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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Facebook wanted users’ medical data for a research project

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CNBC reports today that Facebook was recently designing a research project that would match users' Facebook data with their medical information. The project has since been halted, but the company had approached a number of health organizations includ…
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Mark Zuckerberg: We didn’t do enough to keep users safe

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In light of the news that Facebook has rewritten its data policy, and that Cambridge Analytica may have had up to 87 million users' data, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted a call with the media to discuss the company's efforts to better protect…
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[Update: Rolling out to all users with beta v6.0.0] Netflix unveils refreshed UI with bottom navigation bar in latest update (APK Download)

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Back in December, Netflix was running what appeared to be a server-side test of a refreshed UI featuring a bottom navigation bar. Now it seems Netflix is rolling out the new interface to some of its beta users, and we finally have an APK download to share too.

The current version of the Netflix app features a hamburger menu that slides out from the left, which lays out a list of user settings, notifications, downloads, My List, and content categories.

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[Update: Rolling out to all users with beta v6.0.0] Netflix unveils refreshed UI with bottom navigation bar in latest update (APK Download) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Instagram is Trying to Make Users Feel Better Without Scaring Them Off

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A perfectly styled plate of food, overflowing and untouched. A shot from behind a young woman, naked in the back of a van, looking out at a stunning landscape (#vanlife). Thin, attractive people in expensive workout clothes without a drop of sweat. Endless selfies that purport to be #nofilter and makeup-free while still somehow looking flawless.

Ho, hum, another day of scrolling through Instagram, and all the feelings of inadequacy it brings up. Over time, those feelings could wear on users’ mental health.

Instagram has negative effects on wellbeing, especially among young women, according to several recent studies. Britain’s Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) ranked Instagram as the worst social network for mental health among young people. Now, Quartz reports that Instagram has decided to address these problems by creating a “Wellbeing Team.”

So far, it’s unclear what exactly that team will be doing, or who will be on it. That may be because Instagram is struggling to walk a fine line between helping its users and alienating them.

A hand holding a mobile phone taking a photo of a sunset over the ocean. Apps like Instagram encourage obsession with sharing content like this to the point that it may damage mental health.
If the sun sets and you didn’t ‘gram it, did it even happen? Image Credit: Free-Photos / Pixabay

The app has recently implemented a few notable changes intended to keep users psychologically healthy, like a filter for offensive comments and connections to mental health resources for those who seem to need it.

Yet what Instagram hasn’t done is introduce some of the RSPH’s suggestions, detailed in its study. The research suggested interventions like a pop-up that warns users they’ve been using social media too long, or a watermark that indicates if an image has been digitally altered.

That’s not all that surprising; telling users that they’ve been on an app too long would make being on the app feel like being nagged by a parent, and run counter to the addictive quality that social media companies have worked hard to build into their products. Additionally, if Instagram started calling out users for retouching their photos, they’d likely find their most prolific users ditching the app in a hurry.

Ultimately, the problem here is a paradox: many aspects of Instagram that make people feel terrible are the very things people come to the app to find. Users want to see images of beautiful places and people; they’re coaxed, compelled to compare their lives to others in the hope of reassuring themselves they’re doing alright. Unlike other apps that have faced these issues, such as Facebook, Instagram posts aren’t diluted by status updates, random shared articles, and other types of content; Instagram is built for voyeurism.

We won’t pretend that there are any easy answers to this issue. As Quartz and others have pointed out, this problem stems from a larger, systemic cultural issue — where depression and other mental health issues remain under-addressed, and in which how you look, and how well you fit into cultural expectations of “success,” are given more credence than actual happiness.

Maybe Instagram’s new “Wellbeing Team” will find some innovative ways to chip away at that.

The post Instagram is Trying to Make Users Feel Better Without Scaring Them Off appeared first on Futurism.

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Zuckerberg: Most of Facebook’s 2 billion users should assume their data has been compromised

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today revealed that all of its 2.2 billion users should assume their public data has been compromised by third-party scrapers. The source of this vulnerability is Facebook’s search function, which allows anyone to look up users via their email address or phone numbers. Users have to opt into it, via an option that lets their names come up in searches. The security settings have this option on by default. In a blog post from CTO Mike Schroepfer, Facebook hinted at the scope of the problem: However, malicious actors have also abused these features to scrape public…

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Facebook: Cambridge Analytica may have had up to 87 million users’ data

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Facebook is continuing to strengthen its data policies amid the Cambridge Analyica scandal, and today the company provided an update to its plans. In a blog post, CTO Mike Schroepfer revealed that Facebook information of up to 87 million people — mo…
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Apple Music and iCloud Music Library Face Syncing Issues as Users Discover Temporary Fixes

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Apple Music and iCloud Music Library sometimes face slight delays when syncing your music between devices like a Mac and iPhone, but since the launch of iOS 11.3 reports about these delays have grown much more frequent. On the MacRumors forums, in Apple’s support communities, and throughout numerous Reddit posts, users have mentioned that when they add new music on their Mac or iPad, it no longer appears on their iPhone.

Some users have said that toggling iCloud Music Library on/off works to kickstart the sync and force a refresh of albums on their iPhone, but that has the potential to cause further problems like deleted music and the removal of some song downloads. Fortunately, one user on the Apple support communities website has shared a helpful temporary fix for the issue, which MacRumors has been able to successfully perform more than five times.

Creating a new, blank playlist works to refresh your Apple Music library

To manually refresh your iPhone’s music library, simply create a new, blank playlist by navigating to the Library tab in the iOS Music app, tap Playlists, tap New Playlist, and tap Done. Once the refresh is done, jump to the bottom of the Playlists page and 3D Touch to delete the empty playlist. Note that this will also update songs added and removed within playlists.

There is no fix for this, but there is a work around until Apple fixes this: just create a blank playlist on the iOS device. This forces a read/write with the library stored in iCloud, then all your changes will suddenly get pulled down. You have to do this every time, it’s essentially a manual refresh now.

Unfortunately, the reverse method doesn’t appear to work as consistently in iTunes on Mac, but desktop users also have another potential easy solution to refresh their library: simply rate a song by loving/disliking it. Afterwards, the Recently Added tab in iTunes should refresh with the addition or removal of content that you made on any other devices connected to the same iCloud account.

On both macOS and iOS, you can also add any other new song, album, or playlist to your library to manually refresh and force the content not syncing across devices to appear. Then, you can delete the new songs after everything else has been updated.

Multiple Apple Music subscribers have opened up support cases on the bug, and Apple support in most instances have said that it’s not a known issue. However, support staff told one user that they will start an investigation after he “rebooted, changed password, signed out of iCloud, switched iCloud music library off,” and more.

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OnePlus will let users hide the notch on the OnePlus 6

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OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has taken to the company’s forums to offer fans some reassurance about the upcoming OnePlus 6 and its controversial notched display. In response to a loud and passionate negative reaction, Lau says that OnePlus will now offer the option to black out the sides of the screen around the notch and thereby hide it, much as Huawei has done with the P20. I’ve been using the latter phone since its announcement in Paris last week, and I’ve never felt the need to hide its notch, but it’s good to have the option for people suffering from notch allergies.

The OnePlus 6 will get the notch-hiding tweak in a software update after release, Lau says, which again indicates the imminent arrival of his company’s next flagship phone….

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Facebook survey asks users if it is ‘good for the world’

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Facebook has scrambled to win back trust after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the leaked 'ugly truth' memo. The company has made it easier for users to delete their data, dump third-party apps in bulk and started rolling out news verification to…
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