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Bytes: What’s new in tech

The best location-sharing apps; An Amazon Prime price hike; Blocking telemarketers

The best location-sharing apps
It’s not as “stalkerish” as it sounds, said Bonnie Cha in Recode.net. Location-sharing apps are a great way “to help family and friends better coordinate meet-ups or get updates on when your party might arrive at a certain destination.” Glympse, an app available for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone devices, lets users share their location temporarily. Another favorite is Twist, an iPhone and Android app that allows people “to send their estimated arrival time to whomever they’re trying to meet up with” by deploying text and push notifications, and even “a live map for real-time tracking.” And there’s Life360, a more family-focused app that gives users the ability to group family members and friends into “circles” and “includes a panic feature that sends your GPS coordinates to everyone in your circle in case of emergencies.”

An Amazon Prime price hike
Amazon Prime is about to get more expensive, said Rick Broida in CNET.com. Amazon said last week it is raising the price of an annual subscription from $79 to $99. But “that’s not a huge surprise; rumors have been swirling for months that Amazon would raise Prime rates.” And on the bright side, “the widely speculated $129 price didn’t happen”—at least not yet. Existing Prime members will have until April 17 to renew at the current lower rate, but even at $99, the service is a good deal. With Prime, users get “two-day shipping on virtually anything,” unlimited movie and TV streaming, and one e-book rental each month. Amazon Prime is “kind of an oddball assemblage of services,” but for regular online shoppers, even “the shipping alone feels like a huge win.”

Blocking telemarketers
Who isn’t fed up with telemarketers? asked Elizabeth Harper in Techlicious.com. “Though you can list your cellphone number on the Do Not Call Registry, that doesn’t stop telemarketing text messages or even all phone calls.” But now iPhone and Android users can block these nuisances once and for all. The latest versions of iOS and Android both have some built-in features to identify and block incoming calls. Third-party apps, including Mr. Number (Android) and -Truecaller (Android and iPhone), can help you get the job done. When all else fails, wireless carriers often have options for blocking certain numbers on the network’s end, but “they could come at a cost.”

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