Google launches its Keep note-taking app for iOS

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Google today launched Google Keep for iOS. You can download the new app now directly from Apple’s App Store.

We’re a bit surprised it took Google this long to debut an iOS app for its note-taking service. Google Keep first launched way back in March 2013 for Android and the Web, meaning the iOS version is showing up 30 months later. Google even brought Google Keep to Android Wear, its smartwatch platform, in June 2014.

Nonetheless, Google says the features Google Keep users have come to expect on Android and the Web are now available to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users. That means iOS users can search and filter notes by color and type (images, audio, and text), add labels, set time or location-based reminders, and share notes for basic real-time collaboration.

google_keep_ios

Here is the full feature list, from the iTunes description:

  • Capture, edit, share, and collaborate on your notes on any device, anywhere.
  • Add notes, lists, photos, and audio to Keep.
  • Organize your notes with labels and colors.
  • Set and forget. Get reminded about a note at the right time or place.
  • Record a voice memo and have it automatically transcribed.
  • Grab the text from an image to help you quickly find that note again through search.

This release isn’t going to convert Evernote or OneNote users, as both have iOS apps with plenty of features. If, however, you’re already using Google Keep on another one of your devices, being able to access your notes on your Apple gadget is a welcome addition. If you’re a Windows Phone user, we wouldn’t hold our breath until Google shows some interest in Windows 10.

While it appears this is a full-featured release, we have asked Google if there is anything missing from the iOS app that is currently available on Android and the Web. We will update you if we learn anything new.

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Samsung Gear VR launches before December for $99

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We already knew Samsung’s final Gear VR was coming in 2015. Now we have a price and a better sense of the release timing.

The mobile-based virtual reality headset will launch in North America “in time for Black Friday” and worldwide “shortly after,” as Samsung SVP of Technology Strategy Peter Koo revealed when he took the stage at the Oculus Connect keynote on Thursday. It’ll sell for $ 99.

The final build of the Gear VR is 22% lighter than the “Innovator Edition” that first launched in Dec. 2014. It’s also got a revised design that does away with the top head strap and a smarter design for the side-mounted touchpad, with an directional pad-shaped indentation that should make blindly operating the controls more convenient. Read more…

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Spotify launches ‘Mix Mates’ playlist generator to help friends find common musical ground

Spotify - MixMate

In its latest attempt to showcase its smart music-discovery algorithms, Spotify has launched a new web app designed to help friends unearth common grounds in their musical tastes.

With Mix Mates, Spotify says it’s targeting university students, presumably because term time normally begins around September, and music is often used to help people form new friendships in their inaugural year. However, anyone can use this tool.

To use Mix Mates, you enter both you and a friend’s favorite band, and Spotify generates a playlist which “shows the musical degree of separation” between the two artists.

Favorite Bands: Mix Mates

Above: Favorite Bands: Mix Mates

The number of tracks in the playlist mirror how many degrees of separate there are between the two artists (and thus between two friends), and it includes a song from each artist in the chain.

Save Playlist

Above: Save Playlist

Today’s launch comes a few weeks after the music-streaming giant launched a new app to show which artists you listened to before they made it big, except with Mix Mates you’re not required to link up with your Spotify account. You can listen to song samples and share playlists sans log-in, however to save the playlists for posterity you will need Spotify credentials.

While it could be construed as little more than a fun experiment, Mix Mates represents part of Spotify’s bigger vision to help its users unearth new music based on their existing tastes. Back in July, Spotify introduced a weekly playlist of recommended music based on listening habits, and this has generally been met with positive feedback from users.

Spotify’s growing music-recommendation initiatives are powered by the Echo Nest, a music-intelligence and data company it acquired last year.


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