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September 2020

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Some things are simply better together. Earlier this year, we rolled out several new tools to help you stay more connected with your friends and family, no matter where they are. And today, we’re announcing Watch Together so you can enjoy Facebook Watch videos with your friends and family and see their reactions in real time over Messenger video calls and Messenger Rooms. So go ahead and oooh and ahhh over a video by your favorite celebrity, shed a tear over a puppy rescue video, laugh out loud at the latest viral videos, scream during Blair Witch or feel nostalgic while watching your favorite episode of Community. Watch Together will help you feel together even when you’re not.

Facebook Messenger adds

More Video, More Connections

Every day, there are more than 150 million video calls on Messenger, and more than 200 million videos sent via Messenger. Now, with Watch Together, you can enjoy videos and share the experience with your friends in real time.

We created Watch Together to make spending quality time with friends and loved ones feel as close to an in-person experience as possible. Whether it’s watching a trending video, a movie, a sports highlight, a makeup tutorial or a Facebook Watch original, the feature allows you to watch your friends’ reactions at the same time.

Facebook Messenger adds

Watch Together is also great for creators. Whether you’re an artist, DJ, chef or personal trainer, your community can watch and engage with your video in a Messenger video call. To celebrate this launch, we partnered with celebrity fitness trainer and author Melissa Alcantara to create a series of fitness videos to enable people to virtually work out with their friends and motivate each other to achieve their fitness goals. According to a study we conducted in the US, 70% of people who work out with a partner have achieved a fitness goal in the past six months; only 45% of people who work out alone have done the same.

Facebook Messenger adds

How It Works

Watch Together is easy to use. Just start a Messenger video call or create a Messenger Room then swipe up to access the menu and select Watch Together. From there you can select a video suggested for you or choose from a category such as ‘TV & Movies,’ ‘Watched’ ‘or ‘Uploaded.’ To start working out with Melissa and your friends, search for Melissa Alcantara in the Search bar of the Watch Together feature. You can watch videos with up to eight people on a Messenger video call and up to 50 people in Rooms. Watch Together is free and is rolling out globally this week in Messenger and Messenger Rooms on mobile for iOS and Android.

Facebook Messenger adds

While nothing can replace being in the same room with the people you love, Watch Together comes pretty close. We can’t wait for you to try it!

Apple said it was committed to freedom of information and expression in a document it has published on its humans rights policy – a move that follows increased pressure from shareholders.

The US tech giant has come under fire for removing virtual network apps from its App store in China and at its February annual general meeting a shareholder proposal called on Apple to publicly commit “to respect freedom of expression as a human right”.

While it was defeated, it gained 40.6% of votes cast – far more than similar motions put forward previously and enough to push the company to respond, experts said.

Apple

“We believe in the critical importance of an open society in which information flows freely, and we’re convinced the best way we can continue to promote openness is to remain engaged, even where we may disagree with a country’s laws,” Apple states in the policy document.

It said its policy was based on the United Nations’ guiding principles on business and human rights.

Human rights activists have also called on Apple to cut ties with suppliers alleged to be using the forced labor of thousands of ethnic Uighurs in Chinese factories and it has faced much criticism for removing an app that helped Hong Kong protesters track police movements.

Apple argued that the app was being used to target individual police officers and to victimize individuals and property, violating Hong Kong law.

Pakistan said on Tuesday it has blocked Tinder, Grindr and three other dating apps for not adhering to local laws, its latest move to curb online platforms deemed to be disseminating “immoral content”.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked access to five dating/live streaming applications including Tinder, Tagged, Skout, Grinder and SayHi, the authority announced on Twitter.

PTA

In view of negative effects of immoral/indecent content streaming through above applications, PTA issued notices to the management of above mentioned platforms for the purpose of removing dating services and moderate live streaming content in accordance with local laws of Pakistan, PTA said in a press release.

PTA

Pakistan, the second largest Muslim-majority country in the world after Indonesia, is an Islamic nation where extra-marital relationships and homosexuality are illegal. The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority said it has sent notices to the management of the five apps, “keeping in view the negative effects of immoral/indecent content streaming.”

PTA said the notices issued to Tinder, Grindr, Tagged, Skout and SayHi sought the removal of “dating services” and moderation of live streaming content in accordance with local laws. The companies did not respond to the notices within the stipulated time, the regulator added.

Tinder, Tagged, Skout and Grindr did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Reuters was unable to contact SayHi for comment.

PTA

PTA can, however, reconsider blocking of the said applications provided management of the companies assures adherence to the local laws with respect to moderating the indecent/immoral content through meaningful engagement.

Earlier, PTA issued a warning to Chinese-owned social media app TikTok to clamp down on what it called “immoral, obscene and vulgar” content on the video-sharing platform.

However, in September last year the Islamabad High Court (IHC) declared that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is not empowered to block any website in violation of the due process and without hearing the viewpoint of the other party.

With recent iPhone 12 leaks being considerably more bad than good, tension was mounting over how Apple’s new models would stand out. Now we know.

The iPhone 12 range is not just going to be fast, it’s going to blow the rest of the industry away, according to new information provided by prolific industry insider Komiya. The tipster reveals Apple’s new A14 chipset inside the range will offer CPU and GPU gains of 40% and 50% respectively. That equates to a multi-generational increase on the iPhone’s A13, which is already the fastest smartphone chipset on the market.

08/13 Update: fellow Apple leaker iHacktu has directly countered Komiya’s A14 performance claim, saying the chipset will see a CPU gain of circa 30% and a GPU boost of 38%. While smaller, these numbers would still represent the biggest generational performance leap in years and the chipset is also expected to be significantly more power efficient. Much of the hype for the A14 centers on its 5nm manufacturing process (details below) and the iPhone 12 lineup will be the first smartphones to debut it. Which leaker is right? Differing benchmarks and levels of software optimization mean both could be under different scenarios. Either way, the A14 is going to massively extend Apple’s already commanding lead in smartphone performance.

iPhone 12

Furthermore, this makes sense. Last month, popular YouTuber Filip Koroy (aka EverythingApplePro) revealed the A14 would deliver a massive performance upgrade to compete with what the iPhone 8’s A11 chip achieved over the iPhone 7’s A10. That was a game-changing leap, with the A11 offering 70% improved multitasking performance but, even then, its high performance CPU and GPU cores were just 25% and 30% faster. Meanwhile, back in January, the iPhone 12 was tipped to outpace the MacBook Pro.

So, compared to more modest recent gains (A13 20%, A12 15%), how has Apple suddenly leapt forward again? The big enabler is the A14’s move from a 7nm to 5nm manufacturing process. This means more transistors in the same space (Koroy says 15 billion Vs 8.5 billion on the A13), as well as increased power efficiency. The latter of which would explain the iPhone 12 lineup’s surprisingly small batteries.