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Martian’s Smartphone Watch Will Make You Feel Like James Bond [HANDS-ON]


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Trove Rethinks Social News Discovery


Trove, the social news discovery app first created by the Washington Post‘s digital team, relaunched a completely overhauled suite of iOS apps Wednesday.

The app’s concept is similar to news aggregation apps like Zite and Flipboard in that it provides users with curated stories based specific topics. (A “trove” is a curated list of stories based around a single topic.)

But unlike these apps, Trove doesn’t rely on algorithms to predict relevant stories. Instead, each topic is managed by an individual curator who hand-picks each story.

The goal, says CEO Vijay Ravindran, is to reduce signal noise and help readers find all the stories they care about.

“The product is really built on this principle: Readers have a diverse set of interests from fun to serious,” he said. “We’re going to connect them with curators who are sharing those same interests so there’s an opportunity for them to get this really high quality content experience.”

Currently, troves are selected and organized by beta curators who are experts in a given field. The “Top Science News” trove, for example, is curated by Science magazine, and “Farm to Table” by former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelshon. But any user can curate any topic.

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Image: Trove

“The system favors curators who are actively picking and who are amassing larger and larger followers,” Ravindra added. “Over time, we think quality will go to the top fairly naturally.”

Trove’s team is headed up by Ravindra and Slashdot founder Rob Malda, who serves as product lead. Based on their editorial roots and close ties with The Washington Post, ensuring the credibility of individual sources was an important step in the app’s development.

All of Trove’s stories are culled from a list of 15,000 sources, each of which has been vetted by an editor. Users can also submit new sources to Trove for editorial approval.

The app is available for iPhone and iPad, with an Android app planned for later this year.

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Tempo Smart Calendar Upgrade Means It Really ‘Gets’ You


Image: Mashable, Christina Ascani

One of the iPhone’s smartest calendar apps just got a little smarter.

Tempo AI, the company behind Tempo, rolled out a redesigned app that adds support for iOS’ Reminders app and Waze. The update also includes natural language processing for easier event creation.

One of Tempo’s most useful features is its ability to automatically find relevant information for specific events, such as maps, directions, emails and documents, without the need to manually add that extra information to each entry.

Natural language support means this gets even easier. You can add events to your calendar by the speaking the way you normally would (e.g. “coffee with Lisa tomorrow at 2”) and the app will automatically add the event, time and contact information for the person you’re meeting with.

“The nice thing about natural language is the vast majority of events that are added through mobile are almost like appointments or tasks or reminders as opposed to complex meetings,” Tempo AI’s CEO, Raj Singh, told Mashable. “There might not necessarily be a set of invited attendees; it might be more like ‘dentist appointment,’ ‘pick up tickets’ or ‘pay rent.'”

Tempo reminders

Tempo added support for iOS reminders so you can check off items from your to-do list directly from the calendar.

Image: Tempo AI

The update also adds support for iOS Reminders for more comprehensive to-do list management as well as Waze integration for real-time traffic information. Singh said reminders support was one of the most-requested features from users and that the company plans to add support for more third-party apps, like Evernote reminders and Google Tasks, in future updates.

Tempo’s entire interface has also been given a total redesign. The new app puts weather and other contextual information about your day-to-day schedule front and center and makes events and meetings easier to see and manage.

The latest version of Tempo is available in the App Store. An iPad and Android app will be available later this year and Android tablet and web versions of the calendar are also in the works.

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New iOS and Android Google+ App Brings Support for Pages


google plus

Google has rolled out a new version of its Google+ app for both Android and iOS, bringing the current version number to 3.2.

The new version brings support for Google+ pages, enabling page owners to post, comment and interact with their followers using their smartphone.

Other improvements include an updated widget and a new design of the “Find People” feature for the Android version, while the iOS version gets iPhone 5 and iOS6 support, as well as the ability to edit posts.

The app is available in Apple’s App Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).

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Never Use Minutes or Texts Again With These 9 Apps