It hasn't been a long time since Google was the real headliner of this week's news. Various updates were released not only for services, but for the entire system as a whole. There is even an opportunity to track patients with the new coronavirus, about which many have argued over the past few weeks. True, this is still available only with some restrictions. It also revealed this week that Fortnite fans will have a pleasant surprise in-game. However, one of the most interesting news of the week was that IFA 2020 will still take place this year, although it will be held in a slightly unusual format. It may become the first exhibition to be held in the traditional offline format.
Google this week gave a talk about itself.
Update for Android Coronavirus Patient Tracking System
Google has never been particularly agile in updating its apps and services. As a rule, the company prefers to distribute updates gradually, so that, if any problems are found, they can be withdrawn at an early stage. It's a long-standing rule that maintains a sense of stability in all the updates that the search giant releases. However, there are updates that simply cannot be distributed gradually, but urgently need to be rolled out to everyone at once. Of course, this is a tracking system for patients with coronavirus.
The tracking system appeared in both iOS and Android, but has not really worked yet
To be honest, I didn't think Google would be so quick on this issue. Of course, in the middle of the week when Apple released iOS 13.5 with contact tracing, nothing like that appeared on Android. Anyway. Let's figure out what this beast can do.
Finding the tracker in the settings is quite simple, but it is possible that you need to update Google Play services for it to appear.
To begin with, the contact tracking mechanism on different smartphones is located in completely different places, which means that it makes no sense to write the exact path along which to look for innovation. Therefore, I recommend using the search. This, it seems to me, is in every firmware. Just open 'Settings' and write “COVID” in the search bar. My Honor View 20 found it instantly from the first two letters of the abbreviation, and I think your device will not be dumber.
As you can see, Apple and Google have made it so that the contact tracing system will not work unless you install a dedicated reporting application. Its development is entrusted to the local health authorities. But, since the Russian Ministry of Health is not accountable to either Apple or Google, there is a possibility that the utilities for activating the tracking system cannot be expected from it. However, this does not make the innovation itself less interesting.
Apple and Google say their system is as secure as possible. But the question of its effectiveness remains open.
The system description says that it will not work if Bluetooth is not enabled. That is, in order to constantly exchange a signal with other devices, you will have to constantly keep the wireless communication protocol active. Information about your contacts will be stored on your smartphone in the form of random identifiers without indicating the model number of the person who contacted you, the meeting place and other data that can be used for deanonymization. These identifiers will be stored for 14 days and then deleted, because this period is considered the incubation period of the coronavirus.
The system determines not only the fact of a meeting, but also a number of other factors that can increase or decrease the likelihood of infection:
- Date of contact (if more than two weeks have passed since its moment, and you have not been informed about the need to take an analysis, most likely you are not infected);
- The duration of the contact (contacts less than 5 minutes are not counted, since it is believed that in this case the risk of infection is minimal);
- Signal strength Bluetooth (thus revealing the distance at which the contacts were with each other).
After installing the application (which, perhaps, will not be released in Russia at all), users will be able to report there if they suddenly find out that they are infected with the coronavirus. Then the application will quickly match all your contacts and notify those with whom you met. The alert will be something like the following: 'Contact with an infected COVID-19 was recorded. Get tested to make sure you are not infected. ' No specifics about who could infect you, where and under what circumstances it happened. In general, everything is in order to ensure confidentiality.
Fortnite will show a new movie
Now a lot is changing and the usual schemes for obtaining content are fading into the background. This is due to many factors. Chief among them was the pandemic of the new coronavirus, which interferes with organizing concerts and film screenings. But there is also a desire to show people something new and somehow attract a new audience. In search of such solutions, content producers sometimes offer something very unusual. For example, this summer Christopher Nolan is set to show one of his films in a Fortnite game. It is difficult to say who will benefit from this cooperation, but the situation is interesting.
Fortnite already has a lot.
Christopher Nolan partnered with Epic Games to unveil a new Tenet trailer in Fortnite. This in itself should attract attention, as something unusual and has not yet become a standard phenomenon. Following the event, Jeff Keighley announced that one of Nolan's films would air in this game. Probably, it can be called the most popular game in the world. At least among mobile gamers.
There is no official word yet on when the movie will be shown in-game. It also does not say what kind of film it will be. However, a small hint of an imminent launch is the recording of Jeff Kayley, who organized the event. In the post, he says that “Christopher Nolan will host a free full screening of one of his iconic Fortnite films this summer for all fans this summer.”
The film will be.
The film will air this summer and will be completely free to fans, according to Kayleigh. It is likely that the movie will be shown in Fortnite's new Party Royale mode. Players have no weapons in this mode. It is needed solely so that users can just have fun and relax in the familiar world, but without the need to constantly be on the alert and fight.
Fortnite is no stranger to collaborating with popular films, but this will be the first time a full-length feature film has been broadcast in-game. The game previously partnered with Star Wars to show players an exclusive clip from Star Wars called Rise of Skywalker. There were other activities in the game that related to clips, films and other games.
The movie will not be exclusive to Fortnite. In addition, it will be shown in cinemas. So far, the premiere is scheduled for July 17, 2020, but in the context of a pandemic, it is difficult to say that the date will not shift. Of course, in some countries cinemas work, but, most likely, the launch will take place only when it is possible to show it in the main markets.
Indirectly, this may lead to the fact that the premiere in Fortnite will also shift, but it is too early to talk about it. Most likely, the caution and vagueness of statements is due precisely to the fact that it is not yet entirely clear when the movie will be released on the wide screen. After that, it will be possible to talk about in-game impressions that do not bring money.
Interesting things happen in Fortnite's Special Mode.
The question of who benefits from such a collaboration is not easy to answer unequivocally. All due to the fact that it is beneficial to both, but someone more (probably). On the one hand, Nolan, as I reasoned at the very beginning, is promoting his film to a new audience, but this will not bring money, which is important in terms of producing new films. Yes, this will give excellent statistics on the number of views, but why all this …
On the other hand, Fortnite is interested in such screenings due to the fact that this way it will be able to promote its game. More people will enter it to watch the movie. Many will deliberately join the game and stay in it in the future. So the company will increase its audience and, consequently, income. Excellent advertising is obtained. Surely Epic Games paid something for this.
In general, an interesting picture emerges against the background of all that is happening. There have been many cases in cinema and books when people got into computer reality and got stuck in it. So it was in one of the “Spy Kids” films, as well as in the movie “Ready Player One”. It turns out that what is shown in these films is not something fantastic. Now everything goes to the fact that people really go into virtual reality, and companies that develop and promote these worlds create conditions under which a person wants to immerse himself in reality again and again and look at the world from it. Or even replace the real world with it.
A still from the movie Ready Player One.
Many people present it as the plot of some dark dystopia, but in general there is something about it. Unless we talk about those who believe that our world is already a computer simulation.
In general, I like the idea and it seems cool to me when computer reality creates a kind of world in which it is pleasant to be. This allows you to switch to something and relax. The main thing is not to go too deep into it, otherwise problems may begin. But here, as with any other thing, the main thing is to know when to stop and everything will be fine. After all, hot peppers give food a good taste, but eating it with spoons is a trick.
Share your views on how you feel about such activities, and what you think about Fortnite in general in our Telegram chat and comments.
Google Assistant quick commands on Android
I really love the Google Assistant and use it regularly. Unlike Siri on iOS, the search giant's voice assistant is more deeply integrated with Android and allows for more convenient interaction with the operating system. You can ask him to translate text, find the right product on the Internet using a photo, read the content of a website, return an application that was mistakenly purchased on Google Play, not to mention managing music playback, setting alarms, and more. However, due to the fact that the Google Assistant could only be controlled by voice or by correspondence, many avoided using it, embarrassed to call their phone. It's good that Google figured this out.
Google Assistant finally gets support for quick commands
Google launched Action Blocks app for Android. It allows you to create a kind of shortcuts for Google Assistant quick commands that you can place on your desktop and activate the desired actions without speaking to the assistant. That is, in fact, Action Blocks is an analogue of Siri Shortcuts on iOS, and its key difference from the branded application Apple is in a less extensive set of functions, although the Google Assistant itself will clearly be more capable than Siri. However, Action Blocks have a slightly different purpose.
Interacting with Google Assistant will be easier with shortcuts to quick commands
The purpose of Action Blocks is not to empower the device like Siri Shortcuts, which really adds functionality to the device, but to make it easier to interact with it. For example, in the past, in order to set the alarm, you had to first call the assistant, then say the appropriate command, set the time, check if he understood you correctly, and only then confirm the action. With Action Blocks, you can make the Google Assistant remember the action you want, save it, and you just click on the shortcut on your desktop to activate it.
So far, Action Blocks is only available in English, which, however, will not prevent you from downloading it. At the time of publication, the development is already available in the Russian segment of the Google Play catalog and is distributed completely free of charge. Well, to make it easier for you to understand the features of the program and configure everything the way you want, although its interface is as simple and logical as possible, I offer you this small instruction.
- Download Action Block to your smartphone and activate it;
Setting up quick commands is extremely easy
- Click Create Action Block to create a shortcut with the command;
- Select a command from the suggested ones or click Create custom action to create your own;
Quick commands do themselves what you used to do
- Click on the microphone icon and say the command with your voice or write it on the keyboard;
- Click Test action to make sure the Google Assistant recognized the command correctly;
- Select an icon for a shortcut with a quick command and name it;
Shortcuts to quick commands are actually functional widgets
- Save the quick command and place it on your desktop.
In my opinion, Action Blocks can be a decisive factor in favor of popularizing the Google Assistant. Not only will the shortcuts with quick commands help those who feel embarrassed to use their voice to speak to their smartphones, but they will also help make it easier for the elderly. Practice shows that the majority of elderly users interact with their smartphones only within a certain functional circle. However, with shortcuts, they can do a lot more without having to memorize the activation paths.
Android will be able to identify the causes of insomnia
Despite the fact that there is a wide category of users who consider Android the most functional mobile OS, if you look at it, it becomes clear that without auxiliary software and services, this is just a vessel that needs filling. Google understands this like no one else and even made this feature of its platform its chip. Firstly, it is more convenient to update compatible devices this way, and, secondly, this way you can earn money by selling access to your services to manufacturers for money. Well, why not, if the services are really cool?
Are you suffering from insomnia? The smartphone will tell you what could be the matter
Google is developing a new mechanism for the Digital Wellbeing service, which is analogous to Screen Time in iOS and serves to control the time of smartphone use. This is indicated by the content of the beta version of the application. It will be used to track user behavior at night in order to determine the causes of insomnia. To do this, the smartphone will take into account several different factors at once, analyzing not only the applications used, but also data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and light sensor.
All this information is needed in order to determine how the user interacts with the smartphone, how long he uses it before going to bed, and how long he is awake. This will be facilitated by data from the accelerometer, which is likely to determine the horizontal position of the user. And information about frequently used applications before going to bed will help you navigate which of them would be better to remove, or at least set a restriction on their work, in order to better control yourself.
In addition, Digital Wellbeing will feature night notes. Thanks to it, the user will be able to write down thoughts and reminders to himself in the morning that come to his mind before going to bed. This, at least, describes the functionality of the function in the beta version of the application. However, it is not very clear why a regular notes application cannot be used for this purpose. Perhaps the whole point is that I simply misinterpreted the features of the innovation, and night notes are actually needed for the user to describe his condition, and Digital Wellbeing helped him build a schedule to get enough sleep. It would be much more logical.
While the innovation is in beta testing and is not even available for use. All of the information that we have shared with you has been gleaned from the Digital Wellbeing software code. It turns out that Google has already completed the development of the necessary mechanisms and is gradually preparing the application for the beginning of preliminary testing, adapting its program code for new functions so that it does not reject them. But when the release will take place with all the innovations, so far we can only guess.
Fighting insomnia in smartphone-addicted users lies with the manufacturers. Well, or at least Google
Is the function of determining the causes of insomnia necessary in practice? Personally, I think I really need it. The fact is that there are people who can spend long hours in bed without sleep, staring at the screen of their smartphone. YouTube, social networks, instant messengers, news services – all this fascinates and does not allow you to fall asleep normally. As a result, very, very many fall asleep simply because nature and biological clock take their toll. But if these people knew or at least had an idea of what exactly prevents them from falling asleep, perhaps they would have greatly adjusted their lifestyle.
I say this not by hearsay, because I myself have tried the method of self-restraint on myself. Despite the fact that many see this as a slight hint of schizophrenia, because, in their opinion, this is the same as hiding candy from themselves, I strongly disagree. After all, I hide candy not so as not to find them – after all, I know perfectly well where they are – but in order to develop willpower. With applications, things are about the same. After I deleted all social networks, YouTube, TikTok from my smartphone and unsubscribed from most Telegram channels, I, not having them in quick access, stopped behaving like a zombie who cannot control himself and at any opportunity grabs onto smartphone and stares there just because there is nothing to do.
What format will IFA 2020 take?
If you thought that now there will be no more exhibitions and the coronavirus has only become a reason for their cancellation in the future, you were wrong. I admit that I also allowed this option, since the online format allows you to save money, and you can invite important guests to your office to discuss cooperation. That's how it is, only the zeal with which the IFA organizers strive to hold their exhibition of household appliances and consumer electronics this year makes us think about the opposite. In a nutshell, the essence of the news I want to share is that there will almost certainly be an IFA this year. Read more about the reasons for this behavior and the intricacies of holding an event in a pandemic in this article.
IFA this year will be, but its format will change.
Too many events have already been canceled this year not to notice. Apart from gaming exhibitions, car showrooms and other themed events, we suffered three serious losses. Among them is MWC 2020, which was canceled literally on the eve of the opening, when all the stands were already assembled, and journalists bought tickets and booked hotels (and some even arrived in Barcelona).
The cancellation followed the Google I / O developer conference, which was supposed to take place in early May. And a little later Apple canceled their event, depriving us of WWDC this year. Although, more correctly, translating it into a different format.
Many thought that IFA 2020 would also fall under the onslaught of the pandemic, but it does not give up and behaves like a “little engine that could”. Well, or trying to behave like that.
A press conference was held this week, which provided answers to many questions regarding this exhibition event. According to the organizers, the world must continue to move forward and offer new technological solutions. Although, of course, it was noted that people's health is more important and that a compromise must be found that would suit everyone.
This makes it much more pleasant to walk around the exhibition.
IFA organizers say they are confident in the need to hold an exhibition primarily due to the fact that doing business online is possible, but it will never replace live communication between people. They should meet, talk and negotiate. This is exactly the function of exhibitions.
That is why the organizers somehow managed to agree with the German government about the possibility of holding their event. True, for this they had to promise that everything would be safe and they would be able to ensure compliance with all the prescribed standards.
What exactly these norms will be is not reported, but, most likely, we are talking, first of all, about social distance and ensuring constant sanitization, including the possibility of processing the hands of visitors and providing them with protective equipment. Also, most likely, health control will be carried out at the entrance and people with fever will simply not be allowed to the event.
Of course, it is not necessary to say that in such conditions it is possible to gather the same number of people as usual. The restrictions will be quite strict and only a few hundred people will be able to visit the exhibition per day, to whom invitations will be sent. I know how to make smartphones cheaper Android. It's quite simple. Among them will be only journalists and important guests. Perhaps they will even be allowed into the exhibition strictly on time, so as not to create additional crowds.
So far, it is expected that no more than 1,000 people will be admitted to the exhibition per day. According to Jens Heitecker, Managing Director of IFA: “This will enable us to meet the needs of brands, retailers and the media, while allowing us to control the flow of people and thus respect social distancing measures.” Well, that's not bad anymore.
I came to the exhibition, and there was no one there. Why then go there at all?
Of course, we do not like to walk around the exhibition when it is difficult to approach the stands, but doing it in complete silence is even more dubious pleasure. And people should see what they show at the exhibition. The organizers also thought about this. Online broadcasts will be organized especially for everyone.
Considering all the limitations of the event, it can be assumed that even the stands will not be decorated and decorated as before for the general public, in order to highlight their stand and create a holiday feeling among the guests. Something will still happen, but since the event will be strictly business, there is no certainty that brands will spend a lot on beauty.
And you also need to understand who will take part in the exhibition. Many companies, like many guests (including the media), may refuse to attend the exhibition. Someone will do it of their own accord, while others simply will not succeed. After all, we must not forget that to visit the exhibition you will have to fly to Germany, and the external borders are still closed and it is not known whether they will open before that time.