What's Hot in Tech - Issue 14

Beyonce pulls a fast one, announces and releases album in same day 

Beyoncé surprised everyone by releasing a previously unannounced album only available on iTunes. Somehow Beyoncé managed to keep Apple's lips sealed, the same company unable to hold on to their iPhone prototypes. She announced the release with a video posted to Instagram at midnight Friday. The album includes 14 new tracks and 17 videos and is available for $14.99 on iTunes.

Instagram announces private messaging feature 

Instagram Direct promo video

Instagram launched a new private messaging feature called Instagram Direct. The popular photo-sharing app now lets users send photos and videos to specific users instead of publishing to all followers. Recipients can view the content by opening their Instagram inbox and senders will be notified when their message has been viewed. Users can send a single photo or video to up to 15 people and likes and comments on private content are only visible to the sender and recipient(s).

Coursera online education launches mobile app

Coursera app for iPhone (iOS)

Coursera app for iPhone (iOS)

Coursera, an online education platform offering courses from top universities and organizations, launched an iPhone app (Android coming soon) allowing students away from their computers to stream and download course videos, check syllabuses, take quizzes, and more. 

Google helps users learn more about their services 

Google Tips website

Google Tips website

Have you ever wondered how to use certain aspects of Gmail, Google Maps, or Google Chrome? Or maybe there are features you don't even know about. Google launched Google Tips, a site chock-full of step-by-step guides covering features and capabilities across 13 different Google products. 

Evernote adds business card scanning 

Evernote business card scanning demo

Evernote is my absolute favorite app for recording any sort of note or saving articles I read online for later reference. Their motto, "Remember Everything", sums up the service perfectly. I believe in financially supporting the services I love and use most because making things isn't free and Evernote is right at the top of the list. 

Evernote has updated their iPhone app with a business card scanning feature making it incredibly easy to remember the people you meet. Upon scanning a business card, the app can automatically find the name, email, and phone number and store it in your Evernote account. It gets better: if you connect your LInkedIn account with Evernote, the app will even find the person on LinkedIn and auto-populate additional information for your records. Once you've collected the person's information, you can send your own contact information to the person from right inside the Evernote app. The feature allows up to 5 scans for users with a free account and unlimited scanning for premium users. If you're not using Evernote yet, sign up for an account now!

Google acquires robotics engineering company Boston Dynamics

The video below is all you need to watch. What Google intends to do with this technology, we don't know. To see more videos of similar robotics, search YouTube for Boston Dynamics.

Quick Hits

  • Leo is a new, lightweight messaging app for iPhone and Android devices built around expiring messages – similar to SnapChat.
  • Twitter updated their mobile apps to increase focus on direct messages (DM) including allowing photos within DMs which were previously text-only. 
  • Twitter finally updated its Mac app to include a refreshed design, image previews in the timeline, better-looking profiles, and more.

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As a tech enthusiast, early adopter, and avid reader, I come across a lot of gadgets, apps, websites, and more. Few things excite me more than sharing and discussing these finds with others. Follow me on Twitter where I share even more tech news and trends.  

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Chris Fohlin

Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA