Tech Roundup: Facebook Aquila, Verizon's Yahoo! Acquisition & More

[A recurring feature on the latest in Science & Technology.]

  • Releases second iOS 10 Public Beta; comes with options to upload photos to iCloud Drive, more reliably performing widgets and options to prioritise app downloads.
  • Rolls out mobile payments service Apple Pay in France.
  • Messenger hits 1 billion monthly active users, with the platform now boasting of 18,000 bots, up 7,000 in less than a month; becomes the fourth app after Facebook, Groups and WhatsApp to hit the milestone.
  • Successfully test-flights full-scale version of Aquila, the solar-powered high-altitude drone that it plans to use to deliver internet across the globe.
  • Brings offline mode for videos on Android.
  • To pay popular YouTube creators, Vine stars and internet personalities about $2.2 million to create live videos on Facebook, reports Wall Street Journal.
  • WhatsApp is briefly blocked in Brazil for the third time this year after it says it can't handover user chat logs in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation due to them being encrypted.
Apple releases second iOS 10 Public Beta
In other news:
  • A new brain map, based on multiple scans of more than 400 individuals, has carved the "cortex" into 180 different compartments, 97 of which are new.
  • Japanese telecom giant SoftBank buys U.K.-based mobile chip designer ARM Holdings for $32 billion USD.
  • Whistleblower Edward Snowden designs a smartphone case that monitors the components inside the phone to spot when it is sending data unexpectedly.
  • French privacy regulator CNIL warns Microsoft to stop collecting "excessive" data, in addition to asking the company to cease tracking web browsing habits of Windows 10 users without their consent, giving it three months to comply.
  • Torrent website KickassTorrents is taken offline and its founder Artem Vaulin arrested for charges of copyright infringement and money laundering after U.S. authorities link the IP address used to login to KAT Facebook page to an iTunes purchase.
  • Third-party chat and dating apps are launched for Pokémon Go, as Nintendo surges past Sony Corporation in market value; sets record for first-week downloads in iPhone app history.
  • U.S. telecom giant Verizon (which acquired digital media organisation AOL Inc. last year) reportedly nears $5 billion USD deal to acquire Yahoo!, reports Recode.
  • Ride-sharing ​service Uber completes its 2 billionth trip; a billion of it just in the last six months.
  • Online dating service Tinder adds new option to let users plan an outing, romantic or otherwise, as a group, a feature it tested in Australia earlier this year.
  • Mozilla to start blocking Flash on Firefox browser starting next month.
  • Cyanogen Inc., which releases forked versions of Android (called Cyanogen OS) to handset makers, trims its workforce after its quest to emerge as an Android alternative fails to gain traction.
  • Popular ephemeral mesaaging service Snapchat to show ads based on what's in users' snaps.
  • Netflix reports disappointing user growth in the last quarter, sending its stock on a downward spiral; places blame on subscribers fleeing the video streaming service over impending price hike.
  • Micro-blogging service Twitter begins allowing all users request for a verified account.
  • French paid music streaming service Deezer lands in the United States.