Apps

Snapchat opens Snap Store!

All the cool goodies you can buy

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Snapchat is trying something new!

Snap Inc. has just launched the Snap Store. Like the name entails, it’s an e-commerce section that’s built directly into the app. Don’t believe me? Open your Snapchat and scan the link below:

As of writing, there are five fun Snapchat products on sale in the store.

In true Snapchat fashion, there’s a Dancing Hot Dog Plush Doll that’s on sale for US$ 20. In case you didn’t know, this amusing piece of jiggly meat is a popular AR filter on the app — so popular that Snap Inc. sold hotdog costumes on Amazon at some point.

The Snapchat Streak Hat is also on sale. It retails for US$ 30. Only true Snapchat users will know what this is!

You can get this Winkface Sweatshirt that’s selling for US$ 50, too. Worth it.

Of course, if we’re talking Snapchat, the doggie filter has to be part of the conversation! It comes as no surprise that there’s also a Dog Lens Tee that retails for US$ 30.

Lastly, the Bring Back Best Friends Sweatshirt is also on sale in the Snap Store. It retails for US$ 50.

If you’re not quite satisfied with these Snapchat merchandise offerings — which is impossible if you’re a true Snapchat fanatic, TBH — there’s still more in store (pun intended). Their website says that new items will be released on February 8. Unfortunately, the store only ships to the US at this point.

As of now, it’s not sure what Snap Inc. has planned for the Snap Store, but it’s looking like it’s something big.

And yes, bigger than Dancing Hotdogs.

SEE ALSO: Burger King just explained net neutrality with a Whopper

SEE ALSO: GIF stickers are a thing on Instagram Stories now

Apps

Google asks smartphone makers to pay for Play Store

In response to EU’s ruling

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Google Play

Months ago, Google landed in a scalding pool of Europe’s hot water. The European Competition Commission accused the company of anti-competition practices. Among other things, Google forced smartphone makers to bundle Chrome and Google Search as a requirement. According to the commission, the stipulation gives the company an unfair advantage over its rivals.

Eventually, the Commission hammered down a guilty verdict. From this, Google paid a record-breaking fine to the European Union. Besides this, the company had to stop the indicted practice.

Now, Google is finally implementing a resolution for the guilty verdict. Starting this month, the company will change its offered bundles for smartphone makers in the EU.

As opposed to enforcing the bundle, Google will offer Android’s apps for a price. Instead of a strong-arm strategy, Google’s new strategy aims for the best of both worlds. Smartphone companies can opt out of the program. Historically, some companies have already opted out of Android’s app ecosystem. For example, Chinese smartphones often implement their own variants because of China’s prohibitions.

Additionally, Google will loosen its regulations against forked versions of its Android operating system. Some smartphone makers alter Android’s inner workings for their own uses. Most notoriously, Xiaomi uses its own MIUI software. Previously, the bundling scheme swayed the deal towards Google’s favor, despite any proprietary changes. With looser regulations, companies can fork all they want.

Now, companies can sell smartphones running forked Androids. That is, if they also sell a separate smartphone with Google’s untouched software.

Amid all these changes, Android remains as free software for smartphones. Android can maintain its status as the world’s most ubiquitous operating system. However, if this issue elicits any questions, it’s this: How will Google’s new schema affect the casual consumer? Right now, we’ll have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: You might need to pay Google for Android soon

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6 iPhone apps for your well-being

Mental health is important!

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World Mental Health Day may have come and gone but that shouldn’t mean that your well-being should be pushed aside. In fact, a healthy disposition should always be practiced. How does one do that in today’s fast-paced world?

We’ve got apps for you!

Omvana 

Omvana is a meditation app that measures stress levels and even your state of mind; it’s your personal mindfulness coach! The app also automatically connects to HealthKit.

Download here. 

Calm

With guided meditations, breathing exercises, sleep stories, and relaxing music, this app will help make sure you’re always in a relaxed mood.

Download here. 

Insight Timer

Don’t know how to meditate? This app allows for guided meditations from the industry’s best practitioners!

Download here. 

Headspace: Guided Meditation

Another guided meditation app which allows you to manage stress and even apply meditative practice to your every day. There’s also a sleep experience feature which promises better rest and calmness.

Download here.

Aura: Calm Anxiety & Sleep

Aura’s three-minute meditations will bring more positivity to your life. The app also does life coaching, relaxing music, and even personalized meditations.

Download here. 

AutoSleep Tracker for Watch

Better sleep means a better disposition! This app tracks sleep automatically with Advanced Heuristics AutoSleep so you’ll always have the info at hand.

Download here. 

What are you waiting for? Get to downloading and happy meditating!

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Apps

Facebook Lite comes to iPhones at less than 5MB

It consumes less power, too!

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After being enjoyed by Android users for years, the slimmed down version of Facebook’s main app finally arrived on iOS. Although, it’s only available to a select few — for now.

The Facebook Lite app was originally designed for developing countries where mobile data can be unreliable and Android phones are pretty basic. But, it also gained popularity among users with better phones because it uses way less data than the main Facebook app.

On iOS, the lite version is available for download through the Apple App Store for less than 5MB. Apart from being an easy download, it also uses less battery power and occupies minimal storage space.

This is going to be ideal for iPhones and even iPod Touch devices that are already showing signs of slowing down. The app is compatible with devices running iOS 9.0 and later.

For now, the app is only available in Turkey. As the testing phase expands to other regions, Facebook Lite will eventually be open for everyone.

Via: Business Insider

SEE ALSO: Facebook Messenger redesign starts rolling out to select users

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