Apps

What’s new on Instagram: Group video calls, bully filters, and more

A lot of useful updates!

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A host of new features are coming to Instagram and this includes group calls!

To start, just tap the video camera on the upper right of a conversation on the app and you get the people inside the thread on a video call. You can minimize this call window and browse through the app while on the call for true IG multitasking.

A new Instagram Explore page is also coming. Changes include being able to “browse across your interests and go deeper on any area you’d like.” Explore will feature curated topic channels based on each user’s personal taste — a move that will hopefully allow users to find stuff they actually like.

Instagram announced that they’re opening up camera filters, stickers, and text styles to third parties so expect new stuff for your stories soon! They hint at following accounts of Ariana Grande, Baby Ariel, Liza Koshy, Vogue, and BuzzFeed to get these effects. All these features will roll out globally soon.

GoPro and Spotify integration are also up and running on Instagram. Now, you can share action shots from your GoPro, or whatever song you’re listening to straight to IG Stories. More apps will also have a Share to Stories feature soon, according to Instagram.

Aside from all these fun new features, a bullying filter has also been announced. This will, supposedly, hide language in the comments section that’s intended to harass. According to Instagram, this filter targets “attacks on a person’s appearance or character, as well as threats to a person’s well-being or health.” This filter can be turned off in the Comments Control center.What are your thoughts on these new IG additions? Are these things you’ll be using?

Apps

Going Cashless: Make payments, transfer funds all on your phone

It’s pretty convenient

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So you’re stuck at home with some extra time on your hands. When you feel like taking a break from all the shows you’ve been watching, perhaps you can make time to figure out how to transition to cashless payments.

We’re dealing with a unique situation right now and cashless transactions is one of the little ways in which we can help with social distancing measures. Not to mention, it’s also pretty convenient.

If you already have a bank account, chances are you’re already using that bank’s mobile app. If not, we encourage you to do so. But we’re not going deep into that. Today, we’re looking at other payment services that will help you go cashless.

GCash

We partnered with GCash a while back for this quick How-To video. But if you don’t feel like watching, the text comes right after.

Before anything else download the app on the App Store, Google Play, or AppGallery.

Step 1. Open the GCash app and enter your mobile number. Tap “Next” to proceed.

Step 2. Fill in the mandatory information. These include your First Name, Last Name, Birthday, Address, Email Address. When you’re done, tap “Next” to proceed

Step 3. Review your information. Gotta make sure everything’s accurate and matches any official ID you have with you. If you have a referral code, input it using the drop down below your information. Afterwards, tap “Next”.

Step 4. Set your Mobile Pin by inputting a 4 digit MPIN. It’s very important that you can easily remember your MPIN. It serves as your password to access your GCash account. You also need it for your future GCash transactions. So yeah, don’t use your birthday or any birthdays of anyone you’re super close with. Protect your MPIN like your life depended on it. Tap “Submit” to move on.

Step 5. You will receive a 6-digit authentication code via SMS in the device authentication page. Enter the code to authenticate your device.

Step 6. Enter your 4-digit GCash MPIN and click ‘Log In’ to enter the app.

Congratulations! You’re now on GCash. There’s a ton that you can do here. This is where I connected my bank account so I’ve been using GCash to move money around my other accounts, transfer money to my family and friends, load up my prepaid sim, and of course the usual in-store transactions. You can also link it to your Lazada account for your online shopping needs.

For more information, visit the GCash Help Center.

PayMaya

PayMaya is very similar to GCash in that they practically let you do the same things. As mentioned earlier, these are making cashless payments, transferring funds, as well as online shopping. Personally, this is the account I used for most of my app subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify, and NBA League Pass.

Again, make sure you have the app. Get it on the App Store, Google Play, or AppGallery.

Step1: Register with your name, email and mobile number​. The mobile number can be with any network you’re currently using.

Step 2: Create a password​. Unlike GCash which uses an MPIN, the PayMaya password is a lot more like the usual passwords you use for your social media accounts. Again, make sure it’s secure and something easy for you to remember.

Step 3: Receive a verification SMS​. Enter this verification number on the app.

Step 4: Click the VIEW CARD button​.

Step 5: Input your address and birthday​.

Step 6: Receive a confirmation that your account has been activated​

PayMaya also has these cashback promos every now and then. That means anything you purchase, a percentage of that goes back to your account. Here’s a quick little video on that.

To find how you can maximize PayMaya just head on over to their Support Page.

GrabPay

Grab has surprisingly expanded its GrabPay services to more than just hailing rides, deliveries, and paying for GrabFood.

You can now also do the following:

  1. Cashless payment for Grab services (GrabCar, GrabFood, GrabExpress, GrabMart)
  2. Buy prepaid load
  3. Pay bills (Cablielink, Cignal TV, Destiny Cable, DFA, Easytrip, Globe, Manila Water, Maynilad, Meralco, Metro Cebu Water, MMDA, NBI, Pag-IBIG Fund, PLDT, Sky Cable, Smart, Smart Bro, SSS, Sun Celular, UNICEF, VECO)
  4. Pay in-store
  5. Pay online
  6. Send money for free (person-to-person and bank transfer)

Registering is pretty straightforward. Download the app on the App Store or Google Play, and then register using your phone number, Facebook account, or Google account.

For more on what else you can do with GrabPay and how they’re expanding, you may visit their Help Page.

You can also use these services to donate towards efforts in fighting COVID-19. For other ways to help check out our Where To Donate article.

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WhatsApp could soon let you use the same account on multiple phones

No need to maintain different numbers soon

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WhatsApp is working on a feature that has been in-demand for ages. The ability to use the same account (phone number) across multiple phones. So far, WhatsApp does not permit a single account on multiple devices. The only exception being the WhatsApp Web feature which can only be accessed on browsers.

However, companies including Samsung, Vivo, OPPO, and Huawei offer Dual Apps mode, allowing users to switch between two different accounts of the same chat app. This doesn’t exactly serve the purpose because you still end up having two different accounts.

With multiple device support, the chats will be synchronized across all logged-in devices. Similar to how it works on other instant messaging apps like Messenger and Telegram.

The feature was spotted by WABetaInfo in November 2019. However, it was a very limited release and didn’t exactly shed light on how multiple devices shall be leveraged. The new WhatsApp beta v 2.20.110 release was spotted by WABetaInfo recently and the team was successfully able to test the feature.

For now, a few questions remain unanswered because the company hasn’t officially released the feature. Will the first phone you logged in from become primary and the rest of the devices will rely on it to send messages, just like WhatsApp Web? Or can the feature make even the second phone run independently?

Moreover, this is exciting news for anyone who relies on more than one phone daily. Currently, you’ll have to enable two different numbers to use WhatsApp on both the phones. Considering the competition, the feature is pretty standard and we’re glad WhatsApp is finally taking cognizance of it.

Lastly, keep in mind the feature is still in beta. It could take months to reach the normal Joe and maybe never even come. That’s the point of releasing it via the beta channel. To test whether the feature or product is successful and doesn’t hinder regular usage.

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Apps

Apple acquires the popular weather app, Dark Sky

Will iOS users see improvement in the Weather app?

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Aside from pushing its hardware front and center, Apple is also busy expanding its ecosystem. Over the years, Apple has acquired smaller companies to improve its software offerings. Today, the company acquires Dark Sky, a popular weather app with millions of users.

In a blog post by Dark Sky, the company announced its acquisition by Apple. There will be no changes to the iOS app after Apple takes over. However, Android users are not so lucky, since the app won’t be available to download on Play Store starting today. The app won’t function beyond July 21, and premium users will receive a refund for any existing subscriptions.

Meanwhile, Dark Sky’s website will close by July 21. App developers are also affected by the acquisition as APIs will only work until 2021.

Apple’s acquisition of Dark Sky will further expand its growing portfolio of services. It is also a sign that the company is doing something new to its aging Weather app. Perhaps, Apple might introduce new powerful features in the app and give it a fresh coat of paint. A subscription plan for weather forecasts may also be in the cards, considering the company’s push for subscription-based services.

SEE ALSO: Apple is no longer a trillion-dollar company

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