Google’s newest product is a photo album



Google unveiled a number of cool new things at its annual developers conference Google I/O. Among the many things they announced (which included Android O features, Google Home and Google Assistant updates, and even YouTube upgrades), what interested me most were the new features on Google Photos. 

Now, like any self-respecting girl in the age of social media, my photo roll is chock-filled with random photos that never see the light of day (cue 254 photos I took at that party to find the perfect one for Instagram), so curation and sharing of these mementos has always been an issue.

It seems Google had been appraised of my millennial girl problems and sought to find solutions.

A smarter library

Never hesitate to send that cute photo of your crush you took at that party you both went to, because now Google will actually prompt you to send it to him! These smart suggestions do not stop there; Google will also be prompting your crush to share said photos to other suggested people.

New functions also include smarter photo searches (even without tags) and impressive photo-editing capabilities.

A shared library

Google also announced Shared Libraries that will allow you to share albums with others! This seems to be a very convenient function, although the idea of a collaborative album isn’t new. Apple and Facebook already have these album-sharing functions, but it’s better late than never, yeah?

Photo sharing is already a thing on Apple ?

The difference here is that this shared library will be integrated into your photo roll. Google also claims that its smart photo functions will apply to these shared libraries. This also allows for an automatic sharing option that updates with your new photos in real time —  which frankly scares me more than it excites me. (I mean, do you really want to see everything on my photo roll?)

A printed library?

The biggest news (at least to us girls in the GadgetMatch office) that came from yesterday’s announcements was Google’s Photo Book which was basically, well, a non-digital photo album.

Yes, finally, you can touch and feel your photos — except again, this isn’t the newest idea.

Apple has a printing option, too.

Google’s Photo Book offer starts at $9.99 for 20 pages of 7-inch square photos while Apple’s already existing printing service offers the same number of pages for the same but in a different size (8 x 6 inches).

Although the Google I/O announcements come with a lot of improvements for Google Photos, there really wasn’t anything new or groundbreaking — unless you think unlimited photo storage is still its best feature. Because really, the best photo library is simply the one you can put most photos in.

SEE ALSO: Google Assistant is now on iPhones, but it’s worse than Siri

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WhatsApp is testing custom usernames and screen-sharing

Still betas for now



WhatsApp is slowly growing beyond a simple person-to-person communication app. For months, the popular app developed features which saw the introduction of Communities and file sharing, among others. Now, the company is working on two new features to pit it against other players in the communications space: custom usernames and screen sharing.

Spotted by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has released beta versions with the above features. First of all, in the new version, users will be able to select custom usernames to create accounts, rather than with a phone number. The anonymity of custom usernames is already a popular feature among communication platforms today. It allows users to hide their identity in situations where it’s more expedient to do so. Despite going without a phone number, accounts tied to custom usernames will still be end-to-end encrypted.

Secondly, WhatsApp will soon allow users to share their screens in a call. Now, screen sharing is already an important feature in today’s communication apps. Popular platforms like Zoom and Discord already offer as much.

Since the features are still in beta, it’s unclear when they will arrive in a more finalized version for the public. It’s also unclear if it will even release to the public.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp adds an edit button

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TikTok is testing an AI bot in the Philippines

Meet Tako



It’s not every day that the Philippines gets an exclusive feature ahead of everything else. However, if you’re a power user of TikTok, your experience is about to get an AI-charged boost. The popular video-sharing platform is currently testing an AI chatbot called Tako in the Philippines.

Much like other AI chatbots, Tako will aid users with search functions and general queries. Located on the top-right portion of the app, the chatbot can answer whatever you throw at it. Obviously, the feature comes with a TikTok twist. For example, asking the chatbot about the best destinations in Boracay will pull up related videos on TikTok showcasing the tourist destination.

Likewise, Tako can hold conversations with the user outside of simple questions. The company has not confirmed which system it is using to accomplish this.

Unfortunately, especially if you’re excited for the future of AI, TikTok does not have any plans to launch the feature beyond testing as of the moment. However, the early testing period might open up the possibility of a more permanent feature.

Additionally, only a select number of users in the Philippines — and no other country — will be able to test the feature. If you’re part of the experiment, enjoy Tako while you can. TikTok has not confirmed a duration for the experiment, either.

SEE ALSO: TikTok extends video limit to 20 minutes

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Windows 11 will soon support RAR files

In an upcoming update



Several years ago (and even until today), WinRAR was a must-have for new PCs. The free software allows users to zip files into compressed folders and open those from other users. However, since Windows added support for several filetypes, WinRAR’s magic slowly diminished. Now, it’s getting even smaller. Windows 11 will soon support RAR.

Today, Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer for Windows, shared that the operating system is developing support for “additional archive formats, including tar, 7-zip, rar, gz, and many others.” Soon, users will be able to open, extract, and compress folders using the rar format.

Currently, Windows 11 has no timeline for the feature. However, it is certainly coming soon. Testing has already started.

Now, Windows 11 already allows users to handle zip files and other formats. Even without a third-party app, users can open these formats straight from File Explorer.

Of course, it’s not the most advanced of mechanics. However, if all you need is a simple way to open these formats, File Explorer eliminates the need for another app. When support opens up to more filetypes, users will no longer need other apps, potentially spelling the end for WinRAR’s reputation as a PC must-have.

Besides additional filetype support, Windows is also developing more features to leverage the emerging features in AI technology.

SEE ALSO: Windows 12 might come out in 2024

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