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Instagram announces new bulk comment deletion feature

Shane McGlaun | May 13, 2020 at 3:01 pm CDT

Instagram has announced the fifth edition of its Community Standards Enforcement report that tracks its efforts to keep the social network safe. Along with that report, Instagram is also announcing new features that go along with its effort to fight online bullying. One of the key features is giving users the ability to manage multiple unwanted interactions at once.

Instagram announces new bulk comment deletion feature 01 | TweakTown.com

Instagram wrote, "We know it can feel overwhelming to manage a rush of negative comments, so we've been testing the ability to delete comments in bulk, as well as block or restrict multiple accounts that post negative comments." Instagram reports that early feedback has been "encouraging," noting that the feature is particularly useful to those with large followings that want to maintain a positive environment on their account.

Enabling the feature on iOS requires users to tap on a comment and then the dotted icon in the top right corner. Users can then select Manage Comments and choose up to 25 comments to delete at once. Tapping More Options to block or restrict accounts in bulk is also available. To block or restrict accounts on Android, users press and hold on a comment, tap the dotted icon, and select Block or Restrict. Another new feature is giving users a way to highlight encouraging and positive interactions, called Pinned Comments. Instagram says it will soon begin testing Pinned Comments.

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Apple plans to bring employees back to the office in 2020

Shane McGlaun | May 13, 2020 at 12:04 pm CDT

A new report is going around the claims Apple is looking to have its employees returned to the office during 2020. This is in contrast to other major technology companies that have announced plans to keep employees out of the office the remainder of the year due to coronavirus. The report, which first originated with Bloomberg, says that Apple has already begun the first stages of returning employees to work with essential workers unable to do their jobs from home already returned to the office.

Apple plans to bring employees back to the office in 2020 01 | TweakTown.com

Some Apple workers who have returned to the office were having issues working from home in some regions. Apple reportedly told staff that major locations will begin returning to work later this month or in June. Apple is also said that workers may return to offices globally starting in July.

However, those plans are not firm and can fluctuate according to the changing status of state and local emergency orders. Managers will inform their staff what phase of reopening they will fall under, and if they are required to be at the office daily or just for periods of time. The first group of employees expected to return the office will include those who work in data center management, software deployment, sales, and hardware testing and development.

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Google Messages reactions spied in RCS/chat conversations

Shane McGlaun | May 13, 2020 at 11:01 am CDT

One of the things that long sat iPhone and Android messaging apart is that Apple's iMessage has had some features that Android users didn't have. Android users did get some improvements when RCS messaging rolled out, but it wasn't exactly what many users hope for. Some Android users have spied a new Google Messages feature in the wild that many Android users will be excited about.

Google Messages reactions spied in RCS/chat conversations 01 | TweakTown.com

That feature is reactions that allow users to share Facebook -like reactions to RCS chat conversations with various emoticons. Available emoticons include a thumbs up, laughing face, surprised face, sad face, angry face, and a thumbs down icon. Apple's iMessage for iPhone users has something similar with the ability to hold down a message and select a heart icon, thumbs up icon, thumbs down, "haha" icon, "!!" icon, or "?" icon.

According to those who have seen the reactions feature live in Android Messages, accessing the reactions is done by long-pressing a message. Currently, the reactions appear to have a fallback for users with devices that don't support reactions directly on messages. The fallback looks like the image below. Reports indicate that the new reactions don't appear in the web-based Google Messages platform.

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Reports indicate charging issues with iPad Pro Magic Keyboard

Shane McGlaun | May 13, 2020 at 10:04 am CDT

One of the coolest accessories that Apple rolled out with the updated iPad Pro models was the iPad Magic Keyboard. That keyboard magnetically attaches to the iPad Pro with versions available for the 11-inch tablet and the 12.9-inch tablet. Another of the features of that keyboard is the ability to charge the iPad Pro through the Magic Keyboard USB-C power port.

Reports indicate charging issues with iPad Pro Magic Keyboard 01 | TweakTown.com

However, some users are reporting that some USB-C power adapters and cables are unable to charge the iPad Pro through the Magic Keyboard's USB-C port. MacRumors reports that multiple iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard owners are reporting issues with pass-through charging that refuses to work with third-party cables or power adapters.

One user reported that they tried three different USB-C cables, and all resulted in a "Not Charging" message displayed next to the battery icon. In that instance, the user claims that Apple Support was trying to arrange pickup of the Magic Keyboard and would send out a replacement for what was seemingly a hardware issue. MacRumors notes that it was unable to charge the iPad Pro using the Anker PowerPort Atom and Apple's official USB-C cable.

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Spatial VR meetings goes free for all with no headset needed

Shane McGlaun | May 13, 2020 at 9:03 am CDT

One of the most challenging things for businesses and schools around the United States and other countries during the coronavirus is getting employees and students together to work and learn. Many video chat platforms have become popular during the coronavirus pandemic, including WhatsApp, which recently gained support for 50 people on a video call. Another service has now announced that it is free to use, and is called Spatial.

Spatial VR meetings goes free for all with no headset needed 01 | TweakTown.com

The exciting thing about Spatial is that it's not your typical video chat application, it allows for virtual reality meetings. Spatial enables users to take advantage of VR or mixed-reality headsets from a variety of manufacturers as methods to meet inside virtual spaces. The company has announced a significant change today with support for web browsers on desktops.

Previously all users in a Spatial meeting were required to have VR headsets to attend. Support for web browsers on desktops, Android, and iOS means that no headset is required, and the platform is free and open to everyone. Spatial says that it had an "intense amount of demand" during coronavirus with a 1000% increase in demand for its service.

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Everyone could get a $5,000 COVID stimulus check, but at this big cost

Jak Connor | May 13, 2020 at 3:02 am CDT

As America's economy begins to grind to a halt many people are wondering if they will be receiving another round of stimulus checks.

Everyone could get a $5,000 COVID stimulus check, but at this big cost 01 | TweakTown.com

Well, that very well could be the case, as a new report coming out from The Washington Post is claiming that top financial advisors have proposed an idea that would allow Americans to choose receiving checks of up to $5,000 in exchange for a delay of their Social Security benefits. This information has come from "three people familiar with the internal matter".

It should be noted that this isn't the only solution to the problem that the government is considering, and many more are no doubt being spoken about. It should also be noted that President Trump is in "no rush" to put together another stimulus package, but he did say that he will be looking at the current situation of the country in the months to come.

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WhatsApp to gain support for 50 people on one video call

Shane McGlaun | May 12, 2020 at 5:02 pm CDT

WhatsApp is working hard to keep its rapidly growing number of users happy. The desktop app for the service is currently beta testing video calling that supports up to 50 people on a single call. With WhatsApp moving to support 50 people on a call, it would be a more viable alternative to Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype.

WhatsApp to gain support for 50 people on one video call 01 | TweakTown.com

The way the 50-person video calls would work with WhatsApp would be to transfer people into the new Facebook Messenger Rooms service that was announced not long ago. The WhatsApp menu would have a shortcut that redirects people to Facebook Messenger Rooms, where they're able to create a virtual meeting room within the Facebook service and invite users to join.

Since the video calls would be conducted in Messenger Rooms, they would support virtual backgrounds for individual participants. There's no clear indication at this time when support for up to 50 callers will exit beta and be integrated into the public version of WhatsApp Web. If all the services doing is shooting people to Messenger Rooms, it would seem the functionality is ready to roll out.

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iFixit rips apart the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard trackpad

Shane McGlaun | May 12, 2020 at 2:05 pm CDT

Most gadget fans like to see the folks over at iFixit tear the latest and greatest gadgets apart so you can see the inside. It's also nice to find out how repairable the devices are so if anything needs to be fixed down the road buyers know if it's possible or not. The latest product that iFixit is tearing apart is the new magic keyboard for iPad Pro.

iFixit rips apart the iPad Pro Magic Keyboard trackpad 01 | TweakTown.com

Before iFixit jumps into a complete teardown of the keyboard, it first took apart the trackpad. The trackpad is the only part of the Magic Keyboard that's able to be taking apart without significant destruction of the keyboard. A full keyboard tear down will be coming according to the publication.

Underneath trackpad cover, there is a single button that operates on a lever system. When the trackpad is pressed near the center the user is pressing the sole button in the trackpad. That press causes contact plate in the center to be forced upward, making a click happen. When the trackpad is pressed from one of the other sides or corners, the lever system is activated, causing the contact plate in the center to be forced upward to complete the click.

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Microsoft Family Safety app lands and preview for Android and iOS

Shane McGlaun | May 12, 2020 at 1:01 pm CDT

Microsoft first announced the Family Safety app in March as a way for parents to protect those who matter most with both physical and digital security. The software giant is now rolling out a limited preview of the Family Safety app on iOS and Android. During the coronavirus, pandemic families around the world are both learning and working from home, with many spending more time on computers and phones trying to be sure their loved ones are safe.

Microsoft Family Safety app lands and preview for Android and iOS 01 | TweakTown.com

The Microsoft Family Safety app allows parents to facilitate a dialogue with kids about the time they are spending on their device and the content they're viewing. The app is designed to provide transparency on where everyone is spending time online and allows the creation of flexible schedules to carve out time for tasks like online learning.

Microsoft Family Safety also allows parents to keep on top of what kids are doing when they are apart via location sharing. Microsoft says it is committed to bringing additional physical safety features in the coming months, such as safe driving, as we go back to a "new normal" to help protect the family. Some key features of the app include activity reporting. Activity reporting includes screen time, top websites visited, and terms kids are searching online. Parents will get an email summary each week outlining usage.

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Google Duo adds family mode with effects and doodles

Shane McGlaun | May 12, 2020 at 11:04 am CDT

Google has announced updates that it has made to the Google Duo service aimed at making the application more fun and usable for families. One of the significant changes is the new family mode that allows users to doodle on video calls allowing everyone to see what they draw. The mode also supports effects and masks that will enable users on the call to be transformed into astronauts, cats, and more.

Google Duo adds family mode with effects and doodles 01 | TweakTown.com

Using the new mode requires users to start a video call, tap the menu icon, and then tap Family to get started. Google says that it hid the hang up and mute buttons while using these new features to prevent accidental muting or disconnection of calls while playing. Google also reminds us that Duo calls are end-to-end encrypted.

Any one-on-one video call also gets support for masks and effects on both the Android and iOS versions of the app starting this week. Google promises to roll out more effects and masks to help people express themselves in the future. One of the most significant updates to the service is coming down the road.

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