connections to make the call, either through a Wi-Fi network or over 3G or 4G networks. Now, three months after introducing the feature for iPhone users, Facebook started rolling it out to some U.S. Android users Thursday afternoon and says more users will get the feature throughout Friday.
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BUSINESS
May 23, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Shazam, the app that identifies a song's name and artist, is being updated for the iPad, giving tablet users many of the tools already found on the iPhone app as well as a cool new feature: automatic tagging. The feature comes turned off by default, but if users choose to turn on auto-tagging, the app will automatically identify songs, TV commercials and other audio that your iPad picks up. Previously, if users heard a song or saw a commercial they wanted to tag with Shazam, they had to unlock their device, launch the app and touch the tag icon.
BUSINESS
May 8, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Welcome to the 21st century, where a compass can be used to find the nearest pizza place. Thanks to Pizza Compass , an app released Tuesday, iPhone users can now turn their smartphones into their own personal guides toward melted cheese, warm crust and delicious tomato sauce. The app, which costs $0.99, works like any other compass with a few differences. For starters, the arrow is actually a pizza slice and it doesn't point north -- it points toward the nearest pizza joint it can find.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
If your buddy owes you money, lacking cash is no excuse if he's got an iPhone. Just like sending contact information with the Bump app, you can now transfer money the same way with Bump Pay . The free app asks for your email address when it's initially opened. You and your iPhone-wielding friend bump hands; when you feel the vibration, the money's a-moving. The money will be associated with the email address you enter. If that one doesn't have a PayPal account associated with it, PayPal will send you an email to prompt you to create an account to get your money.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
Los Angeles County transit officials announced a new app Wednesday that allows train and bus commuters to report crimes throughout the system. With the free L.A. Metro Transit Watch app, riders can directly call the transit unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which is responsible for patrolling bus and rail lines. Riders can also fill out an online report and send it to authorities. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who is chairman of the Metro board, said the new app is the latest tool in the agency's "comprehensive effort to enhance safety for our riders.
BUSINESS
December 21, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
Facebook is hoping to pique the interest of young people with a new iPhone messaging app that lets them “poke” their friends. The giant social network on Friday rolled out Poke, which sends texts, photos and videos to friends that self-destruct within 10 seconds. The messaging app is a direct competitor to Snapchat, which has skyrocketed in popularity among teens who want to send private messages that pop up and, once read, disappear. (Old timers on Facebook will remember that old-school poking - as in saying hello -- was once all the rage among the desktop crowd.)
BUSINESS
August 3, 2011 | By Amrita Jayakumar
Your freeloading iPhone can now start paying for itself. Maybe even take you someplace nice for dinner. A 2-month-old app called Gigwalk pays you to use your iPhone. Users who download the app act as on-the-ground inspectors for big companies, checking local menus and store displays or verifying street signs. The Gigwalkers, as they're known, snap photos of the task and send it to Gigwalk, which pays anywhere from $3 to $90 per gig. As users prove themselves and earn "StreetCred," they can unlock higher-paying gigs that are more complicated.
NEWS
August 17, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
More than 132 million Americans voted in the 2008 elections, but how many of them registered to vote during an airline flight? Likely none, but that might change this election year. San Francisco-based Virgin America invites passengers on its flights to use smartphones to download an app to register to vote. The airline partnered with Rock the Vote for the novel voter registration drive that runs through November. Fliers can scan a QR code on the seat back facing them and receive an election registration app on their mobile device.
BUSINESS
February 2, 2012 | By David Colker
Have you ever been out shopping, looked at a product and wondered if it's the subject of a government safety recall? Me neither. But just in case it comes up, there is now a federally sponsored app for that. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which operates the recalls.gov website that puts out warnings about recalled products, offers the app for free. It's only for mobile devices that use the Android operating system -- no iPhone version yet. Here's how the site describes the app: “Whether you're at your child's day care center of a yard sale, whether you're at a store or at home, you can now type a product's name into your phone and learn immediately whether that product has been recalled because of a safety concern.” It could come in handy if you're out shopping for, say, a fold-out bed and come across the Fold-Out Sleeper Ottoman made by the Perfect Generation World company.
SCIENCE
April 30, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Monday, April 15, the day of the Boston Marathon bombings and the federal income tax filing deadline, was the saddest day online in five years. At least that's what the makers of the "hedonometer" computer program suggest. Scientists at the University of Vermont and MITRE Corp. have been crunching millions of messages from Twitter in an effort to quantify the public mood. Their results went public Tuesday at hedonometer.org In February, the gang at the University of Vermont and MITRE made headlines when it declared the happiest and saddest cities in the U.S., based on geo-tagged tweets from cellphones: Napa, Calif., and Beaumont, Texas.
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