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WWDC 2018: Apple Unveils watchOS 5 With Walkie-Talkie Feature, Podcast Support, and More

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Apple at WWDC 2018 announced watchOS 5 as the newest operating system for Apple Watch. The new platform brings a list of anticipated features, including third-party app support on the Siri watch face and the ability to offer Watch to Watch communication through an all-new feature called Walkie-Talkie. There is also a bunch of new content, including live sports scores, commute time from one place to another, and heart rate after a workout. Apple will release watchOS 5 as a free update for Apple Watch Series 1 and later, dropping the support for the original Apple Watch. The platform will hit eligible Apple Watch models starting this Fall, and requires an iPhone 5s or later device running iOS 12. The developer beta of watchOS 5 is now available for developers via the Apple site.
Apple only mentioned this briefly, but it should come as good news to users in India – watchOS 5 will bring Hindi Localisation support, bringing system-wide support for the language. Another major new feature is the ability to raise your wrist to speak with Siri – users no longer need to say Hey Siri to speak a voice command. The new watchOS also includes an upgraded Activity Sharing functionality that lets users invite their friends to compete in a seven-day Activity competition and earn points for closing Activity Rings. There is also an auto-work detection feature that as its name suggests, auto-detects the start and end of a workout using the built-in sensors of the Apple Watch and using machine learning algorithms. If a user press start after actually beginning a workout, the new feature provides with retroactive credits for that same workout. Similarly, the new feature also gives reminders to end workout sessions after a period of inactivity. This helps if a user forgets to hit the End Workout button. Apple has also notably added Yoga and Hiking as the new workout types, making the total workout count of 14 types.
Apple has additionally added a new metric in watchOS 5, called rolling last mile, to show pace for the immediately preceding mile in addition to the average pace or the current pace of the runners. There’s also a new cadence metric (steps per minute), and a new pace alarm that alert users if they are behind their chosen pace.
Apart from the fitness-centric features, watchOS 5 has the Walkie-Talkie feature that lets users communicate with other Apple Watch wearers simply by tapping of the wrist. The feature uses Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity to enable voice communication with any Apple Watch user available around the globe. Users will first have to accept the Walk-Talkie request, and then can proceed to chat at any time of day with the press of a button.
The new watchOS also has an updated Siri watch face that brings new predictive and proactive shortcuts throughout the day based on routines, locations, and information available, including heart rate after a workout, communicate time at the appropriate time of the day, or sports scores for a particular team. The Siri face has also received the ability to show actionable content from third-party apps, such as Nike+ Run Club, Glow Baby, and Mobike. Likewise, there are enhanced notifications from third-party apps. These come with interactive controls and work without actually letting users open the app on their connected iPhone.watchos 5 siri shortcuts watchOS 5
While Apple had introduced music streaming features with watchOS 4, it has now brought Apple Podcasts support. Episodes will sync to Apple Watch as well. Apple announced an improved WorkOut API for greater performance of native apps and the ability for third-party apps to play background audio. Users can leverage the audio playback support to play audiobooks, favourite playlists and guided meditations on their Apple Watch while on the go. If the app supports it, the content can be synced offline to be heard on the go. Furthermore, watchOS 5 brings the awaited customise button arrangements in the Control Center. There’s also Student ID Card integration, letting students of supporting universities make their Apple Watch a virtual student ID card. This will let students user their Apple Watch to enter areas normally limited in access to those with student ID cards.
At the WWDC keynote, Apple also revealed a Pride Edition Woven Nylon band that has a rainbow stripe – with a donation being made to the LGBTQ advocacy organisations, including Gender Spectrum, GLSEN, ILGA, PFLAG, The National Center for Transgender Equality and The Trevor Project. Also, Apple Watch users can also download the dedicated Pride watch face starting today.


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Baby’s First Smart Diaper: Pampers Takes ‘Wearables’ to a Whole New Level

The Kashmir Monitor

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Pampers is the latest company to jump into trendy, wearable devices with a new “connected care system” called Lumi that tracks babies’ activity through a sensor that attaches to diapers.

The sensor sends an alert to an app notification when a diaper is wet. It also sends information on the baby’s sleep and wake times and allows parents to manually track additional info, like dirty diapers and feeding times. A video monitor is included with the system and is integrated into the app. Pampers didn’t say how much the system, which is launching in the US this fall, will cost.

The announcement Thursday from Pampers, which is part of Procter & Gamble, is a sign of the growth in the “baby tech” industry. The Internet of things, or IoT, has invaded homes, promising to make routines and tasks more efficient. Companies have launched connected bassinets, smart night lights and pacifiers, bottles that track feedings and even apps to replicate the sound of a parent saying, “Shush.” Research and Market report predicts the interactive baby monitor market alone will reach more than $2.5 billion by 2024.

 

But with the increase in “smart” options for babies and younger children, too, parents must make decisions about how much tech to use as they seek to raise them in an increasingly connected world.

“Even an infant or a toddler deserves a little privacy,” said Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of bestselling book “How to Raise an Adult.”

From smart diapers to social media, today’s parents are grappling with an ever-expanding crop of privacy concerns triggered by widespread connectivity of devices.

Posting photos, tracking their development in an app or even searching for information on their health conditions can help big tech develop digital profiles that could follow those children for the rest of their lives.

In many cases, it’s still unclear how data for children’s connected devices are used and how secure it is. Take baby monitors and security cameras: There are dozens of examples of baby or child monitors being hacked or otherwise compromised, including an incident reported by The Washington Post earlier this year in which a Nest Cam installed in a child’s room began playing pornography.

Lythcott-Haims said that parents should proceed carefully when evaluating data-collecting mechanisms for use on their children, even in the earliest stages of life. Tracking a baby too closely could also quickly morph into helicopter parenting.

“When does tracking every move become inappropriate surveillance?” Lythcott-Haims asked. “If we can track their diapers, we can track their Pull-Ups, then we can put trackers on their clothing. Pretty soon we don’t have to worry because we’ll know everything from before birth to end of their lives.”

The Lumi system encrypts all data and uses “the same standard of security as the financial services industry,” said Pampers spokeswoman Mandy Treeby. The system does not currently include two-factor authentication, something security experts consider key to avoiding unauthorised access to systems.

The goal of the system is to alleviate stress for new parents, and feedback from those testing the system has so far been positive, Treeby added.

Lumi isn’t the first jaunt into high-tech diapers. In 2016, Google’s parent company Alphabet filed a patent for “a diaper sensor for detecting and differentiating feces and urine.” Last year, Huggies partnered with Korean company Monit to launch a smart diaper sensor in Korea and Japan.

The risk with so many ordinary objects becoming “smart” is that it makes them dependent on software updates and malfunctions – or a product losing its connectivity if a company goes out of business or discontinues the line. Nike’s $350 self-lacing shoes for instance stopped lacing earlier this year because of a software update.

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FaceApp is fun but dubious terms of service raises serious privacy questions

The Kashmir Monitor

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AI photo editing app, FaceApp resurrected in the past week. Everyone’s social media feed is now filled with people posting photos of how they would look when they turn old. While FaceApp is all the rage right now you may be giving the company access to a lot more than you think.

FaceApp had a surge in downloads starting slowly on July 12 and getting a big push from July 13 according to Sensor Tower. In India, FaceApp was down for a few hours late last night but the app is now accessible. To use FaceApp, one needs to give permission access to their photos. While this seems understandable, FaceApp can do much more with your photos then just edit them.

First spotted by Forbes, FaceApp has some dubious terms of service which is detailed on the company’s website. The most striking thing about FaceApp’s terms of service is that the company has rights to use “user content” for commercial purposes.

 

“You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you,” reads FaceApp’s terms.

FaceApp clearly states that it can use your photos and information shared on the app for commercial purposes without any royalties. While it’s totally up to the user to do as they like with their FaceApp photos, it also raises security questions, especially since FaceApp is storing user data.

Ever since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there has been continuous scrutiny over sharing user data with services. Facebook’s 10 year challenge which became viral globally was also suspected to be a major data collecting scheme. Nothing has been proved as yet, but it’s definite that users are still not aware about how companies have access to data. FaceApp has now been downloaded by over 100 million users on Android, and it also became the top-ranked app on iOS.

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Rape case: Aditya Pancholi gets interim protection till Aug 3

The Kashmir Monitor

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A sessions court extended till August 3 the interim protection from arrest granted to actor Aditya Pancholi in a case of rape filed against him by a Bollywood actress.

Pancholi had approached the court seeking anticipatory bail after the suburban Versova police lodged an FIR against him on June 28.

The actor was then granted interim protection from arrest till July 19.

 

“The court on Friday adjourned the hearing on the plea till August 3. The interim protection granted to Pancholi from arrest shall continue till then,” Pancholi’s advocate Prashant Patil said.

The 54-year-old actor has been charged under sections 376 (rape), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison), 384 (extortion), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The actress alleged that between 2004-2006, Pancholi kept her at different locations and forcibly tried to establish a relationship with her by spiking her drinks.

Pancholi claimed that he has been falsely implicated in the case.

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