Apps

TechDen helps create better and healthier screen habits

Time to pull ourselves away from those addictive screens

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I think it’s pretty safe to say that a lot of us spend a majority of our time staring at a screen. This is all fine and dandy, technology is awesome, but we also have to admit that our devices have changed how we interact IRL. The founders of TechDen has thought of a way to pull us away from our screens and back into the real world.

TechDen merges software and hardware to create a system that can help build healthier screen habits. The Den lets you charge and store up to two devices, and manage multiple ones. The accompanying app lets you create “sessions” of specific time periods with their own duration based on people’s schedules, as well as schedules to remotely lock and unlock the doors of The Den.

You receive notifications when devices are removed as well as time usage, and in the family setting, this system creates opportunities for collaboration — you can talk to your kids about the session schedules, and even utilize these sessions as incentives.

TechDen is marketed towards families to encourage more real-world interaction with an “out of sight, out of mind” point of view. Really though, this tech would be very helpful for anyone who wants to build a healthy relationship with their devices for themselves.

Apps

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium roll out in the Philippines

There are more options besides Spotify

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Music streaming just heated up in the Philippines — YouTube Music is now available in the country.

Google silently launched YouTube Music along with YouTube Premium. The former is a separate app from YouTube which functions exactly like its rivals Spotify and Apple Music. Its greatest strength is in its tight integration with the video streaming app itself. Listeners can watch music videos right from the app to complement their streams.

To subscribe, simply sign in with your Google account on music.youtube.com. For those who want more, YouTube Premium allows for ad-free and uninterrupted watching experience and offline watching. It comes at a monthly price of PhP 159. With this price, you’re getting more for what you’re paying with YouTube Premium + Music bundled all in.

Family subscription plans starts PhP 239 per month, for both YouTube Music and YouTube Premium for up to five family members. All plans come with a one-month free trial.

YouTube Music launched last year hoping to compete against heavy-hitters like Apple and Spotify. While it is a newcomer, it has already launched in many countries, including the Philippines.

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Adobe Photoshop Camera will do all the editing for you

Artificial Intelligence has you covered!

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Photoshop synonymously means “editing” in today’s world. The powerful software by Adobe has been a huge part of the industry due to its extensive editing tools and support from other apps like Illustrator. However, the smartphone game is different.

Which app do you use to edit your pictures on the go? There’s a possibility you’re thinking of Instagram or Snapchat with their built-in filters. There are also plenty of mobile photo editing apps, but Adobe wants to grab this chunk of the market and even though the Photoshop mobile app has been available for years, it never really took off. So the company is now taking a different approach.

Adobe’s Photoshop Camera is an AI-driven picture editing app for iOS and Android. All you need to do is take a picture and Photoshop Camera will instantaneously analyze it and offer up a drawer full of potential enhancements.

While looking through the viewfinder, Photoshop Camera will recognize what’s happening in the scene and highlight appropriate effects in a menu below the shutter button. Because Adobe’s AI can recognize what’s going on in the photo, it can apply separate lighting and color effects to different parts of the frame.

At the heart of the app is Adobe’s Sensei technology that deploys artificial intelligence to automatically enhance photo quality. There will be time-limited, branded camera lenses from the likes of Billie Eilish and other “well-known artists and influencers.” Of course, you’ll be able to share your photos to apps like Instagram from within Photoshop Camera.

Flagship phones like the Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 series have drastically pushed the boundaries of onboard AI-processing and Adobe intends to leverage this hardware as much as possible.

The full version of the app won’t be available until early 2020, however, a preview is available that you can try out.

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Facebook reveals its new company logo amidst controversy

It will roll out over the coming weeks

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Facebook is launching a new company logo for all its apps and services.

The new logo packs a simple, minimalist style. The word “Facebook” is capitalized and uses a custom font. It adapts to whatever app is using it. For the Facebook app, it uses a blue color; for Instagram, a pinkish gradient color; and for WhatsApp, a green color.

The reason for the new logo is to differentiate Facebook as a mother company from the social media app that we know today. The company has diversified through the years, acquiring Instagram, WhatsApp, as well as Oculus. The new logo consolidates all the products under the Facebook brand.

The old Facebook icon is here to stay for the main Facebook app, but for branding and marketing purposes, Facebook will use the new logo. It will roll out over the coming weeks.

While using a new logo can be a good thing, the company has yet to address criticisms related to privacy and politics. Just a week ago, Facebook employees said in an internal letter that its CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t care about fake political ads. Earlier this year Facebook was found to be listening to Messenger chats, which is unsettling for those who have private messages stored on the app.

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