Instagram this week is adding browser support for its Stories feature. “The number of people accessing Instagram through the web, instead of an app, is growing,” Fortune reports, citing company data. “More than 80% of its users are outside the U.S., where the relative cost of internet and mobile data access is sometimes higher.”
Finally wading into the net neutrality debate, Apple is urging the White House prevent carriers like Comcast and Verizon from turning the Web speeds into a tiered system. “In its new comments to the Federal Communications Commission, the iPhone maker specifically urged Chairman Ajit Pai not to roll back an existing ban against so-called ‘fast lanes,’” Recode reports. “Apple doesn’t take an explicit position on the real legal issue at hand -- if the FCC should protect the open internet by treating telecom giants similar to utilities.”
Mixer -- Microsoft’s game streaming service -- is rolling out a new app that lets players share experiences in their favorite mobile games. “The Mixer Create app … lets people broadcast games, join streams with friends, pair with other devices like a PC or Xbox, engage in text chats and manage profiles,” GeekWire reports.
As was widely rumored, Apple just announced plans to hold a big press event on September 12. “The keynote … will very likely be the place that Apple announces its new line of iPhones, the iPhone 7s, 7s Plus and the Anniversary iPhone,” Gizmodo reports. “The device … will potentially be a major technological leap forward for the company, which is necessary as smartphone designs are currently very stagnant and thus very boring.”
Within its gallery feature, Instagram is rolling out the ability to post both photos and videos portrait or landscape formats. “This means you’ll no longer have to choose between posting cropped groups of photos and videos or making multiple posts to preserve the original format,” 9To5Mac reports.
WhatsApp has started verifying business accounts and is preparing a standalone app for corporations to chat with customers, Business Insider reports. “It’s unclear if the separate app is currently available to any early WhatsApp business partners,” BI writes.
TechCrunch considers a new wave of augmented reality apps coming shortly to Apple’s App Store. There is one from Ikea, which “allows you to place actual size replicas of IKEA sofas and armchairs into your house,” while “an app coming from the Food Network “lets you place and decorate virtual desserts like cupcakes.”
Apple is said to be readying new iPhone 7s and 7s Plus to be launched alongside a new iPhone 8, expected to feature a nearly bezel-free design. Other features include facial recognition for unlocking and an OLED display, which will improve power efficiency. Apple's annual iPhone event is expected for September 12.
Per a new sets of rules, the Chinese government just made it more difficult for citizens to post anonymously online. As Quartz reports: “The new rules are the most recent instance of the Cyberspace Administration of China’s (CAC) efforts to enforce ‘real-name registration,’ which aims to severely limit internet activity for users who do not provide identifying information.”
At an event on September 12, Apple will reportedly unveil three new iPhones. They will include a “new flagship device (possibly called the iPhone 8), with a new edge-to-edge OLED display and 3D face scanning technology, along with updated versions of the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus,” The Verge writes, citing a report in The Wall Street Journal.