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Instagram adds new ‘Questions in Live’ and interactive music features in Stories

Instagram is out today with several updates to its iOS and Android apps. A new “Questions in Live” feature allows users to interact in the moment on Instagram Live, while a new way to respond to questions with music in Stories and a countdown sticker are now rolling out.

Twitter for iOS fixes one of the biggest timeline complaints with new ‘Sparkle’ button, no Android version yet

Twitter is today widely rolling out an update to its iOS app that allows users to switch between the default algorithm-based timeline view and the more popular chronological timeline. Previously, the option was buried in settings, and automatically reverted to the algorithm timeline over time. While this isn’t available yet on its Android app, Twitter has confirmed the feature is on the way.

December 17

France will impose new GAFA tech tax on Apple and Google worth $570 million annually

France is set to impose a sweeping new law starting January 1 which is set to raise as much as 500 million euros in 2019 alone.

The tax, dubbed GAFA for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, is targeted towards high-profit internet tech giants who generally pay a lower effective tax rate than other corporations, reports AFP News.

December 14

2018 saw people use eleven new dumb passwords – including ‘Donald’

Each year, SplashData carries out an analysis of leaked passwords to find the top 25 dumb passwords. This year, the company had five million passwords to work from, most of them from hacks in the US and Europe.

There are plenty of old favorites – including ‘password’ – but this year eleven new ones made the list …

December 13

Netflix testing instant replay feature, but viewers say it’s distracting

Netflix is testing an instant replay feature that would allow you to rewind to the start of a scene, either because you missed something or simply enjoyed it and want to watch it again …

December 11

More Americans now get their news from social media than newspapers

A Pew research study has revealed that, for the first time, more Americans get their news from social media than from newspapers …

December 5

Apple and Google the only two companies to make Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list every year

Apple and Google have once again made Glassdoor’s list of the 100 best places to work – the only two companies to do so in every one of the 11 years the employee-driven rankings have been collated.

They are, however, ranked very differently this year …

December 3

Apple Music for Android gaining tablet support three years after launch

Apple has introduced more features in the latest beta release of Apple Music for Android.  In version 2.7, which is only available to Google Group beta testers, tablet support for Android devices has arrived.

Skype offering live transcriptions from today, PowerPoint from January 2019

Microsoft has announced that as part of its commitment to accessibility, Skype is offering real-time call transcriptions from today. Anything anyone says in a call will appear in real-time AI-powered captions at the bottom of the screen so that deaf or hard-of-hearing people are able to follow along.

The same functionality will soon be offered for PowerPoint presentations, with translation options coming to both apps …

November 30

[Update: Trainer Battle details revealed, landing soon] Pokemon Go launching long-awaited player vs. player battles update ‘soon’

After previously announcing that it would add a PvP mode to Pokemon Go before the end of the year, Niantic is today teasing that the new player versus player action will be arriving “soon.”

November 28

Instagram launches automatic alternative text to make platform more accessible to those with visual impairments

Instagram is out today with two major accessibility improvements to give those with visual impairments a better experience on the social media platform. Automatic alternative text and custom alternative text will offer users the ability to hear descriptions of photos.

Facebook test lets users block words & phrases from their wall – almost …

If you’ve ever had someone spam your Facebook wall with a fake RayBan ad or similar, or are just fed up of political arguments, a new Facebook test may provide a solution …

November 27

Pricing changes have arrived today for both YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium. The discounted YouTube plans are now available for students with 50% off the streaming music and video services normal pricing.

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November 19

Portrait mode depth editing comes to Google Photos on iOS

While Portrait mode depth editing arrived with the iPhone XS, XR and the 2018 iPad Pro, the feature isn’t available on iPhone X, 8 Plus, and 7 Plus. Today, Google is rolling out support for the feature with Google Photos for iOS.

November 16

Verizon launches ‘My Numbers’ to allow one smartphone to use up to five numbers

The major US carriers haven’t rolled out support for Apple’s Dual SIM/eSIM feature with the iPhone XS and XR yet. However, Verizon has today announced its own solution to using multiple numbers with one iPhone or Android smartphone called “My Numbers.”

November 14

Pokemon Go creators delay Harry Potter: Wizards Unite game launch until 2019

Following the success of Pokemon Go on iOS and Android, Niantic is planning to release a Harry Potter game sometime in 2019.

New Uber Rewards program offers points, car upgrades, flexible cancellations, more

A new Uber Rewards loyalty program has been announced today, offering rewards points which convert to Uber Cash credits – as well as a range of other benefits which kick in at different tiers …

November 2

Blizzard announces the Diablo franchise is coming to iOS and Android with Diablo Immortal

Blizzard announced some big news today at its yearly Blizzcon show: the next installment in the Diablo series will be made for iOS and Android. The news about Diablo Immortal follows Epic Games seeing massive success with its hit Fortnite on mobile devices over the last year.

October 30

280 character limit has made Twitter users more polite, use fewer awful abbreviations

The doubling of the character limit for tweets has made Twitter users more polite and less prone to using annoying abbreviations, says the company …

October 16

Lyft helping commuters with monthly subscription plan while Uber valued at $120B

Lyft has today announced its new monthly subscription plan to offer users easy access to the ride service as well as a nice price cut. But it won’t likely improve its value compared to its bigger rival Uber who saw a possible IPO value stretch into the 12 digit realm…

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