Apps

Grab will give you a free horse ride in Baguio

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Newly rebranded company Grab has offered several different modes of transportation in the Philippines: taxis, cars, motorbikes, and at one point, helicopters (they did!). But who would have thought they’d be offering something as medieval as horses?

Grab is now offering free horse rides — in all its equestrian glory — in Baguio through a service called GrabHorse, just in time for the end of Panagbenga season. You have to be at the Wright Park, Mines View Park, The Mansion, or the Pacdal Area to book one, though.

To use GrabHorse, open the Grab app, swipe to the GrabHorse tab, and then select your location from the above-mentioned choices. Basically, it’s a way for Grab customers to experience Baguio differently and a way for Grab to promote the culture of the cities they operate in.

The service is available from February 26 to 28, and you have to book between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. or 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

[irp posts=”1438″ name=”Grab to offer ride services at NAIA terminals”]

Apps

2023 Apple App Store Award winners unveiled

The best apps and games for 2023

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Apple Store Awards 2023

Apple has announced the winners of the 2023 App Store Awards. It recognized 14 apps and games that empowered users to unleash their creativity and discovery a new world of adventures throughout the year.

The winners were chosen by the App Store’s Editorial team from a list of nearly 40 finalists based on technical innovation, user experience, and design.

2023 App Store Award winners — Apps

AllTrails, a fitness and travel app designed for outdoor recreational activities, bagged the iPhone App of the Year citation.

Prêt-à-Makeup took home the iPad App of the Year award with its offering of a true-to-life makeup sketchpad on iPad for both professionals and casual users.

Photomator and its machine learning-powered tools that make editing tasks seamless earned it the Mac App of the Year.

Meanwhile, MUBI, an app highlighting exceptional indie films and international documentaries, shone as the Apple TV App of the Year.

Rounding out the list for apps is SmartGym, an app that offers users a comprehensive list of exercises, routines, and fitness reports, as the Apple Watch App of the Year.

2023 App Store Award winners — Games

In the gaming category, miHoYo’s hit role-playing game Honkai: Star Rail has officially won iPhone Game of the Year.

On the other hand, Lost in Play, a point-and-click adventure game launched in 2022 that features unique puzzles and mini-games, took home the iPad Game of the Year plum.

For PC, Lies of P won the Mac Game of the Year award. The single-player action-RPG puts a darker spin on the classic tale Pinocchio. The game is challenging and is considered a “S0uls-like” comparing its difficulty level to FromSoftware games.

Lastly, Hello Kitty Island Adventure is the Apple Arcade Game of the Year, thanks to its quirky gameplay that sees players embark on an adventure to restore an abandoned island to its former glory.

Cultural Impact Winners 

In addition to the best apps and games, the App Store selected five Cultural Impact winners. These were recognized for their ability to drive positive change through apps and games:

  • Pok Pok (Pok Pok)
  • Proloquo (AssistiveWare)
  • Too Good To Go (Too Good To Go)
  • Unpacking (Humble Bundle)
  • Finding Hannah (Fein Games GmbH)
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Apps

WhatsApp will let you hide all your secret chats with a password

Passwords can even have an emoji

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Secret chats is a boon to the online community. However, while the feature can protect your conversations from online snoopers, nothing can stop anyone who grabs your phone and goes through all your apps. Now, WhatsApp is finally adding an extra layer of protections for those who use secret chats on the platform — a secret code.

For anyone engaged in secret conversations, a password seems like a no-brainer. While the feature has been a long time coming, its launch is still welcome today. With the new version, users can hide all their secret chats with a passcode.

Plus, the passcodes are more unique than most. Rather than just a short PIN or a traditional password, users can use emojis too. Allowing emojis can add an even more secure lock to those private conversations.

Once secured, the locked chats will no longer pop up by default on WhatsApp’s main feed. While users can still toggle their visibility on and off, users will have to input their secret passcodes into the app’s search bar to see their list of secret chats.

While the feature is still rolling out now, users already have existing options to lock individual chats away from prying eyes. These measures include fingerprint scanning, face recognition, and good ol’ passwords. The new feature is more meant to hide all of them at the same time, especially when a shoulder snooper can just spot locked chats right from the list.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp might soon let you chat with Telegram, other apps

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Google Messages adds new features similar to iMessage

Photomoji sounds familiar

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It’s been a great month for RCS. Recently, Apple, the messaging standard’s longstanding rival, finally announced support for RCS coming in 2024. Now, it has reached another huge milestone: 1 billion active users, according to Google. To celebrate, Google has announced new features coming to Messages.

RCS has been the standard for Google’s Messages for a while now. However, despite reaching a significant number of users over the years, Messages has often trailed Apple’s iMessage in terms of features. Today, Messages is finally getting a healthy infusion of the latter’s newer developments.

For one, the new Photomoji feature can turn your photos into message reactions. Using the onboard AI, Google can automatically turn the subject of any photo for use in the app. Messages will also save these for future use. Now, while this might sound familiar for iOS users, Google will not require users to turn photos into stickers before using them in iMessage.

Users can also change the color of their bubbles, digging at the ongoing green versus blue debate between iOS and Android.

Additionally, Voice Moods will allow users to add an emoji to sent voice messages. Even before playing them, recipients will already have an idea what the tone of the message will be. And speaking of the format, Google also improved the audio quality for voice messages.

Finally, Messages will have Screen Effects going forward. Like other messaging platforms (like Messenger and Viber), typing certain phrases such as “I love you” will cause the screen to react appropriately. In Viber, for example, typing “happy birthday” will cause balloons to fly up from the bottom.

These updates are slowly rolling out through a beta version coming to select countries and devices.

SEE ALSO: Apple is finally solving its green bubble problem

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