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In Brief

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Previously appearing in Google’s Chrome Canary and Developer channels of Chrome, Google Now cards are supported in the Beta version of Chrome. Windows, Macs and Chromebooks using Chrome’s Beta channel will see Google Now notifications, offering similar contextual and timely information as Google Now on smartphones and tablets. Unlike the Developer channel, there’s no need to enable the feature with a setting change. Since the Chrome Stable channel trails the beta version by up six weeks, I’d anticipate Google Now for all Chrome users around the end of February or beginning of March.

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In Brief

A new iOS update is out — but chances are it’s not for you. iOS 7.0.5 is a small, focused update that corrects network provisioning for some iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models sold in China. According to Mac Rumors, the update is only available for certain phones sold in China, as well as some Asia Pacific/European iPhone models compatible with China’s network. The rest of the world, meanwhile, is still waiting on an update to iOS 7.1, which is currently in its fourth beta with developers. That update is expected to introduce some more substantial changes, including access to Apple’s iOS in the Car in-dash driving feature.

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In Brief

Chrome for iOS learns a few new tricks with the latest update. Released on Monday, version 32 of the browser for iPhones and iPads now includes page translation for sites that use a foreign language; just tap the translation bar when it appears and Google will take care of the rest. The third-party browser also gains the data compression feature already in the Android version of Chrome. With it, Google says you can save roughly 50 percent of your bandwidth usage as all web requests are routed through Google proxy servers for compression.

In Brief

The team behind the open source video player VLC released an updated iOS version through the iTunes app store on Monday that brings an iOS 7-optimized look to the app. The new version 2.2 also includes a number of new features, including support for streaming media directly from Dropbox or Google Drive, multi-touch gestures and improved UPnP support, which should make the app a better companion for network-attached storage drives. As always, VLC is free and ad-free.

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