Brave Prepares to Launch the Brave Search Engine

· Andrew Orr · Link

Brave search engine preview

Private browser Brave is getting ready to launch its own branded search engine with its acquisition of Cliqz.

The former Cliqz dev team, who had subsequently been working on Tailcat, are moving to Brave as part of the acquisition. The engineering team is led by Dr Josep M Pujol — who is quoted in Brave’s PR saying it’s “excited to be working on the only real private search/browser alternative to Big Tech”.

Interesting move, and I look forward to more private search engines.

Amazon Fire TV: Over 400 Live Streaming Channels Now Available

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Amazon Fire TV Edition.

Amazon Fire TV now has over 400 live streaming channels, Deadline reported. Furthermore,  half of these are free, ad-supported offerings. Some features have been updated too.

Nearly 20 programmers are supplying live channel content, among them bundled subscription services like YouTube TV, Sling TV and Philo. Newly integrated on Fire are free offerings like Xumo and Amazon’s IMDb TV and news app. Plex will soon join the fold. Voice commands via Amazon Alexa have also been added to live TV programs. Alexa will respond to commands to “play Good Morning America” or “play the Seahawks game,” for example. Live shows also now appear in the “App Peek” feature of the updated Fire TV user interface.

Netflix Introduces New 'Fast Laughs' Feature for iOS

· Andrew Orr · Link

Netflix fast laughs

Netflix is introducing a new feature on its mobile apps called Fast Laughs. It’s a way for people to browse short, funny clips from its video content.

Fast Laughs offers a full-screen feed of funny clips from our big comedy catalog including films (Murder Mystery), series (Big Mouth), sitcoms (The Crew) and stand-up from comedians like Kevin Hart and Ali Wong.

You access the feed through your bottom navigation menu by clicking on the Fast Laughs tab. Clips will start playing – when one ends another begins, to keep the laughs coming.

The UK Contactless Payment Limit Has Gone up, But it Will Have Little Impact on Apple Pay

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Apple wallet icon

The UK limit on single contactless transactions  – those that you can simply tap your card to make, no pin or signature required – has increased to £100. However, as Ben Lovejoy at 9to5 Mac noted, this will have little impact on those who want to use Apple Pay to purchase goods as the limit was already significantly higher than that. (In the U.S. of course, the situation is different with different ceilings on when a signature etc is required.)

Apple Pay uses a more sophisticated form of contactless payment reserved for mobile wallet devices that have biometric authentication. With this protocol, banks and retailers can set a much higher payment limit, or even have no limit at all, because the device verifies the identity of the user via Face ID or Touch ID in the case of an iPhone, or the PIN you entered on an Apple Watch when putting it on in the morning. When I asked at the time of launch, my bank hinted that its own limit was £750 ($1,050), and certainly I have made three-figure purchases using Apple Pay. Some people report successfully using Apple Pay for mid-four-figure purchases.

Watch the Trailer for New Series ‘Calls’ Coming to Apple TV+

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

“Calls” is a unique series coming to Apple TV+ told through a 12-minute phone calls. Based on the French series of the same name (Apple ordered an English adaptation in 2018), Calls is an immersive television experience that masterfully uses only audio and minimal abstract visuals to tell bone-chilling stories. Launching in a binge model worldwide, all nine 12-minute episodes are told through a series of phone calls that use sharp writing, compelling voice talent and graphics to aid in transcribing the darkly dramatic conversations onto the screen. These relatable scenarios transport the audience into familiar situations that quickly become surreal with thrilling and frightening moments. Featuring Lily Collins, Rosario Dawson, Mark Duplass, Pedro Pascal, and others. It arrives March 19.

Apple Watch’s ECG Launch in Australia Imminent Following Approval

· Charlotte Henry · Link

The launch of the Apple Watch ECG features in Australia seems imminent. The 8-Bit reported that it received approval in February.

The Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved the ECG feature in the country yesterday under “Medical Device Class IIa,” according to a document first spotted by The 8-Bit. This means that Apple Watch users in Australia will soon be able to access the ECG app. According to the document of approval “The ECG app is a software-only mobile medical application that is intended to be used with the Apple Watch to create, record, store, transfer and display a single-channel electrocardiagram (ECG) similar to a Lead I ECG. The ECG app determines the presence of atrial fibrillation (AF) or sinus rhythm on a classifiable waveform. The ECG app is not recommended for users with other known arrhythmias.”

M1 Support Coming to Open Source Email Client ‘Thunderbird’

· Andrew Orr · Link

Thunderbird M1 support

In the latest beta version of Thunderbird the company added a welcome surprise in the notes: Future support for Apple’s M1 Macs. These notes apply to Thunderbird version 87 beta 1 released February 26, 2021. What’s New: Native support for macOS devices built with Apple Silicon CPUs; New user interface for adding attachments; Clicking on an already-selected pill in the recipient list will now allow editing the address; Copying a large message to an IMAP server would sometimes prematurely display a time-out error; OpenPGP: Messages with a high compression ratio (over 10x) could not be decrypted; and other fixes and improvements.

Picture-in-picture Back in Hulu on iOS 14

· Charlotte Henry · Link

Picture-in-picture has returned for Hulu users running iOS 14MacRumors reported. The feature had been available for a short period before but was then removed for updadtes.

In the early days of ‌iOS 14‌ in September, Hulu briefly supported picture-in-picture for ‌iPhone‌ users. Hulu soon removed support, however, to refine the feature and “work on a few updates to provide the best experience for our viewers.” Hulu has quietly welcomed back support with the latest update to the app, alongside the typical bug fixes and improvements. Apple introduced picture-in-picture for the ‌iPhone‌ with ‌iOS 14‌, allowing users to continue watching a video while also browsing other apps on their device. Popular video-based apps such as Netflix have supported the feature for some time, while others like YouTube for iOS have not.

In-Game Video Returning to MLB Dugout iPads, but MLB.TV Off Apple TV Third Gen

· Charlotte Henry · Link

The Astros used Blast Baseball with an iPad Pro during the 2017 World Series.

In-game video is set to return to iPads used by MLB team dugouts when the season starts on April 1. However, AppleInsider noted this is happening at the same time the MLB.tv has been removed from third generation Apple TVs.

Major League Baseball will be allowing teams to watch video of the game in progress once again, following a period of absence. As part of its changes for the 2021 season, MLB is once again allowing video to be piped through to teams on iPads in each dugout. The league has extensively used iPads in the past, providing the tablets to staff and players for performance examination and analytics. Following a ban until 2015, the program started in 2016, and ran smoothly for a number of years, with the iPad Pro initially the tool of choice… While players will be able to watch the game from the dugout, owners of the third-generation Apple TV won’t be able to do the same on their devices. Support for the app was pulled late in February, preventing it from being used on the older video streaming device.