Google announces Pixel 5; Apple cloud goes down; Instagram and Messenger merge

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Google announces new flagship phone, Pixel 5

Photo: Google

Google has unveiled details of its new flagship smartphone, the Pixel 5.

At a livestream event this week, the company also announced the release of the Google Pixel 4a 5G, the Google Nest Audio, and Chromecast with Google TV.

The Pixel 5 was perhaps the most awaited of the announcements at the company’s virtual event on Wednesday. The new phone, with 5G connectivity, will have a 6-inch Full HD display and comes with a fingerprint scanner.

Its camera features a 12.2MP dual-pixel shooter and a 16MP ultra-wide shooter. On the front, it includes an 8MP selfie camera.

It will be equipped with 8GB of RAM in 128GB of storage.

The phone’s most newsworthy feature is perhaps its price point – US$700. The newly announced Pixel 4a 5G, with fewer features, has an even better price tag of $500.

Apple cloud goes down for hours

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Following Microsoft 365’s outage earlier this week, yesterday it was Apple’s turn to report an hours-long outage of its cloud services.

Users reported issues accessing iCloud, Apple TV, Apple Music and other apps.

Apple did not offer an explanation for the issues, which now appear to have been resolved.

Facebook merges Instagram and Messenger

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After a trial in August, Facebook is now rolling out the merger of Instagram and Messenger across all users.

The merger means Instagram will now offer cross-platform messaging as well as the ability to call users.

Users can message their friends across both platforms without having to leave one of the apps and access another.

“People are communicating in private spaces now more than ever,” Facebook wrote in a blog post about the update.

“More than a billion people already use Messenger as a place to share, hang out and express themselves with family and friends. That’s why we’re connecting the Messenger and Instagram experience to bring some of the best Messenger features to Instagram — so you have access to the best messaging experience, no matter which app you use.”

The company reportedly has plans to merge WhatsApp messages as well.

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Umbrellar Connect

Umbrellar Connect is the leading multi-media hub for New Zealand's tech innovations. We keep you informed on the need-to-know impact stories, the trends shaping our world, and the tech enabling us to go further.

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