The Weekly Download – May 21, 2021

Before you hit “out of office” for the Canadian May long weekend, check out some of this week’s biggest news with another helping of The Weekly Download!

On deck today: 

Google’s new tool to identify skin conditions, an easier way to change compromised passwords in Chrome, Spotify’s quest for podcast transcription, Twitter finally makes the user verification process simple, and Friday Fun.

Google’s New Health Tool Helps Identify Skin Conditions

A new tool from Google uses artificial intelligence to help people identify skin, hair, or nail conditions. The company, which previewed the tool this week at I/O, hopes to launch a pilot later this year.

Here’s how it works:

People can use their phone’s camera to take pictures of the problem area in question – for example, a pesky rash. After answering a series of questions about their skin type and symptoms, the tool will provide users with a list of possible conditions.

While the tool can’t diagnose problems, it can give users accurate information about potential conditions quickly, without having to spend hours online doing research.

An Easier Way to Change Compromised Passwords is Coming to Chrome for Android

Another new feature is coming to Google’s Chrome password manager that will allow users to change compromised passwords with just a few taps of a button. 

If a leaked password is found during a security check, users will see a message with a “change password” button for supported sites. The button will allow users to change the password quickly and easily, and stores it for easy access.

The feature is similar to other popular password managers, such as Dashlane. US users of Chrome for Android will have first access to the feature, but Google says it will become more widely available in “the coming months.”

Spotify Will Auto-Transcribe Podcasts to Make its App More Accessible

In an effort to make its app more accessible, this week Spotify announced multiple updates, including a beta version of a podcast transcription feature.

Spotify says that over the coming weeks it will start auto-transcribing certain exclusive and original shows as part of a beta rollout. Users can read transcripts without audio and can tap on accompanying text to jump directly to that point in the audio. The end goal is to transcribe all podcasts on the platform.

According to The Verge, Spotify is one of the first major podcast apps to make podcast transcription an automated feature.

Other accessibility updates include changes that will make it easier for users with low vision and visual impairment to navigate the app.

Twitter Finally Makes the User Verification Process Simple

Have you been waiting for your own blue checkmark? Good news! 

Yesterday Twitter announced a new public-facing application for account verification. It’s still unclear who will be eligible when applications open, but Twitter says access will roll out globally over the coming weeks.

Twitter says it hopes the new process will be a transparent one. According to a Twitter product manager, the company’s two main goals of the new process are consistency, and easy-to-understand notability criteria.

Think you might be eligible? Check out the list of requirements here.

Friday Fun

We hope this warms your heart like it warmed ours!

Line drawn peony from Spodek & Co Digital marketing site