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Wanderu Introduces Android App for Bus and Train Booking in the U.S.

Planning a trip with bus and train travel can get complicated, quickly, but booking startups are trying to make it as simple as possible.

Wanderu, which offers a comprehensive resource for bus and train travel, launched a new Android app Thursday after launching an iOS app in February.

CEO Polina Raygorodskaya says that the company, which she founded in 2011, is focused on millennial travelers and sees about half of its traffic from mobile devices.

“We are now able to serve users on nearly every mobile device with our own native apps and help make the ground travel booking experience the best that it can be,” she said.


Image: Wanderu

More than half of U.S. smartphone users had a device with an Android operating system in 2014, according to consumer research company Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The app is launching with both English and Spanish language options.

By combining the routes of Amtrak, Greyhound, Megabus, Boltbus and many others into one service, Wanderu is a good option for travelers trying to find the best value without spending a tremendous amount of time comparing prices on different websites.

There isn’t typically much glamour in traveling by bus, but schedule and ticket flexibility in addition to low prices has led to a growing bus travel sector.

Daily bus service in the U.S. grew by 2.1% in 2014, according to a report from DePaul University, while Amtrak service remained constant, and scheduled commercial airline flights decreased 3.5%.

“Bus travel-booking websites, most notably Wanderu and Busbud, are encouraging reluctant bus travelers to try this mode of transportation,” the report states. “These websites offer a convenient means of comparison-shopping, much as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity do for air travel.”

Best New Apps You Cannot Miss, DuckTales: Remastered,Office Lens and More


With a bunch of April Fools’ Day pranks still making the rounds online, you may have overlooked some of this week’s best new apps. Luckily, each weekend, we round up our favorite new and updated apps, so you won’t miss out.

This week’s list includes Disney’s latest reboot of the DuckTales franchise, Microsoft’s new document-scanning app and an app that helps you share text with your Twitter followers.

Check out the gallery, below, to see all the apps that made our list of top picks. And if you’re looking for more, take a look at our last roundup of can’t-miss apps.

Cite (Free, iOS.)

Cite joins a growing list of apps that enable users to capture screenshots of text — the company calls these “textshots” — from what they’re reading, and share them on Twitter as a photo.

Cite allows users to quote up to 380 characters of highlighted text by taking advantage of the iOS 8 sharing extension in Safari.

Keep an eye on: future updates, as developers say they will add more customization features, such as different color themes, in future versions.

Pro-tip: If users don’t use Safari as their main browser, they can copy links to Cite’s in-app browser to share clips of text.

DuckTales: Remastered ($9.99, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.)

Prepare for all the nostalgic feels: Disney brought back the NES classic DuckTales: Remastered in an almost perfectly executed reboot of the original. The gameplay is in the same style as its predecessor, although controls have been adjusted for touchscreen, graphics have been improved and the storyline has changed slightly.

Keep an eye on: the scenes in between levels. Disney got the original 1980s cast from Ducktales to voice the mobile version of the game, and dug up original art from the show’s archives, adding to the nostalgia factor.

Pro-tip: Scrooge McDuck’s signature “pogo jump” takes some getting used to on a touchscreen, but Ducktales does support Bluetooth gaming controllers if users have one.

Office Lens (Free, iOS and Windows Phone and Android preview.)

Microsoft brought its document-scanning app to iOS and Android this week. The app connects with OneNote, and enables users to upload photos of text from receipts, business cards, whiteboards and other locations. They can then turn the text into searchable documents.

Keep an eye on: business cards. Scan one, and OneNote turns it into a contact that users can automatically add to their phone.

Pro-tip: Office Lens supports a variety of file types, including PDF, DOCX, PPTX and JPG.

Todoist (Free, iOS and Android preview.)

Task manager Todoistt got a massive update on iOS this week, introducing two new ways to add tasks to projects, improved list views and new color themes. In addition, a new intelligent input feature makes it easier for users to add tasks to their list in natural language.

Keep an eye on: The other versions of Todoist will be given a similar update “soon,” according to the developer.

Pro-tip: Users can now add a task to the middle of a list using a two-finger gesture: Simply pull apart the area of the list where you want to add the task.

Lettercraft (Free, iOS.)

If you like casual word games that are also a brain workout, then Lettercraft won’t disappoint. Each level comes with an ever-changing grid of letter tiles, and players are tasked with finding as many words within the grid as possible before time runs out. Points are awarded based on the length of a word, and the levels get progressively more difficult.

Keep an eye on: the different gameplay modes (users must earn 20 stars before they can unlock “survival mode”). There’s also a multiplayer mode that uses Bluetooth, so users can challenge nearby friends.

Pro-tip: Users can pay for the full version of the game ($2.99) to get access to detailed stats on all the words they’ve ever made, their progress through levels and other details about how they play.


You Cannot Afford to Miss These Apps: LinkedIn Job Search, Launcher, Mr. Jump and more

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With Meerkat still taking Twitter by storm (despite Twitter’s efforts to limit the app’s reach) and news of Facebook’s big plans for its upcoming F8 Developer Conference heating up, you may have missed some of this week’s best new apps.Luckily, each weekend, we round up our favorite new and updated apps, so you won’t miss out.

This week’s list includes LInkedIn’s job-finding app making its way to Android, a new image-editing app, Atari’s new fitness-themed offering that incorporates classic games and an iOS app-launcher that tuns your notifications menu into one-touch app shortcuts.

Check out the gallery, below, to see all the apps that made our list of top picks. And if you’re looking for more, take a look at our last roundup of can’t-miss apps.

Atari Fit

Leave it to the folks at Atari to make a fitness app that uses Pong, Centipede and other retro classics to motivate users to lose weight. The app offers a variety of workout plans based around your fitness goals. Logging exercise earns you coins, which you can use to play Pong, Centipede and Super Breakout.

Keep an eye on: The app’s social features, which allow you to join tams with friends and compete for positions on the leaderboards for the in-app games.

Pro-tip: Connect Apple’s Health app and Atari Fit will pull in stats from your wearables and other fitness-tracking apps like RunKeeper.

Free, iOS and Android


The latest image-editing app from the same team behind Facetune, Enlight is, in many ways, an iPhone-photograher’s dream app. The app manages to strike the right balance between traditional Photoshop-like controls and artistic filters and effects. Users can choose from a wide range of preset filters or manually adjust individual elements of their photos, including a sophisticated curves control.

Keep an eye on: The app’s more artistic effects — like the artistic menu, which allow you to make your photos look like pop art — and the text menu allows you to add text, stickers and other additions to your images to instantly turn them into customized means.

Pro-tip: Swiping across your image adjusts the intensity of the filter and other effects. Use the masking feature to apply effects to specific portions of photos.

$3.99, iOS


While iOS doesn’t allow users to customize their home screens the way their Android counterparts can with launcher apps, Launcher comes about as close as any iOS app we’ve seen. The app takes advantage of iOS 8’s notification center widgets, to allow users to place a wide variety of app shortcuts directly in their today menu.

Keep an eye on: Customizable widgets. You can add a Twitter shortcut that opens the app on the “compose new tweet” screen to save time, for example. Upgrading to the $3.99 Pro version makes widgets even more customizable.

Pro-tip: Use the Google Maps shortcut to automatically fill in your home or work address to automatically launch the app and get directions from your current location.

Free, iOS

LinkedIn Job Seacrh

LinkedIn finally brought its job-finding app to Google Play this week. The app allows users to search through the network’s many job listings and apply for positions from within the app. When you find a position you’re interested in, you can easily view which of your connections also work at the company.

Keep an eye on: Notification settings — the app will alert you when a new position opens up in a field or company that interests you and will also let you know when a post is about to expire.

Pro-tip: The app’s recommendations improve over time as you search for more positions and view more open listings. It also take into account the experience and skills in your profile so make sure each section of your profile is up to date.

Free, iOS and Android

Mr. Jump

Timing is everything in this surprisingly challenging game. The premise is simple: guide the box-headed Mr. Jump through each level without killing him on a spike or drowning him in the water. But the game is more difficult than it looks and timings is everything as more jumps doesn’t guarantee you a better result.

Keep an eye on:: The stats at the end of each round show you info like how far you made it through the level and hp many attempts you’ve made so far.

Pro-tip: Stuck on a level (and, believe us, you will be): you can skip current level and unlock a new one with an in-app purchase. And turn up your volume for the whimsical soundtrack, which may keep your rage in check.

Free, iOS

You Will be Able to Request An Uber Ride Via Other Apps Very Soon

Next time you request an Uber ride, you might not even have to use the Uber app. The controversial on-demand car service has introduced a feature that will allow developers to embed Uber within other apps. This means you could be reading a restaurant review in one app, and then request an Uber car to take you there — without ever leaving the original app.


Uber launched its API in August to open up the service to third-party developers, but the capabilities were limited then, only allowing developers to send address destinations to Uber or view ride histories. Now, the updated API includes a feature called “Request endpoint,” which incorporates the full Uber experience into existing apps. It also opens up more possibilities around how people can use Uber the future.

“Putting this power in the hands of developers has our imaginations running wild,” the company said in a blog post. “Should an Uber be waiting immediately after your last meeting of the day? Will someone create a way to request a car with just a simple SMS? We have no idea what you might build, but we cannot wait to find out.”

While Uber is already working with companies such as Starbucks, United, OpenTable, TimeOut and TripAdvisor as a part of an affiliate program, the latest news opens up the service to all brands and their apps.

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You Can Now Stream Full Length Songs for Free From the Twitter App

Twitter and Rhapsody have teamed up on a new feature that allows the music service’s subscribers to share full-length tracks on Twitter that anyone can listen to, even if they don’t have a subscription themselves.

twitter music

Rhapsody announced the partnership Tuesday at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and the feature is already available to Twitter’s mobile users.

The feature uses Twitter’s audio cards, a tool first introduced last year that allows Twitter users to stream audio directly from tweets. But when it launched in October, the feature was limited to a set of early launch partners who were the only accounts that could share new audio cards.

With the new partnership, any of Rhapsody’s subscribers — the service says it has more than two million — can share any song from the site’s catalog to Twitter. The cards only work within the Twitter app though, so if you open the cards from the web you will be directed to Rhapsody’s website, where non-subscribers can only listen to a 10-second preview of the song.

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Image: Twitter

The company is hoping the partnership will lure more subscribers to its service, which still has fewer paid users than Spotify. Each Twitter cars also has a “learn more about Rhapsody” option within each card, which directs users to Rhapsody’s site.The site is also tapping into its relationships with artists like Wiz Khalifa, Pearl Jam, Fifth Harmony, Flo Rida and Hunter Hayes who will al release tracks from their upcoming albums via the new feature.

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Google Changes App Approval Process for Android Developers

Google just made changes to its Play Store policies that will affect every Android developer.Android developers now have to wait for apps to be approved by Google after they submit them to the Play Store.

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Previously, Google didn’t have an approval process for new apps and only reviewed apps if they were reported for violating its policies. The new measures have been in effect for several months, Google said, assuring developers it hasn’t slowed down the submission process.

“We value the rapid innovation and iteration that is unique to Google Play, and will continue to help developers get their products to market within a matter of hours after submission, rather than days or weeks,” Google’s product manager for Google Play, Eunice Kim, wrote in a blog post. “In fact, there has been no noticeable change for developers during the rollout.”

If that sounds like a not-so-subtle dig at Apple, that’s because it probably is. Google’s Cupertino-based rival is known for its often-lengthy app approval process.


Image: Google

Google is also rolling out a new age-based rating system for apps. Beginning in May, developers will be required to submit a questionnaire for all new and existing apps so that Google can designate each app with a relevant rating. The ratings will be based on standards set by international organizations like the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC). Countries that don’t have an official ratings organization will see generic ratings.

The questionnaires are available to developers now and Google says apps “may be blocked in certain territories or for specific users,” if developers don’t submit them by May. Users will begin to see ratings on Google Play apps “in the coming weeks.”

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New Twitter Tool Makes it Slightly Easier For You to Report Threats to Police

Twitter’s new harassment-reporting tool is making it easier for users to report threatening tweets to the police. Sort of.Users who report threatening tweets now have the option of receiving an emailed report, summarizing the tweet, when it was sent and other information that may be relevant to law enforcement.

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It’s still up to individual users, however, to bring these reports to the attention of police and other officials. It’s not clear what, if any, impact this will have for police investigations. The emailed reports don’t provide information Twitter users couldn’t find on their own, though it will save users some time from having to find the information themselves.

Twitter also provides a series of guidelines and recommendations to officials, which include their policies for how they handle requests for non-public information (which require a subpoena or court order) and emergency disclosure requests.

But outside of how to make official requests, Twitter doesn’t provide extensive information on how to help users. For example, in the “assisting a Twitter user” section of its guidelines, Twitter suggests that “most issues” can be handled by Twitter itself, which seems a little circular given that these reports are meant to give users facing threats new ways to get help from police.

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An example of one of the reports.

Image: Twitter

“We can’t compel law enforcement to act on threats (the user will have to do that him/herself), but we can provide users with the information law enforcement will request from them,” Twitter’s Nu Wexler said.

Tuesday’s update is the latest in a series of steps the social network has recently taken to combat threats and abuse on its platform. The company has come under increasing scrutiny for its failure to effectively deal with these issues, which the recent Gamergate debacle brought into sharp focus.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told employees in an internal memo, which was later leaked to the media, that the company needs to fix how it handles issues of trolling and abuse on the platform. Last December, the company introduced better reporting tools, and just last week the site updated its privacy guidelines to address revenge porn.

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Adobe Developes Photoshop Magic to The PDF with New Mobile Apps

When speaking about their software, Adobe engineers often reference something called “Photoshop magic.” The idea refers to the underlying tech that powers its popular image-editing software and mobile apps. Now Adobe is bringing its “Photoshop magic” to two new mobile apps that have nothing to do with image editing: Acrobat Mobile and Fill and Sign, both of which help users create and edit PDFs on the go.

adobe pdf sign

Acrobat Mobile builds off Adobe’s longstanding desktop PDF offering, Acrobat. The new app, which is available for iOS, Android and Windows, lets users easily edit the text of PDFs from their device. It also streamlines PDF creation by allowing users to take a photo of a document with their phone and automatically turn it into a PDF.

The latter feature is where that famed “Photoshop magic,” comes in says Lisa Croft, senior product marketing manager at Adobe. Since the apps use the same tech as Photoshop and other creative offerings, the app is able to automatically detect enhancements that need to be made and make adjustments to fine tune the image.

“This is really the capability of taking the Acrobat tools you use on a regular basis and move them across your devices,” Croft said. “We really looked at every single tool and thought about a way to make it as easy as possible. We also looked at it from a touch standpoint in that all of the tools and apps across devices are fully touch-enabled.”

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Image: Adobe

The second app, Fill and Sign, aims to make it easier for users to add signatures to their PDFs. Users can sign their own documents or use the app to share documents with collaborators and get their signatures. Those who receive a shared filed can sign the PDF even if they don’t have the app themselves, a feature Adobe thinks will be particularly useful to the company’s many business users.

The new apps are part of a larger business move for Adobe. Building on their Creative and Marketing Cloud subscription offerings, the new apps are part of a third tier, the Document Cloud. It consists of the new mobile apps, a refreshed desktop version of Acrobat and a cloud-backed subscription service for individuals and businesses.

The apps are free but a full Document Cloud subscription will begin at $12.99/month for the standard subscription and $14.99/month for the pro tier. A separate enterprise subscription and a perpetual license will also be available but the company has not yet confirmed those prices. The service will be available within the next 30 days, Adobe says.
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Discover the Secrets of Mount Everest on Google Street View

Google’s nearly ubiquitous Street View service is slowly conquering what little of the world it’s got left to conquer. In a joint effort with Sherpa mountaineer Apa Sherpa, the Google Maps team captured imagery of the Khumbu region of Nepal, where Mount Everest is located.


Apa Sherpa, who’s reached the summit of Mount Everest a record 21 times, helped Google collect breathtaking views of the mountains in Khumbu, as well as local monasteries, lodges, schools and more.

You can take this virtual trip in two ways: Either drop the little yellow figure along the marked expedition route in Khumbu and start exploring, or take a guided tour here. Unfortunately, you can’t virtually explore the summit of Mount Everest just yet, but you can get pretty close.

Find more about the expedition in Google’s official blog post, as well as the video, below.

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Amazing Translator App Will Let You Speak Foreign Languages with Your Apple Watch

Intercontinental Hotels Group announced it’s launching an app for the Apple Watch that will allow tourists to translate languages around the globe.

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The IHG Translator app, which will be released for the global launch of the Apple Watch on April 24, is based off a feature of the company’s mobile app that helps users travel like a local in a different country. The new app works by speaking directly into the Apple Watch for translation from English into 13 languages or by choosing from a selection of common phrases such as “where is the bathroom” or “I’d like a beer.”

The Apple Watch will then spit out the written translation, with phonetic spelling. You can even use slang or proper English and the watch will register.

It is a shame the voice-to-voice translation feature, which comes on the mobile app, won’t be released immediately for the Apple Watch. Despite the lengthy sign-up time for the IHG Translator app on iPhone, its free version features some nifty tools such as a ‘learn’ and ‘culture’ section, with audio lessons and etiquette, that won’t be on the smaller device.

The languages available at launch include Spanish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Thai. We have no idea what Americans are going to do when they come to Australia and can’t work out what a tracky dack is. Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

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