Sony’s new flagship 8K TV makes its 4K TVs look ludicrously cheap

Sony has just announced the release date and pricing for its flagship 8K televisions and if you were hoping for a bank holiday bargain then look away now. The all-new ZH8 8K HDR Full Array LED TV range will arrive in (online) stores from early next month and if you want to take delivery of one it will set you back at least £5,999 – that’s for the 75-inch model.

If you fancy something a little bigger in your living room then you’ll need even more cash in the bank with the 85-inch ZH8 costing £8,999 – ouch!

Of course, for your money, you’re getting the best viewing experience Sony has ever created with the ZH8 featuring some pretty impressive specs.

There’s that stunning screen which not only shows content in 8K quality but can also upscale footage filmed in 2K or 4K to make it look as if it were shot in glorious 8K.

The ZH8 TVs incorporate Sony’s premium Full Array Local Dimming and Boosting technology. This 8K TV precisely balances light output across the screen to ensure scenes are full of breath-taking contrast.

Full Array LED provides more realistic contrast with Sony boasting that the results offer a dramatic increase in contrast and brightness so darker scenes get more intense and brighter scenes get clearer.

READ MORE

  • Samsung’s all-new 4K TV changes the way you can watch television

If it’s audio that’s important to you then Sony also has this covered with the ZH8 8K arriving equipped with the firm’s signature Acoustic Multi-Audio, which includes a vibrating frame tweeter – a speaker that enables sound to follow the action for a more immersive experience.

Independent amps are also controlled separately to precisely manage sound positioning of this speaker in high tone areas, enhancing sound pressure and stability for more realism.

Combined this with its minimalist one slate design and thin bezel, Sony says its ZH8 TV allows total immersion in entertainment without distraction.

Another piece of good news is that the ZH8 is ready for the next generation of gaming consoles. That’s because it will support 8K 60fps as well as 4K 120fps high frame rate – making them ideal for anyone wanting the best gaming experience.

The new ZH8 TVs continue to deliver the creator’s intent with Netflix Calibrated Mode. This option was specially developed to enjoy Netflix originals and reproduce the same picture quality on a TV as on a high-quality studio display. With Netflix Calibrated Mode switched on, viewers will see the creator’s vision and how they wanted things to look on the big screen.

Finally, to help give owners the picture all of the time, the ZH8 8K arrives with Ambient Optimization, a new technology that optimises picture and sound quality in any environment.

This means the TV will automatically adjust the picture brightness to the ambient light in the room, boosting the brightness in bright rooms and reducing in dark rooms. It even detects objects, such as curtains and furniture that can absorb or reflect sound, fine-tuning the acoustics so your sound isn’t compromised.

If £8,999 sounds a little too much for your bank balance then Sony has also just announced the release of its 4K TVs.

On sale soon is Sony’s XH90 which starts from £1,299 and there’s also the entry-level XH80 with prices for that TV £649.

Source: Read Full Article

Kärcher is giving away a useful free gift with some of its popular garden gadgets

If you’re planning on tidying up your garden this weekend, Kärcher is offering a very useful bonus when you buy some of their popular tools. The German firm recently revealed a swathe of new battery-powered gadgets that’ll enable you to cut the grass or trim back the hedge without running a cable to the plug.

To help keep you gardening a little bit longer, Kärcher is currently giving away a free battery when purchasing a number of different devices.

The free gift, which is worth up to £99.99 is available on the firm’s lawn mower, lawn trimmer, hedge trimmer battery set or WD 1 wet and dry outdoor vacuum. For each lawn mower purchased, customers will be eligible to claim a 5.0Ah battery worth £99.99 and for the lawn trimmer, hedge trimmer and WD 1 customers will be eligible to claim a 2.5Ah battery worth £69.99.

Kärcher says that its Battery Universe range gives outdoor enthusiasts the ultimate freedom when tackling jobs including trimming, pruning and mowing in the garden.

Each product in the 18V range is compatible with one versatile, interchangeable battery (available in 2.5Ah or 5.0Ah) and features an LED display, which accurately displays remaining charge time or remaining run time – so that users are never caught out mid-task.

The range features six new products – a lawnmower, lawn trimmer, hedge trimmer, grass and shrubshears, chainsaw and tree lopper – and the battery is also compatible with the already popular WD 1 wet and dry outdoor vacuum, which comes complete with accessories to clean car interiors and a blower function to dislodge dirt in hard -to-reach areas.

On the launch of the Battery Universe range, Lauren King, Marketing Communications Manager at Kärcher said: “We’re really excited to be extending our cordless product offering even further. We have been working to offer the best battery technology to our customers, which should make tackling labour-intensive tasks in the garden faster and easier so they can spend longer enjoying their outside spaces.”

Source: Read Full Article

Find out if your Chromebook has a virus or malware – what to do if your PC is infected

Criminals can target Chromebooks with malware and poor practice can leave Chrome OS users vulnerable to viruses. Fortunately, the Chrome operating system was designed to prioritise security, meaning it is relatively straightforward to stay safe if you are careful.

What is the difference between malware and a virus?

Although the terms virus and malware are frequently used interchangeably, they are technically different.

Malware is an umbrella term for any sort of malicious software, regardless of how it works or distributed.

A virus is a specific type of malware capable of self-replicating by inserting its code into other programs.

There are broadly speaking five types of malware: worms, ransomware, scareware, adware and fileless malware.

READ MORE

  • Google Chrome update brings a transformative feature to your PC

Can Chromebooks become infected by a virus or malware?

Chromebooks boast a number of features making it extremely difficult to become infected with computer viruses.

Every time a Chromebook is rebooted, the OS performs a self-check.

Should the Chromebook discover any modifications to the system, such as files modified by a virus, the OS will automatically repair itself.

And another feature helps stop viruses from infecting files or stealing passwords in the first place.

This is ensured by running individual browser windows, browser extensions, and Android apps in isolated “sandbox” environments that are unable to access each other or even the Chromebook OS.

Because every sandbox works in isolation, any virus is unable to infect system files or files in another sandbox.

However, although it is unlikely for a virus to infect a Chromebook, other types of malware can prove a problem.

The main threat of malware infecting a Chromebook comes from browser extensions and Android apps.

Deciding to run un-sandboxed browser extensions can consequently open users to increased risk.

And while developer Google is efficient at scanning Android apps for malware, malicious apps can, unfortunately, sneak into the store.

DON’T MISS

Why is my Chromecast not working? [INSIGHT]
How to add photos to the Chromecast ambient background [INSIGHT]
How to screen record on Chromebook [INSIGHT]

READ MORE

  • Google Chrome v Windows: Google swipes at Microsoft but which is best?

What to do if Chromebook is infected:

If your Chrome OS browser window is locked and displays a message that you have a virus, a malicious website has visited or a malicious extension has inadvertently been installed.

This problem can usually be fixed by restarting and uninstalling the extension.

And in a worst-case scenario, a Chromebook Powerwash can resolve the issue.

Although most Chrome OS files and settings are stored in the cloud, some locally-stored items permanently are deleted with Powerwash.

Files saved to a Chromebook’s local hard drive are usually stored in the Downloads folder.

The contents of this folder should always be backed up to an external device or to your Google Drive before beginning a Powerwash.

All Google Accounts previously used on your Chromebook are removed during a Powerwash, as well as any settings associated with said accounts.

As long as users retain relevant usernames and passwords, these accounts can be restored on a Chromebook.

Begin by opening the Chrome browser, then click the menu button.

When the drop-down menu appears, select Settings, then scroll to the bottom and click Advanced.

Now scroll down again until you locate the Reset settings section and select the Powerwash option.

A dialogue labelled Restart your device should be displayed, overlaying the Settings interface. Click on Restart.

Your Chromebook will now restart and the Powerwash process will complete.

Simple steps to keep your Chromebook safe:

You can download and install antivirus software on a Chromebook through a browser extension or as an Android app.

Always ensure to get your extension or app from the official Play Store, and stick with trusted names like Malwarebytes.

Even without antivirus software, the built-in security features of Chrome OS make it fairly easy to stay safe.

Always bear in mind some or all of these precautions to minimise the risk:

Never enable developer mode unless you really need it.

Avoid using third-party app stores, as developer Google does is highly effective at monitoring apps available in the Play Store.

Pay attention to what you install and any permissions it requests.

The Chrome OS is really good at keeping itself secure, but postponing updates can leave users vulnerable.

Source: Read Full Article

Android could soon be getting a major rival that will change the smartphone market forever

Android is one of the most used pieces of software in the world, with the Google mobile OS installed on over 2.5billion devices worldwide. To put that in perspective, that’s equivalent to a third of the world’s population – underlining how widely used Android is across the globe. Looking at year-on-year data for April, analytics website StatCounter claims Android had a 70.68 per cent slice of the mobile operating system marketplace.

StatCounter says Android’s biggest rival during this period was Apple’s iOS, which has a 28.79 per cent of the mobile OS market.

It’s undoubtedly a two-horse race for the time being, but this could all be about to change.

This week the US announced that they were extending Huawei’s stay on their entity list – which in effect is a trading blacklist.

Donald Trump first announced Huawei was placed on a list of companies American firms were barred from doing business with during May 2019.

READ MORE

  • Netflix update brings great Android feature to iOS devices

In the run-up to this announcement, Huawei had been given a series of temporary licenses that allowed it to still support existing hardware with software updates.

But this latest license is set to expire on May 15, and whether another extension is granted or not Huawei may decide the time is right to go their own way.

Recently released Huawei handsets such as the P40 Pro and Mate 30 Pro have all been running Android, as the software is open sourced.

But these impressive devices have been hampered by the fact that the Google Play Store was not loaded onto the phones straight out of the box.

That’s been the big impact of Trump’s strong-arming amid an ongoing trade war with China.

There are workarounds to get the Play Store installed onto these handsets, but it might deter some smartphone users looking for everything they need right from the off.

READ MORE

  • WhatsApp has another crucial update for iPhone and Android users

Huawei, though, could have the solution to all of this – and that’s their HarmonyOS operating system announced last August.

This has yet to be rolled out on any handset, with the Shenzhen-based firm instead sticking to the open sourced Android.

But with the prospect of a further year of smartphone releases affected by the White House’s decision making Huawei may decide to change course.

And if HarmonyOS does get released this year it could majorly shake-up the smartphone marketplace.

In 2019 the firm’s long line of stellar smartphone releases and growing reputation paid-off, with Huawei becoming the world’s second biggest smartphone maker – moving ahead of Apple.

Last year Huawei shipped 240.6million units, compared to Apple’s 198.1million and first-placed Samsung’s 298.1million units.

Besides gaining a stronger foothold in the West, Huawei continues to be the number one name in China – with a market leading 36 per cent slice of the industry.

If Huawei did decide to launch HarmonyOS this year then that is a vast chunk of the Android userbase that could end up switching over.

And, depending on how well received HarmonyOS is in Asia, that could also tempt other Chinese smartphone makers such as Xiaomi and Oppo to use the OS instead of Android.

Last year Xiaomi shipped 125.5million smartphones with 120.2million for Oppo.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei recently admitted that it will be “difficult” for HarmonyOS to surpass Android and iOS.

Ren said: “The operating systems of Android and Apple have enjoyed massive sales in the world as consumers have become accustomed to them.

“Huawei is a latecomer, so it would be very difficult to surpass the operating systems of Android and Apple.”

Even so, given Huawei’s huge foothold in Asia it could at least turn the mobile OS marketplace from a two-horse to a three-horse race.

Which may be the spark Android and iOS need to push developments in their own software even further, and that would only be good for the industry as a whole.

Source: Read Full Article

Samsung strikes major victory over smartphone rivals, but it’s not all good news

Samsung has had a busy few months, with the recent launch of their latest flagship – the Galaxy S20 – and the South Korean tech giant isn’t stopping there. The Seoul-based firm is believed to be working on a Galaxy Note 20 as well as another foldable smartphone that will be launching later this year. It remains to be seen how the coronavirus pandemic will impact these launches, and whether the new Samsung devices will release later than anticipated.

But amid this changing smartphone landscape, Samsung has managed to secure a big victory over its rivals.

The Galaxy S20 makers have retained their crown as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, according to new estimates.

Research from Strategy Analytics gives Samsung a 21.2 per cent of the global smartphone marketplace.

This is ahead of P40 Pro makers Huawei and Apple, in that order.

READ MORE

  • Samsung’s Galaxy S20 receives some hugely unexpected news

These stats cover the first quarter of this year, and estimates that in that period Samsung has shipped some 58.3million devices.

However, while Samsung has maintained a lead over its rivals the study from Strategy Analytics isn’t all good news.

As revealed in a post by SamMobile, Samsung’s estimated global shipments for the most recent quarter are down 19 per cent year-on-year.

However, this drop-off has not had a major impact of Samsung’s overall market share as other handset manufacturers also saw shipments decreases.

In the first three months of 2020 the smartphone industry shrunk by approximately 55.6million shipments.

The stats from Strategy Analytics indicate while Samsung saw year-on-year sales drop by 19 per cent, Huawei also saw an 18 per cent reduction.

The research also estimates OPPO saw an 11 per cent reduction while Apple saw a nine per cent fall.

Overall, Samsung’s marketshare fell from 21.7 per cent in the first quarter of last year to 21.2 per cent this year.

Huawei meanwhile saw their slice of the marketplace drop from 17.9 per cent to 17.6 per cent, while Apple saw an increase from 13 per cent to 14.3 per cent.

Xiaomi and OPPO also saw their marketshare increase from 8.3 per cent and 7.7 per cent in Q1 2019 to 10 per cent and 8.2 per cent in Q1 2020 respectively.

The drop in smartphone sales across the board, when comparing year-on-year data, can largely be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world.

Despite the challenges that COVID-19 presents to businesses Samsung recently posted better-than-anticipated financial results for the first quarter of this year.

In Q1 of 2020 Samsung saw their operating profits rise by three per cent, when looking at year-on-year figures.

However, their net profit fell by the same percentage when looking at figures from the same period.

Source: Read Full Article

Windows 10: Microsoft issues urgent warning that users will regret ignoring

Microsoft has issued an important warning to users of its Windows 10 operating system – both personal and enterprise editions. The warning comes courtesy of the US company’s Security Intelligence team, which posted a message on social media telling Windows users to be aware of a new threat arriving via torrent downloads.

With millions of people in lockdown, it’s no surprise there has been a rise in the number of people trying to find ways to keep entertained – not to mention that watching content online without paying for a subscription is always going to be a popular option. However, along with the obvious legal issues of using torrent-style sites to get content to watch in lockdown, it seems there’s another reason to be wary of downloading files from unofficial websites.

According to the alert from Microsoft posted on Twitter, there’s been a rise in attacks using certain streaming services with Windows 10 users placing themselves at risk by downloading files in this way. The post states: “With lockdown still in place in many parts of the world, attackers are paying attention to the increase in use of pirate streaming services and torrent downloads.

“We saw an active coin miner campaign that inserts a malicious VBScript into ZIP files posing as movie downloads. The use of torrent downloads is consistent with our observation that attackers are repurposing old techniques to take advantage of the current crisis.”

READ MORE

  • And now MORE Windows 10 users are urged to abandon Google Chrome

It may come as no surprise that cyber criminals are trying to cash in during the current crisis and it seems those using torrents sites are an easy target. Explaining more, Tanmay Ganacharya, director of security research of Microsoft Threat Protection told Cyberscoop: “Lots of people are stuck at home looking to fill time, and not everyone is going to watch only what’s available through [streaming] services.”

Adding: “Attackers use some popular movies as lures. And then they ensure that their malicious payload is part of the overall packages that a user ends up downloading.”

According to Microsoft’s latest findings, John Wick 3 and Contagion are some of the most popular movies being downloaded by users. And it is these popular Hollywood blockbusters that are being targeted.

As confirmed by Cyberscoop, typical attacks begin with criminals disguising a malicious file in the same .zip folder that includes a movie torrent. When an unsuspecting victim happens to open the .zip file saved from a piracy site, they also trigger a malicious text file. This then sets about trying to infect dangerous code into the machine’s memory.

Although torrent sites remain hugely popular, there’s always a risk and to be safe it’s always recommended sticking to official streaming and download sites.

“It is not surprising that people are searching for more illicit ways to get their hands on new content – but downloading or streaming from dodgy sites is still as risky as ever,” said Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET.

“These sites are rarely policed and they are very good at circumnavigating law enforcement attempts to shut them down. It is a clear and simple message that these sites must be avoided and aren’t worth the risk. It may sound free and easy at first but the truth is that using pirate sites could damage your computer and cost you more than the price of the movie itself in no time at all.

“Antivirus software is your best ammunition here – and any warnings when entering such sites must never be overruled.”

Source: Read Full Article

Sky Q: How to free up storage space on your satellite set-top box

Sky Q boasts a host of great features, including a fresh user interface and a refreshed remote control now able to perform voice commands. When Sky updated its set-top box from the Sky+ HD to the Sky Q box, the company aimed to make it easier to access a wider range of content — live, recorded and on-demand — than ever before. Sky Q achieved this by revamping its menu and allowing subscribers to seamlessly enjoy TV shows, sports and films across TVs, smartphones and other devices.

How to free up storage space on your satellite set-top box:

Sky Q boxes currently have up to two terabytes (2TB) of available space.

This is a massive amount of storage space, meaning users will likely never run out of space to record their favourite TV shows and films.

Sorting through your recordings on the Sky Q is easy as the Sky Q software allows users to sort their recordings in numerous ways.

The default option is most recent, but users can also sort recordings A-Z or by type, such as purchases and rentals.

READ MORE

  • Sky is offering customers something Virgin Media can’t currently match

The Sky Q TV guide reveals, as you would expect, what is on TV.

Users can sort the guide by linear channels or by channel type, making it easier to find what you wish to watch.

The TV guide is also where you can set up recordings and you can also access catch-up TV from the guide, too.

Alternatively, you can access catch-up TV through the dedicated section in the main menu.

Here users will find catch-up TV from some Freeview channels — including All 4 and BBC iPlayer — and Sky series.

Sky Q boxes also offer quick access to many on-demand content.

This includes dedicated sections for Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and Box Sets.

If your current subscription does not offer access to these, you can upgrade within the box directly, meaning there is no need to contact Sky.

READ MORE

  • Virgin Media is trying to tempt you away from Sky and BT

Users can also gain access to the Sky Store where they can buy or rent box sets and films.

Some of these are available through add-ons like Sky Cinema or Box Sets, but some are exclusive to the Sky Store.

Similar to the recommendations for live TV, the on-demand TV sections recommend personalised content based on the time of day.

There is also a dedicated Kids section on the Sky Q boxes.

This stores on-demand content and recordings identified as being for children, meaning they have their own easy-to-use section.

Other Sky Q features:

Sky Q also includes a music section where users can listen to the latest hits on VEVO.

The box also has Bluetooth and airplay capabilities, meaning they can stream music from phones or tablet through their TV.

This is a great feature for those with the Sky Soundbox.

Users can also watch short-form content from the likes of Vice, GQ and even YouTube in the Online Video section.

These videos are sorted by genre or you can choose the editor’s picks of what is popular.

The Apps section offers access to Sky News and updates from Sky Sports, even for those without a Sky Sports subscription.

The section also boasts apps for weather and photo-sharing.

Source: Read Full Article

Now TV account: How many people can watch Now TV from one account?

Now TV continues to bolster its library with new and classic TV shows, live sports and film premieres. Now TV accounts can work on multiple devices – here is what you need to know.

How many devices can view Now TV from a single account?

Users can add up to six devices and watch on two devices at the same time.

This can be extended to three for those with Now TV Boost.

Users can also include one smartphone for those owning a Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass.

Once you have added devices up to your allotted maximum, you can make three changes to your devices each month.

This means that you might still be unable to add new devices when you are not using your maximum allowance, because one or more of your slots may be blocked.

If one of your device slots is blocked Now TV will indicate when you can add a device.

READ MORE

  • Samsung’s latest 4K and 8K TVs get a vital advantage over their rivals

How to swap one device for another:

If you have already added six devices to a Now TV account, you will need to remove one to watch Now TV on a new device.

To remove a device, simply select the trash icon next to it in Devices.

You will be presented with a message informing you can add a new device this – or warning if you cannot.

Now TV will also ask you to confirm you want to remove the Now TV device.

You can then start watching on your new device, and it will be automatically added.

How to stop someone else from using my Now TV account:

Users sometimes share their Now TV details with someone, but subsequently no longer want them to use their account.

However, removing their device from your device list will not prevent them from using it again.

You will instead need to change your password, then force a logout for all devices.

The next time that person tries to watch, they will need to sign in with your new password.

Remember you will also be required to sign back in on all your devices next time you watch Mow TV.

DON’T MISS

Amazon Echo Studio review
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Google Pixelbook Go review

READ MORE

  • Sky offers Disney+ on Sky Q and NOW TV, but one is at a disadvantage

How to rename a Now TV -activated device:

You can rename a device you have added to make it easier to recognise.

Simply select Rename next to the device in Devices and enter the new name.

Should you have two or more of the same device in your house, Now TV recommends renaming one of them so you can tell which is which.

Use the Last used date to help you tell the difference between two devices with identical names.

Why does my Windows device appear twice in my device list?

If you notice your Windows 10 or Windows 8 device is listed twice in Devices, this is because there is more than one way you can watch Now TV on your device.

You can watch Now TV through the app from the Windows Store and with the Now TV Player.

Each of these counts as a separate device, meaning if you watch Now TV using both methods, two of your available six devices will be used up.

Now TV consequently recommends sticking to one way of watching to avoid using up device slots.

If your device is already listed twice, you can remove a device to free up a slot.

Look at the ‘last used’ date in Devices to help you tell which is which.

Source: Read Full Article

Netflix Party safety: Is Netflix Party safe to use?

Strict quarantine rules have atomised much of the population, meaning many cannot connect with others like they used to. Fortunately, the new Netflix Party feature has been released, allowing viewers to remotely watch and comment on the latest TV and films together. However, the popularity of Netflix Party has caused some parents to ask whether the service is safe for children – Express.co.uk explains everything you need to know.

What is Netflix Party?

Many of us are currently spending far more time indoors, which probably involves watching more TV.

Netflix Party is the timely free Google Chrome extension allowing users to simultaneously watch shows on the streaming service with friends and family.

The service synchronises the programme or movie for everyone, meaning if one person presses pause, everyone’s screen pauses too.

Netflix Party also allows users to chat with each other while watching a programme using the written messaging feature.

READ MORE

  • Disney+ and Netflix WARNING: Streaming fans targeted by shock new scam

How to stay safe on Netflix Party:

According to Netflix Party’s Privacy Policy, the service is for users aged 13+.

Additionally, Netflix’s Terms of Use state anyone under the age of 18 must only use the service while being supervised by an adult.

Exploring apps, sites and games together is a great way to involve your child in the decision-making process, so look at Netflix Party together to see if it is appropriate for your child to use it.

To use Netflix Party, users have to share a link with other people or click on a link that someone has sent.

Remind your child to only share links with friends and not to click on links from people they do not know.

This could mean children are more likely to see something upsetting or receive inappropriate messages.

When you’re watching a programme or film with friends on Netflix Party, you can talk using the chat function.

This function can be a fun way of sharing your instant reactions about a show.

But with this in mind, parents should remind their child to always think before they share things online.

READ MORE

  • Netflix Party: How to watch Netflix with friends online

Tell them to keep chat positive and friendly and to think about how someone might react or feel to something they say or post.

Netflix famously has an enormous amount of content available online.

While much of this is great for children, some of this is not so appropriate.

Experts consequently recommend setting up parental controls to help manage what a child can watch safely.

Netflix has advice on setting up parental controls, so you can stop your child from viewing films or shows rated above a certain maturity level, or accessing a particular film or TV show.

How to host a Netflix Party:

To use Netflix Party, all potential participants require Google Chrome browsers and the Netflix Party extension.

Remember, this Chrome extension only works with Netflix and no other streaming sites.

Once the Chrome extension is installed, log into Netflix and select something to watch.

Next click the NP extension icon after your video of choice has loaded.

The Netflix Party icon should then turn red once it is accessible.

Users will have the option to themselves total control.

Whoever has total control will be the only one able to start and stop the Netflix show or film.

The icon will then display a link – you can click the icon again at any point while watching to get access to it should you need to send it out again.

The Netflix Party host can then copy the link from the extension icon and send it to those they wish to watch content with.

Source: Read Full Article

WhatsApp update DOUBLES the maximum number of people in a video call

WhatsApp has announced a huge boost for its built-in video calling feature. That should make the chat app, which is currently the most popular messaging service worldwide with more than two billion unique users, a more viable alternative to the likes of Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime and Skype for conference calls, or catch-ups with friends and family.

Available on both iPhone and Android, the new update will allow eight people to chat simultaneously on the same call. Of course, WhatsApp is still lagging behind some of its rivals, including Google Duo (supports 12 in a single call), FaceTime (supports 32) and Zoom (up to 500 with its priciest add-on). However, it brings WhatsApp in-line with Houseparty, which has exactly the same call limit.

As before, all video calls in WhatsApp are secured with end-to-end encryption so no one else can view or listen to your private conversation – not even WhatsApp itself.

The new update couldn’t have come at a better time. As millions stay home in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus across the world, video call apps have become increasingly popular as a way to stay in touch with friends and family members.

MORE LIKE THIS
WhatsApp now restricts the messages you send as part of important new changes

Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, has introduced a new cross-platform solution, known as Messenger Rooms, which lets you bring in contacts from across a range of Facebook-owned messaging services, including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and more. 

For those who want to chat with much, much more than eight people in a single call, Messenger Rooms will allow up to 50 people to chat simultaneously. This all-new video call feature makes it easy to drop-in and drop-out and chat with up to 50 people.

READ MORE

  • WhatsApp is expanding its update to help with the coronavirus outbreak

Facebook users can control who joins and sees the room as well as use augmented reality filters, customised backgrounds à la Zoom, as well as lighting effects to boost their video calls. These expansive Messenger Rooms can be created inside Messenger or the main Facebook app or website.

And soon, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Portal owners will be able to kickstart these expansive messaging rooms too. Best of all, you can invite anyone to join – even if they don’t have a Facebook.

It’s clear that Facebook is looking to quash the success of the likes of Zoom, Houseparty and others. And with the colossal number of users already signed-up to either Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram – it could soon become the go-to option for people looking to chat with friends or family during lockdown.

Source: Read Full Article