Go On Head, Retweet Yourself: Twitter Gets an Update

We bet that quite a few of you are on Twitter. And since there are over 300 million active monthly users, the odds are in our favor. Well, just so ya know, Twitter got a whole lot cooler this week. Here’s our breakdown of what’s new in the Twitter-sphere:

twitter

  1. Say bye-bye to harsh 140 character restrictions
    • You heard us right. Twitter just got a little more lenient with the character count. You’re now able to add pictures, GIFs, quoted tweets, and videos without adding to the total number of characters. Alas!
  2. Go on head, retweet yourself.
    •  Did we stutter? You can retweet yourself. Feel free to share all the glorious comments from your Twitter’s past.
  3. Replies sans @username
    • When you’d reply to a tweet, the tweet would start with @username before your comment. That’s no longer the case. Now there’s a thread line that shows who you’re replying to with your tweet below. So that just means that you have even more characters to share your reply.

So what do you think? Was this update everything you hoped for and more? If so, you can – shameless plug – tweet us @newswatchtv. Or if the update didn’t live up to the hype, you can still tweet us; we’ll be happy to reply.

Instagram Drops New Features and Kills One

Courtesy of Endgadget.

Courtesy of endgadget.

By: Hazel Lovely Saunders

A couple of weeks ago Instagram released a surprising new feature called Stories, which allows you to share all the moments throughout your day. Similar to rival app Snapchat, stories consists of mini video clips or pictures stay up for 24 hours, appearing as a mini slideshow or video series. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, attempted to purchase Snapchat a couple of years ago. They couldn’t buy the app, but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t integrate their ideas in their app.

But Instagram released a feature that Snapchat doesn’t have: zooming. This gives the users the ability to zoom in on other users’ photos and videos by pinching the post. Unfortunately, this feature is only available for iPhone users, but they say it will be released soon on Android.

The new zoom feature allows marketers to get even more creative with content on Instagram. Instead of watching a video in one perspective, users can now zoom around and choose a certain focus to view.

Courtesy of Tech Crunch.

Instagram will also take advantage of the new iPhone 7 plus dual camera. Courtesy of Tech Crunch.

The problem with this new feature is that Instagram images content can look grainy if you zoom in too much. But this isn’t stopping users from using this new feature—there’s even a trending hashtag about Instagram’s latest addition.

These features are here to stay, but the photo map feature is on its way out. This classic feature allowed you to see a map of where a users’ photos were taken (if you allowed it). Instagram said in a statement to Mashable, “Photo Map was not widely used, so we’ve decided to remove the feature and focus on other priorities.”

So what are your thoughts? Are you sad to see the Photo-Map feature go? Or are you happy that you can zoom? Tweet us your thoughts @NewsWatchTV.

Planet of the Apps: Unscripted

Courtesy of Apple Insider.

Courtesy of Apple Insider.

By Hazel-Lovely Saunders

A new series is on its way and you will never guess what it’s about. Well from the title above you’ve guessed it already.

Courtesy of Deadline Hollywood.

Courtesy of Deadline Hollywood.

Apple Inc., a multinational technology company is launching its first original TV series about the “app economy.” Executive producers will.i.am., Ben Silverman, and Howard Owens, are teaming up to create this unscripted series about the people who create innovative apps for the world. The show is also being co-produced with Propagate, a production company co-owned by Ben Silverman and Howard Owens.

Actress-entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow will also be on board to mentor contestants. Paltrow stated, “Developing and launching a business based on your own original idea can be exhilarating, but intimidating.” In addition, Tech Investor Gary Vaynerchuk is also joining the project and will serve as an advisor.

Planet of the Apps partnered up with Product Hunt, a website for discovering new technology products, mobile apps, and websites, went on a four-city tour in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin and New York to meet entrepreneurs and discuss the concept of the new TV series between August 1-3.

Courtesy of Citrusbits.

Courtesy of CitrusBits.

There is a casting call looking for app creators who have a vision to “shape the future, solve real problems, and inspire change within our daily lives” says Silverman. If you want to apply you can visit the series website. Applications are accepted until Friday, August 26 and only 100 of you can make it.

If accepted you have the chance to receive:

  1. Mentorship: Hands-on guidance from tech experts.
  2. Funding: If you make it to the final round you’ll get investment for your app created.
  3. Marketing and Promotion: Placement of your app will be featured in the App Store at the end of the show. Basically, millions of people will see your app everywhere.

Interested applicants must be 18-years-old and be available for shooting later this year through Spring 2017. 

Make sure to check out our blog everyday for new articles and follow us on Twitter. Let us know any comments or suggestions you have below.

How to Check if Pokémon Go is Down

If you’ve paid any attention at all to anything going on over the past few weeks, you probably know that Pokémon Go is huge (Seriously, even Andrew tried it out!). And with the servers constantly going down, it has become apparent that the response this game has received is way more than the developers had expected. Impressively, the game is so big after only being out a week it had more daily users than Twitter and people have reportedly spent more time on the Pokémon Go app than Facebook. According to TechCrunch, 5.92% of the Android population in the U.S. engages with Pokémon Go daily. That’s A LOT of people playing this game, no wonder the servers can’t handle it. And now with the game finally being released in Japan, the servers are really getting out of control with constant crashes.

There has to be a way to be able to check if it’s worth it to go outside to start hunting some Pokémon. Well, here’s a website that some developers made that will check for you whether or not the servers are down or about to go down – IsPokemonGoDownOrNot.com. The site runs on a pretty simple algorithm. Basically, it uses an automated account that attempts to log-in in thirty second intervals. If the log-in takes over fifteen seconds, most likely the Pokémon Go server is down or about to go down.

We’re glad we found this because we’re sick of getting stoked to play the game only to unfortunately realize once we’re outside that the server is down. Pokémon Go is addicting, so knowing when it’s available to play makes it even better.

Are you going to be checking this site before you go hunting for Pokémon? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

 

Want more? Check these out:

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/19/why-youll-probably-see-more-smart-bikes-in-the-future/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/18/snapchat-wants-to-use-object-recognition-to-give-you-a-more-customized-experience/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/14/how-drones-and-mms-are-being-used-to-save-endangered-ferrets/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/13/why-researchers-are-teaching-robots-how-to-hunt-prey/

 

Have you checked out the Official NewsWatch Podcast yet?

 

An App that Remembers Where You Parked So You Don’t Have to

Have you ever parked in a large open parking lot and came back later to find that you have no idea where you parked? It’s okay, we have all done it at some point or another. We have found a solution that should help you avoid that annoying situation searching for your car with the app Perfect Parking.

We know how irritating and frustrating it can be walking around looking for your car when you are totally ready to leave. This simple to use app allows you to track exactly where you parked your car so you are never walking around pushing your key fab hoping to hear a sound. Now, the app has three buttons. All you need to do is open the app and hit the “Park” button. Perfect Parking will lock in your location so when you are ready to get back to your car all you need to do is hit the search button and let the map guide you to it. The third button is a reset button to clear your last location. You can’t share your parking location via WhatsApp or social media, just the app itself. You can even use the app for finding other locations, like bus and train stations. It comes in over ten different languages and works as a global app to help you out in unfamiliar areas. It’s a simple, easy-to-use, and very helpful app.

So, want to avoid that awkward situation of walking around a parking lot desperately searching for your car? You can download Perfect Parking by Unicorn Systemz for free with ads or buy the premium version by going to the Google Play store today.

The Essential App For All Stylists

lashfx

Eyebrow makeovers and Eyelash Extensions are 2 of this year’s most talked about beauty salon services. But who are you going to trust with the “windows to your soul?” Check out the app Virtual Stylist Lash and Brow.

 

It was made specifically for lash & brow professionals to close the trust and communication gap between lash artist & client. Clients step up to the “magic mirror”, which instantly tracks their features using facial recognition technology as they move in the mirror. Now a client can see exactly what they – themselves – look like with a custom designed lash & brow makeover. They see themselves – not a photo of somebody else – in a seamless replay of Augmented Reality that’s delivered instantly so it looks real-time. With thousands of customizations, the client consultation is transformed into an engaging virtual experience…and all you need is an iPad. You can take it to a networking event, cause a commotion on the Beauty Tradeshow floor, or bring cutting edge technology to the cosmetology classroom. This app could really change how stylists are able to communicate realistic options to current and potential clients. Everyone wants to see lashes and brows on a moving and realistic view of themselves instead of a picture or a stranger. No one’s face is the same (save for identical twins) and therefore eyebrows and eyelashes will look different on every single person. The Virtual Stylist Lash and Brow app is a game-changing tool for the industry.

The Virtual Stylist Lash and Brow app is available for the iPad for $249. Go to the App Store to download it today.

 

Did you like this review? Check these out:

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/14/fun-online-prizes-in-real-life/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/13/find-clothes-accessories-from-movies-tv/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/13/a-fun-puzzle-game/

 

Snapchat Wants to Use Object Recognition to Give You a More Customized Experience

By: Kassidy Coleman

Over the past few months, Snapchat has really stepped up their game with incorporating ads into their app. Now the social media app wants to totally revolutionize the way ads are targeted towards an audience. A patent application has been filed by Snapchat for using object recognition to customize what sponsored filters are shown on user’s phones.

 

patent1

(Photo source: United States Patent and Trademark Office)

Nobody should take this idea too seriously until they announce it has been approved, because remember – it is just a patent. Apparently the application was filed in January 2015 and Business Insider was the first to notice that it was published this month. In the patent, Snapchat described how object recognition could work as a “compelling way for users to personalize, supplement and enhance” their snaps. To illustrate how this technology would work, Snapchat provided the example of a user taking a snap of the Empire State Building. The object recognition within the app could identify the building and when the user goes through the different filters, they would have an image of King Kong on top of it.

 

 

Users can even create their own custom geofilter, filters based on your location, designs for free – so for example, if you’re having a party or event, you could create a fun geofilter your friends can use. However, advertisers still have to pay to create filters that promote their product.

 

snapchat object recognition 2

(Photo source: United States Patent and Trademark Office)

If the patent does get approved, this could be interesting for advertisers. The object recognition could be good news for them, as it could help get more people to use their sponsored filters and provide even more opportunities for more involved ads. For example, if the system recognizes you’re inside a restaurant it may provide you with filters of the menu from that restaurant. Snapchat also revealed that it could have an automated auction system that would allow different companies to compete to put their filter for certain objects.

 

This patent, if approved, would be a definite game changer in terms of advertising. And we think it would make the app even more fun and addicting.

 

What do you think about Snapchat’s idea? Is it cool or invasive? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

 

Want more? Check out these recent posts:

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/14/how-drones-and-mms-are-being-used-to-save-endangered-ferrets/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/13/why-researchers-are-teaching-robots-how-to-hunt-prey/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/12/segway-creators-super-advanced-prosthetic-arm-to-be-released-late-2016/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/08/will-amazon-be-the-netflix-of-podcasts/

 

Have you listened to the Official NewsWatch Podcast yet? Every other Friday we discuss technology, movies, and more – it’s hilarious and informative!

 

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