GrabShare now accepts more than two parties in the car at a time

Carpooling will take a bit longer than usual



Image credit: Grab

Since Uber went offline in Southeast Asia, Grab has been the go-to ride-hailing app for most users. This has caused a surge in Grab riders but the number of Grab vehicles on the road can’t keep up with the demand. To address this, Grab is making changes to the app’s booking process, specifically in the GrabShare service.

If you haven’t heard of or tried GrabShare, it’s Grab’s on-demand carpool ridesharing service similar to Uber’s UberPool. Since it’s a carpool service, you’ll be sharing the ride will another passenger headed in the same direction and you’re only allowed to bring one friend. Grab promises 30 percent lower fares compared to the regular GrabCar service.

Advisory pop-up within the app notifying passengers of the changes in GrabShare service | GadgetMatch

Back when Grab and Uber were competing in Southeast Asia, GrabShare had a distinct advantage over UberPool: GrabShare trips only had one additional drop-off, unlike with Uber that constantly looked for another passenger as long as there was an available seat in the car.

That’s not the case anymore. If you use the app regularly, you probably already have read the advisory saying GrabShare will start accepting more than two parties in a car at the same time. This means there’s now a possibility to have a third passenger depending on the availability of seats.

Here are two possible scenarios based on the previous GrabShare scheme:

The two possible scenarios of GrabShare service | Image credit: Grab

Now that GrabShare will accept up to three bookings in a single trip, here’s a new possible scenario:

A new scenario involving third passenger | Image credit: Grab

We reached out to Grab to confirm the new model of GrabShare. According to Cindy Toh, Country Marketing Head of Grab Philippines, this is a new initiative as part of their product enhancement testing to optimize the available registered vehicles while they wait for the Philippine government to allow the entry of new cars.

With the existing traffic in the city, an additional stop will cause another delay. Is the 30 percent cheaper fare even worth it? That depends on the price difference of GrabShare from the GrabCar service at the time of your booking. There are times when the GrabShare fare isn’t even 30 percent cheaper than GrabCar’s, so it’s best to check which service suits you before booking your next ride.

SEE ALSO: Uber merges with Grab: What happens now?


Google rolls out Dark mode to G Suite apps on Android

A feature meant for Android Q



Image credit: Google

With Android Q‘s release already on the horizon, Google has started making changes to its core apps to support it. One of its anticipated features is the system-wide Dark Theme. Thankfully, even Google’s first-party apps will have their own Dark mode.

In a blog post, Google announced the rollout of Dark mode for two of its Android apps: Calendar and Keep. Basically, the brightly made Calendar and Keep apps will now be friendlier to use in dim environments with less strain to the eyes.

To activate the Dark mode for Google Calendar, just head over to Settings > General > Theme, and select Dark mode. On Google Keep, simply go to the app’s Settings menu and select Enable Dark Mode.

Dark mode for Calendar is only supported on devices running Android 7 Nougat and higher, while Keep’s Dark mode will work on older phones running Android 5 Lollipop and newer.

Those who have Android Q Beta with Dark Theme activated will have Dark mode for both Calendar and Keep apps turned on by default.

The update will be rolled out to compatible Android devices over the course of 15 days, according to Google.

SEE ALSO: Latest Android Q Beta is now available on Pixel phones and 15 other devices

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Minecraft Earth is like Pokémon Go but with building blocks



In a move that makes loads of sense, Minecraft is coming to mobile though an augmented reality app similar to Pokémon Go.

It’s called Minecraft Earth and it’s arriving later this year with a beta phase happening during summer. The developers offered this trailer, but it does little to explain how the system would work.

Check it out:

The official website’s FAQ section, however, delves into more of the info we actually care about.

For one, it’ll be free to play and will include several of Minecraft‘s traditional features including world building and discovering/fighting mobs.

Concerning regional availability, the developers aren’t confirming these details just yet. If it’s anything like the issues Niantic experienced with Pokémon Go before, chances are this rollout will be gradual, too.

Finally, for the “Will Minecraft Earth have loot boxes?” question, the website has a definite “No” to answer that.

Minecraft Earth will be available on both Android and iOS. Fingers crossed that there’ll be no delays. 🤞

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The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World through augmented reality

A new way to experience Lady Liberty on your iPhone



The quintessential American landmark, the Statue of Liberty is a shining beacon that enlightens the world. Despite today’s polarizing times, she has become a true symbol of liberty throughout the years, not just for Americans but for citizens of the world.

Today on the same island where she is perched, the new Statue of Liberty Museum opens its doors to the millions of tourists that come to see her each year. But in recognition that not everyone can visit, the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation is also unveiling an AR app for your iPhone. Anyone, anywhere, can experience the statue’s grandeur.

A grand view of Libertas’ torch

On her right, the Statue of Liberty holds up a torch which symbolizes enlightenment and the path to liberty. Though visitors could originally climb up and experience the statue from the torch, it has been closed off to the public since 1916. The Statue of Liberty app will allow us to once again enjoy the breathtaking cityscape from this vantage point from sunrise to sunset.

The makings of the statue

Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi with the framework by Gustave Eiffel, the Statue of Liberty is an engineering marvel. 125 tons of steel and 31 tons of copper comprise the statue which used to glisten like a penny. The current patina green coating comes from copper oxidizing.

See everything with your own eyes via the Statue of Liberty AR app: how the color changed, how the insides were built, and even a life-sized model for scale.

A look throughout the years

Strategically built at the “gateway to America”, the Statue of Liberty has born witness to a significant chunk of New York’s history. On the app you can look through her eyes in an almost 180-degree field of view and watch the changing of the times from 1886 to the present day. Watch the Manhattan skyline rise and fall including that poignant moment from 2001. It’s all there, 200 years of change and progression from the viewpoint of Lady Liberty.

The hows and the whys

The creation of the Statue of Liberty was no easy feat. A private venture that maximized crowdfunding efforts not just from the elite, the statue is truly an icon that each American can call their own. Exclusive content on the app tells us the story in detail and narrates the journey from inception, to France, and finally to America.

If you can, you should also check out the 3-part short film at the new museum’s Immersive Theater. One will surely walk away with a better appreciation for Lady Liberty and all she stands for.

Raising the Torch, a limited-series podcast narrated by Diane von Furstenberg, is also now available for your listening pleasure. The saga tells the Statue of Liberty’s history, continuing story, and evolving significance.

You can download the app on the App Store here.

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