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Tech News
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Twitter has come up with a new prompt that could be shown to users before they engage or reply to a particular tweet. The plan is to warn them that the conversation can possibly get intense and heated. 

The micro-blogging platform is currently piloting prompts for its apps on Android and iOS, that would inform users about a conversation that could get heated. The company says it is working on the feature as part of its efforts to “better support healthy conversation” on the platform.

The company shared an image of the feature in action, showing a tweet with multiple quoted tweets and a reply under it, as an example of a tweet that might have received controversial replies. Under the regular tweet action bar, the new prompt will notify “Heads up” followed by “Conversations like this can be intense”. According to the company, the service might consider the topic of the tweet and the relationship between the tweet author and the person replying to display the prompt.

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According to a recently published report by analyst firm App Annie, app users in the UK and US are spending more time on TikTok than on YouTube. 

The short-video app is considered to have “upended the streaming and social landscape”. The report also states that the average watch time per user in the US on TikTok was approximately nine percent more than that on YouTube.  However, the difference was much more vivid, in the UK where the average time spent per user on TikTok was over 64 percent more than on YouTube. The growth comes despite the ban of TikTok in India, which was the largest market for the app. 

Though YouTube managed to retain its leadership for overall time spent among social, communication, photo and video, and entertainment apps globally. The average time spent data posted by App Anni is based on the consumption of Android users.

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WhatsApp is reportedly working on the message reactions. Message reactions or also known as Emoji Reactions will let users react to a specific text in a conversation with an emoji. Users will be able to react using any emojis as per their will. 

WhatsApp features tracker WABetaInfo said that the reactions will show up below the chat bubble in a small dialog box and they won't be anonymous. Everyone in the conversation will be able to see who reacted to a specific message. This feature is currently under development so even the Beta users will not be able to spot it yet.

The messaging app is also allegedly working on the new chat bubble redesign for iOS users, a UI change that has already been introduced for Android beta users. The new redesign brings a more rounded chat bubble with a new green colour. WhatsApp is also trying to expand the new archive interface for multi-device function users.

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Telegram is expanding support for video live streams with its latest update. 

Version 8.0 of the app, which is available now on both iOS and Android, allows live streams to be watched by an unlimited number of viewers, up from the previous limit of 1,000. Increasing the maximum number of viewers like this opens the door to Telegram becoming a full-on mobile live streaming platform. 

Other new features will include options like when forwarding messages, and a shortcut to switch between channels, Clubhouse-style voice channels with support for “millions” of live listeners, remove captions and hide sender names while forwarding messages and media and many more.

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Clubhouse has now introduced a spatial audio feature. With the new feature, the audience will enjoy a three-dimensional space effect. 

Users will feel like they're in a live room as they listen to the audio chats remotely. This feature aims to enhance the user experience on the app. The effect is being applied by first assigning a specific position to each speaker and then evenly distributing them around the “room”. Finally head related transfer functions or HRTFs are being implemented.

The iOS update for the feature has been rolled out already, while the Android update is yet to be released. On the platform this feature will be available as the default experience, but in case someone doesn't want the spatial audio effect, they can simply turn it off anytime.

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Tech giant Google has confirmed that it will be shutting down its standalone ''Android Auto for Phone Screens'' app from Android 12 onwards.

Google stated, "For those who use the on phone experience (Android Auto mobile app), they will be transitioned to Google Assistant driving mode. Starting with Android 12, Google Assistant driving mode will be the built-in mobile driving experience."  There are also reports that the ''Android Auto for Phone Screens'' app now says it's incompatible with Pixel devices running on Android 12.

According to The Verge, anyone who wants a driving-friendly interface for their Android phone needs to use the Google Assistant driving mode, which is available within Google Maps, or the native Android Auto interface available in selected cars.

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Google is introducing dark mode for Google Chat on the Desktop App and Web Client as well as the Google Chat Progressive Web App.

The feature will soon be available to Google Workspace users along with G Suite Basic and Business customers. Users can simply enable it by selecting "Dark Mode" in Theme Settings in the 'Settings' menu. The goal is to offer its users a better viewing experience in low light and reduce eye-strain.

The Android and iOS apps for Google Chat and the version of the messaging platform built into Gmail already support the dark mode theme.

On a side note, Google also announced a new feature to allow admins limit external messaging to trusted domains in Google Chat.

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Google is developing a set of accessibility features for Android future versions which will let users to control their phones using facial expressions.

The new feature titled “Camera Switches” in the Android Accessibility Suite app will support setting gestures to specific controls. It will help users to interact with their Android device without using the touchscreen. For example, the app can detect when a user will open their mouth and map that to open the notifications panel, or users can raise their eyebrows to return to their home screen. Possible facial motions include smiling, opening the mouth, looking right, left or down.

This feature is currently in beta mode and is going to be more useful for users with disabilities. Also it will require the device’s camera to be switched on, and Android 12 enabled devices will show a status bar notifying the camera is being used.

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WhatsApp has announced that it will be rolling out the feature to move entire WhatsApp chat history between iOS and Android phones. 

Previously, one of the biggest hurdles for customers was to switch between Android and iOS while there’s an inability to transfer WhatsApp chats between the two different ecosystems. The Facebook-owned company stated that now users will be able to move their conversations along with voice notes and other media files if they decide to switch mobile operating systems.

The feature will be available to both Android and iOS systems users. People will be able to switch from both Android to iOS and vice versa.

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Google is testing a cheaper premium subscription tier for YouTube named as “Premium Lite”.

It is to offer users an ad-free viewing experience. However, it will not cover other Premium features such as offline downloads, background playback or any YouTube Music benefits like ad-free listening. Premium Lite includes ad-free viewing across YouTube’s main app on iOS, Android, Web, Smart TVs, games consoles along with the YouTube Kids app.

Premium Lite is currently available in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. There is no official word regarding its availability in the global market.