This week in apps: Uber adds a safety feature, Gorrilaz launch an AR app and Microsoft tries social media

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It’s been a busy week: Elon Musk confirmed that the Tesla Semi truck is coming soon, Instagram announced reaching 200 million daily active users on stories and Messenger reached 1.2 billion, so it’s understandable if you missed some of this weeks best apps.

Luckily, we’ve kept up for you. Each week, we round up the latest app news, along with a few of our favorite new and updated products, to keep you in the loop with everything coming to your smartphone.

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Here’s what caught our eye this week. If you’re looking for more, make sure to check out the installment. Read more…

More about Weekly App Roundup, Microsoft, Giphy, Workflow, and Uber


Another canceled Microsoft Lumia smartphone gets shown off in hands-on video

Microsoft’s mobile division is a thing of the past, but many Windows Phone fans still own some of the handsets the Redmond-based company launched on the market in 2015 or 2016. However, since it decided to sell its mobile business to HMD Global, Microsoft had to cut some of the phones it planned to release at some point.

Two Lumia smartphones that were leaked previous to their official announcement had been canceled: Lumia 750 and Lumia 850. Both mid-range handsets were very close to being released, but for some reason, Microsoft decided that it’s not worth the …

Microsoft drops Age of Empires: Castle Siege on Android

The Age of Empires: Castle Siege game made its debut on Windows Phone platform back in 2014, while iOS users got it one year later. Three years after the initial release, the game makes its way to Android devices.

Despite what some of you might think, Age of Empires: Castle Siege is not a real-time strategy game, as it plays more like a tower defense game. Think of it as Microsoft’s own version of Clash of Clans. Obviously, the game is available for free, but it comes with in-app purchases.

Basically, you’ll be able to choose from one of the several civilizations …

Microsoft can't sell Lumias, so it's now selling the Galaxy S8

It’s too easy to kick a guy when he’s down, so we won’t point our fingers and laugh at Microsoft for its decision to start selling shiny new Samsung phones after giving up on its own. Yes, it’s very tempting to let out a condescending chuckle, but facts are facts.

Microsoft cutting its losses and moving on from a failing venture was solid business practice. The completely unexpected Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition, which went for pre-order today, is a theoretically sound marketing approach.

MS prides itself on a strong suite of apps, such as Office, OneDrive, Skype, and Outlook. …

Did Microsoft receive another patent for the Surface Phone?

Back in January, Microsoft was granted a patent for a 2-in-1-device that folded from a phone into a tablet and vice versa. Since the patent was awarded to Microsoft, some people jumped to conclusions and determined that this was the mythical Surface Phone. This past week, Microsoft received a new patent for a foldable handset, and once again there are rumors that it is related to the long awaited, mythical Surface Phone.

A foldable Surface Phone would face some stiff competition from Samsung and LG. The latest rumor has Samsung ready to release thousands of prototypes to carriers and retailers …

Microsoft adds Shared Calendars feature to Outlook for iOS

Microsoft quietly released a new update for its Outlook app for iOS. The update brings a single new feature that expands the app’s functionality, Shared Calendars.

With Shared Calendars, Outlook users will be able to see who they’re sharing their calendar with. In order to do that, they should just tap on the settings wheel next to their calendar’s name.

Aside from the option to see who you’re sharing the calendar with, you will also be able to see the default permissions that other in the same organization have.

In addition, Outlook users on iOS will be able to share their …

Microsoft Pix update brings flash support, new toolbar and more

Microsoft’s Pix application has just been updated with a few features which aim to improve the overall user experience. The highly-demanded flash support is finally added in version 1.0.28, but there are other nifty additions coming with the new patch as well.

A new collapsible toolbar will display your flash, timer, and grid overlay in order to ensure ease of access and better organization. Microsoft is also improving shutter-to-shutter speeds and the launch time of the app itself, while also reducing it in size.

Microsoft Pix is currently only available …

Microsoft updates Sway for iOS with new templates

Sway, Microsoft’s application that makes it easier to create great-looking presentations and newsletters, has just received a small update that brings a couple of new features and bug fixes.

First and foremost, Microsoft added new templates, so Sway users can start creating their presentations and personal stories on the fly. DIY, Blog, Vacation Story, Student Report, Portfolio, Newsletter, and Resume are just some of the new templates that have been added in this update.

On top of that, the developers announced a new My Sways feature, which is supposed to make it even easier to find …

Did Microsoft leak an image of the Surface Pro 5?

An image of what is claimed to be the Surface Pro 5 tablet has appeared on a French website allegedly belonging to Microsoft. We have no verification that the render titled “win10-feature-surface-pro-5-z” is actually that of the Surface Pro 5, and that the website it is embedded on is actually an official Microsoft press page for French speaking regions. The image shows the next-gen Surface Pro slate wearing a Type Cover with the Surface Pen lying in front of the tablet.

Besides the image of the tablet, the Surface Pro 5 name appears on a LinkedIn profile of a Microsoft employee.Also mentioned …

2017 Best Cell Phones Upcoming

2017 is upon us, bringing with it a flurry of new top-end smartphones to get excited about. The tenth anniversary of the original iPhone means Apple may have something special in store for us this year, while Samsung will probably come out all guns blazing in order to soundly recover from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. There’s a chance that Google will bring the second-generation of Pixel smartphones, while the likes of OnePlus and Xiaomi will continue to introduce high-quality, affordable flagship smartphones.

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If you are on the lookout for a new smartphone, you might to hold on to your money a little while longer, as the market will soon be filled with a number of great models. Check out our pick of smartphones to look forward to in 2017 for more details.

1. Apple iPhone 8
2017 will be the year of the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone, the smartphone that upended and revolutionised the whole mobile phone industry. So it is no surprise that all eyes are on Apple and what it does to commemorate the occasion. And, of course, hopes are high that iPhone 8 will bring a number of changes to the table, enough to make up for the iterative updates we have had over the past two years.

Leaks point to three different versions of iPhone 8: one featuring all the new features, and the other two being the successors of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with only a few upgrades. Apple is reportedly developing more than 10 iPhone 8 prototypes, and working on a “radical redesign” of the smartphone. Rumour has it that at least the top-end version of the iPhone 8 will not have the Home button; instead, the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and the front camera will be integrated into the touchscreen. Apple is also said to be testing flexible OLED panels for the iPhone 8.

Wireless charging is widely expected to be integrated in iPhone 8, along with iris or facial scanning. iPhone 8 is said to be powered by the A11 chip manufactured on the 10nm process, the glass body will reportedly make a comeback. The top-end iPhone 8 model will reportedly also have optical image stabilisation in both cameras on the back, which may be vertically aligned rather than horizontally.

The screen size of this new top-end smartphone is not yet known, though the tech grapevine pegs it anywhere between 4.7-inches and 5.8-inches. The wait for iPhone 8 will be long, of course, as the next Apple flagship smartphone is likely to be unveiled only in September next year.

2. Samsung Galaxy X
Galaxy X is said to be the foldable smartphone that Samsung is planning to launch in 2017. Not much is known about the specifications of the Samsung Galaxy X so far, except that it may have a 4K screen and be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (likely to be Snapdragon 835). It is expected to feature a single flexible OLED display and a body that will fold at the middle. A patent filed by Samsung shows that users will be able to fold the smartphone at various angles and that it will feature physical buttons at the bottom.

A report back in June this year said that Samsung is likely to unveil the foldable Galaxy X smartphone at the Mobile World Congress, but the shift in focus to finding the cause of Galaxy Note 7 explosions may have put in spanner in that, likely delaying the launch by a few months.

3. Samsung Galaxy S8
Galaxy S8 will have the burden of expectations as it is Samsung’s first flagship smartphone to be launched after the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S8 will have an Artificial Intelligence-powered virtual assistant, and a great camera. Rumours say Galaxy S8 will not have an earphone jack, or Home button – instead, it is said to come with wireless earphones, and feature optical fingerprint sensor that will be embedded in the touchscreen.

Reportedly, the Galaxy S8 smartphone will have a 4K display with ultra-thin bezels, dual 13-megapixel and 9-megapixel cameras on the back, fingerprint sensor on the back, USB Type-C port, selfie camera with autofocus and VR support. A recent report suggests that the smartphone may feature a massive 8GB of RAM, along with faster UFS 2.1 storage. Rumours also say that the Samsung Galaxy S8 may not feature any physical keys in the front, and pack two variants of the Exynos 8895 chipset.

Samsung was earlier rumoured to be planning to launch the Galaxy S8 at the Mobile World Congress in late February, but a new report says that the company has delayed the unveiling till April. Apparently, the South Korean titan will focus on regaining consumer confidence in the time till April. Samsung Galaxy S8 may cost 15-20 percent more than its predecessor. The AI-based virtual assistant will apparently be integrated with apps that come preloaded on the smartphone.

A ‘Plus’ variant of Samsung Galaxy S8 featuring a 6-inch display, and support for the S-Pen stylus may also be in the works.

4. Nokia’s Android Phones
Nokia is rumoured to launch as many as five Android smartphones in the first half of 2017, starting with Mobile World Congress in late February. One of the devices expected at the event is the Nokia D1C, a budget Android 7.0 Nougat smartphone that is said to sport the Snapdragon 430 processor, and come in 2GB and 3GB RAM variants priced at $150 and $200, respectively. The smartphone will also have two options in screen size – 5-inch and 5.5-inch – and come with 16GB internal storage, 13-megapixel or 16-megapixel rear camera, and 8-megapixel front camera.

A high-end Android 7.0 Nougat smartphone by Nokia is also expected in early 2017, featuring a 5.2-inch or 5.5-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 23-megapixel camera with Zeiss optics, 6GB RAM, metal unibody design, and water-resistant body.

Along with these, an entry-level Nokia Android phone called Pixel may also be under development. This smartphone is said to run Android 7.0.1 Nougat operating system and may be powered by the 1.19GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor with 1GB RAM. Nokia Pixel Android phone’s battery is said to support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 fast-charging technology.

5. OnePlus 4
OnePlus 4 is another smartphone everyone will be excited about in 2017. The smartphone will reportedly have a ceramic body, come in 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM variants, sport the Snapdragon 835 chipset, dual-camera on the back, and may retain the 3.5mm earphone jack. However, OnePlus 4 may have a 5.3-inch display, smaller than that of the OnePlus One, 2, 3, and 3T, though resolution may increase to 4K.

6. Moto X 2017
Leaked photos of a smartphone expected to be the Moto X 2017 have sparked interest in the line, which did not make an appearance this year. The Moto X 2017 will have an all-metal body, images show, with the fingerprint sensor on the back. The smartphone in the leaked images does not have Moto Mod pins on the back, so Lenovo may add some other unique feature in Moto X 2017 to distinguish it from the competition.

7. Google Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2
Google Pixel is a flagship smartphone that boasts excellent software but is plagued by niggling hardware issues. We expect Google to iron out the kinks in the second-generation Pixel and Pixel XL models, and give us the smartphone everyone expects from a company of its size and reputation.

There are no leaks about Google Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 yet, but if these phones come out in 2017, then we expect big changes in the software department, bringing more features to the Google Assistant. On the hardware front, all the top features and specifications can be expected, such as 6GB RAM, big battery, and fast processor.

8. HTC 11/ Ocean
HTC 11, the flagship smartphone being developed under the codename Ocean, is said to have a metal body with chamfered edges. It will reportedly feature dual 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel cameras on the back with LED flash, 5.5-inch display with QHD resolution, Snapdragon 835 chipset, 3700mAh battery, and Android 7.0 Nougat.

9. LG G6
LG will reportedly not use the modular design with the G6, though the company itself has said that it will not do away with the swappable accessories for now. The rumour mill suggests that the LG G6 will have an aluminium body with water-resistant coating, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type C port, wireless charging, and removable battery. LG was reportedly planning to use curved display on the G6, but that plan has been shelved because of supply-chain constraints.

10. Microsoft Surface Phone
Everyone is a little unsure about this one as we have been hearing of the Microsoft Surface Phone for a couple of years now, but Satya Nadella in an interview recently said that the company is working on the “ultimate mobile device,” so there is some hope. Microsoft also owns the surfacephone.com Web domain, suggesting that a smartphone may be on the way. We will have to wait for 2017 for the rest of the details.

That’s our round-up of the smartphones to look forward to in 2017.