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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Spotify is testing a data-friendly ‘Lite’ app for Android

Spotify is the latest tech company to join the ‘Lite’ app party after a data-friendly version of its music streaming app surfaced for Android devices.

‘Spotify Lite’ — which was first spotted by the eagle eyes at Android Police — is designed to take up less space on smartphones and to consume less data, too. That’s particularly important for cheaper smartphones, which tend to have less memory, and people who use metered mobile data . In that respect, the app is just 15MB in size, as opposed to 100MB for the main Spotify app, while it also tracks the amount of data that the app uses each month.

However, like most things in life, there’s a compromise here… although we can’t quite be sure exactly what. That’s because the app is being trialed in Brazil only — tough luck if you live elsewhere and want to get it — although Android Police got hold of an SDK which it said shows the app is devoid of some key features. That apparently includes — or, rather, doesn’t include — offline playback and Spotify Connect for streaming to other devices. It looks like Lite app users can’t select specific songs and must instead rely on the shuffle button, even if they are a Spotify Premium subscriber.

Of course, the app is in beta right now so that list of missing features may change as/when it gets a full worldwide release. For now, app tracking firm Sensor Tower suggests Spotify Lite has racked up just 4,000 downloads so this is very much a test deployment.

Here’s Spotify’s non-committal statement on the Lite app.

“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience. Some of those tests end up paving the path for our broader user experience and others serve only as an important learning. We aren’t going to comment on specific tests at this time,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The company has tested other apps on Android in the past, like Spotify Hopper back in 2016, and more recently, a pared-down radio app called Spotify Stations.

Spotify Lite isn’t the first time Spotify has helped its users save on data consumption. The company added a low-data mode to its service in April as part of a wider product launch focused on bringing more value to its free-tier users. The Lite app could add another element to attract more users, giving Spotify an additional competitive advantage over rivals like Apple Music and Pandora.


Source: TechCrunch

Instagram tests questions in Stories

Instagram has been incredibly busy of late, announcing IGTV, Instagram Lite and a slate of features including Stories Soundtracks. But the Facebook-owned photo sharing service doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

Android Police today noted that Instagram is testing a feature that would allow users to post questions to their followers and receive answers.

Instagram already offers the ability to publish polls to followers with multiple-choice options for answering. But this test seems to point toward the option to offer lengthier responses to user’s questions.

One user in Indonesia sent a screencap of the feature in to Android Police (pictured above), and a user in Spain also spotted the feature. That said, we still have very little information on just how this might work.

Right now, when a user posts to their Story, their followers can respond via DM. With more open-ended questions and responses, it’s unclear if responses will still come in via DM or be bundled together as part of the story.

The latter seems more in keeping with Instagram’s push to make Stories as interactive as possible. The open-ended question could serve as a jumping off point for a collaborative story comprised of everyone’s responses.

That said, this feature hasn’t been confirmed by Instagram, though we’ve reached out and will update the post when we learn more.


Source: TechCrunch

VW Beetle could resurface as pure EV, report states – Roadshow

And it could even be rear-wheel drive! Purists, rejoice… sort of.
Source: CNET

2019 Audi Q8 SUV's trick laser headlamps are upgradable – Roadshow

These optional HD Matrix LED headlights are so futuristic they’ve got illegal tech — but a free update could fix that if Washington sees the light.
Source: CNET

This is what a newborn planet looks like – CNET

It’s kind of cute.
Source: CNET

These are the Galaxy S9's six best features – CNET

Brace yourself. The headphone jack isn’t one of them.
Source: CNET

Online bra startup Harper Wilde raises $2 million in seed round

Harper Wilde has raised a $2 million funding round, which the company told TechCrunch it’s excited to use to not only build its workforce but to further its mission of providing women across the country with comfortable and empowering bras.

College friends Jenna Kerner and Jane Fisher launched Harper Wilde together in 2017 to address the fact that shopping for bras is awful. From local outlet malls to expensive online retailers, Kerner and Fisher bonded over their frustration and disillusionment with uncomfortable and over-sexualized bras.

“We had all of these friends and colleagues and family members who are incredible women who were doing surgery, or running board meetings, or fighting a court case, and wearing these horrible bras underneath it all,” Kerner told TechCrunch over the phone. “We really [wanted] to help empower those women.”

Together Kerner and Fisher surveyed over a hundred women to find out what they wanted in a bra and created Harper Wilde to try and deliver it.

“We just kept hearing over and over again, it’s really not about the bras,” Kerner said. “There are thousands of bras out there. It’s about sorting through all of them, how expensive they are and the condescending in-store experience.”

Unlike other popular online lingerie shops, Harper Wilde doesn’t offer dozens of styles or cover its pieces in lace or small bows. Instead, it focuses on offering an no-fuss bra in a growing variety of sizes and nude colors designed for the day-to-day hard work and successes of women, all at $35 per bra (bra prices can range from $9.99 from retailers like Fruit of the Loom all the way up to $69.50 at Victoria’s Secret.)

To bring these options to its customers in an accessible way, and avoid the overwhelming dressing room experience, Harper Wilde has taken a card out of Warby Parker’s playbook and offers customers free home try-ons of three bra options, with free returns.

Since its launch just over a year ago, Harper Wilde has seen 20 percent growth month over month and the founders say they’re not only excited to grow Harper Wilde’s collection and staff, but to continue its efforts to give back to communities of women through its #LiftUpTheLadies initiatives.

The company has partnered with The Girl Project to help spread access to education in over 120 countries and have worked to ensure a sustainable supply chain for the women overseas manufacturing its products.

“It’s one thing when you tell women you’re going to take the BS out of bra shopping, but it’s a whole different level when you say we stand for empowering women and this is how we do it,” Kerner said. “People’s eyes light up and they [say] how important of a time it is the stand for that. They’re happy to see a bra company that stands for more than just sex.”


Source: TechCrunch

In Search of New Rules to Protect Other Worlds From Earth's Cooties

NASA’s Office of Planetary Protection has tried to protect other worlds from us and us from other worlds since the Cold War. But the future wants a better way.
Source: Wired

Can the Koala Genome Save the Species From Deforestation and Chlamydia?

Understanding the animal’s genes could help combat shrinking habitats and an epidemic of chlamydia.
Source: Wired

Look Closely: These Aren't Flowers—They're Fireworks

Photographer Charlie Sin turns flares into flora.
Source: Wired

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