Apps

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

Carpooling will take a bit longer than usual

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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?

Apps

Twitter adds draft, schedule tweets on the web

Sending tweets just got more flexible

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Photo by Yucel Moran on Unsplash

Sending tweets just got more flexible. Twitter is now adding an option for users to draft a tweet which they can continue later. Plus, there is now an option to schedule when a tweet should be posted.

Users don’t have to do anything to take advantage of these new features. Twitter has enabled these features just recently to everyone after experimenting with them in November.

For users who want to draft a tweet, they simply have to click “X” on the tweet window. A prompt to save the tweet will appear. Clicking “Save” will send the tweet to the “Unsent Tweet” where users can see a list of their drafted tweets.

It is important to note that drafted tweets will sync only on the web version of Twitter. There’s no option yet to see web version drafted tweets on the mobile app.

Meanwhile, those who wanted to schedule their tweets can do so by clicking on the new calendar icon on the bottom left of the tweet window. By doing so, a schedule option will appear, and users can change the date and time of the tweet’s post schedule.

Twitter Support prepared a little video for those who prefer to watch these new features in action:

These new features are surely a welcome addition to the platform. Perhaps, users who wanted to clarify their thoughts first before tweeting should greatly benefit from this feature. Now, if only Twitter would give its users an option to edit tweets. It’s still a pipe dream, but with new changes being introduced to the platform, it’s not impossible.

Source: The Verge

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Apps

Microsoft adds new spellcheck system for Chrome on Windows

Embracing an open-source ecosystem

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There’s no error in the headline, Microsoft is indeed helping Google’s Chrome browser work better thanks to a new spellcheck system. This move will not just help Chrome though, it’ll also enable Edge browser with improved spellcheck. Getting too confusing? Here’s a simple explanation.

The Chromium project is a free and open-source repository, just like Android. Anyone can use it, edit it, or build upon it. Google’s Chrome browser is based on this project, and so is Microsoft’s Edge. Other browsers utilizing this backend technology are Torch, Brave, Amazon Silk, and many more.

How is Microsoft helping Google? It’s bringing a new spell checker on Windows 8.1 and newer for all Chromium browsers.  Until now, Chromium browsers were leveraging open-source proofing tools for spell checking. By collaborating directly with Google’s Chromium engineers, Microsoft has enabled Windows Spellcheck for all Chromium browsers.

The new Windows Spellcheck will support URLs, acronyms, email addresses, additional languages along with various dialects, and a shared custom dictionary. The new system replaces Microsoft’s Hunspell Spellcheck tool.

The update is among more than 1,900 such changes Microsoft has contributed to the browser’s project. The new spell checker is live on Edge with version 83.

While this announcement may not seem to be very exciting, it underlines an essential change in Microsoft’s strategy. The software company has a notorious reputation of being against open-source. However, it has radically changed its position in the last handful of years. After the fall of Windows Mobile, it was a clear lesson that the future is about embracing an open eco-system instead of a partial one.

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Apps

IGTV will soon have ads and share revenue with creators

Can it take on YouTube?

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There’s some good news as well as bad news. How you perceive it, depends on your role. If you’re a content creator on IGTV, Instagram will share ad revenues with you. And, if you’re an IGTV viewer, the bad news is you’ll have to watch that ad, just like YouTube.

Facebook-owned Instagram has announced it’ll start serving IGTV with ads and share the revenue with influencers who create content for the platform. Instagram already has ads embedded while scrolling posts or sifting through stories. We expected the roll-out to happen in the near future considering Facebook’s reputation with ads and hunger for user data.

Instagram will share at least 55 percent of the revenue from these ads with creators. This should encourage users to upload more content on the platform and the strategy is a proven one today. Google’s YouTube has created a thriving community of YouTubers who’ve become a millionaire thanks to their regular content push and subscriber base.

It’s testing IGTV ads with a handful of U.S. based creators and advertisers and plans to expand that slowly in the coming months. Furthermore, creators can also charge for virtual badges that shall be visible during Instagram Live.

Currently, the most sought monetization method for influencers is to directly cut deals with brands. But this removes Instagram from the equation completely. Instead, it has already rolled out features like Shopping, and Live Shopping to keep the user within the app and complete the transaction.

IGTV was launched in June 2018 as a spinoff of Instagram where users can watch longer videos made for mobile devices. Viewers access IGTV videos directly through Instagram or the stand-alone IGTV app.

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