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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
May 2, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
You've heard of apps that help you lose weight, and apps that help you exercise, but on Wednesday author and pick-up artist extraordinaire Neil Strauss launched A Better Man -- an app that helps awkward dudes pick up girls. You might consider A Better Man a virtual coach that helps you learn the art of hitting on women by giving you real-life assignments and encouraging you to interact with strangers, no matter how uncomfortable it feels. The core of the app is a series of timed missions that begin at Level 1, and get incrementally harder as you advance.
BUSINESS
June 26, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Lookout, a smartphone security app, said its software will now flag adware -- mobile advertising that could be a security risk -- on Android devices. The company defines adware as mobile advertising that interrupts users' experience. Some malicious adware has been known to surreptitiously gather the user's contact information. Lookout updated its Android app Wednesday to quickly notify users know if they have downloaded an app that contains adware. PHOTOS: The 10 biggest tech gadget fails If Lookout detects adware has been installed on a user's phone, it will let users choose to either ignore the threat or begin a removal process that will uninstall the app containing intrusive mobile ads. The company said adware is prevalent in 6.5% of the apps found on the Google Play app store.
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.
NEWS
February 2, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Come spring, Napa Valley is overrun with visitors and if you're planning a visit in the coming months, time to start planning now. If you're an app addict, you might be tempted by the iPhone and iPad app Wine Spectator's Guide to Napa Valley 2012 edition . Readers, I bought it and downloaded it, and there's just not very much there for $6.99. It's basically an address book with no particular critical voice to direct you toward this or another restaurant, this or another winery visit.
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