Facebook, Google, Amazon’s Fixes for Kids’ Tech Seem Like Baby Steps

Facebook, Google, Amazon's Fixes for Kids' Tech Seem Like Baby Steps

Facebook is adding a Sleep Mode to its Messenger Kids service to let parents limit when their kids can use it. It’s the latest concession that tech companies are making as critics question whether they should be targeting kids at all. Among their chief concerns: The effects on kids are not yet known, and companies might not have children’s best interests at heart when tech for kids is such a lucrative market.
Rather than kill the services completely, as some critics want, Facebook, Amazon and Google are mostly tinkering at the edges. That leaves open the underlying questions of whether their products truly serve a need for the youngest set and if they are good for them.

Here’s a look at the changes announced this week:

Facebook Messenger Kids
In December, Facebook created a kids-friendly version of its Messenger app. It has no ads and gives parents plenty of controls over whom their children can chat with. The thinking was that while the regular apps are designed for people 13 or over, younger kids were on it anyway. Facebook saw Messenger Kids as a way to give the younger set a safer option.

The changes: Parents can now specify the times kids aren’t allowed on — either as a one-time restriction or something recurring, such as after 9 p.m. every school night. While the app is in Sleep Mode, kids will get a message when they open it telling them so, and they won’t be able to use it.

The shortcomings: Critics say that Messenger Kids isn’t responding to a need, but rather creating one. “It appeals primarily to children who otherwise would not have their own social media accounts,” states a letter signed by 100 child development experts and advocates. Merely offering time controls falls short of killing the app completely.

YouTube Kids
Since 2015, the Google-owned service has had a child-oriented app, YouTube Kids, described as a “safer” experience for finding “Peppa Pig” episodes or user-generated videos of people unboxing toys.
Nonetheless, the company has been under fire for not vetting out computer-generated, sometimes-disturbing video, such as your favorite cartoon characters having painful dental surgery — or worse.
The nonprofit Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has also asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether YouTube’s data collection and advertising practices violate federal child privacy rules.

The changes: YouTube said this week that it is overhauling its kids app so parents can limit video to those vetted by humans, rather than computers. With this option, kids can watch only a selection of children’s programming such as “Sesame Street” and PBS Kids.

The shortcomings: The old automated system is on by default, meaning parents need to actively choose the human-only option. And YouTube is continuing to show ads on its kid-focused service.
It also doesn’t help that many kids (with or without their parents) use the main YouTube site for video, meaning they miss out on both human and automated controls for kids.

Amazon Alexa
Sure, it’s fun to ask Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to fart — as many kids have discovered after parents buy an Alexa-enabled Echo speaker. But parents and childhood experts have been wondering what effects smart speakers may have on young kids, who may not quite understand whether Alexa is human and maybe learn from barking orders at her that barking orders is OK.

The changes: Alexa will soon thank kids for shouting out questions “nicely” if they say “please,” the online retail giant announced Wednesday . The new response is part of a kid-friendly update that’s coming next month, giving parents more control over the voice assistant. Adults can also set Alexa to go silent at bedtime or block music with explicit lyrics.

The shortcoming: This may be appeasing parents just enough to buy more Amazon products. After all, the company did not get to where it is today by missing out on new business opportunities. Amazon said it will now sell an $80 Echo Dot aimed at children, complete with colorful cases and a two-year warranty (regular Echo Dots are $50).

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

iOS 11.0.3 Update Released: Fixes Audio, Haptic Bugs for iPhone 7 Users and More

iOS 11.0.3 Update Released: Fixes Audio, Haptic Bugs for iPhone 7 Users and More

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple has released iOS 11.0.3, the third update since iOS 11 release
  • iOS 11.0.3 addresses two issues that some users were facing
  • Apple has not addressed several other issues users have reported

Apple on Wednesday released iOS 11.0.3, the third update since it released iOS 11 to the public last month. Being a point update, iOS 11.0.3 doesn’t bring any new features, but it does offer several improvements. It is meant for the iPhone 5s and above models, iPad Air and above, iPad mini 2 and above, as well as the iPod touch 6th generation.

iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7 users who were facing audio and haptic feedback should see the problem resolved after downloading and installing the iOS 11.0.3 software update. The company says it has also addressed an issue with iPhone 6s where some displays were unresponsive because they were not serviced with genuine parts.

The company however warns that non-genuine replacement displays many have compromised visual quality and may not be fully functional. In comparison, Apple-certified screen repairs are performed by trusted experts who use genuine parts.

If you’re running iOS 11, iOS 11.0.1, or iOS 11.0.2, then your device is eligible for the free update to iOS 11.0.3. You can access the update from Settings -> General -> Software Update. You should make sure you are on a Wi-Fi connection, and back up your device before proceeding.

Even as Apple attempts to fix some of the issues people are having since installing iOS 11, there are still some known issues that the company is yet to address. Many users have complained about shorter battery life and an issue where they get a ton of text notification when they reboot the device. Apple has not acknowledged either of the issues yet.

If you have not upgraded to iOS 11 yet, you might find the new customisable Control Centre, and the redesigned lock screen experience interesting enough. The company has also redesigned the App Store and Siri now has a more natural voice. Additionally, iOS 11 brings support for HEVC and HEIF codecs that use improved algorithms to compress the file size of videos and images.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Lenovo Z2 Plus Starts Receiving Its First Update; Brings Camera Improvements and Bug Fixes

Lenovo Z2 Plus Starts Receiving Its First Update; Brings Camera Improvements and Bug Fixes

Lenovo Z2 Plus Starts Receiving Its First Update; Brings Camera Improvements and Bug Fixes
HIGHLIGHTS
The latest update bumps ZUI version to 2.0.111
The update is 272MB in size
It brings improvements in low-light photography
The Lenovo Z2 Plus was launched in India just a week ago, and now a new software update has already started rolling out to its early adopters. This update brings camera app improvements and bug fixes. The latest update brings the ZUI to version 2.0.111 and is of 272MB in size.

As mentioned, the update introduces enhancements to the camera app on the Lenovo Z2 Plus. The update claims to improve low light photography and increase autofocus stability as well. It also comes with enhanced multi-language support, and improvements in the device’s display and overall system stability. The update also fixes issues related to notification and phone call of Chrono case.

(Also see: Lenovo Z2 Plus First Impressions)
Interestingly, even after the update, the security patch is still dated back to August 1, which means that the September security update will be rolled out separately. The Lenovo Z2 Plus smartphone is exclusively available via Amazon India and is priced at Rs. 17,999 for the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant and Rs. 19,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant.

Just to recap, the smartphone runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with the company’s own skin atop. It is a dual-SIM (4G+3G) smartphone that supports Nano-SIM cards. The Lenovo Z2 Plus sports a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC, a 13-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The Lenovo Z2 Plus is powered by a 3500mAh battery, and supports 4G connectivity. There is also a U Touch 2.0 fingerprint sensor on the home button, which is claimed to deliver 99.7 percent accuracy.

Tags: Lenovo, Lenovo Z2 Plus, Mobiles, Android, Lenovo Z2 Plus Features, Lenovo Z2 Plus Specifications, Lenovo Z2 Plus India Launch, Lenovo Z2 Plus Update

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Google Chrome 50 for Android Brings New capabilities, Fixes, upgrades

Google Chrome 50 for Android Brings New Features, Fixes, Improvements

Google remaining week rolled out its Chrome 50 browser version for windows, OS X, and Linux and now has ultimately started seeding the strong version to Android devices.

even though the legitimate app listing at the Google Play says “worm fixes and fast performanceenhancements,” the browser model on Android moreover brings the capability to assist you to select tillwhen you need to delete your browsing records, reports Android Police. whilst the option until the v49immediately deleted all the surfing information, now tapping on it opens another window giving all the same old alternatives like before together with a new segment wherein you can select until whilst youwant to delete the records. options now shown are beyond hour, beyond day, past week, last 4 weeks, and beginning of time.

The updated Chrome 50 app for Android is available to down load from the Google Play. The app on iOS has not been up to date yet.

(also see: Google Says Chrome Has 1 Billion monthly energetic users on mobile)

Chrome 50 for home windows, OS X, and Linux closing week added a group of updates. The versionupdates the rush API to feature push notifications payloads, which is supposed to make notification deliveries more efficient through sending notification records simultaneously in conjunction with the message. For builders, the replace will allow them to customize their notifications with buttons and time stamps. sites can provide customers the silent, sound, and vibrating notifications.

other new functions in Chrome 50 include a declarative preload where website developers can let the browser recognize which sources are wanted to correctly show a web page with the “hyperlinkrel=’preload'” characteristic, notably lowering page load time.

down load the devices 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the present day tech news, product critiques, and specific deals on the popular mobiles.

Tags: Android, Apps, Chrome, Chrome 50, Chrome 50 for Android, Chrome Android App, Chrome Appupdate, Chrome for Android, Chrome replace, Google