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Samsung Launches Mobile Wallet App to Compete with Apple and Google.



Samsung is the latest tech company to attempt to replace your real wallet with a digital wallet stored on your phone. Samsung Wallet, a new mobile wallet for storing digital keys, boarding passes, ID cards, and credit cards, was announced on Thursday by the business. In recent weeks, Apple and Google both announced big improvements to their respective virtual wallet programs.

Samsung revealed its mobile wallet in February alongside the Galaxy S22, but the platform was only recently introduced on Thursday. Samsung Wallet is the result of the merger of two existing services. Samsung Pay, which stores payment cards and vaccination records on mobile devices, and Samsung Pass, which maintains passwords and login information for apps and websites, are combined in this software.

The unified app is a step forward in Samsung’s efforts to better compete with Apple and Google’s services. Galaxy device owners can migrate their information directly from the Samsung Wallet and Samsung Pass apps to Samsung Wallet via an app update.

Later this year, Samsung Wallet will allow formal forms of identity like driver’s licenses and student IDs. In May, Google also announced that it is collaborating with governments to integrate IDs into Google Wallet. In certain states, Apple Wallet already offers virtual IDs.

Samsung also wants its wallet app to act as a center for digital keys to your car and home, something that the iPhone currently does. Samsung Wallet will interact with the company’s SmartThings platform, and the company says it is collaborating with nine home security providers on virtual home keys. Digital car keys will be supported by Samsung Wallet for certain BMW, Hyundai, and Genesis cars. Korean Air will also be Samsung’s first digital boarding pass storage partner.

Samsung’s new Wallet software will allow users to manage their cryptocurrency in addition to traditional payment options like credit, debit, and loyalty cards. Samsung’s Knox security software protects the entire platform.

The idea of replacing physical credit cards with digital ones is gaining traction in the United States. According to an eMarketer prediction from 2021, in-store mobile payment systems will be used by more than half of all smartphone users in the United States by 2025.

Now, digital giants are working on more comprehensive alternatives to the traditional wallet, a goal that Google and Apple have emphasized during recent news conferences. “We’re working hard on our aim to replace your actual wallet with Apple Wallet,” said Corey Fugman, Apple’s senior director of Wallet and Apple Pay, at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference last week.

In the following years, adoption is expected to skyrocket. According to a survey released in July 2021 by financial technology company Boku and market research firm Juniper Research, one in every two people would use a mobile wallet by 2025. Samsung Wallet’s launch is yet another indication that tech businesses are increasingly dependent on applications and services to retain existing customers.

Why does the Samsung Mobile Wallet App matter?

Smartphone manufacturers are seeking to digitally replace the conventional wallet. Google just introduced a similar update to its Wallet app, while Apple is expanding Apple Pay with new capabilities.

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Instagram Testing New Tool for Age Verification



According to parent company Meta, Instagram is developing a new feature to stop minors from impersonating adults. Instagram will request identification if a user whose account indicates they are under 18 tries to manually change their date of birth on the platform.

A valid ID or driver’s license, “social vouching,” in which three adult users are asked to verify the age, or a video selfie are the three methods that people can demonstrate their age.

With social vouching, the three adult users must answer to the request within three days and cannot be vouching at the same time for anybody else. Instagram sends a video selfie to Yoti, a business whose technology can determine someone’s age based on their facial traits. Instagram explains how to take the video and claims that the selfies are erased once the verification process is over.

Younger users who have already informed Instagram that they are adults will not be caught by its new tool. Although Meta’s blog post does not specifically mention it, the new tool will be used to verify that users of the app are at least 13 years old in order to join up. 

Over the past year, Instagram has been the subject of inquiries questioning the app’s influence on teenagers. Attorneys general from a number of jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, Florida, and California, started scrutinizing Meta, claiming the firm was aware that Instagram could be harmful to children’s physical and emotional health. Additionally, The Wall Street Journal ran a series based in part on hacked papers, one of which claimed that Facebook was aware of Instagram’s “toxic” effects on teen girls’ body image and mental health.

Meta disputed the claims made by the states and added that the Journal had incorrectly described the leaked documents. The business said that some internal studies had revealed that using Instagram had improved some youngsters’ perceptions of their bodies.

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Alexa Could One Day Speak in Your Dead Loved One’s Voice



One day, Amazon Alexa might be able to speak to you in the voices of departed loved ones. At Amazon’s re:MARS conference on Wednesday, the new voice assistant feature was noted as a method to “make memories last.”

Alexa would be able to mimic a person’s voice when speaking after less than a minute of listening to that person’s speech. According to Sky News, a child in a video of the feature asked Alexa to read them a story, and she agreed before changing her voice.

It’s unclear how far along the feature is in development or when Alexa voice assistants might start receiving it. We might not see this functionality any time soon because the re:MARS (for machine learning, automation, robots, and space) event highlights what Amazon is doing in ambient computing, including developments in Alexa.

The capacity to replicate a voice pattern precisely raises security concerns as well, but we’ll reserve judgment until we know how well Alexa can imitate a voice after only hearing it briefly. We’ll also watch how the function is accepted; even though it appears to require consent from users, there are ethical concerns over the rights of the deceased’s voice and how long they should be preserved.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the voice-imitating tool isn’t specifically designed for family members who have passed away. It is based on recent developments in text-to-speech technology, which are detailed in an Amazon white paper from this year. The team applied a voice filter to produce high-quality voice with much less data than was required when hours-long voice recordings in a professional studio were used to create the voice files.

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Twitter Tests Long-Form Notes That Let People Go Beyond the Character Limit



Twitter said on Wednesday that it is testing Notes, a tool similar to a blog post that lets users publish longer pieces of writing on the social network.

By eliminating the need to use the Twitter thread and divide their views across numerous tweets, the functionality makes it simpler for people to publish long-form work. The content of notes can also contain images, videos, tweets, or GIFs.

“As the platform for writers, it’s clear that Twitter is essential — from the proximity to an engaged audience, to the conversation around a writer’s work, to the community of readers (and, often, cheerleaders) that Twitter provides, to the critical role it plays in the livelihoods and careers of writers, on and off Twitter,” Twitter’s editorial director, Rembert Browne, said in a Note on the platform.

Both on and off Twitter, users can read Notes, and you can see all of a person’s Notes on the new tab on their profile. According to Twitter, the Notes test is being conducted by a small number of writers in the US, Canada, UK, and Ghana. When Notes might be made more readily available is not yet known by the company.

A long-requested feature from anyone who has ever made a typo in a tweet, an edit button was finally being tested by Twitter in April. The website has now launched Twitter Blue, a paid subscription service that enables users to edit tweets, submit longer videos, and read news without advertisements.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is in the middle of a proposed $44 billion acquisition of the platform. Musk has said he wants to quash bots on the platform and get 1 billion users on Twitter.

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