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Big Tech

  • This Google AI-powered tool can help detect breast cancer

    Google AI, an artificial intelligence research and development division of Google, has developed an algorithm to assist in the detection of breast cancer, referred to as the LYmph Node Assistant or LYNA. In a blog post this week, the company explained that detecting cancers such as breast cancer in lymph nodes can be a tedious and delicate task. That’s why, in order to better treat such a cancer, being able to detect it on minute scales is important. According to the post, published findings in two research papers suggest that the “pathologist assistant tool” LYNA can effectively help detect cancerous cells...

  • Bye bye Reply: Google is burying yet another promising app

    When Google isn't launching phones with enormous notches, or leaking internal memos of its struggles with censorship, it's killing promising apps and services that heaps of users love. The latest victim? Reply. A lesser known app in the Google stable, Reply was a smart notification app that could either respond to messages itself, or prompt the user to select from a number of AI-enriched and contextually aware replies. It was particularly useful for travellers, as Reply could sense when its master was in a car, walking or cycling and notify the messager accordingly. It didn't just serve Google messaging apps either. WhatsApp,...

  • After complaints, Microsoft plans release of new October update for Windows 10

    After pausing its latest update for Windows 10 due to file disappearances, Microsoft has announced that it has investigated the matter and that the company is now testing a new version of the update. The version 1809 October update for Windows 10 had been affecting users personal files upon installation last week, causing them to disappear. Now, just a few days after the initial pause, Windows Insiders are already getting to try out a new version. “We will carefully study the results, feedback, and diagnostic data from our Insiders before taking additional steps towards re-releasing more broadly,” the company explained. Microsoft also released a new...

  • New emoji are heading to Apple’s iOS 12.1

    The iOS 12.1 update is still in its beta phase, but soon it will be available for all compatible Apple devices, bringing with it Emoji 11.0 and over 70 brand new emoji. “Emoji are used by people all over the world to communicate. iOS 12.1 brings even more characters to the keyboard that better represent global users,” said Apple on its website. While new characters will include the red, grey, curly and bald people that were originally promised, there are also some culturally diverse additions coming too such as “moon cake, red gift envelope and nazar amulet”. Even sports is getting more...

  • Google Assistant has a new look

    Google has given its Assistant app a makeover. “With a new makeover to the Assistant on phones, we’re making it even easier to get things done regardless of whether you prefer to use your hands, your voice, or combination of the two,” said the company in an announcement. Google claims that this redesign is a mix of “text and talk” meant to provide accurate information on demand. The new look includes “bigger visuals”, “new controls and sliders” and “interactive messaging”. These changes are meant to make navigating the app easier, with the latter allowing you to use touch to edit messages. On Android...

  • Google launches new voice control app for Android

    Google has launched a new accessibility app for Android devices called Voice Access. The app “provides a hands-free experience for Android, letting people navigate through apps, compose and edit text, and talk to the Google Assistant,” Google said in the announcement. This means that you will now be able to use your voice to control and command your Android device. This accessibility does not only provide ease-of-access for all, but also helps those with physical disabilities have more autonomy when using their tech devices. In fact, Google’s Accessibility team includes impaired individuals who help test and develop products such as Voice Access. The company...

  • Google Maps’ new updates makes commuting across your city much easier

    Google Maps is this week getting another update, specifically for people who travel across their city. The app will now feature a new "Commute" tab on the lower navigation menu, which "provides one-tap access to live traffic and transit information tailored to your commute". Said tailored info includes the average journey duration along your normal route, route deviations if there are obstructions, and notifications if there are disruptions to your normal commute. Google Maps doesn't just cater for drivers though. The company revealed that public transit modes are now also supported. "You can see helpful information about when to leave, and for each...

  • Google Maps debuts group planning feature for friends

    Google's trying to make picking a restaurant to meet up with friends a bit easier. The company today announced a new feature in Google Maps that allows friends to collaboratively plan a day out, all without combing through mountains of text messages and recommendations. "Starting today, you can use Google Maps to easily plan where to go as a group," Google wrote on its blog. Group planning makes use of the already established shortlist feature, which allows individuals to add places to a bucket list. "Simply long press on any place to add it to a shortlist -- the small floating bubble on...

  • Future Google Search will answer questions you haven’t even asked yet

    This year googlegle celebrated its 20 year milestone. Now it seems to be looking forward to the next 20 in the form of Google Search. “As Google marks our 20th anniversary, I wanted to share a first look at the next chapter of Search, and how we’re working to make information more accessible and useful for people everywhere,” says the company’s Search, News and Assistant Vice President, Ben Gomes in a blog post. According to him, there are three core shifts to what comes next. More than an answer Google won’t just provide you with answers for what you search anymore, but also...

  • Apple buys music recognition service Shazam

    Apple on Monday announced that it has acquired music recognition service Shazam for an undisclosed amount. The service, which was founded in 1999, allows users to identify the details of a playing track by using a phone's microphone. More recently, the service has also offered more integrated music discovery features, fitting in perfectly with Apple's growing content distribution ambitions. "Shazam has been downloaded over one billion times around the world, and users identify songs using the Shazam app over 20-million times each day," Apple explains in its release. Additionally, Apple has also confirmed that the service will be offered "ad-free for all users". Feature...

  • Google’s Science Fair competition is now open for entry

    Google Science Fair is open for submissions until 12 December 2018 for those between 13 and 18 years of age. The competition, which first took place in 2011, has been a place for global learners to share and develop their science initiatives, and possibly win exclusive prizes from Google and sponsors alike. The possibilities for African entrants are tangible too. The last grand prize winner, Kiara Nirghin, was born in South Africa. In a blog post about fair’s commencement, Google interviewed Nirghin, who designed a way to help alleviate the effect of drought on crops using fruit waste as water retaining polymers. Her...

  • Feed your wanderlust: 4 awesome ways foodies can use Google Maps

    Google Maps has become an essential for many commuters. The navigation tool has guided us through our daily travels, on both new and warn out routes, playing co-pilot wherever we go. Maps however, isn’t just a way to get from A to B anymore. In fact, the tool has evolved into much more, and is actually a pretty cool way to feed your inner explorer -- literally. This week Google outlined these new social features for Google Maps that are geared towards travellers and food lovers. Discover the bites around you Google Maps can suggest places for you to visit based on your...

  • Google’s killing its Inbox app in 2019

    Google's graveyard is about to get bigger by one more service. Following in the vein of Reader, Wave and Picasa, Google's Inbox email app will be killed off from March 2019, the company announced on Wednesday. Inbox, which debuted in 2014, is a radical redesign of Google's more tradition email management app Gmail. In an article covering its launch, we called it "a cross-breed between Facebook’s News Feed and Google Now, with highlights of your travel itineraries, pictures and the works; all looking colourful."Goo But from 2019, users will either have to find a new email management app, or use Gmail. This Google...

  • Cape Town’s the real star of Apple’s Watch Series 4 ad

    Apple may have been trying to showcase its new Apple Watch Series 4, but its one filming location in particular glimpsed within its new ad that piqued our interest. With "Hokey Pokey" playing in the background, the ad tracks the daily movement of people across the world, all doing what they seemingly love. However, if you look at little closer, you may spot a Table Mountain or two. A large portion of the advertisement was filmed in Cape Town. Bo-Kaap, the CBD, the Atlanic Seaboard, Hout Bay, and Camps Bay beach are all visible in the heavily-cut 60 second clip. "Apple Watch has...

  • People are already trolling Apple over the iPhone’s new names

    Apple may as well have launched an iPhone XD, because the internet's heaping the hilarious hot takes on the company's new smartphone names. Leaked earlier today through its own website, Cupertino's three new phones will be called the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR. Fans aren't warming to them. It’s official, iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR. I’ll get use to it, but those are awful names. — Michael Kukielka (@DetroitBORG) September 12, 2018 "XS MAX, I keep seeing 'EXCESS MAX.' It sounds a new Pepsi Beverage," wrote one Twitter user. "XrR sounds like a new model from Mazda." XS MAX, I...