Apps

Facebook Messenger will get even better with a desktop app on the way

The focus will be on ‘close friends’

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Image credit: Facebook

A lot of changes are happening on Facebook, and Messenger is part of it. During the recent F8 2019 keynote, Facebook wants to keep reshaping Messenger to become the go-to place for keeping up with friends.

Last year, Facebook introduced the redesigned Messenger app on mobile. The all-new Messenger 4, which is already available on both Android and iOS platforms, made everything simpler and easier. It also brought useful features in group messaging and the much-awaited dark mode.

As acknowledged by the company, 2019 will be the transition year among users. With that, the social networking giant confessed that messaging is a priority in building today’s social platform. That’s why they’re making Messenger the best it could be.

Image credit: Facebook

First in line, Facebook is launching a lighter and faster mobile app on iOS. The company is working on a new version of Messenger that’s only less than 30MB to download. Facebook is building this from the ground up. Hence, it will take some time before it becomes widely available.

Next, Facebook is creating dedicated spaces for close friends and family. Within this space, they can easily find personalized content like stories or shared videos. Likewise, Messenger will also allow people to watch videos together in real time within the app.

Image credit: Facebook

Most importantly, Messenger will finally have a proper desktop app available on both Windows and macOS. Unlike existing third-party apps, the official Messenger Desktop will have the same features as the phone app. It will be a more seamless revamp of the official web version. The desktop app is already in its testing stage. It will roll out globally later this year.

SEE ALSO: Facebook News Feed update will focus on groups, events

Apps

Apple launches the Apple Music Voice Plan

Cheaper and exclusive to Siri

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With voice technology today, using an interface feels less of a necessity now. The tech world can now control their favorite apps completely hands-free with only the power of their voices. Is it finally time to ditch the user interface? Apple seems to think so. Apple Music has launched a new plan, allowing users to control the app using only their voice.

Subscribed to the new Apple Music Voice Plan, users will have access to the streaming platform’s gallery of over 90 million songs and Apple Music Radio.

To complement the introduction of voice-centric features, Apple Music is also getting a boost of new playlist and mood functions. Subscribers can use Siri to play music customized to specific activities and moods. Apple specifically mentioned examples like “Play something chill” or “Play a playlist for hiking.” Though obviously optimized for voice, the new feature is available for every Apple Music subscriber.

 

Currently, the new plan will launch for only a selected slate of launch countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Apple Music Voice Plan will cost US$ 4.99 per month. The regular individual plan costs US$ 9.99. Finally, the family plan (available for up to six accounts) sells for US$ 14.99.

SEE ALSO: Apple Music could soon support HiFi audio streaming

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Apps

iShop: One-stop solution for Brother’s products

Get those printers, sewing machines, and cartridges!

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Fans of Brother, assemble!

Brother Philippines has just introduced iShop — a new feature on the brand’s Customer Plus App serving as a one-stop solution for all Brother products.

The new feature puts together Brother’s available products. From inkjet and mono laser printers, label makers, sewing machines, to consumables like an ink cartridge. You can access iShop by tapping the shopping cart icon on the Customer Plus homepage, which will allow you to purchase products through Brother’s authorized dealers and partners.

Moreover, you can shop for Brother products on other e-commerce channels, which is also accessible from the feature. Furthermore, you can opt to reserve or purchase products from physical stores. So you can pick it up on your preferred schedule.

The iShop feature is now available on Brother’s Customer Plus App. The app can be downloaded on Google’s Play Store and the App Store.

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Pixel 6 will reportedly have a Magic Eraser feature

It can erase strangers from photos

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Taking photos at a crowded location is usually a problem for most tourists. Most of the time, you’ll end up taking photos with unwanted strangers in the background. In worse situations, someone might even bomb your photos on purpose. Luckily, with artificial intelligence now, getting perfect photos is easier. To show its power in AI technology, the upcoming Pixel 6 series will reportedly have a Magic Eraser feature.

Accidentally shared by retailer website Carphone Warehouse (and preserved through Wayback Machine), the upcoming flagship series will sport a flurry of camera features. Though the series will have the standard array of photography improvements, the most notable feature is an upcoming Magic Eraser which will “remove strangers and unwanted objects in Google Photos.”

To anyone familiar with photography software, this is already possible especially through Adobe Photoshop’s healing tool. However, getting the feature natively in a smartphone is a big step especially for tourists who might not have access to Photoshop.

Besides the feature, the accidental webpage reveals a lot of details about the upcoming flagship series. Of course, it’s not a big reveal anymore. Google itself has already shared more about the Pixel 6 series more than the leaks. The series will officially launch on October 19 in a launch event.

SEE ALSO: Pixel Pass bundles a Pixel 6 with a subscription service

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