Mobile

Better camera plus Cortana

Verizon customers with a Lumia Icon phone should have a software update waiting for them. No, it’s not the Lumia Cyan software that’s long overdue; it’s Lumia Denim, which will bring the Icon up to par with the rest of the Lumia line running Windows Phone 8.1. That means the phone gets the Lumia Camera app with Rich Capture and 4k video recording, plus Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant; Live Folders; consumer VPN support and more. Microsoft says you’ll need to have at least 1GB of free storage space to upgrade so you’ll want to check on that before attempting the installation.

freebie

Here’s an easy way to get 2GB of Google Drive storage: In the next week, head to Google’s security checkup page and follow the instructions. On February 28, Google will credit your account with the additional cloud storage space. The security checkup takes less than 5 minutes to complete, and it’s simple — it asks you what your backup email address is, whether any recent account activity is odd, and to review the various apps you’ve given Google account permissions to (there are probably a lot.) Sure, 2GB of additional Google Drive space isn’t a ton (you get 15GB for free), but you probably should review your security settings anyway.

Major new market

Facebook’s internet.org portal, which emerging-market carriers offer for free in order to give new customers a taste of the web, has rolled out in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Mahararashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala and Telangana. Provided by Reliance Communications, the app includes free access to almost 40 services and information sources. If someone wants to click through to the open web, they need to start paying. This scenario exemplifies the mixed impact of “zero-rating” particular content in emerging markets: it gets people online for the first time, offering potentially life-changing services from job search to farming information, but it also raises net neutrality issues by promoting the idea of Facebook’s portal effectively being the internet.

Be my Valentine, Chromecast

chromecast goodiesGoogle hasn’t officially announced it, but if you own a Chromecast and check this offers page, there’s a good chance you’ll see a $6 Google Play Store credit available. I did just that and got the $6 added to my account to “enjoy a Valentine’s Day rental,” although it can be used for any media or app purchase in the Play Store. I’d also recommend bookmarking the Chromecast offers page and checking it from time to time. Between this and other offers Google has provided previously, they’ve paid for my Chromecast at least two times over.

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