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remoteHQ is a powerful companion to your Zoom meetings

Access all your favorite apps with the shared browser

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As most employees work from home, they begin using more digital tools than before to get things done. One of the popular tools out there is Zoom. After all, it enables not only virtual meetings but also instant communication between employees. However, it is also lacking in one important aspect: real-time collaboration. There’s an up-and-coming product that aims to revolutionize remote collaboration — remoteHQ.

Revolutionizing real-time collaboration

The need for remote collaboration during these times can’t be emphasized enough. Using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet is not enough since they technically only cater to the conferencing needs of many companies. As such, many platforms have existed to enable remote collaboration. Most companies now use one of these platforms so employees can work together even when they’re apart.

However, the kind of collaboration on these platforms can be limiting. Sure, employees can work together at any time of the day and at any pace they want. But this kind of flexibility can sometimes hurt employees’ productivity. With this setup, they can move on to other tasks and forget about the document. Worse, the lack of real-time feedback from colleagues means delayed results for the company.

Sometimes, employees also need to give on-the-spot feedback and changes for important documents. This kind of collaboration can be achieved with a streamlined Zoom + Google Suite workflow, or a Microsoft Teams + Office 365. However, it still results in wasted time for employees. After all, they need to go back and forth to find the documents they’re working on and to tune-in to the meeting they’re in.

Sometimes, companies just need a platform that enables on-the-spot collaboration. This is the basic premise of remoteHQ. All of the tools employees need to work together live within the platform itself. It’s also a powerful platform that will spur a more productive workforce.

Shared browser and apps included

Using remoteHQ is simple. Users create a “room” wherein they meet with others and use apps geared for collaboration. The apps that live within each room make it a stand out among other platforms.

The number one “killer” feature of remoteHQ is the shared browser that lives as an app in every room.  Users can open a shared browser, and grant other users control. This enables instant collaboration more powerful than traditional workflows since every website is accessible right away.

For example, managers can open Google Docs on the shared browser, grant controls to employees, and let them collaborate on the spot — all in a single browser tab and session. In a way, this is browser screen sharing but leveled up. All employees share the same screen but they can also control the browser on their own. Since this is also a shared browser, users can continue using their favorite work apps while collaborating with others.

Presenting online? remoteHQ supercharges online presentation by letting employees view documents and make feedback in real time. Employees can upload any file they want and present it on the spot — just like how they used to do it in the past.  In this sense, remoteHQ doesn’t only revolutionize online collaboration, but it also elevates virtual meetings and brings them closer to intimate physical meetings.

Employees can also talk with each other as they collaborate. Typical chat controls are available to each one within a room. They can proceed in a session with their camera on or go audio-only. And should they ever need to call out the attention of their colleagues, the “raise a hand” feature is there to help them out.

Every room comes with useful apps to boost the user’s productivity. Some of the core apps include Google Drive, notes, YouTube, Miro, Witeboard, and an audio recording and transcription for easier collaboration. Recently, support for sharing Figma design prototypes has been added too.

Unlimited rooms and workspaces

Users can manage rooms easily. They can control who gets access to each. Moreover, they can also share a public link of the room, which is perfect for sharing an interactive demo of a product to guests. After each session, they can view a timeline of others that took place in the past. They can also view the “artifacts” — that is, shared files, notes, and minute-by-minute activity.

remoteHQ offers unlimited rooms. Plus, it’s easy to keep track of private and team rooms. All rooms reside within a single workspace. Managers can create a separate workspace — think of it as departments on big companies. They are easily managed through remoteHQ’s simple and interactive interface.

Though, there’s one caveat to all this. Each room can only hold up to 15 people in a single session. Companies that strictly need a conferencing platform for their employees should fare better with Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. After all, remoteHQ is more geared towards the workforce that really needs a streamlined companion for the new normal.

A powerful companion in the new normal

remoteHQ is not only for businesses looking for a more powerful collaborative platform. Teachers and students can also harness the platform’s unique features for a more personalized learning session. Each room can function as a digital classroom, utilizing the available apps to make the most of distance learning.

More features are coming to the remoteHQ as it evolves and matures into a platform serving the needs of individuals who need a more flexible and powerful way of collaborating online.  After all, the platform is relatively new. There are still rough edges and mobile app support is non-existent. However, the company promises mobile apps in the future for those on the go.

There’s no free tier but remoteHQ offers a free trial. It starts at US$ 15. For that, users get all the features of the platform and 5GB of storage. Those eager to try out the platform may do so by signing up on this website.

Apps

Twitter is probing its AI’s racial bias in picture previews

They’re working on improving it

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Twitter uses a neural network to show you relevant previews of all the pictures that are posted on the microblogging platform. If the image contains text, the area is prioritized for a preview. Similarly, human faces are also given preference.

The preview makes it easier for the viewer to get a gist of the tweet without the compulsion of opening the entire picture. Although, the feature isn’t up-to mark since a lot of users have complained about the AI’s racial bias.

Several users posted a picture that has both, a white man and a black man’s face. But the preview often shows the white man’s face only. Users noticed the difference after a similar anomaly was observed on Zoom, where the facial recognition technology failed to identify a black man’s face, but had no trouble when the skin tone was changed.

 

Liz Kelley from Twitter’s communication team said they had tested the neural system for bias, but didn’t come across gender or racial bias during testing. She also confirmed that they’ve got more analysis to do and shall be open-sourcing all the work for others to review and replicate.

Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal were quick to acknowledge the shortcoming and said they’re “investigating” the neural network.

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Apps

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from app stores in the US

So, did the Oracle deal go through?

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After months of escalating, the US Commerce Department has announced it’ll ban business transactions with TikTok and WeChat. The two apps are owned by Chinese giants ByteDance and Tencent, respectively.

Practically, you won’t be able to directly download the app via stores like Play Store and App Store. Furthermore, companies are also barred from hosting these apps in the US. Essentially, the user won’t be able to download the app from third-party websites that are hosted in the US.

It also blocks US companies from providing services through WeChat “for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.”

However, it remains unclear whether the announcement means the Oracle-TikTok deal won’t be going through. The Trump administration wanted ByteDance to sell its local TikTok operations to an American company.

In the last few months, multiple American giants like Walmart, Twitter, and Microsoft were interested in getting their piece of TikTok. But things haven’t moved smoothly and the Chinese government isn’t keen on handing over TikTok’s algorithm to an American company.

While Oracle has been chosen for a deal with ByteDance, the latter continues to maintain that the ongoing process isn’t an acquisition and Oracle shall be a technology partner. This is in stark contrast to what President Trump envisions as a business takeover.

The app ban could be a tactic to pressure the Chinese, but we can’t be certain of that right now. Going by the latest statements, it’s clear that the administration wants to completely block user’s access to these apps and is willing to go the extra mile.

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Google removes one of India’s top payments app for violating policy

But there’s nothing to worry about

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Google removed one of India’s top payments app Paytm from the Play Store for allegedly violating guidelines. To be more precise, the app violated the app store’s policy by promoting gambling. The app is still available on Apple’s App Store though.

In response, Google said, “The app was blocked for violation of play policies – a clarification of our policy was released earlier today ahead of the IPL tournament.” It further clarified that users aren’t affected and only the app’s availability from the Play Store has changed.

Google strictly prohibits digital casinos or ungoverned gambling apps on its Play Store in India and Paytm’s app was found in violation of this policy. Recently, it launched a fantasy sports service called Paytm First Games and embedded links to this service within the Paytm app.

The standalone Paytm First Games app has also been removed. However, other apps like Paytm Mall, Paytm Money, and Paytm Business are still available and remain untouched. Google said the developer is always notified and the app shall remain unavailable till it complies with the norms.

Paytm has also assured all users that their accounts, wallets, and bank accounts are safe and there’s nothing to worry about. When the news broke, there was some initial panic because the memories of India’s app ban are still fresh and people are worried about their favorite apps going off the shelf instantaneously.

Fantasy sports games and other gambling apps have radically risen in India. The country loves cricket and the Indian Premier League is scheduled to start from tomorrow. Making the coming weeks a very lucrative period for these apps.

All these apps do not depend on Google’s Play Store for distribution and have to be downloaded externally via the developer’s website.

Paytm is hugely credited for encouraging India’s digital economy and has transformed itself into a super app. Besides bill payments and peer-to-peer fund transfer, the app can also be used for tickets, shopping, and entertainment.

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