Apps

Snap’s new Spectacles have a thinner frame, new features

Perfect for the summer sun!

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The Google Glass flopped. The first Snap Spectacles ended up in the dark corners of our drawers. The world isn’t ready for mass-produced smart glasses yet. Snap hopes to change that with another go at their Spectacles.

Today, Snap has launched their new update to the Spectacles. While they do remain largely similar, the updated version adds in a bunch of solutions to the first one’s flaws.

The Spectacle’s “biggest” change is a smaller and thinner frame. The previous one suffered from a bulkier frame that made it look like toy sunglasses. Thankfully, the new Spectacles (and its case) are now a third smaller, offering a more comfortable fit inside your bag.

Underneath its plastic frame, the Spectacles comes with a variety of functionality additions. Most notably, they can now take still photos, besides Snaps.

They now ship with dual microphones, which purportedly reduce wind and outside noise. Additionally, they reduced their field of view to 105 degrees from 115 degrees. While this reduces the coverage of the shot, it should also reduce the jarring fisheye distortion.

Much like other Wi-Fi-compatible cameras, the old Spectacles required users to connect to their customized Wi-Fi network just to transfer files to your phone. It’s a tedious process. At the very least, the new Spectacles have reduced transfer times to make it marginally more bearable.

Also, through a partnership with Lensabl, Snap can now offer the Spectacles with prescription lenses.

Finally, the new Spectacles are now resistant to shallow waters. Sadly, Snap has not provided this feature’s exact limits. However, promotional materials claim that you can take them to the pool or the beach.

With the flurry of new features, Snap upped the Spectacles’ price to US$ 149.99. It will come in three colors: Onyx, Ruby, and Sapphire. You can now purchase them online here, if you’re in the US. Other countries will receive them on May 3.

SEE ALSO: Snapchat launches Spectacles, its first camera-equipped sunglasses

Apps

Google is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price

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Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.

Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.

India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.

The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.

Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.

Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.

Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.

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EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page

For just two Bumble coins!

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You can’t buy your way to true love but you can now buy a top spot on Bumble’s swipe page.

You heard that right. Bumble just announced their new feature and they’re calling it Spotlight. For two Bumble coins, which is around US$ 2, you can get your own profile to the top of the swipe page — the most conducive spot for swiping. Your profile stays there for 30 minutes and people won’t even know you paid for the extra airtime.

Similar to Tinder Boost, this new feature allows for a bigger shot at better swiping results. It basically bumps you up in the queue. Remember, though, that you can only pay for being more visible on the app, but the swiping is still left to the other party.

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