Cortana can now connect to your Gmail account

Cortana can now connect to your Gmail account

Great news to Cortana users, who still have one foot in Google's econsystem: Microsoft has added the ability to connect your Gmail account to Cortana. That means you can now easily access things like your emails, contacts, and more importantly Google Calendar data through the digital assistant.
To setup the new feature, first head to the Cortana Notebook section from your Windows 10 search bar. Once there, use the 'Add a Service' option (in "Connected Services") to add Gmail.
That's it. You'll be asked to login to your Gmail account (if you haven't already) and provide Cortana access to your information. Aside from PC, the feature also allows you to access stuff like calendar info from a Cortana-powered device such as Harman Kardon Invoke.
The functionality isn't live on Android and iOS yet, but that should happen sooner than later.

Instagram now lets you follow hashtags just like you follow people

Instagram now lets you follow hashtags just like you follow people

Are hashtags people? Instagram now seems to think so. The Facebook-owned photo-oriented service has introduced another new feature today in its relentless quest to be your No.1 social destination.

Long story short, you can now follow hashtags like you follow Instagram accounts. Search for something, and relevant hashtags will be listed in the results. When you find one you like, open it and then hit Follow. From that point on, top posts from that hashtag will enter your feed, and some of the latest stories with the hashtag will be featured in your stories bar.

As with people, you can always decide to unfollow any hashtag. If you don't have any idea where to start - as in, what hashtags to follow - Instagram now helpfully lists the hashtags other people follow. You can find these on any user's profile. If you set your account to private, only your (approved) followers will see the hashtags you follow.
All in all, this should be an interesting way to discover new content and new people on Instagram, especially if you have specific interests, hobbies, and passions.

Twitter makes it easy to create tweet threads

Twitter makes it easy to create tweet threads

Twitter has added the ability to create Twitter threads more easily. Users will be able to tap a button while writing their tweet and link a second tweet to it and so forth. Once you are done, you can hit 'Tweet all' and the entire thread will be posted at once. If you feel like adding to the thread later, you can tap the new 'Add another tweet' button.

Additionally, Twitter has also made it easy to spot a Twitter thread. Threads will have a 'Show this thread' label and tapping it will open the entire thread.

A Twitter thread is a string of tweets sent as a reply to each other. This method was invented by users as a way to link all the tweets within a topic together and make it easy to read them all in one place. Opening any of the tweets in the thread would let you see the previous and subsequent tweets in the thread. However, as mentioned before, creating this thread required manually replying to your last tweet in the thread, which was just a tiny bit of hassle.
Considering how popular Twitter threads are, it made sense for Twitter to add this feature within their app, which should be rolling out on iOS, Android and web in the coming days. However, the company continues to keep mum on more deeper issues on the platform surrounding targeted harassment, hate speech, spambots or even basic things like editing tweets.

Instagram separates messaging feature into a new app called Direct, currently in testing

Instagram separates messaging feature into a new app called Direct, currently in testing

Instagram is currently testing Direct, a new messaging app that was previously a part of the main Instagram app. Basically, the company has taken the direct messaging feature of Instagram and spun it into a separate app, turning it into the Snapchat clone it always wanted.

The app is currently available today in six countries: Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay, on both, iOS and Android. There currently is no timeline for when this app will be available everywhere, if at all.
Like Snapchat, Direct opens up in the camera view, letting you quickly snap a picture of video and send it to someone. You can swipe left and go to your Inbox on the right or swipe right and go to your app settings. And that's pretty much it. Apparently if you keep swiping left from your inbox, you see the Instagram logo and are then sent to the Instagram app. Similarly, if you swipe right in the main Instagram app you will be sent to the Direct app.

Direct messaging has been part of Instagram for a few years now but initially was extremely basic. The feature saw a big boost in functionality and user base after the launch of the Instagram Stories feature. It must be noted that Stories doesn't seem to be shifting over to Direct, at least not based on current screenshots. Whether that happens later or not remains to be seen but it makes sense for it to be within the messaging app. On the other hand, a huge reason Instagram Stories took off in the first place is because it was tacked on top, front and center, of an already popular app and there was no way for the user to opt out. With Stories moved to Direct, it could either help increase the user base of Direct or make people stop using the feature and the app entirely.
Instagram's rationale for this is the same one they had back when they separated Messenger from Facebook. They want Direct to be something bigger, which it can only be when it is on its own. However, unlike Messenger, which always had the potential to be a full fledged messaging app, Instagram Direct only really works or is relevant within the realm of Instagram and becomes largely irrelevant on its own.
OneDrive for Android gets a new look

OneDrive for Android gets a new look

Microsoft has redesigned the Android version of OneDrive. The app now features a bottom tab bar, which is more in line with the updated Android user design guidelines. The app looks more modern and cleaner than before.

Also added is a new Me tab. Here you can keep track of your notifications, your files made available for offline use, your recycle bin and your OneDrive plan details.
The app is now available to download for free on the Google Play Store.
Google Maps gets new 'motorcycle mode' feature for two wheelers

Google Maps gets new 'motorcycle mode' feature for two wheelers

If you are a Google Maps user in India who commutes by a two wheeler, you'll be happy to know that the application has gained a new feature aimed at making your drives more convenient. Yes, you guessed it right - there's now a new 'motorcycle mode' alongside other existing options.

So those with a two wheeler can now easily find the best/shortest/most efficient route for their journey using Google Maps. What's more, the feature will also tell if you there's a road blockage on the way or parking issue near your destination.

This new functionality is arriving as part of version 9.67.1 of Google Maps. No information yet on if and which other regions are getting it.
TStv to Start Selling of Their Decoders From Next Week

TStv to Start Selling of Their Decoders From Next Week

TStv Decoders would be on sale as from next week, the Management of the much awaited indigenous Satellite TV provider has revealed.

Mr Ernest Essien, the TStv’s Public Relations Officer, made the disclosure in an interview with the to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Essien said the company had concluded arrangement to roll out its commercial decoders from next week after the successful test run of its promo decoders distributed before Nov. 1.

He said that the service provider was committed to making sure that all the intending customers should have their decoders before Christmas.

“We are almost done with our test transmission and we are just putting some finishing touches and hopefully by the grace of God, between now and next week the decoders will be out for sale.

“We are informing Nigerians that they must enjoy their Christmas with their decoders. So before Christmas, the decoders will be everywhere in the market.

“Everything is in place we have done everything we needed to do before coming out and I want to let you know that TStv is still on course.’’

Essien reiterated that the price of TStv decoder would remain at the initial N5,000 with all the packages promised, adding that there would be additional surprise packages for its customers.

He said that the management had decided to keep the packages secret until the decoders were rolled out.

“We will display all the packages accordingly but the one we can assure you now is that the price will not change, it remains N5,000.

“We are trying to see how we can make it simple and easy for every Nigerian to be able to afford it.

“We are keeping our promises on the channels and all the channels including BeIN Sports channels are there with even more other channels that were not included in our bouquet before.

“We have more channels that are coming and the total number of channels will be over 70,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the new satellite pay TV which was inaugurated on Oct. 1 commenced distribution and installation of promo decoders nationwide on Oct. 31.

Some of the beneficiaries of the promo decoder had commended the improvement in the number of channels and quality of the programmes.