Google Maps v9.75 beta rolls out with notifications for transit maps, hints of bicycle sharing integration, and mystery LG “perks” [APK Teardown]

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Late last night, the latest version of Google Maps began rolling out through the beta channel. For many people, this will likely bring new notifications with convenient shortcuts to local area transit maps. There are also signs that Google is adding integration with bicycle sharing services, a vague hint of new activity around speed limits, and possibly some new perks for Local Guides.

What’s New

Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)

  • Transit maps in notifications
  • Nearby traffic notification toggle

Transit maps in notifications (for India?)

Google Maps has been making huge leaps at improving mass transit features over the last couple of years with new and improved features like step-by-step navigation through stops and updated train schedules.

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Google Maps v9.75 beta rolls out with notifications for transit maps, hints of bicycle sharing integration, and mystery LG “perks” [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Facebook will stop sharing as much of your personal data with people outside of Facebook

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Facebook is making sweeping changes to many of its most important APIs.

Facebook is aggressively cutting down on the amount of personal data third-party developers can collect from users as part of its response to Cambridge Analytica, the third-party data firm that collected personal information from as many as 87 million Facebook users without their permission.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced sweeping changes to many of its APIs — software plugins that allow outside businesses and developers to collect data directly from Facebook.

The changes are broad, and you can read all of the specifics at Facebook’s blog, but the gist is that Facebook will limit the types of data available through each API so that outsiders can’t see as much about people on Facebook.

“We believe these changes will better protect people’s information while still enabling developers to create useful experiences,” Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer wrote in a blog post.

A few of the highlights:

  • Facebook will now need to approve every app that uses its login feature to collect information beyond basic profile data, like a user’s name and email. It will also stop apps from asking about ideological information, like a user’s religious or political views.
  • Facebook is expediting a plan to close its Instagram Platform API, which was originally planned to happen gradually over the next few years. Facebook says the “deprecation” of that API will take place “effective today.” Developers started noticing this earlier in the week, without a heads up from the company, but Facebook declined to comment on the changes until now.
  • You can’t search for people on Facebook using their email or phone number anymore. Facebook says “malicious actors” were abusing that feature, so it’s disabling it.
  • Facebook will start alerting users that their data may have been part of the Cambridge Analytica data set beginning Monday, April 9. The company will put a link at the top of every Facebook user’s News Feed to help them understand which third-party apps have their data. That alert will also include whether or not your data was part of the set obtained by Cambridge Analytica.

It will be interesting to see how these changes impact Facebook’s relationship with third-party developers just weeks before the company’s annual developer conference, F8. Many developers rely on Facebook APIs to sign up new users, or scale their own audience by asking people to share their Facebook friends list.

Almost all developers will find out about these changes today, and though the writing has been on the wall for weeks, it’s likely many will be caught off guard.

Wednesday’s update is just the latest in what has been an incredibly busy three-week stretch for Facebook. The company already rewrote its terms of service, is in the middle of a media blitz with CEO Mark Zuckerberg to answer press questions and is cutting out data partners the company no longer wants to associate with.

Zuckerberg will also testify next week before a House Congressional committee to answer questions about the company’s data privacy practices.

Recode – All

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Messenger adds support for sharing HD video, 360-degree photos

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Perhaps aiming to snag some attention away from Snapchat’s big group video call update out this morning, Facebook also announced an update to its chat app Messenger, which will now allow users to share 360-degree videos and HD quality video (720p). In both cases, you’ll have to capture the photo or video outside the Messenger app, the company notes.

The update follows another that rolled out last fall, allowing users to share high-resolution photos through Messenger – something that Facebook said was the result of its significant investments in helping people “communicate visually.”

The idea that mobile messaging is often a camera-first experience isn’t unique to Facebook Messenger, of course – it’s the premise of the Snapchat experience and, these days, Instagram too.

Unfortunately for Facebook, news of improved media-sharing capabilities comes at a time when the company is under siege for its mishandling of user data, and, most recently, another reveal that it had been retaining videos that users believed to be deleted. The broader effect of this news cycle around Facebook’s approach to privacy, is an increased general mistrust of Facebook’s products as the place to share – including sharing through Messenger, which isn’t as distanced from the core product as Facebook-owned Instagram and Whatsapp are.

Facebook says if you want to share a 360-degree photo, you’ll need to first snap it with your camera or another 360-photo app before uploading it to Messenger where it will then be converted to an immersive experience that can be navigated through by the recipients via either tapping and dragging on mobile, or clicking and dragging on Messenger.com.

Similarly, HD videos will need to be first captured from the phone, or re-shared from the Facebook Newsfeed or other messages.

The rollout of the HD feature is limited to select markets for now, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the U.K. and the U.S. on iOS and Android.

360 photos, however, are available worldwide on iOS and Android.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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SwiftKey adds calendar and location sharing to the new toolbar

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Swiftkey launched a new toolbar interface just a couple weeks back, and it’s adding a few more features to it today. With the latest update, you can easily insert your current location as well as calendar appointments. SwiftKey promised both these features previously, and here they are.

The toolbar sits right above your keyboard for quick access to features like the clipboard, stickers, settings, and more. The addition of two more icons might make the toolbar a bit cluttered, but it’s not shown by default.

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SwiftKey adds calendar and location sharing to the new toolbar was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Twitter Introduces Easier Method for Sharing Specific Clips From Live Videos

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Twitter this week updated its iOS and Android apps with a new feature called “Timestamps,” which the company said will make it easier to share brief moments from longer live videos.

Previously, Twitter users had to direct their followers to specific time codes in a live video so that people knew which moment they were referring to. The Timestamps update is a direct response to that, according to product lead for Periscope Mike Folgner.


Now, when users tap the share sheet extension on a live video, Twitter displays a playback track that they can scrub through to find the exact moment they want their followers to watch. Then they can tap the “new tweet” button, type in any commentary on the video clip, and press “tweet.” The clips can also be sent via direct message or copied and shared through a link.

So, we built Timestamps which lets anyone Tweet a live or replay video starting from the exact moment they want to discuss.

People have always used Twitter to talk about the things they experience. With Timestamps, now we can show rather than just tell everyone what’s happening.

People who see the tweet will be able to watch the specific moment shared within, and if the broadcast is still live they can skip forward in time by tapping “live.” Folgner said the feature is available across all live videos, “whether from a professional content publisher or someone broadcasting from their phone.”

Timestamps are available now on Twitter for iOS [Direct Link] and Android, Twitter.com, and Periscope.

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Blockchain is the key to fair distribution of wealth in the sharing economy

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Early sharing economy enthusiasts had a clear vision for the peer-to-peer marketplace: path towards sustainability, empowerment of individuals, and new job opportunities for the disadvantaged. However, the sharing economy’s giants such as Uber and Airbnb quickly overtook the marketplace, painting a vastly different picture. While they provide convenience and efficiency, there’s a price to pay: low wages and job insecurity. As a result, we’ve seen a number of workers across the globe take it to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction with unfair work practices. And these workers are not just talking the talk; they’ve also started walking it. A…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

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Instagram reenables GIF sharing after GIPHY promises no more racism

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A racial slur GIF slipped into GIPHY’s sticker library earlier this month, prompting Instagram and Snapchat to drop their GIPHY integrations. Now Instagram is reactivating after GIPHY confirmed its reviewed its GIF library four times and will preemptively review any new GIFs it adds. Snapchat said it had nothing to share right now about whether it’s going to reactivate GIPHY.

“We’ve been in close contact with GIPHY throughout this process and we’re confident that they have put measures in place to ensure that Instagram users have a good experience” an Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch. GIPHY told TechCrunch in a statement that “To anyone who was affected: we’re sorry. We take full responsibility for this recent event and under no circumstances does
GIPHY condone or support this kind of content . . . We have also finished a full investigation into our content moderations systems and processes and have made specific changes to our process to ensure soemthing like this does not happen again.”

We first reported Instagram was building a GIPHY integration back in January before it launched a week later, with Snapchat adding a similar feature in February. But it wasn’t long before things went wrong. First spotted by a user in the U.K. around March 8th, the GIF included a racial slur. We’ve shared a censored version of the image below, but warning, it still includes graphic content that may be offensive to some users.

When asked, Snapchat told TechCrunch ““We have removed GIPHY from our application until we can be assured that this will never happen again.” Instagram wasn’t aware that the racist GIF was available in its GIPHY integration until informed by TechCrunch, leading to a shut down of the feature within an hour. An Instagram spokesperson told TechCrunch “This type of content has no place on Instagram.” After 12 hours of silence, GIPHY responded the next morning, telling us “After investigation of the incident, this sticker was available due to a bug in our content moderation filters specifically affecting GIF stickers.”

The fiasco highlights the risks of major platforms working with third-party developers to brings outside and crowdsourced content into their apps. While it’s an easy way to provide more entertainment and creative expression tools, it also forces companies to rely on the quality and safety of things they don’t fully control.

GIPHY’s full statement is below.

CHANGES TO GIPHY’S STICKER MODERATION
Before we get into the details, we wanted to take a moment and sincerely apologize for the
deeply offensive sticker discovered by a user on March 8, 2018. To anyone who was affected:
we’re sorry. We take full responsibility for this recent event and under no circumstances does
GIPHY condone or support this kind of content.
The content was immediately removed and after investigation a bug was found in our content
moderation filters affecting stickers. This bug was immediately fixed and all stickers were re-
moderated.
We have also finished a full investigation into our content moderation systems and processes
and have made specific changes to our process to ensure something like this does not happen
again.

THE CHANGES
After fixing the bug in our content moderation filters and confirming that the sticker was
successfully detected, we re-moderated our entire sticker library 4x.
We have also added another level of GIPHY moderation before each sticker is approved into
the library. This is now a permanent addition to our moderation process.
We hope this will ensure that GIPHY stickers will always be fun and safe no matter where you
see them.

THE FUTURE AND BEYOND
GIFs and Stickers are supposed to make the Internet a better, more entertaining place.
GIPHY is committed to making sure that’s always the case. As GIPHY continues to grow, we’re
going to continue looking for ways to improve our user experience. Please let us know how we
can help at: support@giphy.com.
Team Giphy.

 

Mobile – TechCrunch

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How to set up Family Sharing and create a child’s Apple ID on iPhone and iPad

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Family Sharing is a handy feature that Apple offers to let up to six people share things like iCloud Storage, Apple Music, iTune purchases, location data, and more. Whether you’ve never needed the feature before or just want to get it set up for the first time, follow along for how to start using Family Sharing.

more…

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Instagram is Testing a Twitter-Style Sharing Feature

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Being able to quickly share content that users see on a social network should be paramount to the platform, and now Instagram is getting on the fun, too. Continue reading
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Food app Ritual is sharing users’ precise workplace information

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Ritual is a "social ordering" app that allows users to place an order for a meal and have it ready for pickup at a local restaurant. That's not new, but what Ritual allows is for other users to add their own food orders, or "piggyback", onto the orde…
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