Microsoft shuts all its retail stores permanently

Last week, tech giant Microsoft announced a new approach to retail. This approach, taking place with immediate effect, will see the closure of all but four of Microsoft’s stores cross-globally.

Only a quarter of stores of stores will remain open in New York, London, Sydney and Redmond, but they will become Microsoft Experience Centres offering no product sale. The shift to digital service over brick and mortar is something that Microsoft wanted to implement in 2021. As reported by The Verge, Covid-19 made its impromptu catalysing a need for the company to enact immediately. 

Microsoft also noted that none of its retail staff will be let go, as they instead transition to digital-driven positions. Moreover, the company’s site will update its support service with a one-to-one video chat, online tutorial videos and virtual workshops.

“Our sales have grown online as our product portfolio has evolved to largely digital offerings, and our talented team has proven success serving customers beyond any physical location,” said Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Porter in a statement. “We deliberately built teams with unique backgrounds and skills that could serve customers from anywhere. The evolution of our workforce ensured we could continue to serve customers of all sizes when they needed us most, working remotely these last months.”

Facebook will alert you when sharing old news

Social media giant Facebook has dominated the headlines for the past few months, and now the company has just announced that it will be rolling out a new feature which alerts users when sharing content older than three months. Now, when trying to share a post, an alert reading “this article is over three months old” will pop up, allowing you to continue or cancel your post.

Facebook has been criticized for not limiting radical political news, “fake news,” and other potentially harmful stories, and the introduction of the 90-day warning banner, the platform hopes to decrease the amount of untimely content shared by its users.

Vice-president of feed and stories at Facebook said in a statement, “news publishers, in particular, have expressed concerns about older stories being shared on social media as current news, which can misconstrue the state of current events. Some news publishers have already taken steps to address this on their own websites by prominently labeling older articles to prevent outdated news from being used in misleading ways.”

In addition to the new banner, Facebook is also in the process of developing other functions such as highlighting stories containing COVID-19-related content, and will feature a notification detailing the source of the link, and then transfer users to the Facebook COVID-19 Information Center for “authoritative health information.”The 90-day news notification is rolling out across Facebook globally, starting today.

Adobe launches “Free Camera App”

After announcing the program over the past year, Adobe has finally released the Photoshop Camera app. The application allows one to apply a plethora of filters for free. 

Photoshop Camera is available for iOS and Android users; it encompasses AI-powered features to improve photos. You can take advantage of quick fixes like auto-tone and portrait control with a single tap or finger-swipe. Filters and effects are just as easy, and you can choose from more than 80 custom filters, saving your favourites to use them regularly. After snapping a picture, Photoshop Camera will suggest effects to apply to ensure the most visually catching result. Then, you can export photos to your computer in the .PSD file format, allowing you to edit in the full version of Photoshop.

Learn more about the it, here.

Apple Card adds interest-free instalments for Macs, iPads, AirPods and more

After Apple’s Chief Executive Officer announcement in April, the Apple Card is now set to add interest-free instalment payments for more of its products. Ever since last year, holders for the credit card created by Apple and issued by Goldman Sachs have been able to purchase iPhone models with 24 months of no interest. 

Apple is now allowing customers to buy Macs, iPads and more through monthly instalments via the Apple Card. The tech company has allegedly announced it will offer 12-month interest-free payment for Macs, iPads, iPad keyboards and display monitors, alongside with similar six-month plans for AirPods, Apple TV and HomePods.

Payments can be made via the Apple Card section in the iPhone wallet app with payments added to monthly Apple Card bills. It is also important to note payment plans are compatible with Apple’s education discounts. Aside from boosting sales of Apple products, the plan will also help promote the enrolment for the Apple Card. 

Apple’s Latest Update Warns When Someone With Covid-19 Is Nearby

Apple has released iOS 13.5 and iPad 13.5 GM to developers as of this week. According to 9to5Mac, the update includes the first version of the company’s Covid-19 exposure notification API.

Apple utilises Bluetooth to exchange anonymous identifiers when two people are in close vicinity to one another. If a person has tested positive to Coronavirus, their phone can share a list of everyone they’ve been in contact with to the cloud. When the other person’s iPhone downloads a list of everyone who tested positive (for the virus) in the area, they will be informed of any positive cases around them and prompted to inform health authorities. 

The new feature also shares updates for Face ID. Face ID recognises when someone is wearing a mask, as it has become a pivotal item, and immediately switches over the passcode screen, speeding up the unlock process ever significantly. Face ID itself won’t work, however, until a mask is removed.

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