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Bloomberg, WSJ to have competition from Apple News subscriptions: on First beta iOS 12.2

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Bloomberg, WSJ to have competition from Apple News subscriptions: on First beta iOS 12.2

Apple Inc’s Friday release of the beta version of its latest OS update, iOS 12.2 for developers is loaded with indicators of the bagful of changes it would bring. One potential feature relates to Apple’s new magazines subscription service. Secondly, AirPods 2 will link-up to native voice assistant Siri.

App developers for the closed operating system are all over the internet predicting the load of features that Apple would eventually offer in its latest updated version. The paid-version of News on Apple appears to be the trend-winner thus far!

Subscription-based News

Digitized news content and its consumption has been evolving in the past couple of years, with smartphone apps becoming the default media for consumption.

Developers now tout iOS 12.2 as the decisive update which will push content-producing and publishing conglomerates such as Apple’s Apple News to offer all-in-one media subscription as it needs to be available and monetize all of the consumption patterns – from Apple Music, Apple TV shows to Apple Magazines and soon Apple News.

Bundled subscription appears to be the change needed to push news consumption into digitized version, even as offline newspaper and magazines are quickly biting the dust for being expensive over the low-cost e-versions.

Apple News subscription has been discussed repeatedly in hushed-tones ever since the big daddy of paid-services Apple acquired Texture. It is likely that it will be the flag-bearer for Apple to get its users to pay for the news they can read on their iOS devices. It would of course include content from variety of publishers.

For years now digital economy strides have touched nearly every commodity which can be digitized.

With many of traditional big corporate newspapers and media groups – WSJ, Forbes, Bloomberg offering e-version for insignificant costs the transition to platform-restricted publication was not to far. Facebook began to experiment with its paid-news feed services, where it published news by journalists for a fee. But this experiment was not as effective.

Soon, Facebook began its own news assembling, editing and over time monitoring news buzz for their fakeness, before it pushed forward to its billions of consumers across the world. However, the switch to news consumption from their smart devices is largely restricted to millennial while the senior generation prefers their news pages.

However, the age of newsprint is dying a slow death and it is a matter of a few years before consolidated services such as Apple News will come to rule news rooms.

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Instagram Finally Launches The Much Anticipated ‘Restrict Mode’ Feature

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Instagram Finally Launches The Much Anticipated ‘Restrict Mode’ Feature

Just as WhatsApp plans to incorporate a ‘self-destruct’ feature for secret chats, its sister company – Instagram also embeds a new component termed the ‘Restrict Mode’ to shadow ban Toxic Users. This recent development comes as a result of a 2018 research conducted by Pew Research Center indicating that fifty-nine percent (59%) of US teens were been subject to cyberbullying, according to CNN.

Hence the company’s Head – Adam Mosseri, disclosed in a statement earlier this year establishing that Instagram would “lead the fight against online bullying”. Afterward, that statement was eventually confirmed on Wednesday, in a press release by the leading social platform. Where it was explicitly stated that;

“Restrict is designed to empower you to quietly protect your account while still keeping an eye on a bully.”

The Head of the social media network also announced the birth of this new tool in a tweet earlier today. Having that this new feature has been in the testing phase since July, the ‘Restrict Mode’ functionality at present provides Users with the options to restrict another User either by simply swiping left on their comment – a similar procedure used to report Users on Facebook, through their ‘profile page’ or at best from the Subscriber’s settings privacy tab – which is in semblance to ‘Blocking a Number’ on WhatsApp. 

Subsequently, a ‘Restricted’ User’s comment on your posts would only be visible to them and nobody else. Additionally, notifications become deactivated whereas direct messages from banned Users enter into a pool of message requests. And in the case where these messages are approved and read, the banned Users won’t be duly notified. Also such Users won’t be able to see the ‘active status’ of any User that had earlier banned them.

While the ‘Restrict Mode’ does not actively block the User thus the phrase ‘Shadow Ban’. However, it conveniently refrains such Users from certain access to your page or posts without subsequent permissions. The feature extensively borrows Twitter’s ‘Muted Reply’ approach. And as such comments from banned Users can still be visible but not readable to the general public as it would bear a ‘Restricted Comment’ tag. Granting the Account Owners the opportunity to either approve, delete or ignore the comment.

Even though the introduction of this neoteric tool is intended to inspire teenagers to stand up against online bullying, some experts still fear that this new instrument could turn out to be detrimental instead of its purposed use. As is the argument presented by Jennifer Grygiel – A Social Media Expert and Assistant Professor at Syracuse University and Dr. Sameer Hinduja – Co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and a professor at Florida Atlantic University. Both of them called out to Instagram to publish the results of these ‘anti-bullying’ measures. Dr. Hinduja further postulated that;

“We need to see how it plays out at scale, and whether a critical mass of Instagrammers employ the feature.”

According to another Social media Analyst, Randi Priluck – A Professor and Associate Dean on Social Media and Mobile Marketing at Pace University, Instagram is implementing a great tool, nonetheless, the success of this new development is dependent on a number of factors. In his words;

“The fact that Instagram is doing something is better than nothing, But the question is: How much will this help?”

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Spotify Subscribes to Apple’s SiriKit API to Embed Siri’s Advanced Functionality Into its App

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Spotify
Photo by John Tekeridis from Pexels

Imagine a music app that allows you to play songs just by ‘calling out the song title’ from your playlist. Awesome right?

Well, that becomes the case with the new upgrade on the Spotify app on Apple’s IOS 13.1. Following the recently added features on Siri such as the ability to launch an app with the voice command, advanced guidance on the map, tuning in to a radio station among many others. On Friday, the digital music service providers disclosed that it would be incorporating ‘Siri Support’ specifically for its Users on IOS in the nearest future.

Eventually making Spotify the foremost third-party app that could be operated with ‘Siri’s Voice Assistant’. According to an interview conducted by Verge with a Spotify Associate who refused to comment in details but confirmed this development with a statement adding that;

“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience, Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We aren’t going to comment on specific tests at this time.”

Evidently, the Siri support comes as part of the update on Apple’s IOS 13 and by means of the SiriKit API, Spotify developers were able to embed Siri’s functionality into the Spotify app. Consequently with this new added ‘Siri’ functionality, Users would be able to not only launch the Spotify app but also navigate through and play songs from playlists, albums, and podcasts on the app just by voice commands.

Although this feature was embedded extensive to work on all Apple devices having IOS 13.1 excluding the Apple Watch since IOS wearable devices does not fraught with a devoted Spotify app. Given that the Siri Support on Spotify is currently in its beta testing phase, this innovation would only be available on the latest beta version of Spotify and as such still ships in with a few bugs. Such as trying to play a podcast which always defaults to playing music.

This Siri on Spotify functionality would grants Users an advanced music experience on the go. Subsequently placing the Spotify music app on the same spot as the Apple Music in terms of competing for Siri’s Media player Support.

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