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By Abhay V
Apple reportedly testing Music and Podcasts apps for the Microsoft Store
by Abhay Venkatesh
Apple retired iTunes for macOS back in 2019 with the release of macOS Catalina, splitting its functionality into three apps: Music, TV, and Podcasts. However, the company continued offering iTunes on Windows and had nothing to share about replacing the aging music client. A job posting spotted late in 2019 hinted towards possible efforts in that regard, with the firm calling on UWP developers to build the “next generation of media apps for Windows”. The company then made available Apple TV for Xbox late last year.
Now, a new report suggests that the Cupertino giant is working to bring its Music and Podcasts apps to the Microsoft Store. The apps are reportedly being tested as part of a private beta program and a release is expected sometime later this year. It is not clear if the apps are aimed at Xbox users alone, just like the Apple TV app, or if Apple plans to make the offerings available for the PC as well via the Microsoft Store.
Apple has been gradually expanding the availability of its services on multiple platforms. Apple TV, for instance, is making its way to Chromecast with Google TV and multiple smart TVs from LG and Sony. It will not be surprising to see the Music app make it to the Xbox, following the TV app. Though the service has a great web app. there is merit in releasing the apps for Windows 10 – and by extension for Windows 10X that is expected to launch on low-end PCs and tablets first – since it will greatly expand the reach of the company’s services via native apps.
It will be interesting to see what the iPhone company has in store for Microsoft’s platform. The introduction of native TV, Music, and Podcasts apps to Windows will be a welcome addition for users of the services.
By Ather Fawaz
Samsung debuts its new brand sound to appeal to young folks
by Ather Fawaz
Samsung kicked off its CES 2021 announcements with a new brand sound, 'The Voyage', complemented by a new animation of the company’s letter mark logo.
Created by sound designers specializing in creating sound for product functions, Samsung claims that The Voyage represents its "overall brand identity" and is the first time that the firm will be communicating directly with its consumers via a brand sound. In line with the company’s iconic sounds like 'Over the Horizon' and 'Beyond the Horizon', the new melody presents a simplified musical scale so that the brand sound can be used in a broad range of applications.
Overall, The Voyage accentuates Samsung's efforts to be "young and playful" so that it can appeal to "the Millennial and GenZ generations, in a more friendly and flexible manner." The South Korean tech giant plans to develop various arrangements of this melody for marketing activities while maintaining a single motif. If you are interested, Samsung has posted a bunch of variants on its blog post already; you may check those out here.
UK to introduce laws to improve safety on social media
by Paul Hill
The UK government has announced that it will be introducing new laws that’ll apply to social media firms in a bid to make the internet a bit safer. Companies that do not follow the rules can be fined £18 million or 10% of turnover, whichever is higher, could also see their websites blocked and the government will even be allowed to hold senior managers liable.
The new laws are a response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation and make social media firms responsible for tackling both legal and illegal harms. They are being instituted in order to protect children using online services. The government has made clear that while the rules apply to sites that let people post content, articles and comments sections on news websites will be exempt from the rules in a bid to protect free speech.
Some of the material which the government said will need to be removed from platforms include child sexual abuse and terrorist material as well as content promoting suicide. With regards to suicide, the government is working with the Law Commission on whether the promotion of self-harm should be made illegal.
As mentioned earlier, some legal content will also be banned from platforms because the government believes that such content could cause “significant physical or psychological harm to adults.” Content the government has in mind includes dangerous disinformation and misinformation.
The new laws, which will be enforced by Ofcom, will be introduced next year in an Online Safety Bill. With the government holding a majority of seats, there’s a very good chance of these laws being passed by the parliament.
By Usama Jawad96
YouTube reveals top trending videos and creators in the U.S. in 2020
by Usama Jawad
2020 has been an unusual year with people all over the world being restricted to their homes for extended durations and having to rely on digital services and capabilities for the most part. On the digital services front, YouTube even decided to cancel its annual Rewind celebration. While the company blamed the current circumstances, it has to be noted that its Rewind videos have been very poorly received over the past couple of years.
While the firm may not be releasing a montage celebrating its top creators around the globe this year, it has still revealed the top trending videos and content creators in the U.S.
YouTube has divided its trending content for the U.S. in various categories. Collectively, its top 10 trending videos on the platform garnered 356 million views and were watched for 48 million hours. The channels hosting this content totaled 175 million subscribers. Trending content and creators in 2020 mainly ranged from gaming to COVID-related videos. You can view the various categories below:
Top Trending Videos (U.S.) Netflix Is A Joke - 8:46, Dave Chappelle Mark Rober - Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder SNL - First Debate Cold Open JeffreeStar - We Broke Up MrBeast - I Bought The World’s Largest Firework NikkieTutorials - I’m Coming Out. Dream - Minecraft Speedrunner VS 3 Hunters GRAND FINALE NBC - Ricky Gervais’ Monologue - 2020 Golden Globes Dude Perfect - Quarantine Stereotypes SomeGoodNews - Some Good News with John Krasinski - Ep 1 Top Creators (U.S.) MrBeast Dream ZHC SSSniperwolf Tiko Chloe Ting JoshDub The Royalty Family LazarBeam James Charles Breakout Creators (U.S.) Dream Tiko Chloe Ting EddieVR charli d’amelio GeorgeNotFound Dixie D’Amelio Corpse Husband SomeGoodNews Hyram Top Music Videos (U.S.) Future - Life is Good ft. Drake Tekashi 6ix9ine - Gooba Lil Baby x 42 Dugg - We Paid NLE Choppa - Walk Em Down ft. Roddy Ricch Cardi B - WAP ft. Megan Thee Stallion DaBaby - Rockstar ft. Roddy Ricch Roddy Ricch - The Box Drake - Laugh Now Cry Later ft. Lil Durk YoungBoy Never Broke Again - Lil Top Lil Baby - The Bigger Picture While YouTube has only revealed the trending videos and content creators in the U.S. currently, it's natural to assume that it will do a similar list on a global level at some later point in time.
By Usama Jawad96
Twitter will now warn users if they try to 'like' disputed tweets
by Usama Jawad
Over the past month or so, Twitter has ramped up its efforts to stop the spread of disputed and potentially misleading claims on the internet. A couple of weeks ago, it outlined how it was doing this by labeling certain tweets as disputed and disabling engagement mechanisms such as retweets for problematic claims to curb the spread of fake news related to the U.S. presidential elections. Now, the company is also showing warnings if you try to 'like' disputed tweets.
Twitter explained this change in a tweet from its official support account stating that based on its success in stopping the spread of misleading news by encouraging quote tweets instead of retweets, it is going a step further and will now prompt users before they 'like' a disputed tweet as well. The company said:
This change is currently visible on the website and does not appear to have been rolled out to mobile apps on our end at the time of this writing, although that should follow shortly too.
The new prompt now displays a warning before you like a tweet and encourages users to visit what it considers official news sources on disputed claims. Users can still like the tweet by clicking the heart icon at the bottom of the prompt again, but it will show up every time you react to any disputed tweet. It remains to be seen whether this move deters the public from spreading disputed claims and the ensuing fake news.