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In Brief

Google announced a Gmail for iOS update on Wednesday that should virtually eliminate manually refreshing your Inbox on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The software now supports background refreshing so messages are pre-fetched and synchronized. Users will have to enable the background refresh function after updating the app, which can be found in the iTunes App Store. Apple notes that enabling background refresh for an application can impact battery life, so you’ll need to consider if the constant mail syncing is worth it compared to the manual or scheduled refreshing of your Inbox in Gmail for iOS.

In Brief

Google introduced hands-free voice search in its Chrome beta browser on Thursday for all major desktop platforms. To use it, simply open a new blank tab or navigate to Google.com in Chrome and then speak your query. The voice search works for general searches as well as Google Now information. You can set a reminder, for example, or get a list of upcoming calendar events. Google says the feature is rolling out on desktop platforms in the next few days while Chrome OS will follow. Chromebook and Chromebox owners don’t have to wait though as this extension introduced in November will add voice search.

In Brief

toq watch and charger

When I reviewed the Qualcomm Toq watch in December, I thought $349 was a bit much for what’s essentially a Qualcomm technology showcase on your wrist. Now the price is $249 as noted by Android Authority and confirmed on the Toq website. HTC recently licensed the Toq so we may see a re-badged version in the near future. I still think Toq is limited and not as easy to use compared to other smartwatches, but the price cut adds appeal. With so many new wearables hitting the market now, perhaps the days of $300 or more for a smartwatch are over.

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