Apps

Instagram wants TikTok gone and it’s ready to splurge

How will TikTok respond?

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TikTok is among the most popular social networking apps out there because of its short videos. The format has gained a lot of traction and players like YouTube and Instagram couldn’t appropriately gauge its growth. However, Instagram has a tiny window of opportunity to dominate TikTok’s turf.

With TikTok banned in India and rising concerns in the west, the app stares at an uncertain future. India’s ban has accelerated the roll-out of Instagram Reels, its own short-video making option. Now, the Facebook-backed company is ensuring it leaves no stone unturned.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Instagram is going after TikTok’s most famous creators. Instagram is giving them “lucrative offers” to switch their preferred social networking app. Bringing TikTok stars to Instagram Reels shall encourage their followers to make the switch as well. In turn, luring the TikTok audience to Reels.

The report did not divulge details about any particular creator but emphasized on the rising rivalry between Facebook and ByteDance. Instagram will launch Reels in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, and roughly 50 other countries.

TikTok has crossed two billion downloads and its collection of filters, effects, music, and other editing features has made it a creator’s favorite tool. However, it’s often called a mass surveillance tool and the US government isn’t happy about it. Adding to this, the app’s shady data collection history hasn’t helped make its case.

India also barred the app citing security concerns. The overnight ban gave Instagram a new testing ground for Reels and it was released in the region within a week. Indigenous apps like Chingari and Mitron are also racing to bridge the TikTok vacuum in India. Alas, their resources fade in comparison to Facebook’s.

Apps

Top iOS 15 Features to look out for

FaceTime for Android, anyone?

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The next version of iOS rolls out this fall. There are new features such as FaceTime for Android, new Memojis, rebranded Safari and Messages app, personal identification card compatibility for Wallet, and more.

But in this video, we rounded up our Top 10 iOS 15 Features you should look out for.

Watch the whole video by clicking here.

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Apps

Voilà AI Artist turns your selfies into 3D cartoons, caricatures

And many more artistic renditions!

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Voilà AI Artist

From FaceApp to Zepeto, plenty of avatars from these apps proliferated social media platforms. Most recently, the Internet went crazy with cute avatars once more. You probably noticed how people have been posting a 3D cartoon version of themselves, akin to a Disney character. It’s all thanks to Voilà AI Artist — a photo-editing app using artificial intelligence to turn your photos into artistic renditions.

Get yourself painted as a Renaissance painting.

Voilà AI Artist

Have your selfies transformed into a 3D cartoon from an animated movie.

Turn your photos into a 2D cartoon…

Voilà AI Artist

… or even have your face drawn as a caricature.

Voilà AI Artist

Voilà AI Artist is developed by WeImagine.AI., a Canada-based team of creators and developers. The app is free to download on the App Store and Google Play Store. If you’re concerned about the app’s privacy policy, read it here.

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Apps

The US revokes Trump’s executive order that banned TikTok

A level-playing field for everyone

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that sets criteria for the government to evaluate the risk of apps connected to foreign adversaries. It’s specifically meant for apps like TikTok and WeChat, which President Trump banned.

It should use an “evidence-based approach” to see if they pose a risk to US national security, said Biden. If apps are found violating fundamental laws, a ban can be imposed. The task of identifying threats has been given to the US Commerce Department.

Trump’s executive order particularly targeted TikTok and WeChat. Instead, Biden is opting for a level-playing field for everyone. Biden shares the same concerns as Trump, but their approach is vastly different.

Under the previous administration, TikTok remained in a precarious position as Trump sought to ban the app unless it sold to an American company. A proposal was produced that would have seen Oracle and Walmart owning a US entity of the service and taking responsibility for handling TikTok’s US user data and content moderation.

But there were numerous legal challenges, and before they could be ironed out, Trump lost the election. The Biden administration’s new executive order does not affect those negotiations, which are a separate process. The order also calls upon federal agencies to develop recommendations – for future executive actions or legislation — on how to protect the data of US citizens.

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