This week: Bitesize mobile news

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19 May 2017: We've rounded up all the biggest mobile tech stories of the week...
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This week: Bitesize mobile news

The Sims is coming to Android and iPhones

Get ready for your next mobile addiction. A new version of The Sims, titled The Sims Mobile is coming to Android and iOS smartphones. Like in the PC version of the game, you’ll be able to design your own characters, customise your home, and build relationships in The Sims community. A release date hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we do know it’s coming soon.

Samsung Pay arrives in the UK

Own a Samsung smartphone? If so, you’ll now be able to pay for goods using the Samsung Pay app. The NFC-activated service is an alternative to Android Pay, letting you purchase small goods without cards or cash.

You can add all your debit cards, gift cards and membership cards to your smartphone. And with Samsung Rewards you’ll be able to earn points for each purchase, and redeem them for Samsung Rewards cards, Samsung products, or gift cards.

Samsung promises an extra layer of security, with each transaction authenticated through your fingerprint, PIN number, or iris scan. The service is currently available on Galaxy S8, S7, S6, and Gear S2 and S3 devices. You can download it from Google Play now.

Snapchat-style face filters land on Instagram

Instagram has launched its own version of face filters. And they look eerily familiar to those you’ll find on Snapchat.

The new filters include floral headwear, goofy glasses, bunny ears, shiny tiaras and more. To see them in action, simply open the camera, and tap on the face icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to transform your selfies. The Snapchat-like update is available now for Android and iOS.

Google understands the visual world

At the annual Google I/O conference, we got a glimpse of what the tech company has been up to in the past year. One of the most exciting new projects is called Google Lens, which works through Google Assistant (now available on iOS – more on this below).

The new tool uses machine learning to understand what it’s looking at. So, for example you could point it at a landmark, and it’ll dish out loads of information about it. But what we’re excited to try out, is its ability to make sense of that little sticker on the back of your broadband router with the Wi-Fi password on. Google claim it can scan all the information and then connect you straightaway. Watch this space.

Nintendo is making a Legend of Zelda smartphone game

In one of the more exciting mobile gaming rumours of the year so far, Nintendo is said to be working on a Legend of Zelda game for smartphones. A report from The Wall Street Journal (via The Verge) says the game is likely to be released following the upcoming mobile version of Animal Crossing later this year — itself another certain Nintendo hit. Gameplay details are thin on the ground right now, but we’ll bring you more as we hear it.

Google Assistant lands on iOS devices

Google Assistant has finally landed on the iPhone. The Siri rival acts in a similar way to Apple’s virtual butler. With it you can make a quick a phone call by saying “Call mum”, set calendar events and reminders, and get directions by using voice commands.

If you’ve got some smart light bulbs hanging around your home, you’ll also be able to turn them off by talking to your phone. It’ll even play your music if you ask it to. The only snag is that it’s currently US only for now, Engadget reports, but it’s only a matter of time before it arrives here.

What are your thoughts? Join the conversation here…

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