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We might lose public like counts on Instagram

We’ll need another form of validation

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Honestly, how much do you value your like count on Instagram? Does it make or break the success of your photos and videos? Do you rethink your decision to post something similar after a failed post?

The thing is, soon, these might not even matter anymore.

Instagram may consider removing like counts from everyone’s posts. Your followers (and online stalkers) would simply see your content without numbers, while you could still see who exactly reacted to your own photos or videos.

It was Jane Manchun Wong who discovered this “feature” by reverse engineering Instagram’s code. She mentions that Instagram wants “followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get” as a justification for this move.

Her tweet shows a sample of how this could look. Notice how only one user is mentioned followed by “and others” — no stats inserted here.

So, why would the social media and photo-sharing platform consider such a drastic change?

An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch: “We’re not testing this at the moment, but exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram is something we’re always thinking about.”

Whether or not this pushes through, it does raise some good questions. Would users become less self-conscious and more active in posting without a publicly available count, or would so-called influencers despise the loss of their validating numbers?

Until this goes official, we can’t say for sure. For now, follow our Instagram account and like all our recent posts while you’re at it. 😅

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Phone case by castAway doubles as a secondary display

Any phone can fold!

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Folding displays have been the highlight of 2019 thanks to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, Huawei Mate X, and Motorola razr. From a use-case scenario, a small phone can be converted into a tablet that offers a bigger screen.

However, folding phones aren’t a new concept. A range of phones have been made that incorporate a secondary display. If the Surface Duo got your attention, this phone case is made for you.

castAway is a second screen for your smartphone that the creator’s claim will fit 95 percent of smartphones, giving you the dual-screen experience for less than US$ 200.

If the implementation looks familiar, that’s because we’ve sort of seen this before from LG with their Dual Screen handsets — the LG V50 ThinQ and the LG G8X ThinQ.

The small variant, the castAway One runs at 5.8-inches while a larger castAway One Plus 6.3-inch variant supports larger devices. Across both size categories, the case supports either iPhone or Samsung devices at launch. That’s not all though.

The case itself is like a very small Chrome OS tablet and is powered by a 1.5GHz ARM-based processor with 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage. You’ll be able to hold it like a book, turn it to a landscape orientation, and even close it up fully.

That comes complete with USB-C horizontal and vertical ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an EMR stylus. The castAway case battery is comparable to a smartphone battery too, allowing standalone use.

 

The castAway case supports all Apple iPhone’s since the 6. Supported Samsung phones include the S7, S8, S8+, S9, S9+, S10, S10+, Note 7, Note 8, Note 9, and Note 10.

For early adopters of the case, the prices start out at US$ 129 for the smaller castAway One. Just US$ 10 more nets buyers the larger castAway One Plus. Shipping will start in May 2020, if everything moves forward smoothly.

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Samsung reveals Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition

Embrace the dark side

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Samsung and Star Wars have always had the “galaxy” in common and now these two worlds are colliding with the South Korean company’s announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition.

The collaboration ties directly with the upcoming film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker which will hit theaters on December 20. The Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition does feature a Skywalker, but it’s one that does not carry that name.

The phone’s design has Kylo Ren all over it. Kylo Ren is the son of Han Solo and Leia Skywalker. He’s also the most prominent user of the dark side of the force in the most recent movies on the film franchise.

The device is all black with some red accents. Also in red is the accompanying S Pen, mimicking the color of the light saber that Kylo Ren carries around. On its back is the Samsung logo as well the logo of the First Order which is essentially the new army inspired by the Galactic Empire.

The special edition smartphone will come in a bundle that includes Galaxy Buds that is also all black with red accents. Also included is a special edition leather case that shows Kylo Ren and a metal badge that acts as a collector’s item.

Pricing and Availability

According to Samsung’s release, The Galaxy Note 10+ Star Wars Special Edition unlocked by Samsung version will be available only in limited quantities and will retail for US$ 1299.99 staring December in USA.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ Review

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Philips Hue is now available in the Philippines

With starter kits included

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Image by GadgetMatch

Philips Hue has been around since 2012. Just two years ago, we listed Philips Hue under must-have devices for a smarter home. Now, they officially launched it in the Philippines.

In case you missed it, the Philips Hue system is not just about “smart bulbs”, it’s also a connected lighting system for your home — strips, spots, lamps, and controls all included. With the excellence of developers, there are more than 700 third-party apps designed for the Hue.

The Philips Hue is responsible for switching light controls and changing colors within the reach of your fingertips. You can personalize and choose from the spectrum of 16 million colors in order to change your interior’s ambiance. It also has a feature that increases the brightness when you wake up in the day.

Other than that, there are also light scenes such as Tropical Twilight or Tokyo Lights, or even a customized scene based on your liking. The light activity can even depend on the music, video, and games you are playing — especially that it has an integration on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. Best of all, you can control it through voice commands with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Nest. It’s also compatible with other smart-home platforms such as Samsung SmartThings, Bosch, and Logitech.

Price and availability

The Hue White ambiance Starter Kit includes a Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulb, bridge, and wireless dimmer switch.

Meanwhile, the Hue White and Color Ambiance Kit includes three white and color ambiance bulbs, plus a bridge.

Here are the official prices:

Starter Kits

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Kit — PhP 10,390
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Kit — PhP 7,490

Bulbs

  • Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Bulb — PhP 2,990
  • Philips Hue White Ambiance Bulb — PhP 1,790

Controls

  • Philips Hue bridge — PhP 3,690
  • Philips Hue wireless dimmer switch — PhP 1,290
  • Philips Hue Motion sensor — PhP 2,690

You can get the Philips Hue in select Power Mac Centers, Switch, iStore, Nifty, Urban Gadgets, Infomax Glorietta, Abenson Global City, and online at the Philips Lighting Official Store on Lazada.

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