In the coming month, Instagram will begin rolling out translation button on feed stories and profile bios to automatically translate foreign texts to the user's registered native language in the popular media-sharing app.

Now, averaging a little over 300 million daily active users (DAU), or people who use the service at least once every day in the U.S., Instagram's astronomical rise lends to the credence of the social networking platform.

And globally, the number of people using Instagram has doubled during the past two years to 500 million monthly active users (MAU), according to the social networking company.

Even as Instagram community has grown into a more global audience, which growth further elevates it as a force to reckon with in the competitive social networking and media-sharing app ecosystem.

While, it's impossible that every language will be supported from day one, the company is keen on extending support to every major languages, and if no translation shows up, it means nothing was detected or it doesn't currently support the language.

To learn more about translation on Instagram, check out the help page for more explanation.

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Twitter, the so-called micro-blogging platform, is perhaps moving into video as a major service with the launch of 140-second clips, and a new video section known as Watch Mode, with recommendations for other videos to watch.

The service will be available for both Twitter proper and Vine, with the platform’s most popular users getting a stand-alone app called Engage.

While, the 140-second clips are also coming to Vine, the popular app for creating hilarious short video loops won’t be changing its original 6-second limit. Instead, you can post 140-second clips alongside your Vines, and won’t have to watch the longer videos in-tweet.

The stand-alone app for influencers, called Engage, has been launched on iOS to enable important people on Twitter see metrics on their clips, including likes, retweets, mentions, and views.

Unlike Facebook Mentions, Engage isn’t for only celebrities, nonetheless, it shows mentions from influencers and comments from fans just like Facebook mentions.

Albeit, anyone can use Engage, but the app lacks a timeline and so the value to regularly update feeds won’t be that high.

However, the the company is planning on integrating the app with some of its other brands like Niche and Vine products. Twitter Engage is only available for iOS and in the United States at the moment.

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While Apple's annual developer's conference, WWDC 2016, is about now rounding up, the technology giant has revealed some major updates coming to its products through new functionalities to the iOS 10 platform.

This year's event marked an important milestone for developers, as Apple has opened up its platform to allow third-party apps access into a handful of its products and services.

Apple's iOS 10 major new feature is perhaps the update to Messages, which is the most frequently used app on iOS according to Apple; meanwhile below are some of the other headline features coming to the new operating system.

  • Apple Maps: Apple Maps will be infused with AI capabilities, meaning it can make suggestions for places users might want to visit based on what's on their calendar and what users are copying and pasting in their device. Apple Maps will also be open to third-party developers, allowing users to book a reservation using an app like OpenTable directly through Maps.
  • Apple Music: Apple Music streaming app is getting a total makeover, making it easier to navigate, with a streamlined menu for viewing music stored on the user's device. The app's cleaner look now has bold heading that make it easier to distinguish between different sections.
  • HomeKit: is a new app to manage all of the smart devices that run on its HomeKit framework. It will allow users to access all of the HomeKit-connected accessories in their home through one single app, instead of having to jump between separate apps made by the different device makers. HomeKit is also accessible via the Control Center in iOS 10, meaning users can just swipe to manage the various connected devices.
  • 3DTouch: Apple's iOS 10 will allow iPhone users to reply to notifications on the lock screen using 3DTouch and get live updates from apps on the lock screen.


Apple's iOS 10 will also be able transcribe voicemail so that iPhone users can see the message without having to listen to it. And third party apps will be integrated into contact entries so that you can use a different service like WhatsApp to contact people.

Apple News is also getting a makeover that makes it easier to view stories based on categories, and a new subscriptions feature to let users read breaking news publications within the app.

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Apple to enforce HTTPS connections on iOS apps by 2017

Posted by John Onwuegbu | June 15, 2016 |

Apple at its ongoing Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 2016) has announced that iOS apps have until January 1, 2017, to enable App Transport Security (ATS), a feature first introduced with iOS 9 - that enforces apps to use HTTPS connections instead of HTTP when connecting to the Web.

ATS is currently an opt-in option, albeit essentially important in banking and eCommerce apps, but will become mandatory across all apps sold in the App Store in 2017.

The feature allows apps to send data over the internet more securely, while in HTTPS connections, meaning data cannot be read when access is not authorized.

While, the all HTTPS connections move is inline with Apple's stance on privacy, as exemplified in the saga with FBI to crack into an iPhone belonging to Syed Farook, one of the attackers in the shooting at San Bernardino, California.

And the more secure the connection type, better authentication and encrypted data transmissions is possible.

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Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC 2016)  has kicked off, lets peruse on some of the new features in iOS 10, including “emojification” to Messaging, upgrades coming to Siri, and the nifty feature in Photos that recognizes objects, people, and even locations.

Announced on Monday, iOS 10 major new feature is perhaps the update to Messages, which is the most frequently used app on iOS according to Apple, and with iMessage now open to third-party developers.

Obviously, the company's recent AI-related purchases: Perceptio, Emollient and Emotient capabilities are easy to be recognized with the new advanced features coming to messages and the more intelligent Siri.

Apple's iOS 10 “emojification” makes it pretty easy to simply tap-and-replace certain keywords with emojis.

Other visual enhancements to messages, include rich links and in-line video and Apple Music playback, as well as bubble effects, full-screen effects, handwritten text, touch interactive greeting cards, tap-to-quick response, and invisible Ink that you can swipe to reveal a message/photo.

With iOS 10, the Photos app will be able to automatically group photos of common faces or subjects together using machine learning and facial recognition, without you tagging anybody in the uploading of photo.

The nifty feature organizes photos into categories like events and can even match the mood with video or music.

Apple introduced what it termed differential privacy, which brings the benefits of artificial intelligence and machine learning from crowd-sourced learning, without sacrificing individual privacy.

With iOS 10, Siri is also now open to developers with third-party apps like WeChat, Slack and WhatsApp on iOS, and the digital assistant understands the difference between asking to "send a WeChat" and actual chatting via WeChat.

Apple Maps now has a new look with some clean interface feel. And it's opened up to third-party developers, meaning for instance, you can now order an Uber through Apple Maps without leaving the app.

Other iOS 10 experience includes a redesigned lock screen and Control Center, more-interactive Notifications, and better implementation of 3D Touch, as you can now access your Camera by swiping from the right, and see all your widgets by swiping from the left, even with lock screen.

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Tango is for everything underneath a roof in the map: subways, offices, residential homes or perhaps more appropriately the stuff inside those rooms, as Google Maps is helpful only around the outside world. Initially tagged "Project Tango", it's an ambitious plan to map the indoor world by Google.

The technology platform uses computer vision to enable mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to detect their position relative to the world around them without using GPS or other external signals.

Thus, allowing app developers to create experiences that include indoor navigation: measurement of physical spaces, 3D mapping, and augmented insight into virtual 3D worlds.

As with other mapping technologies, there are some privacy implications, albeit with Tango, when you map a room, it creates a computer file with the exact specifications of that room, and the file stays only on the device.

But you're given the option to share it, which perhaps Google is honing on to generate venue from the service.

While the technology isn't just for traditional maps, Google is pitching it for everything from shopping, to education and maybe gaming.

Albeit, Google has dismissed as too early to talk about linking Tango to Maps advertisements, announcement of new advertising called promoted pins, which allow retailers highlight specific product deals at nearby stores on Google Maps is a pointer.

The company on Thursday demoed a handful of apps, including one from the American Museum of Natural History, which will show you a digital image of Tyrannosaurus Rex on your phone, all part of Google's virtual reality division.

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Google is reportedly testing a new subscription model for its Play Store, whereby app creators are given a bigger cut of subscription fees, according to Recode. The new model will allow app makers to pocket 85 percent of the subscription, instead of the regular 70 percent, which changes could signal a big shift on how app makers charge for their apps.

And it's coming on the heels of Apple's rumored major shake-ups coming to app store, which also includes a new revenue-sharing model that would give developers more money from subscriptions to a service via their apps.

For publishers on iOS platforms to be able to keep 85 percent of revenue (against the usual rate of 70 percent of all revenue generated from subscriptions), once a subscriber has been paying for a year.

But, Google plans to up the ante, as it moves from a 70/30 split to 85/15 for subscriptions — and instead of requiring developers to hook a subscriber for a year before offering the split, it will make it available right away.

Even as Google had tried buying developers over by offering app creators the ability to handle payments themselves and keep all of the revenue. In contrast, Apple requires all payments made within the app store to go through iTunes billing system.

While Google has been testing the new split model with some entertainment companies already, it remains unclear when it will roll out to all its app creators.

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Algorithmic Feed: Instagram joins the Bandwagon?

Posted by John Onwuegbu | June 06, 2016 |

Social networks may perhaps have embraced machine-learning algorithm not just because it understands users' interests, and more accurately make suggestions to their likes after all. There are fears about the possible abuse of the feature, as a monetization scheme, as those platforms may want to offer paid access for brands that are looking for targeted advertising.

Similar with Facebook feed, showing posts it deems are of interest to you, rather than displaying contents in chronological order, is what Instagram will be rolling out over the coming month.

While, Twitter's real-time update has singled it out from the competitions and lending more to its credence, as natural conversation is supposed to be spontaneous, but still it opted for algorithmic update as well.

Albeit, in Twitter's case it isn't available by default, and you'll need to opt-in to get the new algorithmic feed feature.

Instagram algorithmic feed will attempt to identify the photos or videos you’re most interested in and put those items at the top of your feed.

Which according to Instagram, over 60 percent of feeds are missed on average, and that's what it tries to address with the new feed—you might not see more of your feed, but at least you’ll see more of what you want to see.

Nonetheless, only time will tell how a Facebook-styled algorithm will translate on Instagram, even as many users had responded negatively to the upcoming change in feed.

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Siri, which debuted on the iPhone 4S, was first announced in June 2012 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event in San Francisco, as an intelligent virtual assistant and knowledge navigator, incorporated into iOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems.

Apple's Siri marked the beginning of mobile virtual assistants, with iOS users inadvertently in love with it, but Siri is far from been perfect.

The voice-based assistant, Siri has encountered many complaints from users, with some even worrying about a tough time ahead as Google’s artificial intelligence, and Microsoft's Cortana is presenting potential threat to the service.

Google's AI assistant, dubbed Google Now, is a bit more personal, as it could read your Gmail to give you information before you search for it, including flight information, upcoming dates for bills and much more.

And Microsoft's Cortana, launched in 2014 is available on more platforms than Siri or Google Now. As it works on Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One, iOS and Android.

However, it turns out that Apple is working on an advanced AI upgrade to Siri, which could be unveiled in the very near future.

Apple acquired UK-based voice processing startup VocalIQ last year, and will be integrating the advances made by the company on natural language queries and machine learning into Siri.

While unconfirmed report has it that Apple’s highly secretive AI research and development plans suggest that Siri APIs will be open to third-party developers and it was put forward that a Siri-based competitor for Amazon Echo will be unveiled at the Apple WWDC 2016.

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Google admittedly skipped version 9 of its chat app, Hangouts and launched version 10.0 instead for iOS and Android devices, with OS-specific new features aimed at making chats with friends or coworkers even more convenient.

While on Android platform, Hangouts now support Marshmallow’s direct share, a feature which auto-suggests contacts when you access the sharing menu on Android.

And on Apple's iOS, there are two new key features, as noted in the iTunes changelog lists: Support for universal links for direct access to the app and link sharing to invite others to a call.

With support for universal links, you can tap on a link from another app and the developer can configure it to take you right to a conversation on Hangouts.

What this means is that Hangouts users can now send a link that invites someone directly to a conversation.

Albeit, Google had earlier announced two new messaging/video apps: Allo and Duo, these nifty new features coming to Hangouts is an assurance that it's not going away anytime soon, especially as it is part of the Google Apps for Work suite.

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