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Ready for SharePlay on your iPhone? Talking Tech podcast

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usatoday– Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

Hey there listeners. It’s Brett Molina. Welcome to Talking Tech. My co-host Mike Snider is off today. Yesterday, you heard us talk about the option to add your COVID cards to your Apple Wallet. This was part of an update to iOS 15 Apple’s mobile operating system for the iPhone. Along with that, we also got an update to a feature called SharePlay, which is available on FaceTime. And what it does is anytime you are on a FaceTime call, you have the option to watch movies, watch TV shows, or do other activities all while still participating in this FaceTime call. I write about this on techusatoday.com. Apple introduced a few other partners that are going to be involved with SharePlay, TikTok, Disney+, and the NBA. I got a chance to demo some of this recently and just get a sense for how it’s going to work and how you use SharePlay.

It’s a really fun feature and I think it’s great if you’re looking for new ways to connect with your friends or family who are far away, and you want to do it on a video call and you want to do something a little more fun. So here’s how it works. When you pull up a FaceTime call, you’ll see this button that appears on the top right. Basically, the way it works is you tap on the screen and then you’ll kind of see a little menu of options pop up. There’s something on the top right and that allows you to share your screen. And that’s part of how SharePlay works. So you could tap into that and then whoever’s on the call will be able to see your screen and they’ll be able to see things like if you pull up photos, if you pull up something else, like say you want to show someone how to do something on the app, or you just want to show someone a quick photo while you’re on a call, you can just screen share right there.

So also while you’re on these video calls, you can do other things too. One of the demonstrations I saw was through Disney+ where you pull up the Disney+ app while you’re on a call, you decide you want to SharePlay while you’re watching a movie, you hit a button. Other callers on there will get a prompt that alerts them that someone wants to invite you to a SharePlay session. You’ll click on that to join a SharePlay and then you start the movie together. It works with up to 32 people. So you can have a lot of people at once all on this FaceTime call, all watching the same movie together. Anyone can pause the movie at any point if they need to stop and do something. If there’s like a fun part in the movie they want to fast forward to or they want to rewind back to something that was worth checking out, you can do that as well.

The other cool feature there too is say someone starts talking in the middle of the movie, the volume from that movie will automatically lower. And then once that person stops talking, the volume returns back to normal again. So, really cool. It also works on the NBA app as well. If the participants on the call all have NBA League Pass, which is the separate subscription that fans use to be able to watch any NBA game they want, they can sit within a FaceTime call and watch a game together. It also works on TikTok where users can hop in, share their feeds. If they see something funny, they can share it on the call and all watch it together. And there was a fun point too where you can actually scroll through a TikTok and … a TikTok feed rather and see everything that’s on there together as a group. It’s a lot of fun. The other cool part of this too is you can also stay in that SharePlay session and use picture-in-picture.

So say you wanted to look something up on a browser while you’re involved in a movie or a game or something like that, you can minimize the window on your SharePlay session. So at the top quarter of your phone, you might see whatever videos on, you might have that, you might see the icons for the FaceTime call. So you’re still in this call and then you can go back to your phone and look something up. So say I’m watching a Lakers game and I’m just curious about who’s leading the NBA in scoring, I could drop that NBA game within SharePlay into the top quarter of my phone and then pop on my browser and look up what I need to look up. It’s really fun. It’s really useful. For the Disney+ and NBA experiences, you have to have subscriptions. So as I mentioned, you have to have League Pass. For Disney+, everyone involved has to have Disney+ in order for this to work. The TikTok and NBA experiences through SharePlay are available now. Disney is going to launch their experience later this year.

There are also several apps available in the app store beyond that, that have SharePlay too. Redfin is one example. Say you’re looking at a home listing, you’re talking with someone. You can both look at that home listing together. There’s other stuff like Apple TV+, the Apple fitness app, Showtime, the streaming app. You can watch movies and TV shows there as well, and CARROT Weather where you can share forecasts with other people while you’re on a FaceTime call. Really fun feature. Looking forward to using more of this in the future.

Listeners, let’s hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions, or show ideas, any tech problems you want us to try to address? You can find me on Twitter @BrettMolina23. Please don’t forget to subscribe and rate us or leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere you get your podcasts. And don’t forget, we have a newsletter as well that you can subscribe to, the Talking Tech newsletter. You can visit us there at newsletters.usatoday.com and subscribe right away. You’ve been listening to Talking Tech. We’ll be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the world of tech.

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QUALCOMM REBRANDS SNAPDRAGON CHIPS THAT POWER MANY OF THE WORLD’S PHONES IN ATTEMPT TO BE LESS CONFUSING

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independent– Qualcomm has announce a major rebrand of its Snapdragon chips, in a move that could make choosing a phone vastly more simple.

The company sells its Snapdragon chips to a vast range of other companies – such as Samsung, HP and OnePlus – which use them to power devices including mobile phones, watches and laptops.

But comparing those devices can often be difficult, because of the confusing name of those Snapdragon processors, which are marked by a host of complex numbers. Since processors are at the heart of the devices, it can therefore be difficult to know whether a given phone is better than another.

But Qualcomm now says that it will simplify its branding in a host of ways, most of which bring new branding to the line.

The most obvious one is that the Qualcomm and Snapdragon brands will be separated. While they will still be owned by the same company as before, the Qualcomm will be removed from the chips itself.

More usefully, however, those complicated names will be changed.

Until now, Snapdragon products have come with three different names. Each of the numbers was intended to show where it was in the line-up: the first indicating the power, the second what generation, and the third used to separate different products within those generations.

But that was difficult to know and to compare. It also led to struggles with Snapdragon running out of names – it has a Snapdragon 695, for instance, and so only space for four more chips in that line-up.

Instead, it will move to a “new simplified and consistent naming structure for our platforms makes it easier for our customers to discover and choose devices powered by Snapdragon”, it says. “This means our mobile platforms will transition to a single-digit series and generation number, aligning with other product categories — starting with our newest flagship Snapdragon 8-series platform.”

It did not give information on what that new naming system would be, and promised more information would be revealed at another event on 30 November.

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Gigabit broadband: Internet seen as top homebuyer priority

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bbc– A fast internet connection is now one of the most important factors for homebuyers, according to a survey of 294 estate agents across the UK.

Questions about connectivity, usually “full fibre” broadband, are up 69% since the pandemic began, the research, by Omdia for telecoms equipment maker Huawei, suggests.

Speeds of more than 300Mbps are being sought by 34% of buyers – and, according to 33% of the estate agents, can add £5,000 to the sale price of a home – while 23% want 1Gbps.

Asked to name the single most important factor is for homebuyers:

  • 23% said the size of the property
  • 20% said broadband quality
  • 18% said the number of bedrooms
  • 10% said the age of the property is
  • 9% said transport links

“In many cases, customers feel that good internet is a ‘must have’,” James Hummerstone-Pope, from Purple Bricks, said.

“And poor wi-fi and a bad mobile signal can be a deal breaker.

“Fibre broadband definitely makes properties more appealing.

“And people will sometimes walk away from a property if they feel the broadband and phone signals aren’t good enough.”

  • Vodafone to offer full fibre broadband to millions
  • Half-a-million homes to get broadband boost

The government has promised to “bring full-fibre and gigabit-capable broadband to every home and business across the UK by 2025”.

And research from telecoms regulator Ofcom suggests 18.2 million homes (62%) already have access to 300Mbps or faster.

But only a fraction pay for such high speeds.

And the average UK speed is actually 50.4Mbps.

Critical factors

In Scotland and the South West, good broadband is the most important factor for homebuyers, the survey suggests.

But London-based estate agent Foxtons said while buyers considered the internet important – “particularly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic” – it was usually outweighed by other factors.

“Choosing which property to purchase is an incredibly complex decision that depends on numerous different factors,” a representative said.

“In our experience, the price and perceived value for money, the size and type of property, provision of outside space, as well as proximity to local amenities and schools are some of the most critical factors in the decision-making process.”

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Google app finds pets’ ‘art doubles’

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bbc– They say dogs resemble their owners, but has your pet’s portrait already been painted by Picasso or Rembrandt?

Google’s “Pet Portraits” uses machine learning to match pets to their “art doubles” held in the collections of institutions around the world.

The furry-friend matching tool has been added to Google’s Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS.

A similar 2018 feature for human faces saw 120 million selfies uploaded.

According to Google, a computer vision algorithm recognizes where your pet is, and crops the image.

Then, “a machine learning algorithm matches your pet’s photo with over tens of thousands of artworks”.

Users can tap on the results to learn more about the stories and artists behind each artwork.

To test the system, the BBC enlisted the help of Smudge, a four-year-old black and white cat owned by a member of staff.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

According to Google’s algorithm, Smudge most closely resembles “Black Cat and Narcissus” – a hanging scroll by 19th-century Chinese artist Zhu Ling – currently held in the collection of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City.

Image recognition is of increasing use to big-tech companies, but Google’s culture app disclaimer suggests pet images remain on your phone and are not used for other purposes.

“Your pet’s pic is only used to find artworks that look like your pet,” it promises. “Your photo isn’t sent from your device, and only you can see it unless you choose to share it. “

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