Instagram rolls out hidden likes globally
Imagine a world… a world in which like counts do not matter. Well, that’s what Instagram is striving for. Earlier this year, it started testing hidden like counts in certain markets (like Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand) and just recently rolled the ‘feature’ out in the US. The update hides like counts on all pictures, whether it’s a generic ‘here’s my dog’ account or massive online influencers. Followers won’t be able to see your like counts anymore — only you. Well, last week Insta decided that the feature is doing so well (many influencers will disagree), that it is rolling it out globally. It announced the global rollout on Twitter, saying: “Starting today, we’re expanding our test of private like counts globally. If you’re in the test, you’ll no longer see the total number of likes and views on photos and videos posted to Feed unless they’re your own”.We’re not sure about South Africa yet (we can all still see like counts here at Stuff). Keep in mind that the test only affects a select group of users, who will unwillingly participate. There’s no way to sign up to be included, you’ll just be one of the lucky (or unlucky) few to have absent like counts in your feed.
Ford reveals its beefy vegan, the Mustang Mach-E
For the muscle car-lover who is eco-conscious. Ford has debuted its Mustang Mach-E EV. The Ford Mustang has a historic lineage that spans multiple decades, and in the world of muscle cars, it is one of the most iconic. Just… this one is an SUV. Yup. It’s an electric SUV Mustang. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is both the first battery-powered Mustang, and the first Mustang crossover. It comes with two lithium-ion battery pack options: a standard range and an extended range. The standard-range version uses a 75.7kWh, 288-cell pack, while the extended-range option uses a larger 98.8kWh battery pack with 376 cells. But here’s what we want to know — how far can you go on a charge? The Mustang Mach-E has a maximum range of up to 300 miles (which is around 480km) per charge — and this is with the extended-range battery pack. It lines up well with the Jaguar I-Pace, which is likely to be its biggest competitor in the range. We don’t know about local availability yet, but will let you know once Ford South Africa knows.
Google Stadia launches tomorrow with a mere 12 games
Google’s ‘groundbreaking’ streaming/gaming platform called Stadia launches this week and we’re slightly worried after seeing the surprisingly weak launch lineup. Like… Are they in 2019? Where we have Apple Arcade, Xbox Project xCloud, PlayStation Now — al with crazy libraries of games. All the games you can think of. Google delving into gaming isn’t a bad thing, it just has to be more appealing to consumers than other game streaming services. And it really doesn’t look that way right now… Of the 12 titles being offered with Google Stadia’s launch, only a few really draws our attention, and most of them are already loaded on our consoles/PCs. The service will need a much better drawcard — especially at launch. Some of these games could be considered particularly demanding on most gaming PCs, and some of the titles are older than we’d expect a new service to launch with. Check out the full list at the link below, but some worthy mentions: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Mortal Kombat 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition. It’s definitely gonna need to bulk up on some more games, even if it’s indie games. We just need more… volume.
Google rolls out RCS in the US — some fancy text messaging app
Google has started rolling out its own chat app in the US, it’s called RCS (Rich Communication Services), and it has been a long time coming. The ultimate plan is to replace SMS and MMS for Android. iPhones already have the option in the form of iMessage. This time around, RCS works in the same way old-school messaging (SMSing) works, but it adds a bunch of features usually only available in apps like WhatsApp or Messenger. US carriers have been slow to implement the tech, trying to lock down their own implementations. Because who needs Google anyway? We kinda agree, but it would be cool to have a universal SMS/text app that works across-the-board without the archaic system. Google has already started rolling out the feature to the Android Messages app in the UK, France, and Mexico earlier this year. Now it’s heading for the US — it’s biggest market by a long shot. Again — we’ll probs need to wait a while to see it launch in South Africa (we’re at the bottom of every tech-list it seems), but it’ll be brilliant to have a more intuitive SMS system in place in SA where SMSes still play a big part in many people’s lives.