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Instagram is Developing a New Feature: Blend

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Instagram is Developing a New Feature: Blend

Instagram is once again at the forefront of innovation with a feature known as Blend, aimed at revolutionizing how users engage with Reels, its short-form video content.

Reports indicate that developers are internally testing Blend, a feature that promises to create a private feed of Reels tailored specifically for you and a friend. This revelation comes courtesy of reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, known for uncovering social media features before their official release. According to Paluzzi, Blend will curate Reels recommendations based on videos shared between users and their individual interests.

Unlike the current practice of users discovering Reels individually and sharing them via direct messages, Blend aims to foster a collaborative viewing experience. By creating a personalized feed for two users, Instagram hopes to encourage shared exploration of short-form videos.

Details regarding how Blend will function remain scarce, but it’s speculated that the feature will notify users if their friend has already viewed a particular Reel, facilitating conversations and interactions within the app.

If successfully implemented, Blend could provide Instagram with a competitive edge, particularly in capturing the market of users who enjoy consuming short-form videos together. TikTok, a major competitor in this space, currently lacks a comparable feature, potentially giving Instagram an advantage in user engagement.

While Blend is still in the testing phase and not yet available to the public, its potential impact on user experience and engagement is generating significant interest within the social media sphere. As Instagram continues to explore innovative features like Blend, the platform reaffirms its commitment to evolving alongside the changing preferences and behaviors of its users.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Christyblaire

    April 1, 2024 at 8:56 pm

    Oh woo thanks for the updates more grace.

    • Ibe

      May 12, 2024 at 7:23 pm

      Thank you Christy for your feedback

    • Ibe

      May 12, 2024 at 7:24 pm

      you are welcome christy

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Apple Releases Public Betas for iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia

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Apple Releases Public Betas for iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia

Apple has released the first public betas for its upcoming operating systems: iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia, watchOS 11, and tvOS 18. Having previously released three developer betas for iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is now preparing to bring the final release versions to the public this fall.

The public betas are generally more stable than the developer betas, with most major bugs resolved. However, Apple advises users to avoid installing beta software on their primary devices. Those interested in testing the new betas should back up their data and enroll in the Apple Beta Software Program.

Public beta testers can download the iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 updates by opening the Settings app, navigating to General, selecting Software Update, and choosing the iOS 18 Public Beta option. Given that beta software can still be buggy, it’s best to install it on secondary devices or ensure a backup is available in case a reversion to iOS 17 is necessary.

New Features in iOS 18

LliOS 18 introduces “Apple Intelligence,” a suite of AI features integrated into the operating system. Although these features are not available in the current beta, Apple has promised functionalities such as text rewriting, custom image generation, and an enhanced Siri. These features will be exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro models and newer M-series iPads upon their launch.

Additionally, iOS 18 offers significant customization options, including the ability to rearrange app icons anywhere on the home screen and apply these arrangements to icons and widgets. The revamped Control Center allows users to pick and choose what elements to have front and center from the new Controls Gallery.

The Messages app now supports scheduling texts, using any emoji for Tapback, and sending messages via satellite. Users can add text effects to any word, phrase, or emoji, and apply bold and italic formatting. Apple has also introduced support for RCS for texts with Android users.

Safari can now summarize webpages and highlight important information at a glance. A new Passwords app makes it easier to access saved passwords and logins, and users can lock any app with Face ID or Touch ID.

Enhancements in iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia

Most of the updates in iOS 18 are also present in iPadOS 18 and macOS Sequoia. The iPadOS 18 notably includes a new native Calculator app and enhanced multitasking features. Meanwhile, macOS Sequoia introduces the ability to mirror an iPhone on a Mac screen, among other improvements.

Looking ahead, Apple plans to roll out additional updates in the fall, including the full capabilities of Apple Intelligence.

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Meizu Blue 20 Unveiled with 5G Connectivity, Unisoc T765 Chipset, and 5,010mAh Battery

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Meizu Blue 20 Unveiled with 5G Connectivity, Unisoc T765 Chipset, and 5,010mAh Battery

Meizu has announced the Blue 20, a new budget smartphone set for release in July 2024. The device is powered by the Unisoc T765 chipset, built on a 6nm processor. The exact price remains undisclosed, the phone is currently listed as “coming soon” with a placeholder price. It will be offered in two variants: one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and another with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

The Unisoc T765 chipset enables 5G connectivity and comes with several AI features, including a chatbot and an AI-assisted writing tool. Interestingly, the AI can generate photos without using the camera, though users can still take traditional photos and use the uncrop tool to enhance them. The phone’s camera setup includes a 50MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera, though these figures are achieved through software interpolation from actual 13MP and 5MP sensors.

The Meizu Blue 20 operates on “Flyme AI OS,” which offers smart security and privacy features. It has a 6.52-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The presence of a notch for the selfie camera indicates its budget-friendly nature but also allows for practical features such as a microSD card slot (supporting up to 2TB) and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Additionally, the phone includes stereo speakers.

The device is powered by a 5,010mAh battery, rechargeable via USB-C, though the charging speed has not been specified. The Meizu Blue 20 is 8.3mm thick and features strengthened 2.5D glass on the front, though specific brands were not mentioned.

Currently, there are no plans to release the Meizu Blue 20 outside of China. The phone will be available in three colors: Black, White, and Purple.

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Microsoft Launches Its AI-Powered Designer App to iOS and Android, and It’s Similar to Canva

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Microsoft Launches Its AI-Powered Designer App to iOS and Android, and It’s Similar to Canva

Microsoft has officially launched its AI-powered Designer app on iOS and Android, marking a significant expansion of its creative tools suite. Initially unveiled in 2022 and having undergone an extensive preview phase, the Designer app is now accessible to users with a Microsoft account. The app aims to provide a robust, AI-driven alternative to popular design platforms like Canva, offering a suite of tools to create and edit images and designs through simple text prompts.

Key Features and Capabilities

The Microsoft Designer app is a versatile platform designed to simplify the creative process. It enables users to generate images and designs for various purposes, including stickers, greeting cards, invitations, collages, and more. The app leverages AI technology to help users create visually appealing content quickly and efficiently.

AI-Driven Image Generation: Users can start with a blank canvas and use text prompts to describe the desired outcome. The AI generates images and designs based on these descriptions, making the creative process more intuitive and less daunting for users who may feel intimidated by a blank page.

Templates and Customization: The app includes numerous templates for common image types such as greeting cards, smartphone wallpapers, and profile avatars. These templates serve as a starting point, which users can customize further. Experienced artists can also create their own templates and use their original art to build designs from scratch.

Integration with Microsoft Products: Designer integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products like Word and PowerPoint through Microsoft Copilot, enhancing the creative workflow. For instance, users can create images and designs directly within their documents and presentations, streamlining the process and maintaining the creative flow.

Editing Tools: The app provides a suite of editing tools powered by generative AI, allowing users to edit photos by erasing objects, removing backgrounds, auto-cropping images, applying filters, and adding text without leaving the Photos app on Windows. This integration with Microsoft Photos allows for seamless editing experiences.

New Features and Enhancements

With the general availability of the Designer app, Microsoft has introduced several new features to enhance the user experience:

Prompt Templates:  To help users overcome the challenge of starting with a blank page, Designer now offers prompt templates. These templates are pre-populated with ideas, styles, and descriptions, helping users get started and experiment with different creative directions.

Custom Stickers and More: Users can create custom stickers, emojis, clip art, wallpapers, monograms, avatars, and more, all starting with a simple text description. This feature is particularly useful for social media and messaging apps where personalized content can make interactions more engaging.

Restyle Image and Frame Image: The Restyle Image feature allows users to transform any photo into a work of art by choosing from a set of styles and adding extra details. The Frame Image feature lets users create custom image frames, turning their photos into shareable memories. Additionally, the app supports creating collages, bringing multiple images together in a cohesive and personalized manner.

Replace Background: Soon to be available in select markets, this feature allows users to replace the background of their photos by simply describing the desired scene. This tool is perfect for enhancing the presentation of craft and hobby projects.

Accessibility and Language Support

Microsoft Designer is now accessible in over 80 languages on the web and is available as a free mobile app and as an app in Windows. This broad accessibility ensures that a wide range of users can take advantage of its powerful features.

Responsible AI Use

Microsoft is committed to responsible AI usage. The company has implemented measures to ensure its AI systems are used ethically and safely. These measures include guardrails, threat monitoring, abuse detection, and provenance technology to prevent misuse and mitigate negative outcomes. Microsoft continuously works to strengthen its safety systems, creating a safer environment for all users.

Getting Started

To start using Microsoft Designer, users can download the app on their iOS or Android devices or access it through the web. With its intuitive AI-powered tools, Designer helps users unleash their creativity, making design accessible to everyone, regardless of their experience level.

In summary, Microsoft’s Designer app is a powerful tool that leverages AI to simplify the creative process. Its integration with other Microsoft products and its suite of editing tools make it a valuable addition to the company’s lineup of productivity and creative software. Whether you’re a seasoned designer or a novice, Designer provides the tools you need to bring your creative ideas to life.

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