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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Galaxy Buds FE Now Official: Here Are All the Details

Samsung Electronics has officially announced its latest additions to the Galaxy FE series—the Galaxy S23 FE, Galaxy Tab S9 FE and S9 FE+, and Galaxy Buds FE. Known for their iconic designs, cutting-edge features, and advanced performance, these devices are touted as the most “epic FE devices yet.”

Galaxy S23 FE: Elevating Everyday Mobile Experience

Design and Durability

The Galaxy S23 FE stays true to the iconic S series design, featuring a new floating camera and a premium finish. What’s more, it offers IP68 water and dust resistance, making it as durable as it is sleek. The phone is also designed with sustainability in mind, featuring recycled materials and eco-friendly packaging. It comes in vibrant colors including Mint, Cream, Graphite, and Purple Indigo, with Tangerine exclusively available at Samsung.com.

Camera Capabilities

The device boasts a 50MP high-resolution lens and 3X optical zoom, allowing users to capture crisp details in every scene. The Nightography feature ensures that your selfies and portraits are clear and vibrant even in low light conditions. Additionally, the advanced digital image stabilization (VDIS) and optical image stabilizer (OIS) ensure steady shots on the go.

Performance and Display

For gamers and streamers, the Galaxy S23 FE is equipped with a powerful processor and a vapor chamber to control heat. The device sports a long-lasting 4,500mAh battery that can charge up to 50% in just 30 minutes with a 25W Adapter. All this is presented on a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, which utilizes Vision Booster technology to automatically adjust to bright lighting conditions.

Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Tab S9 FE+: Boosting Creativity and Productivity

Display and Performance

The Galaxy Tab S9 FE and S9 FE+ offer 10.9-inch and 12.4-inch displays respectively, with an automatic refresh rate that adapts up to 90Hz. Like their smartphone counterpart, these tablets also utilize Vision Booster technology and come with an IP68 rating for enhanced durability. The fast-charging and long-lasting battery offer up to 20 hours of video playback on a single charge.

S Pen and Connectivity

Both tablets come with an in-box, IP68-rated S Pen and support a wide variety of creative tools and apps. The Galaxy Tab S9 FE also features a 5G model, providing reliable connectivity. Storage can be expanded up to 1TB with a microSD card, allowing users to store class notes, sketches, videos, and more.

Galaxy Buds FE: Expanding Excellent Audio Experience

The Galaxy Buds FE offer powerful bass and an advanced three-microphone system for clearer calls. They feature Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Ambient Sound for a customizable listening experience. With up to 8.5 hours of playback and a total of up to 30 hours including the case, these earbuds boast the longest battery life in the Buds series. The Buds are also designed for comfort, offering different sizes of ear tips and wingtips, and feature an IPX2 rating for splash resistance.

One Seamlessly Connected Galaxy Ecosystem

All these new FE devices are designed to work seamlessly together. Features like Multi Control enable users to drag and drop content easily between multiple Galaxy devices. When it comes to immersive entertainment, Galaxy Buds FE intelligently switch sound between your smartphone, tablet, watch, and even TV.

Mindfully Crafted for the Planet

Samsung advances its commitment to the environment by incorporating recycled materials in both internal and external device components. From aluminum and glass to plastics sourced from discarded fishing nets, water barrels, and PET bottles, these new FE devices are as eco-friendly as they are powerful.

Availability and Pricing

  • The Galaxy S23 FE will be available starting October 26 and prices start at $699.99.
  • Galaxy Tab S9 FE and Tab S9 FE+ will be available starting October 10 with prices starting from $449.99.
  • Galaxy Buds FE will be available starting October 10 for $99.99.

Wrapping Up: A New Chapter in Samsung’s FE Series

Samsung’s latest FE series devices are more than just affordable versions of their flagship counterparts. They bring flagship-level features and performance to a broader audience, offering a perfect entry point for those new to the Galaxy ecosystem. Whether it’s the robust camera features of the S23 FE, the versatile capabilities of the Tab S9 FE and S9 FE+, or the excellent audio quality of the Buds FE, Samsung seems to have a device for everyone.

You Can Now Play the Edge Surf Game While Installing Windows 11

In an imaginative move, Microsoft has decided to make the process of installing or updating Windows 11 a bit more enjoyable. Users can now engage in a surfing game, courtesy of Microsoft Edge, while waiting for their systems to update. This creative twist is aimed at turning what could be a tedious task into a fun diversion.

The Edge Surf Game: A Blast from the Past

The Edge Surf game is not new; it was initially launched in May 2020 as an integrated part of the Microsoft Edge web browser. The game can be accessed either via the URL edge://surf or even when there is no internet connection. The Surf game is a modern take on the classic SkiFree game, which was a part of Microsoft’s Entertainment Pack 3 for Windows 3.0, released in October 1991.

During the Windows 11 installation process, users are prompted with a message: “Want to play a game while you wait? Check out the fan-favorite surf game! Type edge://surf in Microsoft Edge to play again later.”

Screen Shot: The Verge

Purpose Behind the Playtime

This feature aims to engage users during potentially long waits caused by system updates or restorations. It’s not just a matter of killing time; it’s about enhancing user experience. The game is particularly targeted at those who may feel nostalgic about the SkiFree game from the early ’90s, offering them a walk down memory lane while their system gets up to date.

When Does the Game Appear?

The surf game appears as an option not just during initial installation but also if there are pending Windows updates or if a user is restoring settings using Windows Backup. This means that even if an update takes longer than anticipated, users can distract themselves with a round of virtual surfing.

Is It for Everyone?

At this point, it’s unclear whether this feature is exclusive to Microsoft Surface devices or if it will be rolled out to all Windows 11 systems. During tests conducted by BleepingComputer, the Surf game prompts did not appear during Windows 11 installations on a regular PC. Microsoft has not yet provided a comment on this.

Past and Present: Evolution of Windows Setup

The Windows setup process has come a long way. Older versions were often criticized for being user-unfriendly, but Microsoft has made significant strides in improving the out-of-box installation experience. The introduction of the Surf game is a testament to this progress, making the process more engaging than ever.

Final Thoughts: More Than Just a Setup

Microsoft’s initiative to include a game in the Windows 11 setup process reflects the company’s attention to detail when it comes to user experience. This move is not merely about keeping users entertained; it’s a strategy aimed at transforming a mundane procedure into a memorable interaction. It also signals the tech giant’s commitment to evolving and innovating, even in areas as seemingly trivial as system installation.

So, the next time you find yourself staring at a screen waiting for Windows 11 to install, why not catch a virtual wave? After all, it’s not just about reaching your software destination; it’s also about enjoying the journey.

Starlink Now Available Without Any Waitlist: A New Era in Satellite Internet

In a groundbreaking announcement, SpaceX has lifted the waitlist for its Starlink satellite internet service in the United States. The development is a result of deploying second-generation Starlink satellites with four times the capacity of their predecessors. Now, any interested customer can subscribe to Starlink without any delay, marking a significant turning point in the satellite internet landscape.

Overcoming High Demand and Network Congestion

Since its inception, Starlink has faced high demand, causing delays for new subscribers who sometimes had to wait weeks or even months to get access. Existing users were not immune either, frequently experiencing network congestion that slowed down internet speeds.

However, SpaceX has been steadily chipping away at these challenges by launching hundreds of additional satellites, thereby expanding Starlink’s overall capacity. The efforts have finally paid off, with the waitlist being completely removed, particularly in the southeastern U.S., which was one of the last remaining holdout regions.

The Numbers Game: Satellites and Subscribers

As of now, SpaceX has a total of 4,845 Starlink satellites orbiting Earth, according to astronomer Jonathan McDowell. While some users and even Starlink have reported slower-than-expected speeds, the second-gen satellites promise to deliver faster internet, along with new dish hardware that might offer even better performance.

Starlink has added about one million customers in the last nine months, boasting a total of over 2 million customers. This growth has yet to meet the company’s ambitious target of 20 million users by 2022, but it’s a significant leap forward.

Financial Aspects: Revenue and Pricing

While Starlink reported $1.4 billion in revenue at the end of 2022, it hasn’t yet reached its projected $12 billion target. The pricing could be a factor here. The service is not cheap, with plans ranging from $250 to $5,000 a month, in addition to a one-time equipment fee of $2,500. Yet, the subscriber numbers are steadily climbing, pointing to a positive trajectory.

Global Reach and Social Impact

Starlink is not just a commercial venture; it has also had a social impact. When Russia invaded Ukraine, Starlink supplied thousands of dishes to Ukrainians and assisted Ukrainian troops. The service was also activated in Iran during a period of network outages amid protests. These actions showcase the potential for satellite internet in geopolitical contexts.

Regulatory Milestones and Future Hardware

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted SpaceX the approval to operate two new variants of its Starlink satellite dishes. These include a compact, more portable version and a second, high-performance dish. These new hardware options promise to significantly accelerate Starlink’s market penetration, especially in rural and remote areas.

Competitive Landscape

Starlink is facing competition from other players like Amazon’s Project Kuiper and the EU’s €6 billion multi-orbit constellation project. While these ventures are still in their early stages, they indicate a burgeoning market for satellite internet services.

The Road Ahead

Illustration of SpaceX’s Starlink network of satellites.

With plans to deploy up to 42,000 satellites by mid-2027, Starlink is setting itself up for an even more expansive global reach. While challenges like declining download speeds and missed revenue targets exist, the removal of the waitlist and the 2-million-subscriber milestone indicate Starlink’s substantial potential in transforming global internet access.

Wrapping Up

The removal of Starlink’s waitlist represents a watershed moment in the evolution of satellite internet. Whether it’s the promise of high-speed connectivity, the lifting of access restrictions, or the geopolitical applications, Starlink is poised to redefine what we can expect from internet service providers. With no more waitlists to hold them back, the sky is not the limit for Starlink; it’s just the beginning.

Unlocking Global Government Innovation with Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty

Microsoft has long been a key player in the cloud computing space, but their latest offering, Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty, is poised to revolutionize how governments interact with cloud technologies. Aimed at resolving the unique challenges faced by government organizations, this new service balances the need for innovation with stringent data privacy, compliance, and security requirements. The public preview of Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty was announced on October 3, 2023, with plans for general availability in December.

Bridging the Gap: Legacy Systems and Modernization

Microsoft Azure RAMP scaled

Governments have been somewhat cautious in adopting cloud technologies, primarily due to concerns about data sovereignty and compliance with regional laws. Traditional on-premise solutions come with heavy capital and operational costs, making them less efficient in the long run. Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty aims to offer an alternative that aligns with evolving policies like the EU-U.S. Adequacy Decision under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which provides a legal framework for hyperscale cloud adoption within the European Union.

Tailoring Cloud Solutions for Sovereign Needs

Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty is designed to meet the specific needs of different countries. It offers robust data sovereignty and encryption controls that enable governments to tailor solutions to their regional and national requirements. This targeted approach allows for more efficient and secure cloud adoption, even in environments with complex legal landscapes.

A Principled Approach to Digital Sovereignty

Microsoft has always emphasized transparency and control over data. This new offering is no exception and builds upon Microsoft’s existing capabilities in data privacy. It is specifically designed for governments that have unique jurisdictional requirements around sensitive data. The platform comes with industry-leading cybersecurity features, offering more regions and broader compliance than any other cloud provider.

Real-world Applications: A Glimpse into Pilot Programs

Microsoft has already engaged with pilot customers to showcase the potential of this new cloud service. For instance, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the Netherlands is piloting the service to establish a cloud center of excellence. They have found the sovereign landing zones and built-in policy initiatives to be extremely useful for meeting Dutch BIO regulation requirements.

Similarly, the Municipality of Amsterdam is using Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty to migrate from an on-premises data center to the cloud, thereby modernizing their services and improving citizen experiences.

Beyond Borders: Global Partners

Microsoft’s offering is not limited to any particular geography. Partners in Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, and Italy are exploring ways to leverage Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty for their unique needs, ranging from healthcare to meeting local privacy requirements.

Next Steps: What’s in the Public Preview?

The public preview comes with a host of features:

  • Sovereign Landing Zone and policy initiative now available on GitHub.
  • Support for Italy’s ACN requirements and Netherlands BIO regulation.
  • Transparency Logs for key operational activities.
  • Automated workload templates for Azure Confidential Computing and Azure Lighthouse.

Looking Ahead

As governments around the world strive to modernize their IT infrastructure, Microsoft Cloud for Sovereignty presents a compelling option that marries innovation with stringent compliance and security requirements. With the public preview now live and general availability slated for December, this offering is set to usher in a new era of government innovation in the cloud.

Microsoft Announces ‘The Next Generation of OneDrive’

Microsoft’s OneDrive has evolved far beyond its initial role as a cloud storage provider. It has become an integral part of Microsoft 365, playing a vital role in file sharing, collaboration, and security. With trillions of files and nearly 2 billion more added every day, OneDrive is used globally by individuals and organizations. Now, Microsoft is ushering in the next generation of OneDrive to adapt to the changing landscape of remote work and collaborative environments.

Effortless File Management

The revamped OneDrive comes with a suite of features designed to make file management a breeze:

  • OneDrive Home: The home experience is redesigned to help you swiftly access files across your organization.
  • For You: An AI-powered section that surfaces file recommendations at the right time.
  • Meetings View: Shows your upcoming and past meetings, along with meeting recordings and shared files.
  • People View: Organizes your files based on who you’ve collaborated with, making it easier to find files when you remember the collaborator but not the file name.
  • Shared View: A hub for all files that have been shared with you.
  • Colorful Folders: Choose the color of your folders for personalized organization.
  • Favorites: Mark files as favorites for easy access across Microsoft 365 apps.
  • Shortcuts: Create shortcuts to files residing in shared team locations.
  • Simplified Sharing: Sharing files and copying links now involve fewer clicks, making it more user-friendly.

New Features on the Horizon

Microsoft has announced upcoming features that will further simplify file organization, access, and creation:

  • Open in App: Edit any file in its desktop app, with changes syncing back to OneDrive. Expected worldwide release is in December.
  • OneDrive in Teams: A new approach to file management in Teams, leveraging the latest updates in OneDrive and SharePoint. Coming this December.
  • OneDrive in Outlook: Integrate OneDrive within the Outlook app for quick and easy file sharing, expected by December.
  • Files On-Demand for Web: Offline file access and sync extending to the browser experience. Expected in early 2024.
  • Offline Mode: Work on files in your browser even when offline. Coming in early 2024.
  • Add New: Create a new file without leaving OneDrive, expected in Summer 2024.
  • Media View: A new view to organize all your images and videos, expected in Summer 2024.

Copilot in OneDrive

Copilot, an AI-powered assistant, will transform how you interact with files in OneDrive. It allows you to ask open-ended questions related to files and can even generate file summaries when you’re sharing them. Copilot will help you organize files for projects and offer daily digests of updates to your content.

Enhanced Security and Governance

With the rise of remote work and increased file sharing, security and governance have never been more crucial. New tools in the SharePoint Advanced Management (SAM) add-on provide admins with options to:

  • Implement granular conditional access policies.
  • Use restricted access control to limit file access to specific security groups.
  • Move OneDrive accounts across tenants during mergers and acquisitions.
  • Block download policies for individual sites.

Improved Consumer Photo Search

Microsoft hasn’t forgotten the individual users. Coming features include the ability to search photos based on people in them and using natural language search to find specific photos.

Wrapping Up

The next generation of OneDrive aims to be a game-changer in file management, collaboration, and security, both for organizations and individual users. With a plethora of new features and improvements, Microsoft seems committed to ensuring that OneDrive remains at the center of your files experience in Microsoft 365. Stay tuned for further updates and rollouts.

The Cheapest Tesla Model Y Now Available to All

Tesla has always been at the forefront of electric vehicles, but affordability has often been a point of contention. Now, in an unexpected move, Tesla has updated its US website to introduce a more budget-friendly Model Y. With a base price of $43,990, this could be the most affordable Model Y ever offered in the United States, especially when combined with federal tax credits.

New Price, New Features

The new Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) replaces the previously cheapest Model Y All-Wheel Drive (AWD), which had a base price of $47,740 before being discontinued last month. The RWD model is $3,750 cheaper than the AWD version it replaces, primarily because it features a single motor instead of two and likely employs a cheaper battery technology.

The LFP Advantage

Tesla seems to have opted for Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LFP) batteries for this new model, a departure from the more commonly used Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt (NMC) cells. LFP batteries are not only cheaper but also more durable. They have a lower energy density, which affects the car’s range, but on the flip side, they don’t contain cobalt, a conflict mineral.

The new “standard range” Model Y RWD has a listed range of 260 miles, compared to 279 miles for the previous AWD version. This reduction in range is likely due to the switch to LFP batteries. However, these batteries can be charged to 100% every day without affecting their lifespan, unlike NMC batteries, which are generally recommended to be charged up to 90% daily.

Performance and Configuration

The new model doesn’t just come with cost-cutting features. It has a 0-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds, slightly slower than the 5.0 seconds boasted by its AWD predecessor. Additionally, the 7-seat configuration option is not available for this version.

An International Perspective

Interestingly, the Model Y with LFP batteries has been available in China since 2021, and a similar model was introduced in Canada earlier this year. The U.S. version’s specifications closely resemble the older China model, making it an intriguing addition to Tesla’s American lineup.

Affordability and Incentives

What makes this Model Y truly stand out is the potential for a significantly reduced price due to the $7,500 US Federal EV Tax Credit, bringing the post-credit base price down to $36,490. Some buyers might even snag this car for under $30,000 if they can take advantage of additional state or regional incentives.

However, this affordability could be short-lived. The Inflation Reduction Act specifies that new EV tax credits will require batteries to be manufactured outside of China. Given that Tesla’s LFP batteries are currently made in China, the model could lose access to federal tax credits by year-end.

Order and Delivery Timeline

According to Tesla’s website, deliveries for the new Model Y RWD are expected to begin in October-November 2023, indicating a lead time of up to 8 weeks for orders placed now.

Final Thoughts

The introduction of a more affordable Model Y could be a game-changer, not just for Tesla but for the electric vehicle market as a whole. However, with the looming tax credit changes and a potentially confusing history of model availability, it remains to be seen how long this affordability will last. For those considering a Tesla but put off by the price, now might be the perfect window of opportunity.

The Price of Privacy? Both Facebook and TikTok Consider Ad-Free Subscriber Plans

The digital age has brought about many conveniences, but it has also sparked an ongoing debate about the cost of privacy. Two social media giants, TikTok and Facebook (now Meta), are experimenting with ad-free subscription models that could redefine the way they monetize their platforms and handle user data. While these plans are still in the testing phases, they signal a potential shift in the social media landscape and how users engage with these platforms.

TikTok’s Limited-Scale Experiment

TikTok Android Microsoft

TikTok, the video-sharing app owned by China’s ByteDance, recently initiated a limited-scale test of a monthly subscription service that would eliminate ads. Although initial reports suggested that the service would cost “$4.99 per month in the USA,” a spokesperson clarified that the test is currently running in a market outside of the U.S., without disclosing the pricing details. TikTok’s revenue primarily comes from advertising, although they have also introduced shopping features in their app.

Meta’s EU-Specific Proposal

Facebook Profile

Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has put forth a proposal for ad-free subscription plans targeting European users. The company aims to charge users approximately €10 a month for ad-free access on desktop, and around €13 a month on mobile devices, factoring in the commissions charged by app stores. This subscription model is a significant shift from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s long-standing belief that core services should remain free and be supported by advertising.

Driving Forces and Regulatory Hurdles

Both TikTok and Meta are exploring these models under unique circumstances. TikTok’s spokesperson mentioned that the company might not move forward with the offering on a larger scale. On the other hand, Meta’s initiative is being driven by regulatory pressures from the European Union, particularly rules that could restrict the company’s ability to show personalized ads without user consent. Meta’s proposal is currently under review by EU’s privacy law enforcement agencies, and it’s unclear whether it will be deemed compliant.

The Snapchat Model

It’s worth noting that Snapchat has already ventured into this space with its $4/month service, Snapchat+. The subscription model, which includes experimental and pre-release features, has garnered more than 5 million customers in just over a year. This success indicates that there is a market for ad-free social media experiences, although it remains to be seen how larger platforms like TikTok and Meta would fare.

The Privacy Angle

The proposed subscription models offer an alternative to users who are increasingly concerned about their online privacy. However, this comes at a financial cost, raising questions about whether this model will create a divide between users who can afford privacy and those who cannot.

Future Implications

The test cases of TikTok and Meta could set the tone for the industry. If successful, other social media platforms may follow suit, leading to a more diversified revenue stream and potentially better user experience. However, these developments also highlight the complexity and sensitivity surrounding data privacy, as companies look for ways to monetize while adhering to increasingly stringent regulations.

A Balancing Act Awaits

As these platforms navigate the fine line between profitability and user privacy, their decisions could have far-reaching implications for how we consume social media in the future. Whether or not these subscription models become mainstream, they undeniably represent an interesting experiment in balancing revenue generation with user expectations around privacy and ad targeting.

Would you be willing to pay for an ad-free social media experience? The answer to that question could very well shape the next chapter in the ever-evolving story of social media.

Google Home Introduces “Help Me Script” to Simplify Custom Routines

Google Home is taking smart home automation to the next level with its new feature called “Help me script.” This experimental tool aims to make the creation of custom Routines simpler, even for those who have little to no experience with coding. By harnessing the power of generative AI, “Help me script” will generate the necessary code based on a user’s natural language input, making it easier than ever to create advanced automations.

A New Chapter in Home Automation

Up until now, creating advanced Google Home Routines involved using the script editor, a feature that allowed users to write and edit code for custom automations. While this has been a playground for those with coding experience, it was daunting for others. The introduction of “Help me script” seeks to bridge this gap.

How Does it Work?

To get started, users will need to log into their Google Home account via Google Home for web. Once the script editor is open, the user can describe what they want to happen in natural language. For instance, you can specify that you’d like to turn on the porch light and make an announcement if your outdoor camera detects someone after dark. Generative AI takes over from there, translating your requirements into code. This code can then be copied, pasted, and activated within the script editor. If you need to tweak your automation later, you’re free to modify the generated code.

Examples to Spark Your Imagination

Imagine having your smart home set up in such a way that when your security camera detects a package delivery, an announcement is made through your smart speaker. Or consider a scenario where the smoke alarm triggers all the lights in the house to flash while an emergency announcement is made over the speakers. All of this becomes easily achievable with “Help me script.”

An Ever-Evolving Feature

Because the feature is powered by a large language model, it’s designed to continuously learn and improve. This means that over time, “Help me script” will generate more accurate and personalized scripts, thereby enhancing user experience and the level of customization one can achieve.

Coming Soon to Public Preview

The “Help me script” feature is slated for Public Preview later this year. Google encourages users to keep an eye out for updates on the Home Automation forum and to join the Nest Community for the latest news on Nest products. User feedback will be invaluable in refining this feature, so Google urges everyone to share their experiences directly on Google Home for web.

The Bigger Picture

By simplifying the process of creating custom Routines, Google Home is not just making smart home automation more accessible; it’s also setting the stage for a future where the possibilities are limited only by our imagination. Whether you’re a coding expert or a complete novice, “Help me script” promises to be a game-changer in how we interact with and control our smart homes.

Fitbit App Brings Live Wallpapers, New Widgets for Android Handsets

Just a month after a significant redesign, Fitbit’s Android app is receiving another update, bringing some intriguing features to the table. The new version 4.01 introduces a live wallpaper for daily steps and an updated Material You widget, among other changes. These additions are expected to provide a more interactive and visually pleasing user experience, making the Fitbit app an even more integral part of your fitness journey.

Say Hello to the “Fitbit Steps Widget”

The new update replaces the old “Fitbit Primary Goal Widget” with a new “Fitbit Steps Widget,” designed with a speed dial layout similar to the updated Wear OS Tile on Google’s Pixel Watch. What’s noteworthy is that the step count now resides within the dial, rather than below it. This change not only adds aesthetic appeal but also aligns the app’s look and feel across different platforms.

Introducing Live Wallpapers

For those who need that extra nudge to hit their daily step goals, the Fitbit app now comes with a live wallpaper feature. Named “Fitbit Steps Wallpaper,” it features a portrait-oriented, pill-shaped ring that fills in clockwise from the six o’clock position to indicate your daily steps progress. To set this as your wallpaper on Pixel devices, you simply need to navigate to ‘Wallpaper & style’, scroll to the albums page, and select the new “Live wallpapers” folder.

Incomplete Makeover

While the “Activity” section received a facelift, other stat screens like sleep duration, health metrics, heart rate, and stress management remain untouched. The disparity between the new and old UI layouts can be jarring for users. Additionally, the app still lacks a dark theme option, which many users have been clamoring for.

More Than Just an Accessory

The Fitbit app has evolved from being merely an accessory to your Fitbit wearable. As it stands, the app now offers comprehensive features that make it a standalone fitness companion. With the recent redesign, the app also allows users without a Fitbit device to track activities like walking, running, or hiking using just their smartphones.

Privacy and Control

One of the notable features of the app is its focus on data privacy. Fitbit, now a part of Google, has integrated Google’s industry-leading privacy features, allowing users to review and control what’s saved and shared right from the app.

A Step into the Future

The latest update is yet another stride in Fitbit’s ongoing mission to make the world healthier. It enriches the user experience by offering interactive features that not only look good but also motivate users to stay active. With these new additions, the Fitbit app sets the stage for a more comprehensive, visually appealing, and interactive fitness tracking experience.

The Road Ahead

While the update is rolling out via the Google Play Store, it’s not yet widely available to all users. But given the pace of Fitbit’s recent updates, it’s only a matter of time before these new features become standard.

So, why wait? Keep an eye out for the update and step into a new era of fitness tracking, whether or not you own a Fitbit device.

Spotify is Working on Prompt-Based AI Playlists Inside the App

In a world where convenience is key, Spotify is once again pushing the boundaries of what is possible through artificial intelligence (AI). This time, the music streaming giant is working on an AI-powered feature that allows users to create playlists based on prompts. The news comes courtesy of app hacker Alessandro Paluzzi, who took to Twitter to share this groundbreaking discovery.

The Prompt-Based Mechanism

Imagine being able to tell your Spotify app, “Give me a playlist with some ’90s Polish hip-hop,” or asking for “New songs from my favorite brands.” According to Paluzzi’s findings, this is precisely what Spotify aims to offer. The feature will initially be available only in English, but it is expected to revolutionize the way users interact with the app.

Building on Previous Innovations

For those who have been closely following Spotify’s tech journey, the concept of AI in music curation is not new. The company launched an AI DJ feature back in 2022, which has since expanded to 50 markets globally. This AI DJ acts as a personalized guide, picking out tunes based on your music taste and even providing commentary on the songs and artists it plays. The commentary is delivered in a realistic voice modeled after Xavier “X” Jernigan, Spotify’s Head of Cultural Partnerships.

The AI DJ employs a trifecta of technologies: Spotify’s personalization technology, generative AI, and a dynamic AI voice platform. While the personalization tech offers music recommendations based on your listening habits, the generative AI provides insightful facts about the music, artists, or genres you are listening to.

User Experience and Accessibility

To take advantage of the AI DJ feature, users must have a Spotify Premium account and reside in a market where the feature has been rolled out. It’s accessible from the Music feed on the Home tab or in the ‘Made for You’ hub within the Search tab. The feature is still in beta, making it ripe for further development and improvements, especially in terms of language support and voice models.

The Power of AI in Music Streaming

The integration of AI into Spotify’s app reflects the broader trend of artificial intelligence revolutionizing various industries. Even beyond Spotify, AI-driven plugins like Playlist AI, GPT-DJ, and Spotigen have allowed users to generate playlists based on moods, descriptions, and listening history, although these were developed by independent creators and are not officially affiliated with Spotify.

Looking Ahead

Given the rapid advancements in AI and machine learning, Spotify’s move toward AI-powered, prompt-based playlists could be just the tip of the iceberg. While this feature is expected to initially roll out in English, the potential for multi-language support and more nuanced prompt mechanisms could make this one of Spotify’s most innovative features yet.

The ultimate test will be user adoption. Can AI truly understand the intricacies of human taste in music? Only time will tell, but if Spotify’s track record is anything to go by, the future looks promising indeed.

The Future Sounds Good

As AI continues to make strides in the music streaming landscape, Spotify’s forthcoming feature could well set a new industry standard. For now, music enthusiasts have every reason to be excited as we await the official launch of this groundbreaking technology.