Having tested the feature last year, Netflix is now making it official: the ability to watch shows and movies at a faster or slower speed is rolling out to its app on Android devices, and coming soon to iOS and the web.
Netflix confirmed the move to The Verge, and in an official post, Netflix’s Keela Robison said that the feature has been “much requested” by subscribers. Robison also notes that playback speed controls have been available on DVD players and DVRs for years.
“Most important of all, our tests show that consumers value the flexibility it provides whether it’s rewatching their favorite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing difficulties,” writes Robison.
While director Judd Apatow and others were worried that variable playback can distort their art, Netflix VP Keela Robison says that it tried to be respectful of the creative community by capping fast-forward speeds to 1.5x. YouTube, in comparison, lets you double the speed of whatever you’re watching. Netflix’s variable playback settings also need to be enabled manually for every video, so you won’t be stuck watching everything in an altered speed by accident.
“We’ve decided to press ahead for several reasons,” Robison wrote in a blog post. “Similar functionality has been available on DVD players and DVRs for years and the feature has been much requested by members. Most important of all, our tests show that consumers value the flexibility it provides whether it’s rewatching their favorite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing difficulties.”
Huawei is now the world’s biggest smartphone maker in terms of shipments, according to Canalys data, which suggests the Chinese tech firm surpassed rival Samsung in Q2 2020, albeit mostly due to its domestic sales in China. This is the first time in nine years that a company other than Samsung or Apple has led the market.
Huawei was quick to pounce on the news, particularly given the turbulent 14 months it has endured since the U.S. issued an embargo forcing it to stop using Google’s flavor of Android in its new handsets. But despite Huawei’s glee at surpassing Samsung, its future in the global smartphone arena looks bleak, due in large part to the app restrictions enforced by the U.S. ban. The crux of Huawei’s problem, as most people by now know, is that buyers of its newer phones can’t access many big-name apps without having to jump through gargantuan hoops. In many ways, Huawei’s predicament is similar to that Windows Phone faced a decade ago.
Now it needs to worry about a patent infringement lawsuit from a rival competitor too.
Triller, a shortform viral video app similar to TikTok, is now suing its more popular competitor. The company alleges that TikTok has stolen one of the app’s proprietary features.
The lawsuit claims that TikTok infringed on Triller’s patent for “systems and methods for creating music videos synchronized with an audio track.” More specifically the patented feature allows users to stitch together multiple videos with a single audio track attacked. Triller was granted the patent back in 2017.
Unlicensed mobile games are dropping like flies from the Apple App Store as China’s deadline for registration approaches on Friday.
At the request of the Chinese government, Apple removed nearly 15,000 games since July 1, with more likely to disappear when the August 1 requirement for registration arrives, said Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad over email. For years, China has been the No. 1 mobile game market in the world, and it generated the highest revenue of any country on Apple’s App Store, with 2019 revenues of $12.6 billion, according to measurement firm Sensor Tower.
Artificial intelligence has emerged in the past decade as a bedrock technology. We use it for important endeavors such as brain surgery, financial forecasting, and… making AI journalists chuckle over silly selfies.
You may have heard of Photo Lab. It’s available on Android and iOS and it’s been installed more than 100 million times. It recently saw a surge in installs after India banned apps from China, including several popular photo editors.
The HBO Now app will become simply HBO on Amazon Fire TVs as of August 1st, Varietyreports. Existing HBO Now subscribers will have access to the rebranded app. HBO Max is still not available on Fire TVs, and HBO Go will be discontinued across all platforms on July 31st.
This is part of HBO’s ongoing attempt to clear up confusion around its streaming services. For those just tuning in, or understandably a bit lost, HBO Go is an on-demand streaming service for cable subscribers that offers every season and episode of HBO shows. HBO Now is the same on-demand streaming service for cord cutters. HBO Max, which arrived in May, is an on-demand streaming service that offers all the content of Go and Now, plus movies and TV specials, exclusive originals and a selection of non-HBO shows and movies.
Apple CEO Tim Cook defended the company’s App Store commission structure in his sworn testimony before the House Antitrust Subcommittee on Wednesday. He claimed the majority of the apps pay no commission at all, with others paying either 15 or 30 percent, based on the specifics of their particular situation. He said developers were all treated equally and that Apple wouldn’t raise commissions, because it had to compete for developer interest in its platform as well.
But the documents shared by the House subcommittee as part of their investigation indicate that exceptions to Apple’s rules have been made — notably, with Amazon’s Prime Video app. In addition, Apple may have never raised commissions, but discussions weren’t off the table. It had once even considered raising commissions to 40% in particular situations.
Last year, Apple href=”https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/05/apple-puts-third-party-screen-time-apps-on-notice/”> removed a number of screen time and parental control apps from its App Store, shortly after the company had released its own first-party screen time solution with the launch of iOS 12. At today’s antitrust hearing, Apple CEO Tim Cook was questioned about the move, given the anti-competitive implications.
Shortly after Apple debuted its own Screen Time feature set, several third-party app makers suddenly saw their own screen time solutions come under increased App Store review. Many apps also saw their app updates rejected or their apps removed entirely. The impacted developers had used a range of methods to track screen time, as there was no official means to do so. This had included the use of background location, VPNs, and MDM-based solutions, and sometimes a combination of methods.