#NewsBytesWeeklyRecap: Google's COVID-19 website, new MacBook, iPad, Xbox, and more
Despite the outbreak of COVID-19 in different parts of the world, the tech industry kept going strong - throughout the last week. Several major developments were reported, starting from big tech companies coming together to fight the "infodemic" stemming from the deadly disease to those launching fancy new notebooks and phones. Let's look back at everything that happened last week.
The war against coronavirus 'infodemic'
The spread of COVID-19 has triggered a wave of rumors, prompting big tech companies to come together. Twitter and Facebook both banned misleading posts related to coronavirus, while WhatsApp launched an information hub related to the disease as well as a dedicated chatbot service to seek verified COVID-19 information from WHO. Also, Facebook has banned ads for high-demand products like masks and sanitizers.
Google's long-awaited COVID-19 site
Like Facebook and Twitter, Google also came into action and launched a dedicated COVID-19 site to provide access to coronavirus related information and resources to its users. The site shows a map of the outbreak as well as provides videos to let the public learn about the disease, complete with things like how it spreads and how it can be prevented from spreading.
Android 11 DP2, new capabilities for Translate app
To keep its customers engaged, Google also launched the second preview of Android 11 with developer-focused capabilities like hinge angle and 5G state detection. The company also updated its Translate app to include the ability to convert long-form speech in one language into another while transcribing it at the same time and erroneously marked the Pixel 4 as "free" on its official store.
Facebook's annoying bug, Instagram's self-disappearing messages
Facebook drew major flak this week due to a content moderation bug that banned many legitimate COVID-19 posts. The issue was resolved hours later, with the posts being restored. Meanwhile, Instagram drew attention when popular reverse engineering specialist Jane Manchun Wong discovered that the platform is testing the ability to enable a self-disappearing mode for Instagram DMs, just like what Snapchat already offers.
New Sony, Xbox consoles, and a major outage
Earlier this week, Microsoft's Xbox Live network went down for hours, keeping people in quarantine from playing their favorite titles. Then, the company made up for the downtime by detailing the Xbox Series X console and launching a dedicated tracker for COVID-19. Just a day later, Sony, which is Microsoft's prime competitor, also came out of its slumber and announced the PS5 gaming console.
Finally, big hardware announcements from Apple and others
In the hardware category, Apple launched an upgraded and more affordable MacBook Air notebook and LiDAR scanner-equipped iPad Pro. For smartphone lovers, Samsung launched Galaxy A41 and Galaxy M21, HMD Global unveiled Nokia 8.3 5G, Nokia C2, and Nokia 5.3, while Realme announced Realme 6i and a new youth-oriented sub-brand called Narzo. There were also some leaks about iPhone 9 Plus and Motorola Edge+.