Time to rejoice, music lovers! Last April, Spotify quietly announced the new and improved Free on Spotify, and today, we got up close and personal with all the new things the app can now do.
The streaming company’s Free on Spotify redesign will make for a better listening experience for all free users. How, you may ask? Well, it all boils down to five new key features.
Pick your favorites
Spotify’s taste onboarding allows you to pick five (or more) of your favorite artists and this will set the stage for your Spotify experience — a home screen and music discovery experience tailored to your choices will await.
Pick and play… list
15 playlists will automatically be curated based on your music preferences for your listening pleasure. These playlists are different for each individual person, and they update depending on your interactions. Talk about personalized listening!
When you decide to make your own playlists, you’ll also get suggestions based on your artist choice and even playlist title.
What you want, when you want
Previously only available to Premium users, Free users now have unlimited skips — yes, you heard right! The caveat: The feature is only available for those 15 curated playlists, which isn’t half bad as those are catered to your personal taste.
Actions on specific songs will help you create a better experience on the Spotify app. Hitting ❤️ on a song means it will go to Your Favorites, a playlist that’s found on your home screen.
You can also “unlike” songs which removes said offending song from future playlists. Don’t worry though, this is reversible — simply searching for the song and tapping ❤️ will undo the action.
Optimize your data
For the data-conscious, there’s now a data saving mode! This isn’t turned on by default but all you need to do is head to settings and activate it.
mWell: new health & wellness app for Filipinos
Because, really, we needed this.
Metro Pacific Health Tech Corporation (MPHTC) is looking to transform the digital health care ecosystem. With what, you ask? Well, with mWell. mWell is a health and wellness app made for every Filipino’s holistic well-being by providing you the medical aid you deserve through a secure digital space.
mWell has partnered with CareSpan, Philcare, Keralty Clinic, board-certified doctors and health practitioners. That way, they can give you access to the best digital medical aid.
For doctors, clinics, and hospitals
Doctors, clinics, and hospitals all over the country are welcome to sign up to mWell. With it, they can set up their own virtual clinic and virtual labs for free. From there, they’ll be able to easily book and manage digital appointments, access patients’ confidential medical records, and issue e-prescriptions.
If you’re a board-certified doctor who isn’t tech savvy, don’t worry. You’ll be given a quick and easy training to be able to access all of mWell’s services so you can immediately digitize your practice and reach more patients nationwide.
For the everyday Filipino
mWell provides everyday Filipinos access to professional consultations, wellness programs, products, and drug delivery services. With the partnership of Medicard, you can book COVID-19 testing services.
Starting August, mWell will let you access e-Pharmacies. From buying prescribed meds and getting them delivered to your doorstep, to buying PhilCare health insurance products for dengue, accidents, and emergencies, they’ve got you covered. They’re even launching nationwide virtual medical missions.
On September, mWell is partnering with Aktivolabs to let you monitor and track physical activities, sleep schedule, and stress so you can work on improving your health and wellness. And, for PLDT Home customers, you can avail free consultation with mWell doctors. The app is available for Android and iOS.
5 Memoji-inspired outfit ideas: His and Hers
Play dress up virtually with the public beta preview of iOS 15
Unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote are new customization options coming to Memoji on iMessage, including a much-awaited feature: outfit selection.
In 2019, Apple rolled out the most significant Memoji customization update. That year, users were able to apply makeup, change hair color, wear piercings and jewelry, and pick from different styles of headwear and glasses. The only thing missing was being able to choose clothing.
If you have the public beta of iOS 15 installed, you can now virtually play dress up and plan outfits for those trips you’ve been dreaming of and activities you’ve been deprived of after a year of quarantine.
#1 Romantic date night
Who doesn’t like dressing up for a romantic date that will take you from a dinner at a restaurant to a cocktail or two at a speakeasy? Changing out of pajamas can do wonders to your mood.
His: a crisp long sleeved button down and his favorite hat
Hers: a flirty dress and statement earrings
#2 Stroll at the botanical garden
Has your apartment turned into a mini greenhouse with all the indoor plants you’ve adopted? Driving to the nearest botanical garden will either make you feel zen and content, or convince you that your plant collection is insufficient.
His: a breezy shirt and a pair of sunglasses
Hers: a colorful sundress and a top bun
If there’s anything we learned about ourselves this past year, it’s that we all desire to be out in nature from time to time. A safari trip might not be realistic right now, but no one’s stopping you from imagining one.
His: a two pocket utility shirt and a cowboy hat
Hers: a loose tunic and a fedora
Sunny weekend at the beach
No summer is complete without a beach trip; and no beach trip is complete without some refreshing piña coladas, swimsuits that show off your summer bod, and copious amounts of sunscreen.
His: a linen top and a pair of polarized sunglasses
Hers: a long coverup, a pair of pearl earrings, and a straw hat
Hike in the fall
Not a beach person? Maybe the mountains and autumn foliage are more your jam. Just make sure to stay warm from top to toe without sacrificing style and comfort.
His: a cable knit sweater and a fisherman’s hat
Hers: a turtleneck sweater and a beanie
BONUS: Big business convention
There’s never a bad time to get a good blazer or a pantsuit. You might not be able to wear them out to trade shows yet, but looking your best for Zoom meetings is always appropriate.
His: an olive green knit blazer, a black oxford shirt, and a skinny tie
Hers: a beige blazer, a pair of cat-eye glasses, and a pair of gold earrings
Apart from more than 40 different outfits, multicolored headwear, and new options for glasses, iOS 15 offers nine new Memoji stickers that include a shaka, a hand wave, a light bulb moment, and more.
iOS 15 will be available this fall as a free software update. If you’re interested in trying new Memoji outfits now, you can sign up for the public beta here: https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/
Google is making its masked emoji happier
Update rolls out soon
Whenever an emoji update rolls out, it often brings an opportunity to update our zeitgeist of how the world has changed overtime. For example, last year focused on the coronavirus pandemic, bringing about new ways to depict ourselves with masks on. This year, the zeitgeist is shifting once again. And Google is updating some of its emojis to reflect that.
Announced through their blog, Google is making some of its emojis more inclusive and positive. However, despite how it sounds, the update doesn’t involve quite a major revision compared to how they added different skin colors in the past.
Instead, Google is making a few emojis more interpretable in other countries. For example, the company’s formerly American pie has been changed to reflect a more universal pie that other countries can easily see. Another example is removing the invisible woman supposedly wearing the bikini emoji. Instead of a busty bikini, the emoji now lays flat, making it more inclusive for other body types. Some food emojis have also been made more delectable.
Finally (and most importantly), Google is removing the sense of foreboding from its masked emoji. Instead of a face that’s clearly sick, the new emoji now has a more neutral (and possibly even happy) face. Now that the world is healing from the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, Google is focusing on a world where mask-wearing remains a sign of kindness and care towards others.
Google is rolling out the updates starting with Android 12. However, it is also rolling the new emojis out to older phones that can support emojis.
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