Technology

Weekly Bytes | Zoom integrates over 50 third-party apps, WhatsApp starts joinable group calls, and more

Zoom integrates over 50 third-party apps. | Picture by special arrangement.  

Zoom integrates over 50 third-party apps

Popular video communications firm Zoom has released over 50 third-party apps or Zoom Apps. It is a new type of in-product integration that allows users to access their favourite apps in Zoom Meetings. Users can improve their experience with a range of apps that cover many use cases, including whiteboarding, project management, note-taking, and gaming. They can access the third-party apps from the ‘Apps’ tab in Zoom’s desktop client, then click ‘Discover’ to see the list of available Zoom Apps and add their favourites. Once added, the apps will be available under ‘My Apps’ tab. Users can also share and send Zoom Apps directly within their meetings to other attendees to facilitate collaboration and engagement. Some of the Zoom Apps currently available, include Asana, Dropbox Spaces, Dot Collector, Heads Up!, Kahoot!, and Live2Coursera. In another update, Zoom has agreed to buy cloud software provider Five9 Inc in an all-stock deal worth about $14.7 billion to target more business clients looking to boost customer engagement.

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WhatsApp introduces joinable group calls

WhatsApp users don’t have to worry about missing group calls anymore as the platform now allows users to join those calls quickly with a few taps on their phone screen. Users can open the ‘CALLS’ tab, then tap on an ongoing call that they have missed, and would like to join. This will open the call info screen, where users can tap on ‘Join’ to connect to the call. They can also see the other participants connected on the group call, and who hasn’t joined, in the call info screen. Users can ‘Ignore’ a call from the same screen, and they also have the option to drop-off and re-join a call provided it is still ongoing. WhatsApp said it has started rolling out the feature and people will soon be able to use it. Last week, the Facebook-owned firm said it had started testing the app’s new multi-device capability through limited public beta. In another development, a European Union privacy watchdog rejected a call by Germany’s lead data protection regulator for an EU-wide ban on Facebook's processing of personal data from WhatsApp.

Instagram’s Sensitive Content Control feature

Instagram has introduced a new feature that allows users to decide how much sensitive content shows up in the Explore tab. Using the ‘Sensitive Content Control’ option listed under the ‘Account’ tab, users can choose to keep the setting at its default state, ‘Limit’; or change it to ‘Allow’, to see more; or to ‘Limit Even More’, to see less of some types of sensitive content. The allow option is only available to people above 18 years of age. Sensitive content can be posts that don’t necessarily break the platform’s rules, but could potentially be upsetting to some people, such as posts that may be sexually suggestive or violent, the Facebook-owned company said. “We recognise that everybody has different preferences for what they want to see in Explore, and this control will give people more choice over what they see,” it added. Last week, Instagram Inc rolled out a new security feature for users whose accounts have been hacked.

Improved accessibility for some Chrome privacy features

Google has made changes to the Chrome browser to improve the accessibility of certain privacy features. It has updated site safety controls to allow users to quickly check permissions granted to individual sites. Users can tap or click the lock icon on the left side of the address bar to open the updated panel, to see the permissions for things like camera and location, and easily toggle between sharing and not sharing access. The updated site controls are rolling out for Android phones and tablets, and will come to other platforms later. Google has also announced new Chrome Actions to make it easier to manage privacy and security on the browser. Users can type “safety check” in the address bar to check the security of passwords, and scan for malicious extensions, and type “manage security settings” or “manage sync” to quickly access relevant controls, Google noted. In a separate development, researchers at Amnesty International have developed a toolkit that can help users identify whether their phone was infected by Pegasus spyware.

Tesla to open charging network to other EVs; launches FSD subscriptions

Electric Vehicle (EV) maker Tesla will open its global charging network to other EVs by the end of the year, according to CEO Elon Musk. “We’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year,” he wrote replying to a tweet. The company’s Supercharger network has over 25,000 chargers that are spread across countries in North America, Europe, Middle-East, and Asia-Pacific regions. Tesla also introduced Full Self-Driving (FSD) subscriptions for its customers. Tesla car owners with a Basic Autopilot package can opt for the FSD capability for $199 per month and the ones with Enhanced Autopilot package can get the subscription for $99 per month, according to a Tesla support page. Previously, customers were required to pay a one-time fee of $10,000 for FSD capability. Tesla vehicles with FSD computer 3.0 or above, along with an Autopilot package, are eligible to subscribe. This week, Anglo-Australian mining firm BHP said it had reached a deal to provide Tesla with supplies of nickel, a metal vital in producing high-powered batteries for electric cars.

Twitter is testing upvote, downvote on replies

Twitter on Thursday said it is testing upvote and downvote feature on tweet replies with a limited number of iOS users. “Some of you on iOS may see different options to up or down vote on replies. We're testing this to understand the types of replies you find relevant in a convo [conversation], so we can work on ways to show more of them,” it said in a tweet. It is testing three different versions: up and down arrows; heart icon and down arrow; and thumbs up and thumbs down, alongside reply and retweet icons. While users’ upvotes will be shown as likes, their downvotes will only be visible to them. The micro-blogging platform noted that the testing is meant for research right now, and the votes won’t change the order of replies. The upvote and downvote feature is similar to Reddit’s voting options available to its users. In another update, we explained how the micro-blogging platform has reacted to pleas for information data from governments around the world.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 5:17:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/weekly-bytes-zoom-integrates-over-50-third-party-apps-whatsapp-starts-joinable-group-calls-and-more/article35505340.ece

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