Apps

Netflix to reduce streaming quality amidst Coronavirus isolation

Too many people are Netflixing and chilling

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Amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, everyone is practicing social distancing and isolating themselves at home. This has led to higher usage of Netflix and even though that’s good for business, it isn’t exactly working out that well for them.

Demand for streaming has increased, forcing the video-streaming provider to lower the picture quality and reduce data consumption by 25 percent. But it said viewers would still find the picture quality good.

That’s practically true if you’re streaming on a Full HD+ phone. The difference in quality won’t be considerable. This applies only to European countries and the step-down has been limited to 30 days for now.

The announcement came after appeals from EU officials for Netflix and individual users to ditch high definition video to prevent the internet from “breaking”. An hour of standard definition video uses about 1GB of data, while HD can use up to 3GB an hour.

What do you do when you’re home and just want to chill for some time? For our generation, the answer is Netflix. The video streaming service is popular for its huge collection of movies, shows, and even documentaries. There are a plethora of other streaming services out there who’ll also be consuming precious bandwidth.

“Work from home” is being widely encouraged and that’s adding further pressure on the internet’s physical infrastructure. If too much data starts flowing, outages or slower connection speeds will become a norm. This is similar to apps like WhatsApp crashing during New Year’s eve because there’s just too much data flowing at a given point of time.

Netflix has not yet said whether the streaming quality reduction will be applied to other areas such as North America and Asia.

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

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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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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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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