The Weekly App Roundup

Twitter launches podcasts, TikTok’s 10-minute videos, Meta’s AI translation tool, and more

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This week we have quite a bit to unpack: Twitter is rumored to launch a podcast, TikTok introduced 10-minute videos to compete against Youtube, Mark Zuckerburg revealed the plan to build an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered universal language translator, and much more.اضافة اعلان

So, let’s jump right into the news.

Rise of podcasts has Twitter on edge

With the rise of podcasting globally, it appears that the new Twitter CEO’s next big move for Twitter will be to enter the podcasting world.

Jane Manchun Wong, a securities researcher, identified that Twitter is indeed working on a podcast feature for their platform. This was even further solidified by a screenshot posted on her account, which showcases a microphone tab in Twitter’s ribbon. The screenshot has since been deleted. 

While this is not confirmed by Twitter yet, the legitimacy of Wong’s previous leaks surrounding tech giants makes us almost certain that Twitter is, at the very least, testing the feasibility of this feature.

With podcasts becoming an essential part of many people’s lives and Spotify even going as far as to add a video feature to their podcasts, there is no doubt that Twitter is not the only company on the hunt for a piece the podcast pie.

TikTok releases 10-minute video feature

Move over Youtube; TikTok is moving up in the world.

TikTok has released, unannounced, a 10-minute video feature now available to all users on the platform. This came shortly after their 3-minute video feature was released just a few months ago. This move indicates that content creators are not just willing to release longer forms of content but are, in fact, preferential to it.

This can be seen as an attack against YouTube’s push for their platform’s short video sharing called Shorts. Instead of directly competing for the same share of viewership on short-form videos, TikTok decided it would be easier to just nick Youtube’s existing user base over to their platform.

Over the last few years, Youtube has faced vocal frustration from users with their app; from the increase in ads to un-skippable ads now being as long as 30 seconds, many of their users have been ready to jump ship, provided there is a platform that would enable growth the way that YouTube does.

Now that TikTok is officially the most used service globally, it is clear to both content creators and consumers alike that there is huge potential on TikTok.

Whether or not TikTok is to release further increases to their video lengths is up for debate; it’s not unreasonable or unimaginable to believe that TikTok may as well become a direct, legitimate competitor to YouTube in the coming years.

Android Go: Android on a budget

Google wants to make the power of Android available to everyone, so it created Android Go, a lighter version of Android, with software still primarily operating as an Android would, but optimized for devices with lower-performing CPUs, lower amounts of memory, and less accessible mobile connectivity.

Android Go has allowed for more cheap smartphones to carry Android OS optimized for their usage as this software is intended for entry-level cellphones with 512MB to 2GB of RAM.

Android Go concentrates on three things: optimizing the newest Android versions to function well on low-cost devices, slimming the collection of Google programs — such as Google Chrome and Gboard — to consume less memory, storage space, and mobile bandwidth; and third, to offer a lite version of the Google Play Store that has the same appearance as the traditional play store, but uses significantly less data, storage, and memory.

Overall, what this means to the end consumer is a significantly more optimized version of Android, provided that they’re running with one of the many budget Android smartphones available on the market.

This version is completely free to use for Android users. Those looking to lower their use of space and battery on their more powerful phones can also use this optimized version to downgrade the heavy runtime processes usually running on their phone.

META AI-Powered Translation Tool

It appears that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is dedicated to putting AI in everything he touches.

During a live-streamed event, Zuckerberg discussed the Metaverse and Meta’s research division is working on a universal voice translation technology.

This technology would ideally allow people worldwide to engage with one another inside Meta’s digital reality. Zuckerberg mentioned that this would be a crucial component of people from various backgrounds teleporting across various virtual worlds and experiencing things together.

Meta has two primary ways through which they see this goal being achieved:

First, Meta is working on No Language Left Behind, a translation system that can learn any language even if there is not a lot of material accessible to learn from. Zuckerberg stated that the company could translate hundreds of languages with cutting-edge technology and feature a wide variety of language pairings.

Following that, Meta intends to develop AI to provide instantaneous speech-to-speech translation across all languages, including the most widely spoken.

A lot of this sounds like it comes straight out of a science fiction movie, especially focusing on the AI doing real-time translation for their users. However, with the massive push from Meta to develop and optimize the Metaverse to create new educational, social, and functional spaces on the web, this tool may not be too far off the reality spectrum.

Sadly, however, these are just claims from Zuckerberg himself. No timelines, dates, or guarantees were given during the press conference, and thus we are left wondering: When will all of his claims come to fruition?

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