Here’s what we’re chatting about today: Apple’s new initiative to assist during emergency calls, Facebook closes in on 3 billion users, Zoom acquires security startup Keybase, Google launches “Read Along”, the world’s first-ever magazine cover shot on iPhone, Twitter nudges users to use a little less profanity, and as always, we’re sharing some Friday Fun to start your weekend off right!
Apple Will Share Medical Information During Emergency Calls
Have you filled out your iPhone’s Health app Medical ID feature yet? It turns out there’s no better time than the present.
Apple is adding a new “Share Medical ID During Emergency Calls” feature that will send along your health information with any SOS calls placed with your iPhone or Apple Watch. SOS calls allow users to call for emergency help with one simple swipe if they are unable to dial 911 or are having difficulty speaking.
The new feature, meant to provide further assistance to emergency first responders during the COVID-19 crisis, will roll out in the coming weeks. Users must first opt in to share their Medical ID information via the new feature. If the Enhanced Emergency Data service is supported in their area, the data and location information are then shared securely with emergency services.
Follow this step-by-step guide to fill out your Medical ID here.
Facebook Closes in on 3 Billion-User Milestone
Last week Facebook unveiled its latest earning report, sharing double-digit increases in both users and revenue.
In quarter one, Facebook added 105 million users, bringing the overall count to 2.6 billion monthly active users. Daily active users jumped 77 million in the first quarter — the company’s biggest increase since 2011.
While Facebook is enjoying the impressive results, it doesn’t anticipate the rate of growth to continue. The company attributes much of the platform’s growth and heightened engagement to shelter-in-place restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zoom Acquires Security Startup Keybase
Zoom’s latest acquisition could boost the company’s security credibility as it continues to meet growing demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keybase, whose encryption products include secure file sharing and collaboration tools, will be a welcome addition to Zoom’s current product offering, particularly as the video conferencing service’s security issues have come to light in past months.
Google’s “Read Along” Helps Young Children Practice Reading
Yesterday Google launched “Read Along,” a new app aimed at helping elementary school students practice their reading skills and stay educationally engaged amid coronavirus school closures.
Read Along leverages Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech to help kids read and includes a built-in reading assistant called Diya. As children progress in the app, they’re presented with mini word games and the opportunity to earn in-app prizes.
Google says the app was built with children’s privacy in mind and can work with or without Wi-Fi and data.
For now, the app is only available in the Google Play store for children ages 5 and up.
Naomi Campbell Photographs Herself at Home for Historic Magazine Cover
And speaking of glamour, Naomi Campbell is featured on Essence magazine’s 50th anniversary issue.
While a cover shoot isn’t necessarily a “big deal” for the seasoned supermodel, the fact that Campbell took her own photos for the shoot (on an iPhone, no less) makes the cover particularly newsworthy and historic.
Campbell did her own hair, makeup, and styling for the cover, and as noted by the publication, it is the first cover “shot entirely on an iPhone.”
Twitter Tests a Nudge Feature to Decrease User Profanity
Twitter is making a concerted effort to make the app a nicer, more civil place.
In a limited experiment, a subset of iOS users will be presented with a “gentle nudge” before attempting to tweet profanity, says the company.
When things get heated, you may say things you don't mean. To let you rethink a reply, we’re running a limited experiment on iOS with a prompt that gives you the option to revise your reply before it’s published if it uses language that could be harmful.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) May 5, 2020
It’s important to note that Twitter won’t prevent anyone from tweeting profanity, but hopes to make users think twice before sharing content that is potentially heated or harmful.
The test will run “at least a few weeks” for English-language tweets.
James Corden Recreates 2020 Met Gala with Pets
Everyone’s getting creative at home, and late-night talk show hosts are no exception. This week, in lieu of the 2020 Met Gala which was cancelled due to stay-at-home orders, James Corden hosted The Late Late Show’s first-ever and very glamorous Late Late Pet Gala.