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.

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This Fall iOS 10 Will Help You Easily Register to be an Organ Donor

By: Kassidy Coleman


With September just around the corner, Apple users are eagerly waiting to see what new features iOS 10 will bring to the iPhone. Last month at WWDC, we were given announcements that made us excited for iOS 10 to be introduced to the public, including iOS 10 being more outsider-friendly. Now, Apple has announced that they will be making it easier than ever to register to be a national organ donor right from the Health app on your iPhone.

 
Apple has partnered up with Donate Life America and announced that with iOS 10 in the Health app, users will be able to quickly and easily register to be an organ donor. Once you register to become a donor, it will be sent directly to the National Donate Life Registry.


Apple stated
, “over 120,000 Americans are currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant – and every ten minutes, a new individual is added to the national transplant waiting list. Each organ donor can save as many as eight lives and heal many more through the gifts of tissue and eye donation. In the absence of donor registration, families are left to make the decision about donation in what is often the worst moment of their lives, the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one.”

 

The shortage of organ donations has been a rising issue in the United States. CEO Tim Cook told Associated Press that the problem really hit home when his good friend and boss, Steve Jobs, had an “excruciating” wait for his liver transplant back in 2009. Jobs passed away two years after he received the transplant that extended his life, due to complications from pancreatic cancer.

 

The updated Health app will help users become educated and aware of the importance of organ donations, while also providing health and fitness information.

 

What do you think about being able to register as an organ donor from your iPhone? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

 

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Why the iPhone 7 Probably Won’t Have a Headphone Socket

By: Kassidy Coleman

 

As we get closer and closer to the release date for the iPhone 7, more rumors begin to emerge about what new features it will or won’t have. One rumor that has been sticking around for a while is that Apple might be removing the headphone socket. This is something that is upsetting many people. Over 300,000 people have signed a petition asking that Apple not get rid of the headphone socket.

 
If you’re thinking there’s no way that Apple would ever get rid of a headphone socket, something that has been pretty much universal since…well, since we can’t remember NOT having headphone sockets, here’s a quick history re-cap: In 1998, Apple released the iMac G3 which was a unique computer in that it didn’t have a floppy disk drive. Steve Jobs had ditched the floppy disk because he thought of the technology as unnecessary and we needed to evolve to CD-ROM and USB.  It took about a decade later for other companies to finally realize that floppy disks weren’t fit for our society any longer as most files were too big for the storage device. So, considering Apple’s history, it is definitely a huge likely possibility that Apple will be ditching the headphone jack we have all known and loved.

 

The iPhone 7 is rumored to be thinner, waterproof, and support wireless charging.  Apple Insider reportedly confirmed that Apple will be promoting wireless headsets, but will also support Lighting (the port that has been used for data transfers and charging in the more recent iPhones) as the wired audio option.

 

It’s evident that the phone industry is having a tough time trying to constantly come up with the sexiest phones. Some analysts even believe that consumers will buy far fewer new phones this year. And with the Galaxy S7 already confirmed to be waterproof, it’s no wonder Apple is trying desperately to catch up.

Will you get the new iPhone if it doesn’t come with a headphone socket? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

Make sure you check out Apple’s Top 3 Announcements from WWDC 2016!

The Essential Marketing Tool

If you are an OS X or iOS developer, or if you offer Apple-centric services pertaining to that marketplace, you might have a little trouble finding out how to get people to hear about your product. prMac is the only exclusively-Apple press release distribution website out there. Press releases are a vital marketing tool in ensuring a successful launch of your product. By constructing the right press release with pertinent information and distributing it to the right outlets you get the word out there in one fell swoop, and prMac is with you every step of the way.

Getting yourself and your product out there can be hard, especially at first. prMac makes it simple and easy. They provide a platform where you can easily fill out information on your product or service following simple step-by-step instructions. When you are done, your release is sent to an editor who moderates it, and can even offer you feedback on ways to make the press release more effective. Once your press release is approved and ready for distribution, they send it out to a media list. Each press release goes to a different media partner depending on its channel or interest, so your campaign is tailored especially for people who are searching for something like you have to offer. prMac offers Extended Releases for enhanced visibility, including Google News and media aggregation and even Video News Releases that are sent out along with the Extended Release.

Are you ready to get your product on the radar and start driving results? Registering with prMac and distributing through their platform is free and there are also other paid options for enhanced exposure. Head to prmac.com to get started today.

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New Siri Capabilities Are Coming to Apple TV This Summer

By: Kassidy Coleman

Closeup of Apple TV

There’s no doubt that the way we interact with TVs has changed drastically, especially with the advent of Apple TV. Interacting with apps on TVs is something that is becoming less uncommon. A few days ago at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, announcements were made about a lot of new features for the Apple TV. For years, people have been begging Apple to make Apple TV easier to control. One of the tvOS announcements we’re most excited about is the updated version of the Remote app for iPads and iPhones that will make many people happy.

Closeup of person's hand holding Apple TV remoteSo if you have Apple TV, you know that the remote it comes with is super sleek and tiny. While the overall design of the remote is aesthetically pleasing, at the same time let’s be real – Sometimes when we’re binge watching Netflix, we lose that remote deep in the couch cushions. That’s why it’s great to have the Remote app on your iPhone or iPad. Now Apple is going to make that remote app even more of a lifesaver for us by adding Siri capabilities.

Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, stated, “The future of TV is apps, and Siri on the Apple TV has changed the way we interact with our television and these expanded features will continue to deliver viewers what they want to watch even faster. There are over 6,000 apps to enjoy on your Apple TV including over 1,300 video channels, which are even more fun to watch with the new Siri features combined with single sign-on.”

 

Right now Apple is on a mission to make Apple TV an interactive, easy experience. In the Remote app, Siri will now really work as your personal assistant by helping you find whatever you’re looking for. So say you’re with friends and you’re in the mood to watch a scary movie, you’ll be able to ask Siri to find movies by topics. Just say “find scary 90’s movies” and Siri instantly gives you results. We already know that Siri has been able to search through 650,000 TV shows and movies, but now it will be able to search YouTube too. All you have to do is ask it something like “cute puppies” and the YouTube app brings up search results for you.

 

Additionally, there is a new feature called live tune-in. This feature will allow you to navigate to any channel, such as ESPN2 just by asking Siri.

 

We’re excited to see these changes to tvOS. What do you think about these new Siri capabilities coming to Apple TV? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter!

Puzzles for Children with Autism

App Review

It is often said that children who have autism do not see the forest for the trees. They simply pay too much attention to the little details and unfortunately miss the whole picture. Research also shows that once a child develops the ability to mentally integrate multiple features, there is a breakthrough in the general learning ability of the child. Well, ImagiRation has developed a computerized early-intervention therapy application – Mental Imagery Therapy for Autism or MITA.

ImagiRation was created by a group of scientists, educators, artists and developers who are passionate about making the best educational games for early childhood development. MITA consists of interactive puzzles designed to help children learn how to mentally integrate multiple features of an object. These fun exercises are disguised as interactive games for kids, and work as a really great therapy tool to use for children with autism. The MITA app follows a systematic approach where kids start with very simple, easy exercises that require attending to only one feature  – such as color, size, or shape. Then the exercises move on to requiring simultaneous attention to two features, such as color and shape, or shape and size. Then the exercise requires attending to three features such as shape, or size and color. The exercises continue on until the child can integrate multiple features into one Gestalt. The three pilot studies of MITA have demonstrated that it can be successfully administered by parents at home to their children that are as young as two years of age. This innovative, educational app is already being used by thousands of kids with autism.

If you are ready to help your child with autism, this app is available to download. Right now, the ImagiRation app is completely free and is available on iPad, Android and Amazon Kindle Fire.

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Simplify Your Dining Experience

App Review

When you think of a steakhouse there are a few go-to spots that come to mind. But let’s be honest – the leader of the pack is Outback Steakhouse. It is hard not to love ‘em. I mean have you tried their Bloomin’ Onion? One word: yum. To make your dining experience even better they have just released a new mobile app that not only allows you to save money and time, but also make the overall experience spectacular.

Have you ever had a hard time tracking down your server for the check when you’re ready to leave? The Outback Steakhouse app comes with a “pay when you’re ready” feature which allows you to pay your bill right from your phone. You can even split the check and add a tip. So there is no more having to wait for the server to bring your bill. But truly the convenience starts before you even walk in the door. Do you hate arriving to a restaurant only to find out that there is a long waiting list? Well, the app features a wait list that allows you to jump in line for a table before you arrive. When you are next up for a table you will receive a notification. The Offer Pouch is where you keep exclusive coupons and offers that you will receive from Outback. Instead of having to remember to print out coupons you can conveniently use the app on your phone and just apply them directly to your bill. They have basically made the entire dining experience more efficient, affordable, and fun.

The new Outback app is currently available for iPhone and Android devices for free. Head over to the App Store or Google Play to download it today.

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To learn more about NewsWatch on the Discovery Channel, check out our LinkedIn profile.

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