Facebook and Instagram get redesigns for readabilit

Josh Constine, writing for TechCrunch;

Taking inspiration from line drawings, Reddit and Messenger, Facebook is overhauling the design of the News Feed to make it more legible, clickable and commentable. Specifically, Facebook now makes it much clearer where threads start and end in comments. Meanwhile, Instagram today got a little redesign itself with comment reels now being threaded so you can have sub-conversations in public.

Most people won’t even notice these small changes on Instagram and Facebook.

LINE Introduces Livestreaming to Group Chats

Line;

LINE Corporation unveiled LINE 7.9.0 today, the latest version of the LINE messaging app for iPhone and Android, which now includes an in-chat livestreaming feature called “Chat Live.” Chat Live allows users to livestream video to other participants in group chats or other multi-person chats, in groups as large as 200 people.

A livestream can be started by tapping the telephone icon at the top of the chat room followed by the LIVE button. The screen size is adjustable, and can be played on the top of the screen, full-screen, at 1/8 size and at other settings. There are a variety of uses for this feature, such as chatting with friends while livestreaming a sporting event or chatting with grandparents while showing them their grandchildren.

Google is paying Apple billions per year to remain on the iPhone, Bernstein says

Todd Haselton, writing for CNBC;

Google is paying Apple billions of dollars to remain the default search engine on iPhones and iPads, Bernstein said in a note to investors on Monday.

The firm believes that Google will pay Apple about $3 billion this year, up from $1 billion just three years ago, and that Google’s licensing fees make up a large bulk of Apple’s services business.

Of course, Google will earn more than what they’re paid Apple in return. Just last quarter, the company reported a revenue of $26 billion.

So I’d say that $3 billion (a year) that they paid Apple is all worth it.

Facebook sneaks into China with a new app

Steven Millward, writing for Tech in Asia;

In a surprise move, Facebook has made and released an app just for China – where Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has been blocked since 2009.

Facebook’s China app, launched stealthily into the local app store under a company pseudonym, is a photo-sharing service called Colorful Balloons. The New York Times first spotted and reported on the app after verifying that it was indeed made by Facebook.

The Colorful Balloons app is actually a walled-off, China-only version of Facebook Moments, the spin-off app dedicated to photos that was first introduced mid-2015.

Sneaky!

Mozilla Firefox 55 now supports WebVR

Mozilla;

Today’s release brings innovative functionality, improvements to core browser performance, and more proof that we’re committed to making Firefox better than ever. New features include support for WebVR, making Firefox the first Windows desktop browser to support VR experiences. Performance changes include significantly faster startup times when restoring lots of tabs and settings that let users take greater control of our new multi-process architecture. We’ve also upgraded the address bar to make finding what you want easier, with search suggestions and the integration of our one-click search feature, and safer, by prioritizing the secure – https – version of sites when possible. Read what Nick Nguyen (VP, Firefox Product) has to say about Firefox 55, get historical perspective on the development of WebVR from Sean White (SVP, Emerging Technologies) in this Medium post, and read about all the new features for developers in Firefox 55 on Mozilla Hacks.

If you are already using Firefox, you can update by going to HELP then ABOUT FIREFOX or just go to https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/.

Uber rolls out Driver Profiles

Alyza Angeles, writing for Yugatech;

Basically, the new feature works just by simply tapping the photo of your driver to view his/her profile. From there, you can scroll down to see his/her achievements as well thank you notes from other riders. You can even chat your driver up and leave a thank you note after your ride.

When was the last time you saw the profile of a taxi driver?

This is just a small feature but it has a big effect on the service, which is what taxi operator needs to do. I expect Grab to follow suit or roll-out similar feature, if its not already available.

BASS app maps out if Globe or Smart is faster in your area

Abe Olandres, writing for Yugatech;

B.A.S.S. is a locally developed app for bandwidth and signal strength analyzer for mobile networks. It’s basically similar to the SpeedTest and OpenSignal app we’ve been using for years.

The main difference is that BASS specifically monitors the strength of the cellular signal and the speed of the mobile internet in the Philippines by collecting test results made by users.

From the app’s description;

Mobile app for crowd sourced volunteers to help measure the bandwidth and signal strength of carrier networks at given locations

The BASS is currently available for Android phone and can be downloaded here.

Pangga, on-demand companionship app, is now looking for partners

Joey Maceda, writing for Yugatech;

Do you have what it takes to be a great companion? You now have the chance to put those skills to work. Pangga, a new on-demand companionship service is now looking for partners.

From their website, this is how they describe their service.

Pangga is an app-based technology platform that enables single millennials to avail a companionship service in order to build a healthy self-esteem in todays “Me Me Me Generation”.

The word Pangga is a Visayan language is an endearment word that is used to address someone whom you love. it’s close equivalent in english is “dear”, “honey”, “sweetheart” or yeah…. “love”.

Interesting concept to say the least and there are a lot of ways this app can be use for “other things” other than what the founder/developer intended it to do. The app/service is targeting a specific group of people like tourists and the Philippines being a tourist destination the service has a lot of potential.

If you are interested in trying out the service, you can send your request to download the app here.

Apple just dropped iOS 11 beta 4 for developers

Romain Dillet, writing for TechCrunch;

Apple just released a new beta of iOS 11 ahead of the final iOS 11 release in September. Things are still quite rough and I wouldn’t recommend installing the beta on a production device just yet. You don’t want to risk having your phone become useless.

The beta 4 is only available if you’re a registered developer for now. While Apple also has a public beta program, the company usually waits a few days before releasing new developer betas in the public beta channel.

Developer Preview 4 now available, official Android O coming soon!

Google / Android;

As we put the finishing touches on the Android O platform, today we’re rolling out Developer Preview 4 to help you make sure your apps are ready.

This is the final preview before we launch the official Android O platform to consumers later this summer. Take this opportunity to wrap up your testing and publish your updates soon, to give users a smooth transition to Android O.

If you have a device that’s enrolled in the Android Beta Program, you’ll receive an update to Developer Preview 4 in the next few days. If you haven’t enrolled your device yet, just visit the Android Beta site to enroll and get the update.

You can go to http://www.android.com/beta to enroll and download the Android O Developer Preview 4 on your device.

iOS 11 brings powerful new features to iPhone and iPad this fall

Apple;

Apple today previewed iOS 11, a major update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, bringing new experiences and hundreds of features to iPhone and iPad this fall. iOS 11 is the biggest software release ever for iPad, with powerful multitasking features, the Files app and more ways to use Apple Pencil. Augmented reality is coming to hundreds of millions of iOS devices with a new platform for developers to build apps that let users place virtual content on top of real-world scenes. CoreML gives developers on-device machine learning capabilities so they can easily make apps that will predict, learn and become more intelligent. Additional features include the ability to pay friends using Apple Pay, Do Not Disturb while driving to help users stay more focused on the road, even more intelligence and a new voice for Siri and new professional capabilities to Photos and Camera. iOS 11 is available as a developer preview today and will be a free software update for iPhone and iPad this fall.

Introducing Face Filters and More on Instagram

Instagram;

Today, we’re introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining. Whether you’re sitting on the couch at home or you’re out and about, you can use face filters to express yourself and have playful conversations with friends.

Microsoft helps to empower students and teachers to create the world of tomorrow; unveils new education offerings

A lot of new product from Microsoft aimed at Students and Education in general. Just in time for the coming academic year.

It’s interesting that during the event Microsoft keeps on comparing the Surface Laptop to Apple products but in reality they’ll be competing with Google Chromebook and other Google cloud products in the education space.

Microsoft;

Microsoft introduces Windows 10 S

Windows 10 S is a new Windows experience streamlined for security and superior performance. With Windows 10 S, applications that teachers and students download come from the Windows Store where they are first verified for security, and then locally they each run in a safe “container” to ensure that Windows 10 S offers the power of full-featured applications, with experiences like the full version of Office 365, including all of the capabilities of Microsoft Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint, among others. With Windows 10 S, educators and students will have access to their favorite and most-used applications across STEM, learning tools, secure assessment tools, content publishers, interactive whiteboards and more.

Microsoft Edge in Windows 10 S also makes it easier than ever for students to organize research and manage school projects with the new Tab Preview Bar. With the support for Windows Ink in Microsoft Edge, students can make notes directly on a web page and share them with a classmate. Microsoft Edge is compatible with the sites educators and students frequently use.

Microsoft’s goal with Windows 10 S is to develop its open, vibrant partner-centric ecosystem. Device partners including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung and Toshiba offer a range of new Windows 10 PCs for education today, starting at $189 USD. In the coming months, these partners will also offer a range of Windows 10 S devices, from powerful and affordable Windows Ink and touch PCs to beautiful premium devices.

Bringing Microsoft Teams to the classroom

Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint Online already allow students to co-author documents in real time. Coming to the Microsoft Store for Education later this year, new classroom experiences in Microsoft Teams take collaboration to a whole new level, and make Teams the digital hub for the classroom where teachers and students come to collaborate and learn. Together with OneNote Class Notebooks and new assignment and quiz experiences, teachers can easily distribute content, grade work and personalize learning, and communicate with students, parents and staff.

Teams also enables teachers to bring in rich and engaging content from the web, guest speakers and solutions from education partners like busuu, Canvas, Flipgrid and Kahoot!. Most importantly, Teams helps students develop the communication and collaboration skills they’ll need to be successful in the future.

Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition teaches coding in the classroom

Teachers in more than 100 countries are using Minecraft: Education Edition to promote creativity and collaboration in the classroom. Minecraft has become a favorite resource with students and with educators who are using it to teach digital citizenship, inspire creative problem-solving and enable student-centered explorations across the curriculum.

Microsoft is broadening the game’s appeal further with Code Builder for Minecraft: Education Edition. This new feature is designed to inspire students to learn the basics and the power of coding by combining the open worlds of Minecraft with popular learn-to-code platforms such as Tynker, ScratchX and a new open source platform from Microsoft called MakeCode. Players can move around, build and create in Minecraft by writing code. A free trial of Minecraft: Education Edition is available today for schools around the world in the Microsoft Store for Education. Code Builder Beta is available at education.minecraft.net.

Free offers for Teachers and Students

To make it easy and affordable to bring Windows 10, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams and Minecraft to the classroom, Microsoft is offering teachers and students the following:

New Windows 10 education PCs starting at $189 USD
Free one-year subscription to Minecraft: Education Edition for new Windows 10 education PCs
Free Windows 10 S for all schools on any current Windows Pro PC
Free Microsoft Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams
Free trial of Microsoft Intune for Education

Windows 10 S, Office 365 for Education with Microsoft Teams, Minecraft: Education Edition and Microsoft Intune for Education offer a complete solution for teachers and students.

Microsoft introduces new Surface Laptop, powered by Windows 10 S

To bring the streamlined performance, simplicity and security of Windows 10 S to university students, Microsoft is expanding the Surface family of devices with Surface Laptop. Available for preorder today in 20 countries, Surface Laptop is the perfect balance of portability, performance and elegance. Powered by Windows 10 S, Surface Laptop is engineered to start fast and stay fast with a 7th-generation Intel® Core™ processor and up to 14.5 hours of battery life.1

Every detail is crafted to bring new form and function to the classic laptop design, drawing the user in. The vibrant 13.5-inch PixelSense Display is optimized for touch and inking for an immersive experience, and the optically bonded Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3 makes it as durable as it is beautiful. The signature keyboard is covered in luxurious Alcantara® material and features a quiet and responsive keyset, large precision trackpad, and soft palm rest for a new level of typing comfort. Surface Laptop is available in four rich tone-on-tone colors2: Platinum, Graphite Gold, Burgundy and Cobalt Blue.

Surface Laptop starts at $999 USD and will be available starting June 15. Customers can preorder Surface Laptop starting today in the U.S. and Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom where available at Microsoft Store, microsoftstore.com and BestBuy.com. Surface Laptop will also be available in Canada and China later this year, and availability in other markets will be announced in the coming months.

Bringing 3-D and Windows Mixed Reality experiences to the classroom to spark creativity

With 3-D and Windows Mixed Reality, Microsoft is helping empower educators with a whole new set of tools to create curriculums for their students and peers. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a new feature coming to Windows 10 this fall, called View Mixed Reality. This feature allows you to see 3-D content through your screen into the real world as Mixed Reality, using a simple RGB camera.

Microsoft also announced a new strategic partnership with Pearson, one of the largest education companies in the world, which is working to integrate 3-D and mixed reality into its secondary and university level curriculum. By the 2018 school year, Pearson will offer curriculum in health, commerce, history and STEM on Windows Mixed Reality devices.

Spotify Premium for Students launches in 33 new countries

Spotify:

Today Spotify is pleased to announce the launch of Spotify Premium for Students in 33* new countries around the world. Spotify Premium for Students allows all registered students to enjoy Spotify Premium – and all of the many benefits that come with being a Premium subscriber – for around half the standard price.

Spotify Premium for Students is already available in United States United Kingdom and Germany. The 33 new countries are as follows;

  • Austria
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Latvia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

According to Yugatech, the price of Spotify Premium subscription was Php129/month but with the launching of Spotify Premium for Students it will just be Php65/month. To sign up for the Spotify Premium for Students, just go to http://www.spotify.com/student.

Introducing Pera Swipe

I’d like to tell you about this new reward rewards app for Android phones called Pera Swipe, developed by Mobino Inc.

Pera Swipe aims to bring added value to content and promotions by rewarding users with points that can be redeemed for prepaid mobile load and other prizes (more prizes in the future). Postpaid subscribers are very much welcome to use the app since the load prizes can be sent to others as a gift.

Pera Swipe displays various promotions and interesting articles offering different points on users’ lock screen. Users will be able to earn points by swiping left or right on their Pera Swipe lock screen. Swiping right allows the user to unlock their smartphone, while swiping left on special promotions will direct the user to the promoter’s website, social media page or other URLs.

To know more about the service, you cn visit their website at peraswipe.com or their facebook page. Pera Swipe is currently running an early bird promo where users can earn P10 Extra points if you sign up this April. Unfortunately, their app is not yet available for download.

Finally, Google’s Android beats Microsoft’s Windows as world’s most popular OS

Malavika Velayanikal, reporting for Tech in Asia;

Google’s Android has finally usurped Microsoft’s Windows’ throne as the world’s most popular operating system. dependent web analytics company StatCounter found that Android topped the total internet usage across desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile combined at 37.93 percent. Windows is at 37.91 percent – second for the first time. This is based on global internet usage data for March.

Not a surprising stats.

Since the number of phones sold is greater than the number of windows PC sold. Android’s lead will still increase in the coming year and I can see iOS devices overtaking Windows in the next 5 years or less.

Introducing Live Location in Messenger

Facebook;

Today we’re excited to announce a new way to share your location in Messenger. Our new Live Location feature makes it simple and seamless for you to choose to share where you are with your friends and family. This is rolling out globally and is available on both iOS and Android.

Apple releases iOS 10.3

Most of the features that Apple introduced in the iOS 10.3 will not be useful to me except for the new Apple File System, which focuses on encryption. To get the update, you can go to SETTINGS > GENERAL > SOFTWARE UPATE, to get the update.

Here’s the complete release note of iOS 10.3;

iOS 10.3 introduces new features including the ability to locate AirPods using Find my iPhone and more ways to use Siri with payment, ride booking and automaker apps.

Find My iPhone

  • View the current or last known location of your AirPods
  • Play a sound on one or both AirPods to help you find them

Siri

  • Support for paying and checking status of bills with payment apps
  • Support for scheduling with ride booking apps
  • Support for checking car fuel level, lock status, turning on lights and activating horn with automaker apps
  • Cricket sports scores and statistics for Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council

CarPlay

  • Shortcuts in the status bar for easy access to last used apps
  • Apple Music Now Playing screen gives access to Up Next and the currently playing song’s album
  • Daily curated playlists and new music categories in Apple Music

Other improvements and fixes

  • Rent once and watch your iTunes movies across your devices
  • New Settings unified view for your Apple ID account information, settings and devices
  • Hourly weather in Maps using 3D Touch on the displayed current temperature
  • Support for searching “parked car” in Maps
  • Calendar adds the ability to delete an unwanted invite and report it as junk
  • Home app support to trigger scenes using accessories with switches and buttons
  • Home app support for accessory battery level status
  • Podcasts support for 3D Touch and Today widget to access recently updated shows
  • Podcast shows or episodes are shareable to Messages with full playback support
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent Maps from displaying your current location after resetting Location & Privacy
  • VoiceOver stability improvements for Phone, Safari and Mail

For information on the security content of Apple software updates, please visit this website:
https://support.apple.com/HT201222

Apple Introduces Clips: The Fun, New Way to Create Expressive Videos on iOS

Apple;

Apple® today introduced Clips, a new app that makes it quick and fun for anyone to create expressive videos on iPhone® and iPad®. The app features a unique design for combining video clips, photos and music into great-looking videos to share with friends through the Messages app, or on Instagram, Facebook and other popular social networks.

Clips also introduces Live Titles™, a breakthrough feature that lets users create animated captions and titles using just their voice. Fun effects including comic book filters, speech bubbles, shapes and full-screen animated posters help bring out the personality in videos made with Clips.

New: Save Your Live Video to Your Phone

Instagram;

Starting today, you’ll have the option to save your live video to your phone at the end of a broadcast. While live videos will continue to disappear from the app when you’re done, this update gives you the flexibility to hold onto your video and re-watch it later, especially if something exciting happens during your broadcast that you want to remember or share.

After your live broadcast ends, tap Save in the upper right corner. You’ll only be able to save your video — not the comments, likes, number of viewers or any live interactions. After saving, tap Done and your live video will be saved to your camera roll but will no longer be available in the app.

In order to save Instagram Live Video, you should be using Instagram 10.12 for both iOS and Android.

NASA released a ton of software for free and here’s some you should try

Devin Coldewey, reporting for TechCrunch;

NASA has just published its 2017-2018 software catalog, which lists the many apps, code libraries and tools that pretty much anyone can download and use. Of course, most of it is pretty closely tied to… you know, launching spacecraft and stuff, which most people don’t do. But here are a few items that might prove useful to tinkers and curious lay people alike.

NASA;

NASA has released its 2017-2018 software catalog, which offers an extensive portfolio of software products for a wide variety of technical applications, all free of charge to the public, without any royalty or copyright fees.

Available in both hard copy and online, this third edition of the publication has contributions from all the agency’s centers on data processing/storage, business systems, operations, propulsion and aeronautics. It includes many of the tools NASA uses to explore space and broaden our understanding of the universe. A number of software packages are being presented for release for the first time. Each catalog entry is accompanied with a plain language description of what it does.

A quick browse of NASA’s software library, here are some of the noteworthy software and apps that can be use in the Philippines, most notably for the recently created Space Tech Program and with Project NOAH.

Earth-GRAM 2016;
Earth-GRAM 2016 is now available as an open-source C++ computer code that can run on a variety of platforms including PCs and UNIX stations. The software provides a model that offers values for atmospheric parameters such as density, temperature, winds, and constituents for any month and at any altitude and location within the Earth’s atmosphere.

Engineering DOUG Graphics for Exploration (EDGE)
EDGE is a real-time 3d graphics rendering package based on the Dynamic On-board Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) graphics engine. It combines key elements from graphics software tools developed for Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) programs and adapts them for integration with other engineering simulations and facilities. The tool allows drop-in integration with the NASA Trick Simulation Environment and provides a fusion of 3D graphics and simulation outputs.

Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program (GFSSP), Version 6.0
The Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program (GFSSP) is a general software tool that can perform complex fluid flow analysis in a wide variety of applications, including those related to chemical processing, gas processing, power plants, hydraulic control circuits, and various kinds of fluid distribution systems. The tool models liquid fuel phase changes that include compressibility and mixture thermodynamics and allows the user to apply and vary “what-if” effects of external influences.

CEOS Data Cube Platform version 2 (CEOS2)
The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) has long recognized a need for data processing infrastructure to support Earth science objectives in developing countries. Forest preservation initiatives, carbon measurement initiatives, water management and agricultural monitoring are just few examples of causes that can benefit greatly from remote sensing data. Currently, however, many developing nations lack the in-country expertise and computational infrastructure to utilize remote sensing data.

The CEOS Data Cube Platform version 2 (CEOS2) provides a flexible model to address these needs. The CEOS Data Cube Platform is a data processing platform for Earth science data, with a focus on remote-sensing data. The platform provides a data ingestion framework that includes support for automated ingestion of a wide variety of remote sensing data products. The data products are ingested into an N-dimensional data array that abstracts away management of distinct acquisitions. The platform has a tiered API for data processing and a data/application platform layer for higher-level access.

You can find more at http://software.nasa.gov and NASA’s Technology Transfer program, http://technology.nasa.gov

Ateneo student’s life-saving health app earns global recognition

Enrico Belga Jr., writing for Rappler;

For many Filipino families, access to basic healthcare services remains to be a major burden. Public awareness of first aid techniques, for example, has not been given enough attention.

This gap inspired a 2nd year student of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) to design a life-saving mobile application to guide the public in administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Joel Alejandro created “Sali” save-a-life app, which aims to universalize CPR education and training. Alejandro aims to create a population capable of administering, and motivated to do CPR anywhere and anytime. The app also connects the user to a network of fellow life-savers who can provide auxiliary support.

You can go here to know more about the app and how you can support it.

Samsung Electronics Announces Availability of New Facebook Video App for TV

Samsung;

Samsung Electronics announced today that the new Facebook video app for TV is available on Samsung Smart TVs, including its 2017 QLED TV lineup and the app will be available on all of its 2015, 2016, 2017 Smart TV models. Further solidifying its role as the global leader in TV, Samsung is the only TV manufacturer that will support the app at its launch.

To use the Facebook Video app on your Samsung TV, just go to Samsung Smart Hub and download the app then login to your Facebook account.

Carousell launches used motor vehicles classifieds app Carousell Motors

Yon Heong Tung, reporting for E27;

Major Singapore-based p2p marketplace Carousell has launched a used motor vehicles classifieds app called Carousell Motors. The marketplace will feature used cars and used bikes listed by individual sellers as well as verified dealerships.

Do they plan to spin off the the service or just a separate way to experience the used motor vehicles market within Carousell?

Sapio

Sapio is the only dating app with a foundation that’s based on a Q&A match system. This allows you to find your soulmate through their lived experiences, heartfelt opinions, and bold passions. Other dating apps offer a multiple-choice Q&A system, but Sapio’s Question Explorer is open-ended; it allows people to give unique answers that reveal individual personalities.

Sounds like a serious version of Peekawoo!

Dating app Sapio aims to match you with ‘someone as smart’

Victor Barreiro Jr., reporting for Rappler;

Users of dating and hookup apps like Tinder and OKCupid may want to take their chances by investing time and honest answers in a new dating app called Sapio.

Sapio aims to match users or lead people to good matches by letting people look for others with a complementary personality.

Sapio does this at the onset by asking users to, over time, fill out 300 open-ended questions that help establish intelligence, conversational ability, and shared interests.

Do we need another dating app?

Viber introduces Secret Messages, a snapchat-like feature of self-descructing photos and videos

NewsHero;

I guess, its never too late to clone a Snapchat feature, because Viber just introduced Secret Messages, a feature that allows a user to set a timer so that messages will self-destruct once it has been viewed or the time limit has expire.