#NewsBytesWeeklyRecap: Google I/O cancellation, Twitter's 'stories', costlier iPhones, and more
This week, we have witnessed the continued impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the global tech industry. Google canceled its biggest conference of the year, the I/O 2020, due to the deadly virus outbreak, while Apple hiked the prices of several iPhones amid falling production in China. Let's take a quick look at everything that happened this past week.
Google I/O cancellation due to coronavirus
The biggest shock of the week came with the cancellation of Google I/O 2020 over coronavirus concerns. Google promised full refunds for purchased tickets, but it remains unclear how the announcements planned for the event will take place. This marks the latest event to be canceled after the Mobile World Conference, the Game Developer Conference, Facebook's F8, and Microsoft's MVP Summit.
Feature Drop for Pixel phones, Google Assistant
Google also launched a new set of features for Pixel phones, including upgraded Motion Sense for music control, car crash detection, rules for automated location, network-based setting activation, and dark mode scheduling. Its Assistant has also been upgraded with the ability to read pages aloud.
Apple production hit, still not willing to shift production
The outbreak of coronavirus has also reportedly hit the production of iPhones in China, with several retailers and carriers saying their supply is running low. However, despite the fall, reports say the company is not willing to shift production to the Indian market. It had also made some iPhones, including the new Pro models, expensive in the country.
Twitter is working on stories called 'Fleets'
Along with Google and Apple, Twitter also drew flak for its surprising plan to bring Instagram-like stories, called Fleets, on the microblogging service. The company argued that the feature would give users the ability to share with their followers without public commenting/liking. However, users claimed that the company is trying to be Instagram and tweeted out #RIPTwitter.
Twitter's ban on dehumanizing speech based on age, disease
Despite the criticism, Twitter did take the much-needed step of expanding its policy against hate and dehumanizing speech on the platform. The company announced that any tweet that dehumanizes another Twitter user due to their age, disability, or disease will be removed from the service.
Facebook focuses on WhatsApp, Reddit helping with suicide prevention
Meanwhile, Facebook released the much-coveted dark mode for WhatsApp while also developing the ability to encrypt its chat backups with passwords. The dark mode is available on both iOS and Android devices, while the encryption feature will roll out at a later date. On the other hand, Reddit has also launched a new community-driven tool to help people with suicidal and self-harm thoughts.
Finally, there were some tempting hardware launches
In the hardware category, OPPO Reno 3 Pro, Find X2, Find X2 Pro, Moto G8, Infinix S5 Pro, Realme 6, and Realme 6 Pro have all been unveiled. Realme has also launched an affordable smart band, which would go against Mi Band 4 in the country. Meanwhile, HMD Global and Lenovo are also gearing up to showcase their respective 5G and foldable phones.