Snapchat harnesses TrueDepth on iPhone X for ultra-realistic Lenses

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Snapchat on Friday rolled out a set of three iPhone X-exclusive Lenses that use data from the TrueDepth camera array to mold realistic AR overlays, or masks, onto a user’s face.
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Snapchat is finally releasing its special Lenses for iPhone X users

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Apple teased iPhone X-exclusive AR Snapchat Lenses at the phone’s launch event last year, and today, Snapchat is finally releasing them. Only iPhone X users will be able to see the three lenses that are available today, thanks to the TrueDepth front-facing camera of the devices. Those lenses include a Mardi Gras-esque mask, a Day of the Dead skull, and a pretty gold-plated eye cover.

You’ll immediately notice these lenses more tightly sticking to your face, particularly around the jawline, at least going off Snapchat’s provided photos and videos. Snap says the lenses should reflect the surrounding light more realistically. It also says the TrueDepth camera lets it blur the background in these lenses and accurately apply small details…

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BlackBerry sues Snapchat over patented Messaging, Snap Maps and more

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After suing Facebook, BlackBerry is now after Snapchat creator Snap Inc. over patented Messaging, Snap Maps and more. BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer John Chen has been working to find additional sources of revenue as investors express concern over company’s growth.  As the growth of the company is tanking, the company is hunting through its library of wireless tech and messaging patents to find opportunities for more licensing deals, and lawsuits. The company is now after Snapchat and is accusing of infringing six patents issued in 2012 and 2014. Two among these are also among the suite that BlackBerry filed against Facebook in March. BlackBerry patent rights include map improvement for mobile devices, user interface improvements for mobile devices, modern mobile advertising techniques. Snapchat declined to comment on the issue A BlackBerry spokesperson in a statement said: BlackBerry has a well-earned reputation for protecting and securing our customers’ data and privacy. For more than a year we have been working to establish a dialogue with Snap as we believe there are far more opportunities for partnership than disagreement. While we continue to hold this door open, we also have a strong claim that Snap infringed on our intellectual property, harmed our shareholders, and we have an …
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BlackBerry claims Snapchat has infringed on its messaging patents

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One month after filing a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, BlackBerry has filed a lawsuit against another major mobile entity.

BlackBerry is accusing Snap Inc., maker of Snapchat, of infringing on its patents. BlackBerry says that Snap has infringed on six of its patents that were isseud in 2012 and 2014. Two of those patents are among the seven that BlackBerry says Facebook has infringed on.

Snap declined to comment on this lawsuit.

BlackBerry Messenger is one of the older mobile messaging services around, and so likely has quite a collection of patents related to messaging clients. However, we’ll just have to wait and see if the company’s claims that Snap is infringing on its patents hold up in court.

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Snapchat Group Video Chat Feature Announced, Here Are The Details

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Snapchat has just announced new Group Video Chat and Stories mentions features for iOS and Android. Here’s what you need to know.

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Snapchat lets Giphy back onto its platform after racist GIF incident

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Snapchat has allowed Giphy back onto its platform after it was removed when users found a racist GIF on the database earlier this month, Snapchat parent company Snap Inc. confirmed to The Verge. Instagram and Snapchat had both pulled Giphy from their platforms, but Instagram reinstated Giphy last week, with stricter moderation. Snapchat confirmed today that it would bring Giphy back since it has upgraded its moderation.

The GIF initially appeared when users searched “crime” on the Giphy database, and it showed a white announcer celebrating the death of people of color while using a racial slur. Giphy has since apologized for the slip-up, and the company says it has combed through its database several times to detect any other problematic…

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Snapchat reinstates Giphy stickers following removal of racist GIFs

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Last month, both Snapchat and Instagram pulled Giphy stickers from their apps after users discovered a racist GIF with a slur. At the time, Giphy said that it had removed the GIF in question and fixed the bug that let it through. It also said it woul…
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Snapchat adds group video chats with up to 16 participants

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Snapchat hasn’t been doing well lately. The recent redesign received almost universal criticism, the company’s stock price continues to fall, and layoffs have become common. For those of you still using the app regularly, you can now do group video chats with up to 16 people.

This appears to be another move to pull users away from other services – specifically Facebook Messenger, Skype, and Houseparty. Snap says the feature will be rolling out globally this week, so if you don’t have it yet, you won’t have to wait long.

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Snapchat adds group video chats with up to 16 participants was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Snapchat brings back GIPHY after removal due to racist GIF

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After a racial slur GIF caused Snapchat to remove its GIPHY sticker feature, Snapchat confirms to TechCrunch it’s reinstated its integration. GIPHY has apologized, fixed the bug that let the objectionable GIF slip through, and reviewed its GIF sticker library four times in an effort to guarantee that offensive content won’t end up in apps that embed it. Instagram had also removed GIPHY, but reinstated it last week with Snapchat saying it had nothing to share yet.

A Snap spokesperson told TechCrunch that over the past several weeks, the Snap team worked with GIPHY to revamp its moderation systems. Now Snap is confident that the fresh approach will protect users, so its brought the GIF stickers back. They let people embellish their photos and videos with overlaid animated illustrations and video clips.

So ends a month-long ordeal that started when a U.K. user spotted a GIF containing a racial slur for people of color. Snapchat removed the GIPHY feature as press backlash in the U.K. mounted. Instagram wasn’t aware of the issue until informed by TechCrunch, leading it to remove the GIPHY feature within an hour.

Warning: We’ve shared a censored version of the GIF below, but it still includes graphic content that may be offensive to some users.

The situation highlights the risks of working with outside developers that aren’t entirely under a platform’s control. Piping in external utilities lets apps quickly expand their offering to users. But if developers misuse people’s data, deliver broken functionality, or let objectionable content through, it can reflect poorly on the app hosting them. Facebook is currently dealing with this backlash surrounding Cambridge Analytica. Meanwhile, Instagram just severely restricted its APIs without warning, breaking many developers’ apps in what’s believed to be part of Facebook’s push to shore up data privacy.

Favoring news publishers, Snapchat historically never actively embraced developers, banning use of outside apps that require your Snapchat credentials. It’s more recently started letting devs build and promote their own augmented reality lenses. But after this set-back, we’ll have to see if Snapchat becomes any more reluctant to work with partners.

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