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.

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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.

The 5 Kickstarter Campaigns You Need To Watch For

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

By Hazel-Lovely Saunders

Kickstarter has built a crowdfunding platform focused on creativity. They give creative minds an opportunity to showcase their product on a campaign so people can take a took at what creative products are surfacing. Their mission is to bring creative projects to life. Here is a list of five projects to watch for on Kickstarter.

  1. KeyMAX G5 Titanium Clip-On Key Ring & 22 in 1 Multi-tool EDC

Need something convenient? Ready to go and lightweight? There’s the new Clip-On G5 Titanium Unibody Key Ring & Multi-Tool EDC. With 22 features that is built for anything that comes your way, its like a mini on-the-go tool box and survivor gadget.

KeyMax Dimensions: 3.70” Wide x 1.20” Deep x .140” Thick

22 Features

Uni-Body Key Ring, Bottle opener, 10 Wrench sizes, 2 Spoke Wrenches, ¼” Hex Driver with Built-in Hex bit Holder and added O-Ring, Letter opener, Wire Stripper, Emergency Can Opener, Glass Breaker, Soda can popper, Paint Can Opener, and many more.

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

There will also be versions of the classic RocketHEX and MicrosharkHEX with O-Rings.

  1. LIFT

A new innovative levitating system that charges your Apple Watch or Pebble. Life is the only smartwatch charges that levitates your device in midair. The charging base is lightweight and portable. Lift is also a portable battery charger giving you two full charges on your smartwatch. Although it’s the only system to charge and levitate your smartwatch, it can also charge your phone (but it won’t levitate it.)

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

What’s it made of?

High quality aluminum and ceramic, and more.

bffaed1ad66e766b0490bc5866fc63fe_original

The Orb

When your smartwatch it’s not being charged, it can also be used as a smart lamp. The Orb is the very first wireless smart lamp in the business. It even magnetically attaches to any metal surface for your convenience.

The best thing about this charging system is that it doesn’t kill your battery life. Once your watch reaches 100% it will intelligently turn off to protect the lifespan of your smartwatch.

  1. ALCHEMA
Courtesy of Kickstarter.

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

ALCHEMA is a new brewing system that enables you to turn your fruits into your own flavor of hard cider in three easy steps. With Alchema you can create your cider within 2 weeks. This new system is great for everyone especially beginners. With just three easy steps you can make your own drinks.

How it works?

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

Don’t forget about the Alchema app on iOS and Android devices. The app helps you explore a variety of recipes, monitor your brewing process, and even share a recipe you created.

  1. RoVa4D Full Color Blender 3D Printer
Courtesy of Kickstarter.

Courtesy of Kickstarter.

The RoVa4D works by extruding spate cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and white filaments into a single patent pending hot end where they blend together into a single nozzle. This new printer lets you print unlimited colors in one single print. The RoVa4d has three separate hot ends. One prints in any color, hue, tone, tints, or shade. The second one is dedicated to flexible materials like Ninjaflex, and the third is a dissolvable support material.

How does it work?

With just 5 colors you can produce ANY color in the world, any hue, tint, shade or tone.

  1. WOOLF: Speed Trap Ahead

woolf2
WOOLF is the perfect for bikers and car drivers to be warned about speed traps, red light camera, and school zones. It is made of high quality water-resistant leather and it wraps around your wrist so your eyes are paying attention on the road.

How it works?

woolf1WOOLF pairs with iOS and Android devices. The app measures speed and constantly updates zones around you. The wristband vibrates in different levels so you know when to slow down.

The testing prototype provides 15 days of battery (2 hours per day) while “driving” and recharging takes approximately 3 hours.

Support each campaign and learn more about their products and pre-order information by visiting their sites below:

Tell us what you think about the products above and comment below! What’s your favorite Kickstarter campaign? Tweet us.

Don’t forget to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram

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?

 

Why You’ll Probably See More Smart Bikes in the Future

By: Kassidy Coleman

(Photo source: Volata Cycles/YouTube)

(Photo source: Volata Cycles/YouTube)

Biking has always been one of the eco-friendlier options of transportation, but it has also always been a little more dangerous. According to the CDC, bicyclists are more at risk for a crash-related injuries and deaths than those in motor vehicles. However, Volata Cycles, a company based in San Francisco, is bringing high-tech features to bikes that could make them more interactive and safer for riders.

 

On their website, Volata states, “Your bike could be smarter. It could be equipped with everything you need to enjoy safer and more interactive rides. We created Volata with the rider’s needs in mind, and we designed all of its advanced, integrated features to work seamlessly together.”

 

They weren’t kidding, either. With a 2.4” display, GPS tracking, lights that automatically turn on when it gets dark out, a horn, self-charging battery, and anti-theft technology all built into the bike, riding a bike is about to get safer, smarter, and more fun. The built-in computer, that is the main way for riders to interact with their bicycle, can be controlled with a thumb joystick that’s built into the handlebar. On the computer you can check directions, weather, music, and info all without taking your eyes off the road.

 

While this isn’t the first company that has tried to bring smarter technology to biking, Volata is fairly confident this is the first time something like this will succeed. In 2014, Canadian company, Vanhawks started a Kickstarter campaign for the Valour, a smart bike. Their campaign ended up raising over $100,000, however, a mere two years later and the company is out of money. Founder of Volata, Marco Salvioli told Tech Crunch what sets the Volata apart from the Valour, “The Valour was a great product but it was particularly criticized by bike community due to their hardware choices. This pushed many users back. Also it does not feature a display (so there is no visual UI except for the turn-by-turn LEDs) which is the core of Volata’s user interaction, or a horn, or automated lights. And their antitheft system is not based on a bike’s built in network connectivity (GSM) able to send the bike’s location to the internet anytime, and a built-in accelerometer that detects the theft attempt.”

 

With all these built-in features, it isn’t surprising that the Volata is a little pricey. If you’re interested in purchasing one, they’re asking for $299 as a down payment, and $3,200 would be due upon delivery. It’s a little expensive, but considering if you were to add all that stuff on your own to your bike, it would cost a whole lot more – we would say it is more of an investment than anything. Not only that, but some of the features, such as the built in GPS to find your stolen bike, would be pretty difficult to even add yourself.

 

What do you think about this smart bike? 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/2016/07/07/4-robots-that-could-completely-change-life-as-we-know-it/

 

Have you listened to the Official NewsWatch Podcast yet?

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!

 

10 Apps You Need this Summer

Summer is still here. And no matter what your plans are for the warmer months, we found 10 apps that will make your summer even better.

  1. Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference App ($0.99) – Have you ever been out enjoying the sun and then wondered whether or not your sunscreen was still protecting you? Seriously, nobody wants to get sunburn. The Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference App is a must-have for all your beach and pool trips. It gives you personalized results based on your location, date and time, skin type, and more. Sun Exposure 211
  2. Bandsintown Concerts (Free) – Can we all agree that summer is concert season? This free app is available on both iOS and Android. Quickly track your favorite artists and discover when they are touring near you. Buy tickets and share concert details with your friends. If you are planning on going to any concerts this summer, this app is absolutely essential. bandsintown211
  3. GrillTime ($1.99) – Thinking of grilling at all this summer? Then GrillTime will make it even more enjoyable. Available on iOS devices, this app will make grilling less stressful. All you have to do is let it know what meat you’re grilling, thickness, and level of doneness and then it will let you know the perfect grilling time and temperature. It also allows you to step away from the grill and hang out with your guests. Don’t worry, it will let you know when it is time to flip and when it’s ready.grilltime211
  4. Hopper (Free) – Everyone travels during the summer. Why not take advantage of technology and use an app to analyze different flight deals? Every day, Hopper analyzes different flight prices and tells you when to buy your tickets. Never worry about whether or not you should have waited to get the best deal, Hopper states they can save you up to 40% on your next flight. You can also store your payment info so when you are notified by a deal, you can quickly secure your seats. hopper211
  5. Along the Way ($2.99) – If you’ve ever been on a road trip of any kind, then you know that it can be hard to find the perfect spots to stop and take a rest or get a bite to eat. Along the Way helps you save time and enjoy your vacation while finding spots for you along the way. Find coffee, food, bars, parks, shopping, and more while you enjoy your trip.along the way211
  6. Paprika ($4.99) – Ever find a recipe you want to try only to find it extremely difficult to locate it again on the internet? Paprika can help you organize and save your recipes, create meal plans, and make grocery lists. Even better, it lets you seamlessly sync all your data across your devices. paprika211
  7. Kindle app (free) – You don’t have to have a Kindle or e-reader to enjoy some summer e-reading. Automatically sync up books purchased on Amazon.com to your devices and enjoy reading anywhere. With over 4,000,000 books and audiobooks on this app, there’s no excuse to be bored this summer. Pay for a book once and then you can read it on any of your devices. kindle211
  8. Field Trip (free) – If you’re traveling anywhere at all this summer, Field Trip is there to make it even more exciting. It runs in the background of your phone. Once you get close to something interesting, it will then show a card with details about the location. Learn about local history and the best places to hang out. Feel like a local when you’re traveling or learn some history about your own neighborhood.fieldtrip211
  9. Sky Guide ($2.99) – Warm summer nights are perfect for stargazing. Whatever your experience level is with astronomy, this app will enhance your experience. Locate constellations, galaxies, or planets – Sky Guide is there to help you see it all.skyguide211
  10. GetMyBoat (free) – Want to be out on the water this summer but don’t own a boat? No problem, GetMyBoat is a peer-to-peer boat rental and charter marketplace. Easily search and book boats to rent in any location.  getmyboat211

 

What apps do you think are essential for summer? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter.

Make sure you check these out:

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/06/clothing-exchange-app/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/07/05/financial-gaming-app/

https://newswatchblog.com/2016/06/29/the-lost-things-solution/

 

 

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