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Software

The Google Now launcher for Android may be discontinued soon

One of the most annoying things about Android has long been the custom skins that manufacturers would slap on top of the operating system. Things have gotten better in recent years, but plenty of users would be happier using Android as Google intended. Fortunately, Google has offered a home screen launcher based on the software it put in the Nexus ...

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Android apps with emoji descriptions get more downloads

With a feature film, touch bar and dedicated search engine, emojis are having a moment. Now, app developer Novoda has done a study showing that they can even convince you to download apps. Using the A/B tool in Google’s Developer Console, the team tested three emojis (?, ? and ?) in the short description of the popular CCleaner app from ...

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NVIDIA updates older Shield TVs for 4K HDR game streaming

Edge Magazine via Getty Images Remember when we told you the old NVIDIA Shield TV would be getting the new units smarts via firmware update? It’s rolling out now as part of an over-the-air patch, TechCrunch has noticed. That means 4K HDR for NVIDIA’s GameStream (which lets you broadcast titles from your gaming rig) as well as the newly added ...

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AI is Getting as Good as Humans in Software Design

Artificial Intelligence, one of the ripest fields in technology right now, may be on the verge of a major breakthrough in how software systems are designed. Researchers in the field of Artificial Intelligence have found out that Artificial Intelligence software can, in some cases, best humans in designing new AI software. MIT took a look at the work of some ...

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Android Instant Apps begins limited testing

Back at last year’s Google I/O conference, the search giant introduced a new concept that the Android team had in the works: Instant Apps. The abbreviated applications would be streamlined enough to start working immediately after users open them with a URL tap, temporarily loading the full software’s functionality without going through the rigmarole of a traditional Play Store installation. ...

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Xbox One gets its first taste of Creators Update features

You don’t have to wait long to try some of the big Xbox One upgrades that Microsoft has been promising lately. The company is trotting out an Xbox Insider preview update that includes a few of the bigger improvements that will come alongside the Creators Update. Most notably, you’ll get a faster and decidedly more intuitive interface. The new home ...

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Cassette sales actually went up in 2016

We’re barely a month into the new year, but it’s already clear some of us still want to live in the past. Case in point: US cassette tape sales actually grew in 2016, with a whopping 129,000 copies sold. That might not be as many as the number of vinyl albums sold in the same year (13.1 million!), but it’s ...

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Come for this Einstein robot’s facial expressions, stay for his smarts

“I had the worst dream,” said Professor Einstein. “My vast intellect had been downloaded into a prosthetic body. I was then made to present the world of science to perfect strangers.” Within moments of being activated, the 14-inch robotic replica of Albert Einstein made a meta comment about being trapped in a knowledge-dispensing machine. It shook its head from side ...

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