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In our Apps of the Year series, The Next Web team shares personal recommendations for our favorite apps of 2014.  I do a lot of interviews. Maybe too many interviews. But to make sure I correctly quote my sources, I record those interviews in addition to taking notes on the computer or or in a notebook. The default voice recorder on iOS doesn’t cut it, that’s why I’ve become a huge fan of Recordium. The main focus iOS only app (sorry Android) is of course to record audio. But, it’s all the features that come with the app that make… This story continues at The Next Web

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The very latest version of WordPress is here, just in time for Christmas. WordPress 4.1, dubbed “Dinah” in honor of jazz singer Dinah Washington, brings a number of new features along with a new theme. Every year, WordPress releases a new theme and this year is no different. The new Twenty Fifteen theme is beautiful, responsive and comes bundled with WordPress by default and uses Google’s Noto Web font. The 4.1 release also includes a new distraction-free writing mode that hides all WordPress’ clutter and modules to help you focus on getting your blog written. There are a bunch of smaller new… This story continues at The Next Web

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500px, primarily known as a community for sharing and purchasing high-end photography, has updated its iOS app to include camera features for the first time. The new version of the iOS app, which also supports the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, now includes a built-in camera with the option to control focus and exposure manually, taking advantage of features introduced in Apple’s iOS 8. A full-auto mode is also available. The app features an Adobe Creative Cloud image editor, which lets photographers adjust exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, clarity, vibrance, temperature, tint, sharpening and noise reduction. The editor also offers 22 presets to layer… This story continues at The Next Web

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Secret was one of the hottest apps of the first half of the year. The ability to send anonymous messages to your friends was delicious at first, leading to a spate of wholly false acquisition rumors, not to mention plenty of malicious backchat about individuals, all spreading thanks to posts on the app. Its success, along with similar app Whisper, made it seem like anonymous conversation was going to be one of the biggest trends of the year. And yet Whisper was mired by controversy over what it did or did not boast to some visiting Guardian journalists about its user-tracking abilities. Secret,… This story continues at The Next Web

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If you’re the owner of an Xbox One get ready for streaming-radio action because Pandora is now available for your console of choice. The new app works with Kinect gestures and voice commands and utilizes the Xbox One Snap feature so you can listen to Pandora while playing a game. The app also has a mini-player for quick access to playback controls and you can see which stations you’ve listened to recently and how much time you’ve spent listening to stations. ➤ Happy Holidays- Pandora Launches on Xbox One

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After complying with a European Union mandate for five years, Microsoft has killed off the Browser Choice site. In a settlement with the EU’s Competition Commission, Microsoft created a screen in Windows and on the Web that offered links to alternative Web browsers. At the time, the EU contended that bundling Internet Explorer with Windows was anti-competitive. The Browser Choice site was a part of the settlement with the commission. Today Microsoft replaced the browsers on the browserchoice.eu site with the following message: This website was created by Microsoft in accordance with a decision issued by the European Commission in December 2009. The obligations imposed by… This story continues at The Next Web

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Parties are fun and all, but when you party too hard, sometimes people forget to take care of the music. Pacemaker, one of Spotify’s DJ partners, wants to make sure your parties never go silent with their new Autopilot feature for their iPad app. The app lets you pick your favorite tracks or playlists to let Autopilot arrange the music in the way its algorithms deem most party-worthy. If you don’t know what you want to play, Autopilot will make use of Pacemaker’s Match Machine to scour through your music and match it with Spotify’s library to find an ideal selection.… This story continues at The Next Web

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Airbnb today is rolling out an update to its mobile site, matching the mobile Web experience with its redesigned app and desktop site. The update is a move toward responsive design to accommodate users on various platforms while letting non-Airbnb users learn about the site without forcing them to download the app. Left: Old Airbnb Mobile Homepage, Right: New Airbnb Mobile Homepage Much like the revamped desktop site Airbnb launched this past July, the new mobile Web experience will feature full bleed images to make browsing listings more inviting. Users can also flip through the photos of the listing directly from the search… This story continues at The Next Web

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Line, the popular messaging client, today announced it is acquiring Microsoft’s MixRadio music streaming service. The deal is expected to complete in early 2015. As part of the move, MixRadio will continue to work with Microsoft in order to maintain its personalized music experience on Lumia smartphones – now as a third-party service. Line notes in its press release “the MixRadio team firmly believes that Line is the optimal partner to support the company’s future expansion and development.” MixRadio was originally developed as a Nokia service, but had begun a spin-off process to become a standalone company after deep budget cuts… This story continues at The Next Web

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Streaming music service Deezer has added a new feature today that lets you read the lyrics along with songs as you listen to them. While this feature has been available in the past as an add-on to Spotify via the likes of TuneWiki (which shut down last year) and MusiXmatch, this is the first time we’re aware of a service building it in natively. It’s a move that makes sense. Every time I forget that it’s ‘A bronzed moth dies easily’, not ‘I bronze my thighs easily’ in the Manic Street Preachers’ ‘Removables’, there’s a button to press for instant… This story continues at The Next Web

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EyeEm, the photo-sharing startup that has far outgrown the ‘Instagram clone’ tag to foster its own community of passionate photographers, is today launching a revamped edit flow that allows users to shares the secrets behind their latest masterpiece. The ‘Open Edit’ featureis being rolled out to users gradually, but you should start to see it on photographs in your feed from today. It allows you to see exactly what editswere applied to an image, and try them on your own photos too. Photo editing nerds can think of this as ‘social macros’. Additionally, the new update boasts additional filters. As with the most recent… This story continues at The Next Web

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In our Apps of the Year series, The Next Web team shares personal recommendations for our favorite apps of 2014′.  Eight times per day, at differing times, my iPhone asks me to fill in a report about what I’m doing. Each time, I log my location, whether I’m working or not and who I’m with. Before I go to sleep, I tell it how many cups of coffee I’ve had that day, and when I wake up I tell it how well I slept. This isn’t part of some scary mass-data collection program, it’s Reporter, a $3.99 app that offers a way… This story continues at The Next Web

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If you’ve ever tried to blind someone else with stats, or if you’ve had to endure startups claiming “500 percent growth” but refusing to tell you how many actual users they have, this one’s for you… Vooza – a video comic strip about the tech world regularly shares a new video with you lovely TNW readers. Sign up for Vooza’s email list to get exclusive access to more funny videos like this one. Click here to support Vooza (and receive cool rewards). Don’t miss: What is ‘freemium’ anyway? Here are some ideas…

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Amazon is throwing its hat into increasingly busy the same-day delivery ring today with the launch of Prime Now. It’s starting small though. The service is only available in ‘select areas’ of Manhattan and covers ‘essential daily items’ like paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and batteries. Orders can be placed by existing Prime members through a Prime Now app on Android and iOS, which will also notify users when new areas are opened up. The company is charging $7.99 for one-hour delveries, while if you can wait two hours the delivery is free. Given Amazon’s extensive network of fulfilment centers, this… This story continues at The Next Web

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The battle is on: Micromax, the Indian electronics brand that got OnePlus banned from selling phones in India, has just launched its Yu brand of high-spec smartphones, along with its first device powered by Cyanogen OS. The Yu Yureka (yup, that’s what happens when your brand and model names start with the same syllable) features a 5.5 inch 720p IPS display, an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 16GB of internal storage with a microSD expansion slot, a 13 megapixel rear camera and 5 megapixel front camera, a 2,500 mAh battery and 4G LTE support. The dual… This story continues at The Next Web

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Only days after an Uber driver was accused of raping a female passenger in New Delhi, India, a similar case of sexual assault has come to light in Boston, where a driver has been arrested for the alleged kidnapping and rape of a customer today, reports The Boston Globe. 46-year-old Alejandro Done has been held without bail over charges of rape, assault to rape, kidnapping and two counts of assault and battery of a passenger in his cab on Dec 6. Done, who had passed the company’s background check, has pleaded not guilty and will be held until his hearing… This story continues at The Next Web

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Apple is being investigated in Canada to ascertain whether the company used its influence over the market to promote the sale of iPhones in the country, reports Reuters. The Federal Court of Canada has agreed to order Apple to hand over documents to the Competition Bureau, which said that Apple may have negotiated with wireless carriers to maintain or increase the prices of rival brands’ phones. According to a report from this June by Media Technology Monitor, over 42% of Canadian smartphone users own iPhones. It’s possible that Apple used the bargaining power it has leveraged with the popularity of the… This story continues at The Next Web

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After Twitter, Facebook, Google and YouTube chronicled the year gone by in videos, it’s now Wikipedia’s turn. The crowdsourced online encyclopedia takes you through major events from 2014, from the FIFA World Cup to the Indian general elections, and the Ice Bucket Challenge to Ebola in West Africa in under three minutes. The clip was commissioned by the Wikimedia Foundation, and edited by Victor Grigas in less than two months using freely licensed photos and videos submitted by Wikipedia contributors from around the world. Besides highlighting the biggest moments in 2014, it also celebrates the collaborative spirit of contributors and translators… This story continues at The Next Web

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Sure, they’re the same playing cards you use for Poker in smoky back rooms (i.e. your kitchen) or for a rousing game of Hearts with the kids, but even in those venues — perhaps especially in those venues — art and design matter. Gambler’s Warehouse has just concluded a Kickstarter campaign (its ninth for specialty cards) in support of the Ultimate Universe deck — and it promises to be stunning. It is described thusly: “A conceptual expansion on the four symbols of Oriental mythology, Ultimate Universe takes star-born legends to new heights. Elements of 2D pixel art infused with striking color schemes make… This story continues at The Next Web

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In 2010, after AOL acquired Bebo but struggled to do anything with it against formidable rival Facebook, the company shut the social network’s doors. The original founder behind Bebo has since purchased it back from AOL and have reimagined the social network as a new mobile app to message friends. The new Bebo, which quietly launched this week, is a considerable shift from what it used to be. It’s now a messaging app, but not just any old messaging app. I used Bebo heavily back in highschool (it was extremely popular in Australia and New Zealand) and the new app is a fun throwback to my… This story continues at The Next Web

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Lifetime Memori has announced that its Hidely mobile app, previously only on iOS, is now available for Android. Now, you can discretely share photos and shoot with the company’s “zero trace” built-in camera, across mobile platforms. Like the iOS version, all photos shot with the Android version of Hidely are encrypted and invisible on the device’s photo gallery. This is designed to bypass the vulnerabilities inherent in cloud storage, especially for sensitive material. With Hidely, you can send encrypted photos to family and friends via SMS and email. The message will include a link that will open the photo within a Hidely account.… This story continues at The Next Web

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Since launching its first transparency report in 2012, it has been Twitter’s aim to ensure users from around the globe can access this information in a clear and straightforward way. Today, Twitter announced that the transparency reports will now be available in 10 languages – fulfilling its July promise to add approximately one dozen report languages by the end of 2014. The company naturally took to Twitter to announce the update, noting that individual country pages will follow in early 2015. The available 10 languages are English, Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish. Twitter transparency reports are released biannually.… This story continues at The Next Web

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Sony has just announced that it is cancelling the December 25 premiere of The Interview amid pressure from hackers and following the four top theater chains in the US backing out from showing the movie. The full statement by the company reads: “In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers. Sony Pictures has been the victim… This story continues at The Next Web

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The GOP (Guardians of Peace) hackers that infiltrated Sony Entertainment’s corporate network have won. After hacking into a system that employees warned wasn’t very secure to begin with (there’s now a class action lawsuit against Sony pertaining to this security, or lack thereof) the GOP hackers released a series of awkwardly-worded threats along with a treasure trove of internal Sony emails. The scariest threat appeared yesterday: We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to. Soon… This story continues at The Next Web

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In our Apps of the Year series, The Next Web team shares personal recommendations for gifts to give this holiday season. This time, it’s apps. Back in my day, there were only two messaging apps people  used: AIM and MSN Messenger. Today’s mobile-centric world is different, where aside from SMS, the market is saturated with apps like WhatsApp, Line, Facebook Messenger and Hangouts, most of which are slight variations on a the same theme. Wire, which launched only a couple of weeks ago, is the first new messaging platform in a long time to catch my eye. Literally. I started using WhatsApp and… This story continues at The Next Web

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