Apps

Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter announce major updates

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It’s a big day for smartphone users as Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter roll out major updates to their iOS and Android apps.

60-second videos on Instagram will be available on iOS starting today, the photo-sharing app said in its blog post. This comes more than a month after it announced the expansion of video ads from 30 seconds to a full minute, giving advertisers more flexibility in time for Super Bowl 50.

Instagram first introduced videos in June 2013, which have only been limited to 15 seconds until today. The amount of time people spend watching videos on the app increased by more than 40% in the last 6 months, says the announcement.

Roll out for Android will be available in the coming months.

Snapchat expands Chat with features that best emulate face-to-face conversations like video and audio calls.

Previously, users can only video chat when both parties have each other’s Chat page open. With Chat 2.0, you can start a video chat with any of your friends, whether they are online or offline. Your friend can choose to ignore your video chat, watch, or join you the same way a video call works. You can also now send messages simultaneously during video chats.

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If video calling is not for you, audio calls are also now available and will work the same way as video chatting. Chat 2.0 also added GIF-like video notes that appear as round thumbnails and audio notes, much like voice messages, that you can leave for your friend to see or listen to when he comes online.

Or maybe stickers can say it best for you? Snapchat also introduces virtual stickers to its chat just like the ones offered by messaging apps LINE, Viber, and Messenger. Typing keywords like ‘love’ will search the Snapchat trove for matching stickers you can use. While searching is more convenient, switching from one sticker pack to another needs more effort – you’ll have to scroll down endlessly to find the sticker you’re looking for.

Snapchat also introduces Auto-Advance Stories. Watching your friends stories is now made easier, with each one loading automatically right after the other. This eliminates having to swipe down to exit and selecting another story to watch.

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Twitter makes images more accessible for the visually impaired by adding alternative text or alt text.

An add description button will appear on each photo you add to a tweet, allowing for up to 420 characters that should help describe and convey the same information as the image.

Adding alt text for images is the first principle of web accessibility according to WebAIM. It essentially replaces images for people with visual disabilities, so they can have access to them through screen readers or braille displays.

To enable this feature, go to your iOS or Android app’s accessibility settings.

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[irp posts=”10832" name=”WhatsApp copies Snapchat”]

Apps

Twitter is finally getting a dark mode for Android!

Updates are rolling out today

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Welcome to the dark side! Twitter is finally rolling out a true dark mode for its Android app. The short-form social media network tweeted an official announcement on its own account. The message is simple: “You can now go lights out on Twitter.”

Twitter is rolling out the update starting today. To activate the feature, swipe open the left-hand options panel. On the lower-left corner, a lightbulb button can easily turn the feature on and off. It will also prompt an automatic toggle that turns the feature on at sunset.

Likewise, Android users can also access the feature through the usual settings menu. From the “Settings and privacy” menu, you can open the “Display and sound” submenu to toggle the new dark mode.

Notably, Twitter for Android already had a rudimentary dark mode — called Dim — in the past. However, the previous iteration was only a dark blue, a far cry from a true, energy-saving dark mode. Twitter’s new “lights out” mode is finally a true black.

Regardless, if you’re a fan of the old Dim mode, the option is still available. The true dark mode, however, is a blessing for energy savers.

Previously, Twitter already released a true dark mode for iOS users. Android’s version was a long time coming. Thankfully, we’re finally here in the dark side. The update should roll out soon for all Android users.

SEE ALSO: Twitter is secretly saving your deleted DMs

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No NBA on Free TV? Facebook to the rescue

Big deal for the basketball-crazy Philippines

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Image from FB.com/NBAPhilippines

Local television networks in the Philippines failed to reach an agreement with the NBA to air full games on free TV in the country. Fear not though as the NBA still sees the Philippines as a huge market and will live stream games on the official Facebook and Twitter pages of NBA Philippines.

There will be a live game on opening week which is from October 23 to 29. Starting October 31, live stream of games will be every Mondays and Thursdays.

“The Philippines is one of the world’s leaders in social media penetration and usage with over 17 million followers of the league’s social media accounts, making it an ideal platform to livestream NBA content. With NBA games on Facebook Watch and Twitter, we are empowering the digital lifestyle of our fans with the ability to enjoy the NBA anytime, anywhere,” says NBA Philippines Managing Director Carlo Singson on a report from ESPN5.

Here are the games that will be broadcast live during tip-off week:

Oct. 23, 10:30 AM — Los Angeles Lakers @ LA Clippers

Oct. 24, 7:30 AM — Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers

Oct. 25, 8:00 AM — Milwaukee Bucks @ Houston Rockets

Oct. 26, 10:30 AM — Utah Jazz @ Los Angeles Lakers

Oct. 27, 8:00 AM — New Orleans Pelicans @ Houston Rockets

Oct. 28, 7:00 AM — Portland Trail Blazers @ Dallas Mavericks

Oct. 29, 8:00 AM — Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets

Got a favorite team? There’s always NBA League Pass

If that’s not enough for you, there’s always NBA League Pass where you have the option to follow just one team or if you’re a hoop junkie, get a subscription that gives you access to all of the games. Simply download the NBA App on the App store or Google Play and choose your preferred subscription.

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Netflix might limit password sharing between users

In order to gain more revenues?

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Netflix isn’t chill when it comes to password sharing. During its third-quarter earnings interview, the streaming giant discussed its plans. The company tackled users sharing one account to find a way around paying for a monthly subscription.

Netflix CFO Spencer Neumann says the company is continuing to monitor the situation. Neumann added, ”We’ll see those consumer-friendly ways to push on the edges of that.”

It’s still unclear on how Netflix will limit password sharing since the streaming giant didn’t announce anything specific. Netflix’s goal seems to restrict account sharing to people living in the same household. Some speculate that the company will take a look into IP addresses, but it poses a problem for families living apart. But for now, you can still enjoy sharing your account with friends and families as Netflix claimed they have “no big plans to announce at this time in terms of doing something different.”

 

Presently, users can log onto Netflix regardless of how many devices they have. Its only limitation — depending on the subscription plan — is how many people can stream all at the same time. In the near future, it isn’t surprising for Netflix to push through with their plans to limit password sharing since the competition with Disney+ and Apple TV+ is getting tight. In order to gain more revenue, Netflix might have to convert people to pay for their own subscription.

SEE ALSO: 5 reasons why Disney+ is better than Netflix (and 1 big reason why it’s not)

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