WhatsApp lets you share any file you want

In its latest update, Whatsapp has upgraded a few of its capabilities. For starters, while its initial roll out of document attachments last year was limited to PDFs, users can now share any file type. Shared files are limited to 100MB according to WhatsApp’s website, but there are reports that iPhone users can send slightly larger files.

Additionally, you’ll be able to see all of your pictures and videos in the in-app camera by swiping up and if you’re sending lots of photos at once, they’ll now be grouped into a gallery that only displays five images with the last thumbnail displaying how many additional photos have been sent. WhatsApp will also stop compressing photos, allowing your original quality to remain intact. And to easily bold, italicize or strikethrough your text, you’ll just have to tap and hold the text to select it.

These changes are the latest tweaks to the app. Last year, WhatsApp launched video calling and earlier this year, two-step verification was rolled out to all of its users. Those were followed by Snapchat-style status updates, Siri integration and photo filters.

The new update is rolling out for Android and iOS now.

Source: WhatsApp

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Starbucks’ iPhone app lets you order by talking to it

Starbucks is continuing its efforts to stay on top of technological trends by adding new voice-ordering functions to its iOS app and Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant. Called “My Starbucks barista” on iOS, the service is being rolled out to select customers today as an extension of the company’s Mobile Order and Pay feature, which lets users send and pay for an order ahead of time. At the same time, the company is launching a Starbucks Reorder Skill to the Alexa platform.

My Starbucks barista was previously announced at the company’s Investor Day in December, and uses an AI-powered messaging interface like many existing chatbots. You’ll be able to speak your order, and customize your food and drink to your personal preferences, according to Starbucks. On Alexa, users will be able to re-order a standard, pre-defined order by saying, “Alexa, order my Starbucks.” They will be able to pick up their food and beverage at a pre-determined outlet.

The voice-based ordering service will be available to one thousand users at first, and the company intends to continue rolling out the feature in the US through summer this year. An Android version is also in the works, but if you don’t want to wait to use your voice to make an order, you can always dial the company’s toll-free phone number.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Starbucks

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Dropbox for iOS lets you sign PDFs, adds iMessage app

Dropbox isn’t a company that makes flashy, high-profile changes to its products. Instead, they’re all about refinement, making small changes over time that end up making things faster and easier for customers. That’s happening today with the Dropbox iOS app: the company is rolling out five new features, with another important one, iPad split-screen multitasking, coming soon. None of the new features are groundbreaking on their own, but they take advantage of some new iOS 10 features and add up to a Dropbox experience that makes it easier for the company’s customers to Get Things Done.

First up is the ability to add your signature to PDFs stored in Dropbox — you can drop a text field anywhere in a document that you want to type in, and you can also open up a window to trace your signature on your device’s touchscreen. Much like the document scanning feature Dropbox added in June, this isn’t something you’ll use every day, but it could be a lifesaver when you need it. It’s certainly a lot easier than printing out, signing, scanning and then emailing a document like a lease or school permission slip. I’ve done that dance far too often lately and would be happy to try Dropbox’s workflow.

The next set of new features relies on iOS 10’s new capabilities. You can now share files through iMessage — the app shows up in the iMessage app area, and tapping it brings up a list of your most recent files. When you send them through iMessage, the recipient will get a little preview of the document. That’s an improvement on how things worked before; you could send files through iMessage by using the share panel inside the Dropbox app, but the recipient would only get an unwieldy link, with no info on what the file they were going to receive was.

Dropbox’s “today” screen widget is also more useful now. Instead of just showing a list of your recently edited files, there are three shortcuts that let you scan a document, upload a photo or create a new Microsoft Office file. The scanner shortcut seems particularly useful; a swipe and a tap will let you capture that receipt you need for expenses before you forget about it and lose it forever.

There’s also a new version control feature for mobile: if you’re in a shared file, you’ll receive a little notification if someone else has made changes to the document. You can then just tap to refresh and see what’s changed. Given that staying in sync across shared documents remains one of the trickiest things to do, this is a most welcome change — although we don’t imagine that most people do so much work on their phones that they’ll need to be alerted of changes in real time. It’s still helpful for those doing a lot of work on their mobile devices, though.

The last few updates are for the iPad. If you’re watching a video stored in your Dropbox, you can now view it in the picture-in-picture mode Apple added to iOS 9 last year. The other, more useful update is “coming soon” — that’s full split-screen support. That’s one of the most important things a good iPad app can offer at this point, and it’s a little surprising that it took Dropbox a year to get there. But if you have documents stored in Dropbox that you want to keep an eye on while writing or browsing the web or doing anything else, this feature will finally make that possible.

Matt Pan from Dropbox told me that these features were the latest efforts to both bring the full desktop functionality of the program to mobile as well as continue the company’s mission to offer its tools to users inside software they’re already using. That latter case is what Dropbox is doing with iMessage and what it has already done with Microsoft Office. Not everyone will automatically find a use for each new tool — but if you use Dropbox, probably at least one of these new features will be handy, and it’s entirely possible you’ll find a few others come in handy down the line. The update rolls out for iPhone and iPad today, and split-screen view on the iPad will arrive “in the coming weeks.”

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Adobe Lightroom now lets you edit RAW files on your phone

Adobe Lightroom mobile users have been asking for the ability to edit RAW files in the mobile app, and now the company doing something about the request. In the latest update for the iOS version of the software, there’s a RAW Technology preview. This means that you’ll be able to import those hefty files to your iPhone or iPad, giving you a means of checking the images before you get back to your computer. Lightroom mobile for iOS will also let you edit the files just like you would in the desktop or web versions of the app, making changes to white balance, highlights and more for an uncompressed file. Those changes also sync across devices.

iOS users will also be able to adjust linear and radial selections inside the app. With those tools, you can add a selection, modify an existing one or use the features to emphasize certain parts of an image. If you fancy doing your edits with an iPad and a connected keyboard, you’ll now be able to use those handy shortcuts with the mobile app. The update is available from the App Store now for both iPhone and iPad, free of charge.

The Android version of the app is getting some new features, too. Earlier this year, Adobe added an in-app camera and “shoot-through” presets to the app. With this update, the company is adding manual controls to that workflow as well. When you’re taking photos with Lightroom mobile on Android, you’ll be able to leverage a new Pro mode that allows adjustments to ISO, shutter speed, white balance and manual focus. Adobe brought its DNG RAW format to the Android app a while back, and now the software has the manual controls to go along with it. What’s more, there’s also a new Lightroom Camera widget for easy access to those features, so you won’t have to launch the full app just to grab a few snapshots.

Android faithful also gain improved support for full-resolution files. If you have an image stored somewhere within the Lightroom ecosystem, you’ll be able to pull it into the full-res version, make your changes and export it. The latest version of the Android app offers those features and more for free, and it’s available now over at Google Play.

Source: Adobe

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