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Where Does The Apple Watch Go Next?

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Apple is widely expected to announce the latest iteration of the Apple Watch on Tuesday, presumably called the Apple Watch Series 5, if the naming conventions hold out. But where does Apple even take the Watch next? What improvements can it possibly make that will turn it into the kind of product that Series 4 (or even Series 3 or Series 2) owners will rush out and upgrade to?

Part of the issue is the current Watch’s lack of competition. Apple dominates the smartwatch industry to an almost absurd level: last year, it accounted for more than half the total sales of all smartwatches, selling more than twice as many as Samsung and Fitbit — the number two and three spots on the leaderboard — combined, according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple’s also coming off a major redesign for the Apple Watch last year, the first it’s ever done since introducing the product back in 2015, which means that the Series 5 models will almost certainly continue using the Series 4 design instead of something new. It’s particularly telling that the biggest updates rumored for the Apple Watch this year are either cosmetic — like the leaked titanium and ceramic cases — or software based, like the standalone App Store and rumored sleep tracking.

Earlier Watch updates didn’t have quite the same issue, thanks to the laundry list of features that were missing, such as proper waterproofing, functional microphones and speakers, and a standalone LTE connection that would untether it from an iPhone. But now the Watch has all those things already, and the list of missing features that Apple could add this year is starting to look slimmer and slimmer.

That’s not to say that the Watch is perfect, of course. Battery life still falls short compared to the week-long numbers reached by Fitbit’s Versa line. Siri is still frustratingly inconsistent, which is an issue when it’s also the only real means of text entry due to the small screen size. And of course, the holy grail of any smartwatch — an always-on display that doesn’t require sweeping hand contortions to show the time — still remains far out of Apple’s reach.

But the features that are rumored to be coming to this year’s Apple Watch may also show the way forward. As Apple famously announced when it first launched the Watch, the very fact that it’s constantly on your wrist makes it “the most personal device ever” from the company. New styles and materials that let you match a new Watch to your aesthetic is one way Apple can help realize that goal. New health features, like sleep and period tracking, are another.

Apple is so far ahead that the only real competitor for a new Apple Watch is an old one, especially once you factor in the software lock-in — Apple (naturally) lets it own Watches integrate much more deeply with iPhones than any competitors, making it the de-facto option for hundreds of millions of iPhone customers out there. Plus Apple’s industry-leading support for older hardware, with the upcoming watchOS 6 set to be available on all but the very first generation of the Apple Watch, means that Apple needs to have compelling reasons to persuade current customers to buy a new one.

But without more meaningful competition pushing it forward, it’s possible that Apple can just continue to coast with its massive market lead and iterative upgrades. Like the saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Source: The Verge

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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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