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Google, Apple rolling out phase two of Coronavirus contact tracing

A standardized system to curb the spread

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Coronavirus is extremely easy to spread and this contagious nature has forced countries in a state of lockdown. Contact tracing is a crucial method by which all possible infections are detected and quarantined. Thanks to smartphones, the world is relying on contact tracing apps to make the process easier.

Apple and Google have launched a new software framework that authorities can leverage for contact tracing. Thanks to the new system, users receive notifications about their exposure to infectious people without needing to install a specific app.

Officially called Exposure Notification Express (ENE), it uses Android API and Bluetooth Low Energy to detect exposure. ENE helps authorities set up Coronavirus contact tracing systems without having to develop a new app from scratch.

It’ll also allow the agency to guide residents on actions to take if they’ve been exposed, according to Apple and Google. Users who have downloaded an app made by a public health authority can opt into a decentralized tracking system.

As far as privacy is concerned, ENE doesn’t share location data from a specific device with the government. Instead, it relies on random Bluetooth identifiers that don’t record anything regarding your identity, the companies said.

The system allows for interoperability between states, making it easier to sync data and coordinate with various regional authorities. Whether it’s domestic or international, authorities can use the technology to weed out potential cases for further consideration.

Singapore had open-sourced its contact tracing technology months ago. Countries like India and Germany have developed their own contact tracing system. Apple device users will start getting alerts within a few days, while Google will begin rolling out Android changes within a month.

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Disney+ now streaming in Singapore

Have you subscribed yet?

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The wait is over. Disney+ is now finally available in Singapore.

If you’ve been longing to stream Disney classics, new shows like The Mandalorian in the Star Wars universe, or just want a feel good flick from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can now do so via the streaming app.

The subscription costs SG$ 11.98 per month or SG$ 119.98 for a year. With it you’ll have access to a library of 500 movies and over 15,000 episodes of some of your favorite shows from Disney Channel.

You’ll also gain access to content by other major entertainment companies like Pixar, National Geographic, and Star.

To sign-up, users need to go to the Disney+ website and you’ll be asked to input your email address so they can keep you updated on how to subscribe. A subscription plan lets the user stream on four different devices at the same time. There are also different profiles for each subscription just like Netflix. However, instead of just five, Disney+ gives you up to seven profiles.

GeekCulture put together a list of supported devices so check them out to see if you have any of them.

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Netflix now has a Downloads For You feature

Not to be confused with Smart Downloads

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Netflix Downloads

Netflix wants to make sure you have something to watch even when you’re on the go with its new Downloads For You feature.

Not to be confused with Smart Downloads which lets you find the next episode of your favorite show even when you’re on the go, the Downloads For You feature automatically downloads recommended shows or movies to your mobile device based on your tastes.

Don’t worry though, despite it doing things automatically for you, you’re still ultimately in control. It takes two steps to opt in.

  1. Go to the Downloads tab on your mobile device and toggle on Downloads For You.

  2. Choose the amount of content you want downloaded to your device (1GB, 3GB, or 5GB) and click Turn On. The more space you allow, the more recommendations Netflix will download for you.

Here’s how it should look like.

Just like Smart Downloads, the Netflix Downloads For You feature will only work while you’re on Wi-Fi. It’s also only currently available on Android with iOS testing happening soon.

SEE ALSO: DOTA anime series coming to Netflix

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Spotify will launch high-quality audio later this year

Price unannounced

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Since the advent of music streaming, Spotify has enjoyed its dominance as the most popular service with the most varied gallery of music. However, competing services, like Tidal, can easily one-up the industry leader in terms of audio quality. Despite Spotify’s relentless promise to deliver top-tier audio, the service hasn’t upgraded its audio quality that much. That will soon change, though. Spotify has now confirmed that high-quality audio is coming later this year.

Currently, Spotify is streaming its music at a paltry 320kbps. From an audiophile’s standpoint, 320kbps is the bare minimum bitrate for music listening. However, hi-fi audio — that is, bitrates that escalate from 1000kbps and go as high as 9216kbps– unlocks an entirely new experience for more discerning ears. To put it lightly, hi-fi audio sounds more vibrant and more alive, especially given a workable audio setup.

With the announcement, Spotify is reportedly pushing the feature to select markets at an unannounced date. Unfortunately, the company has not announced how much the new feature will cost users who want to upgrade. Hi-fi audio definitely costs a lot more. Tidal, for example, offers its highest quality audio for US$ 19.99 per month.

In the past, though, Spotify has talked about launching the feature for an additional US$ 7.50. At the time, the promise didn’t result into anything. This time, Spotify Hi-Fi finally seems official.

SEE ALSO: Spotify is testing its own Stories feature

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