Technology

Huawei has built an Android alternative in case US tensions increase

Tensions between the U.S. and Huawei show no sign of easing. Last week, the electronics giant announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the government over an “unconstitutional” ban on its products. Meanwhile, earlier this week, the U.S. threatened German intelligence over the country’s use of Huawei 5G products. The company has understandably been …

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AI photo startup Polarr raises an $11.5 million Series A

Bay Area photography startup Polarr announced this morning that it has raised an $11.5 million Series A. The new round of funding, led by Threshold Ventures with participation from Pear Ventures and Cota Capital, brings the startup’s total funding to around $13.5 million, according to the company. At the moment, the company is probably best …

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TwitSnap? Twitter launches new camera feature to demote text

Twitter is rolling out the redesign to its camera feature TechCrunch reported on a month ago that’s designed to let you capture photos, videos and live footage and connect them to global conversations. Starting today, when you swipe left from the Twitter timeline, you’ll get the new camera that’s no longer buried in the tweet …

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YouTube Music and YouTube Premium come to India

YouTube Music is coming to the next critical battlefield for streaming music services: India. The company announced this week it’s launching its ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free in the country, as well as YouTube Music Premium, its subscription that offers background listening, offline downloads and an ad-free experience for ₹99 a month. In …

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Telegram gets 3M new signups during Facebook apps’ outage

Messaging platform Telegram claims to have had a surge in signups during a period of downtime for Facebook’s rival messaging services. In a message sent to his Telegram channel, founder Pavel Durov wrote: “I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours.” It’s probably not a coincidence that Facebook …

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Competition policy must change to help startups fight ‘winner takes all’ platforms, says UK report

A independent report commissioned by the UK government to examine how competition policy needs to adapt itself for the digital age has concluded that tech giants don’t face adequate competition and the law needs updating to address what it dubs the “novel” challenges of ‘winner takes all’ platforms. The panel also recommends more policy interventions …

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A first look at Twitter’s new prototype app, twttr

Yesterday, Twitter rolled out its much-anticipated prototype application to the first group of testers. We’ve now gotten our hands on the app and can see how the current version differs from the build Twitter introduced to the world back in January. While the original version and today’s prototype share many of the same features, there …

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Blind users can now explore photos by touch with Microsoft’s Seeing AI

Microsoft’s Seeing AI is an app that lets blind and limited-vision folks convert visual data into audio feedback, and it just got a useful new feature. Users can now use touch to explore the objects and people in photos. It’s powered by machine learning, of course, specifically object and scene recognition. All you need to …

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Google’s new voice recognition system works instantly and offline (if you have a Pixel)

Voice recognition is a standard part of the smartphone package these days, and a corresponding part is the delay while you wait for Siri, Alexa or Google to return your query, either correctly interpreted or horribly mangled. Google’s latest speech recognition works entirely offline, eliminating that delay altogether — though of course mangling is still …

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