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Apple Shuts Down Screen Limiting Apps, But Its Own Version Is Flawed.

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With Apple’s iOS 12 arrival in September, iPhone users saw “Screen Time” features make their way to phone screens to counter-intuitively help them spend less time on their phones. But Apple’s built-in phone addiction fighting tool isn’t necessarily the best way to decrease screen time.

Although users could finally track phone and specific app usage while also limiting the amount of time spent on the phone and in apps, it didn’t instantly eliminate the problem. For parents, it offered a way to manage kids’ tech and connected time. The tool was a long time coming (Google’s similar wellbeing tool for Android phones was available in Aug. 2018), but other apps had stepped up over the years to offer phone addicts and parents similar, yet often expanded, features.

A New York Times report Saturday found that 11 of the top third-party screen time and parental control apps have been removed from Apple’s App Store or forced to change features. While that’s concerning about Apple’s power to destroy apps and businesses it views as competitors, it also weakens everyone’s options for better phone control.

It almost feels like Apple’s repeated line that “We don’t want people using their phones all the time,” is as hollow as it sounds. Of course the company doesn’t want users addicted to screens and unhealthily attached to their phones, but as the NYT report makes clear, it seems the iPhone maker is doing a lot to minimize your options around customizing phone usage.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment about the third-party app removals or more about its own tools and features.

Now parents and compulsive phone users are limited to Apple’s native tools, all dubbed “Screen Time.” While for many it’s a perfectly fine solution that reminds you to log off or look away, for others it’s not as powerful as what third-party options once offered.

Some glaring issues immediately come up with Apple’s Screen Time. Mostly that it’s easy to get around the limits. Kids quickly figured out how to game the controls and get into YouTube or game apps that parents had restricted. For adults, time limits for social media apps or others require a lot of self-control. With just your passcode you can allow the phone to let you back onto Facebook all day if you want.

Another issue: for families, Screen Time requires the entire fam to have an iPhone. Other restriction apps gave parents the ability to manage their kids’ Android phone from their iPhone.

Other issues that various apps addressed included weak coverage with Apple’s tool, like how it only blocks content in the Safari web browser for mobile, not Chrome or others; or multiple users using the same device. You don’t want your kid’s limits set while you’re on the same iPad.

Source: Mashable

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Ursula Honored In Hungary.

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Ghana’s Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has been recognized at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World Awards 2019 in Budapest, Hungary for her “exceptional commitment and participation as a valuable partner in ITU Telecom World events.”

Presenting the ITU Telecom World Awards 2019 certificate of appreciation to Mrs Owusu-Ekuful, ITU’s General Secretary, Houlin Zhao described the Ghanaian Communications Minister as an excellent and exceptional member of the Union.

Reacting to the recognition, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said, it’s a great privilege for her modest efforts at the international level, on cooperation in developing and implementing ICT initiatives with colleague Ministers in the last two and half years, to be recognized and rewarded by the ITU.”

She stated that, she is deeply humbled and elated, adding that, this award will encourage her to do even more, both locally and internationally to narrow the digital divide for the benefit of her country and people.

Meanwhile, the Accra Digital Centre, a Government of Ghana mini Technology Park, under the Ministry of Communications, set up to harness the digital potential of Ghana by promoting Digital entrepreneurship and innovation was announced as the 2019 winner of the International Telecommunication Union – ITU’s Global Ecosystem Best Practice Award whereas Vokacom (Innovators of Ghana Post Digital address) emerged as winner of the Best Busines model at the 2019 ITU Telecom World in Budapest, Hungary.

The award, given by the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the ITU, recognizes and gives awards to hosts of Technology Innovation with best practices that enable innovators to develop ICT- centric solutions that can be globally recognized and scaled.

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Spotify Users Can Now Share Music Directly To Snapchat.

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Music streaming service Spotify has announced a new integration that enable users who have the Snapchat app to share music to the multimedia messaging app.

The move, according to Spotify, will allow users to share a song, playlist, artist profile or podcast either directly to their friends on Snapchat or Snapchat story.

“With this new way of sharing, it's quicker and easier for friends to share what they're listening to and for others to start listening,” Spotify said. “You’ll be able to combine the two seamlessly and share what you’re listening to in a Snap story.” 

Here is how Spotify users can share music with friends or post directly to a Snap story:

  • Tap the “share” menu (three dots on the right of the screen) while you’re listening to any song, album, artist, or podcast.
  • Select “Snapchat” from the dropdown list.
  • Snapchat will open a new Snap with the full album art included.
  • Edit and send whether to a few people or to your Story.

If a friend sends you a Snap with a song, playlist, artist profile, or podcast, you can start streaming by using the following steps:

  • Swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap the context card with song, artist, playlist, or podcast info.
  • Spotify will open and play away.

Watch the below video for more information: 

https://youtu.be/aiKLjsPOuTU
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Watch Apple Throw Cake, And Many Other Things, At The iPhone 11 Pro In Its New Ads

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Apple has released two new commercials for the iPhone 11 Pro, both of which show the phone standing up to more abuse than any one phone should ever have to.

The first ad below focuses solely on how tough the iPhone 11 Pro supposedly is against everyday objects being flung at it in a high-speed wind tunnel. First, kids toys and food items pummel it (including an entire head of green leaf lettuce), none of which seem heavy enough to damage the phone.

https://youtu.be/K0VWwY6MR0k

Things get a little more intense later in the ad, with ice cubes and hair brushes bouncing off of the iPhone 11 Pro — all, of course, without leaving a scratch. To top it off, a wedding cake comes crashing down onto the phone, then a sprinkler washes it all off. Maybe it’s just me, but in that moment I think I’d be more worried about my expensive wedding cake than the state of my iPhone.

The second ad focuses on what the phone’s three-lens camera system is capable of, with an elegant, long-haired dog as the subject in a wind chamber.

https://youtu.be/Gb2xJ-GMKmo

This ad does a good job of educating viewers about the differences between the iPhone 11 Pro’s various lenses (telephoto, standard, ultra-wide angle). But the most notable thing shown is Night mode, and the results in the ad look much more impressive than the demo that Apple showed onstage at its hardware event earlier this week.

The iPhone 11 Pro is available to preorder now and will be in stores starting on September 20th.

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Adobe Premiere Pro Will Use AI To Reframe Videos For All Of Your Social Apps.

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Adobe is hoping to eliminate the tedious, time-consuming process that comes with editing videos for different social platforms with its new AI-powered Auto Reframe feature for Premiere Pro. For example, if you’ve got a video that you want to post to YouTube, the Instagram grid, and Instagram Stories, you’d currently have to manually edit that video for three different aspect ratios. Auto Reframe can automatically identify the main action happening in the video and crop and pan the frame around that footage to fit within ratios like square, vertical, or 16:9 videos. The feature, shown off today at the International Broadcasting Convention, makes use of Adobe Sensei, the company’s artificial intelligence platform.

Auto Reframe is an effect that can be applied to clips on Premiere’s timeline, and users can choose between three motion presets (Slower Motion, Default, and Faster Motion) to let the algorithm to know how much movement to expect in the video. The effect will produce motion keyframes that follow the action in your content, which can also be manually adjusted for fine-tuning. It also does the convenient work of resizing text for each aspect ratio, which will save video editors a lot of time.

Adobe has been adding more features to its Creative Cloud apps with social platforms in mind. Premiere Rush CC, the free mobile version of Premiere Pro, was made specifically with YouTube creators in mind, and it features exporting options that are optimized for different social networks, like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Auto Reframe will arrive on Premiere Pro later this year.

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