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Google Photos update adds new video editor and movie maker

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(Last Updated On: July 28, 2022)

Google unveiled new features and updates to Chromebooks on Wednesday that will include a new video editor and movie maker for Google Photos.

The update to Google Photos will first become available on Chromebooks this fall, Google said in a blog post. Users will be able to make movies using Google Photos thanks to new features that allow for “creating an end-to-end movie made up of multiple video clips, photos, a title card and music.”

You can make your own movie or suggest content and “themes” to the app so it can create a video or movie for you based on the photos and videos you pick out, CNet reported.

If you want to create a movie on your own, you can use the new Google Photos movie maker to start with a blank canvas. You’ll be able to select and arrange content however you choose, and have the capability to “trim video clips, or edit them to adjust the brightness, contrast and more.”

The new Google Photos functionality will also include Real Tone filters, which were made to “work well across skin tones.” You’ll also be able to switch between editing in Chromebooks Gallery and Files apps and the Google Photos app itself.

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Apple forecasts another drop in revenue, proclaims iPhone production problems over

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(Last Updated On: February 3, 2023)

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) on Thursday forecast that revenue would fall for a second quarter in a row but that iPhone sales were likely to improve as production had returned to normal in China after COVID-related shutdowns.

While striking an optimistic tone on sales of services and iPhones, CEO Tim Cook said an uncertain economy is expected to hurt categories like gaming and digital advertising, Reuters reported on Friday.

Overall, Apple’s leaders tried to reassure investors that despite the firm being buffeted by up-and-down sales cycles for its flagship device and vulnerable to supply chain shocks, the world’s largest listed company remains on a steady – if somewhat slower – rise. And in the immediate aftermath of some of the company’s worst financial results in years, at least some investors seemed to give Cook the benefit of the doubt, imposing only modest share price declines.

For the just-ended quarter, Apple’s profits missed Wall Street expectations for the first time since 2016, dragged down by iPhone sales falling for the first time since 2020.

The stock was down about 2% after Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said that iPhone sales were likely to improve compared with the quarter ended Dec. 31. That did not quite erase a 3.7% gain during regular trade.

Amazon.com (AMZN.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) also fell about 4% after reporting results. They also had gained during regular trade.

Apple sales fell 5% to $117.2 billion and were down in every part of the world in the quarter. Sales from each product category dropped, except for gains in services and iPads. Earnings per share were $1.88.

Analysts had expected sales of $121.1 billion and profits of $1.94 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. In an interview, Cook told Reuters that the production disruptions that plagued Apple’s key quarter were now over.

“Production is now back where we want it to be,” he said.

During its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, Apple faced a wave of challenges that left Wall Street expecting lower sales. Chief among those were supply chain pressures when COVID lockdowns at a production facility in Zhengzhou, China, slowed production of iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max devices, both premium priced models that would traditionally help drive Apple’s margins higher.

Cook said the lockdowns in China created a dual challenge where both supply and demand were constrained, with greater China sales falling 7% to $23.9 billion.

But product snags are behind Apple now. “They still feel demand will be soft, but they’ve rectified production, which means that if demand does go up unexpectedly, they can ramp” to meet it, said Ben Bajarin of analyst firm Creative Strategies.

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Instagram co-founders launch news app called Artifact

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(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger this week launched their new venture, Artifact – an app touted as a tailored news feed powered by artificial intelligence.

The co-founders, who left Facebook in 2018 amid tensions with their parent company, shared the roll out on Instagram. Krieger wrote, “Excited to announce what @kevin and I have been working on with a talented team the past year+ — Artifact, a personalized news feed driven by the latest in artificial intelligence.”

He added that while they are gradually letting people onto the app as the company scales up, people can also join a waitlist.

Working in a similar way to TikTok, according to Platformer, Artifact provides users with an initial feed of popular articles chosen from a range of publications big and small. Tapping on articles of interest will prompt Artifact to deliver similar stories in the future, in the same way that watching TikTok videos fine tunes the algorithm with each user session.

Artifact beta users are currently testing two features: One is a feed with articles posted by people you follow, along with their comments on each post; the second is a direct-message inbox where you can privately discuss articles.

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Elon Musk starts another ‘test’ on Twitter

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(Last Updated On: February 1, 2023)

Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk on Wednesday said he would make his account private for a day just to test whether his private tweets are equally visible

Since the Twitter takeover in October, the Musk has been making multiple experiments on the tech side of the social media platform. In the newest one, the tech billionaire said he would make his account for a day to test whether his private tweets are equally visible as the public one.

He said in a tweet, made my account private until tomorrow morning to test whether you see my private tweets more than my public ones.

On seeing the tweet on his feed, one Twitter user pointed out, wow I’m in Elon’s private circle. On a similar note, another said, If you’re seeing this tweet, you’re in the circle of trust.

Since the $44-billion takeover, Musk has been under fire for several of his policies. He has focused on reducing costs by laying off half the workforce and introducing new plans for Twitter Blue subscription service, which offers the sought-after “verified” badge, Mintlive reported.

He said that the steps were necessary to justify the expensive takeover.

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