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O2 Palm Pre launching October 16th from free [Updated]

O2 have just announced that they will be launching the Palm Pre in the UK on October 16th.  The handset – the GSM version of the Sprint device that has been available in the US for several months now – will be priced between free and £96.89 ($159) depending on contract.Update: O2 in Germany and Ireland will also get the Palm Pre on October 13th and 16th respectively.  German pricing details here; Irish details after the chúng tôi contract details after the cut

O2 will be offering the Pre with five different tariffs, four of which are 18 month contracts and a fifth lasting 24 months.  Ranging from £29.38 ($48) to £73.41 ($120), all include unlimited UK HSDPA data and WiFi access in The Cloud and BT hotspots, together with varying amounts of included calls and messages.

As for the Touchstone inductive charger, that will retail for £44.11 ($72).  Business users will also be able to pick up the Pre, free, on 24 or 36 month contracts at £30.91 ($51) or above.

Palm Pre O2 UK pricing:

Palm Pre O2 Ireland pricing:

Press Release:

O2 to launch Palm Pre in the UK on 16 October

Ronan Dunne, CEO of Telefonica O2 UK said “Today’s announcement reinforces O2’s position as the home of the smartphone. With the addition of the excellent Palm Pre to our already extensive portfolio, we will continue to offer our customers the widest range of the very best devices on the market today.”

“There’s a lot of excitement about Palm Pre in Europe as we continue to expand Palm webOS products across new carriers and countries,” said Jon Rubinstein chairman and chief executive officer, Palm, Inc. “We look forward to launching Palm Pre with O2 so people in the UK can see firsthand how Palm webOS offers a new and better smartphone experience.”

Palm Pre for consumers

Palm Pre is free to O2 customers taking out a 24-month contract and to customers taking an 18-month contract at £44.05 or £73.41 per month. See attached table or the O2 website for full tariff options. All customers will receive unlimited UK data browsing over O2’s HSDPA network and unlimited access to 7,500 Wi-Fi hotspots through both The Cloud and now BT Openzone.

The Palm Pre will also be sold with some innovative accessories. The Palm Touchstone Charging Dock allows connectionless charging of your Palm webOS™ phone. Palm Touchstone is based on inductive technology based inside the Touchstone Charging Dock which allows you to charge the handset without connecting a wire directly to it. The Touchstone and Back Cover will retail at £44.11 a saving of £10.

Palm Pre for Business

Palm Pre running Palm webOS is a powerful business device, offering Palm Synergy features, multitasking capabilities, a full sliding keyboard, touch screen, robust messaging, GPS, and compatibility with 3G and secure Wi-Fi networks. It delivers business capabilities, including support for Exchange ActiveSync policies.

Palm Pre is the first phone based on the all-new Palm webOS™ software, which brings mobile applications together in a unique and intuitive multi-tasking platform that enables consumers and businesses to connect to their information in more useful and useable ways.(1) Palm webOS introduces Palm Synergy™, which brings your information from the many places it resides into a single, more comprehensive view of your life.

The Palm Pre features a smooth, elegantly rounded ergonomic design and a physical keyboard that slides out only when needed, Palm Pre is engineered to feel natural in your hand and comfortably small in your pocket. When closed, Palm Pre is ideal for phone calls, web browsing, music, photos and videos; when open, Palm Pre is optimized for email and text messaging. With its curved slider and gesture-controlled touch interface, Palm Pre fuses exquisite design with the revolutionary Palm webOS software for fast access to content on the device or web.

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Palm Pre: Good Interface, Few Apps

The Palm Pre, Palm’s “revolutionary” response to the Apple iPhone, has much to recommend it, including reasonably good Wi-Fi functionality. But the Pre requires a paradigm shift that some users might find irksome.

And Palm, like other smartphone makers, misses the boat on exploiting the product’s Wi-Fi capabilities to the full.

The Pre, which works on Dual-band CDMA2000 and 3G EvDO Rev A networks, claims revolutionary status mainly based on its in-the-cloud operating system, but the best-of-both-worlds physical form factor—iPhone-like touch screen interface plus slide-out QWERTY keyboard—is also pretty cool.

Pre is available from Sprint for as little as $150 with a two-year contract (after a $100 mail-in rebate) and from Bell in Canada for $200 CDN with a $45-per-month (or higher) three-year contract. We reviewed Pre on the Bell network.

Palm’s webOS operating system is predicated on the notion that users live in the cloud and will want to synchronize calendar and contact information not with their desktops but with network-based services, such as Google and Microsoft Exchange. Pre will not sync with a desktop out of the box.

For users who are already living in the cloud, the webOS paradigm shift makes sense. Pre automatically syncs with your data (contacts, calendar, to-dos, files) anywhere, wirelessly—either over the cellular network or a Wi-Fi network when you’re in range.

If a secretary or supervisor back at the office makes changes to your calendar or to-dos, or if documents in your sync folder change, you get the updates almost immediately, wherever you are.

However, if you’re still desktop-bound, the webOS paradigm shift will take a little effort, with arguably a smaller return.

If you don’t work for a company with a Microsoft Exchange server and mainly use Outlook on a desktop for mail, tasks, contacts, and calendar, you have three choices. [Editor’s note: Palm today released WebOS 1.2.]

You can abandon Outlook and switch to Google. Pre can sync with Google in the cloud out of the box. Google would love that. But it seems an unlikely choice for most long-time Outlook users.

You can choose not to make the paradigm shift and purchase a piece of third-party software, PocketLink ($30) from Chapura Inc., that lets you sync the Pre with your Outlook desktop the old-fashioned way. (We did not test this solution.)

Or you can continue using Outlook on your PC, but open a Google account and sync everything from Outlook to Google Calendar and Gmail using another third-party program, such as CompanionLink for Google ($40) from CompanionLink Software Inc. CompanionLink also manages the process of syncing in the cloud from Google to your phone.

This compromise hybrid approach is what we tried during testing. It worked nicely after some initial CompanionLink set-up headaches. Automatic synchronization on the phone was fairly transparent. The software does flash a notice that it’s syncing, but it appears not to greatly impact performance when this is happening.

One other vaunted feature of the operating system is its Synergy amalgamated messaging feature. Synergy lets you see presence information from a variety of instant messaging services—Facebook, Google Talk, AIM (note: no Windows Live Messenger)—from within the Contacts applet.

It also groups communications with a contact in one place, even when the conversation extends over multiple media—if you start with an e-mail and continue in IM, for example.

At the risk of annoying anti-Apple or pro-Palm zealots, it needs to be pointed out that, like Google’s Android smartphone operating system, Palm’s webOS is a relatively new kid on the block. You won’t find as many third-party applications available for it as you can for either the iPhone or BlackBerry.

That said, Palm does, of course, have its own e-tail outlet for third-party applications, similar to Apple’s App Store. The Palm App Catalog, accessible from the phone, bears a sticker indicating it’s a Beta effort. This shows. The main menu—automatically generated with user-supplied tags, we’re guessing—repeats some categories and includes others that clearly overlap, such as Games and Entertainment.

For this reason, it’s difficult to get an accurate count of available apps, but the number at the time of writing (in late September 2009) appeared to be fewer than 100. This will presumably increase over time.

As a piece of hardware, the Pre is impressive. On the outside, it appears to be a fairly conventional (read: iPhone-like) smartphone with a touch screen interface. But pushing up on the top surface reveals a small QWERTY keyboard. This is easy to do one-handed.

The keyboard is even reasonably well designed with dedicated period and @ keys to make entering Web and e-mail addresses easier. There is no / key, but it’s at least visible. You can enter it by pressing and holding the orange Alt key and hitting Q. The keys have a nice stickiness and squishiness that makes for positive contact.

The 3.1-inch LCD (24-bit color, 320×480 pixels) enables a touch screen interface similar to the iPhone and recent Android products—with a few nice wrinkles.

For example, Pre uses an activity card system to visually manage open applications. They appear as windows that can be resized, cycled through (you can easily change their order) and closed down, all using finger gestures. Touching an un-maximized card and swiping up towards the top of the screen “throws it away” – shuts down the application.

There is also a cool Quick Launch feature. From within any activity, if you drag up slowly from the touch-sensitive panel below the screen, Pre displays the Quick Launch menu with icons for the most frequently used programs overlaid on the already open window.

Palm has not officially published the identity of the microprocessor used, but it is fairly reliably reported to be an ARM Cortex A8-based chip, a generation beyond the ARM-11 series processors used in current iPhones and other high-end multimedia smart phones.

The ARM Cortex A8 chips reportedly operate at double the speed of ARM-11 predecessors with the same battery draw. We were not able to do side-by-side comparisons with ARM-11-based products, but the Pre does appear nimbler and more responsive than most smartphones we have tried recently.

Storage is a potential problem. Pre comes with 8GB of memory, 7GB available to users. This can’t be upgraded, and the unit lacks a flash memory card drive.

In fact, media functionality is generally impressive. Music sounds good, probably not quite as good as an iPhone, but close. (We were not able to do side-by-side tests comparing iPhone and Pre.) YouTube video also looks sharp, with realistic color.

Next Page: Palm Pre, the Bottom Line

Palm Pre Hitting Uk, Ireland, Germany & Spain By Christmas

Hot on the heels of Palm’s Movistar GSM Pre sighting comes confirmation from carrier O2 that they’ll be offering the smartphone “in time for the Christmas holidays”.  The handset will go on sale in the UK, Ireland and Germany on O2, with Spanish buyers getting the GSM Pre on Movistar.  As expected, the only hardware change has been switching to support HSDPA/UMTS.

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, there’s no sign of any pricing information for the Pre in any of those four locations.  Nor do Palm clarify which bands the new handset’s radios use, something we know AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers have been eagerly waiting to hear.

We’re meeting with Palm this afternoon and will hopefully squeeze a few more details out of them.  Until then, the full press release is below and you can sign up for more information in the UK and Ireland here, Germany here, or Spain here. 

Press Release:

Palm Pre to Launch in Europe with O2 and Movistar

Palm webOS Phone to Arrive in UK, Ireland, Germany and Spain on Local Telefónica Networks

WINDSOR, England, Jul 07, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Palm, Inc. (Nasdaq:PALM) today announced that the Palm(R) Pre(TM) phone is scheduled to be available initially in the UK, Ireland and Germany exclusively on the O2 network, and in Spain exclusively on the Movistar network, in time for the holidays. Palm Pre, the first phone based on the new Palm webOS(TM) mobile platform, brings your information from the many places it resides – on your phone, at work or on the web – into one simple, integrated view.(1)

“Europe continues to be an important region for Palm, and we’re proud to work with O2 and Movistar to spread the excitement Palm Pre has already ignited in North America,” said Jon Rubinstein, Palm chairman and chief executive officer. “Since we showed Palm Pre at Mobile World Congress in February, there’s been a great deal of anticipation for an announcement about European availability, and that day is here.”

“We are fast becoming the home of the smartphone with the addition of the hotly-anticipated Palm Pre to our already extensive portfolio,” said Matthew Key, chairman and chief executive officer, Telefónica Europe. “Our customers will be the first outside of North America to experience one of the most successful mobile devices of the year.”

In its first weekend of availability in the United States, Palm Pre broke Sprint’s previous first-weekend sales records. Palm Pre also is scheduled to debut in Canada with Bell Mobility in the second half of 2009.

Palm Pre introduces a breakthrough user interface and hardware design that makes it one of the most integrated and user-friendly mobile phones on the market. Featuring a smooth, elegantly rounded ergonomic design and a physical keyboard that slides out only when needed, Palm Pre is engineered to feel natural in your hand and comfortably small in your pocket. When closed, Palm Pre is ideal for phone calls, web browsing, music, photos and videos; when open, Palm Pre is optimized for email and text messaging. It provides an exceptional experience for phone calls, whether held to your ear, over speakerphone or via Bluetooth.

With its curved slider and gesture-controlled touch interface, Palm Pre fuses exquisite design with the revolutionary webOS software for fast access to content on the device or web. Invented exclusively for mobile use, webOS offers an instinctive user experience that seems to anticipate your needs.

Key Features and Benefits of Palm webOS

Palm Synergy(TM), a key feature of the new webOS, brings your information from all the places it resides into one logical view. You don’t have to worry about tracking multiple calendars, contacts and messaging applications – Synergy seems to think ahead to bring you a more comprehensive and truly representative view of your life.

Linked contacts – With Synergy, you have a single view that links your contacts from a variety of sources, so accessing them is easier than ever. For example, if you have the same contact listed in your Outlook(2), Google and Facebook accounts, Synergy recognizes that they’re the same person and links the information, presenting it to you as one listing.

Layered calendars – Your calendars can be seen on their own or layered together in a single view, combining work, family, friends, sports teams, or other interests. You can toggle to look at one calendar at a time, or see them all at a glance.

Combined messaging – Synergy lets you see all your conversations with the same person in a chat-style view, even if it started in IM and you want to reply with text messaging. You can also see who’s active in a buddy list right from contacts or email, and start a new conversation with just one touch.

By smartly integrating your information, webOS seems to think ahead for you to keep you on top of the things that happen in your life, but that’s just the first step. The platform’s unique interface brings your information to you with the ease that only Palm can offer.

Information at your fingertips – Finding what you need is easy with universal search – as you type what you’re looking for, webOS narrows your search and offers results from both your device and the web.(4)

Intuitive and unobtrusive notifications – When important things come up or new updates arrive, you’ll receive notifications with a diplomacy that’s a radical departure from other mobile platforms. For example, if you receive a text message or email, a scrolling notifications bar at the bottom of your screen lets you address it right away or leave until later. webOS alerts are one step ahead, ensuring that you never miss a thing, but never lose your place or train of thought.

Palm Pre Specifications

HSDPA/UMTS with EDGE/GSM

Integrated GPS(5)

Large 3.1-inch touch screen with a vibrant 24-bit color 320×480 resolution HVGA display

Gesture area, which enables simple, intuitive gestures for navigation

Slide-out keyboard (QWERTY in UK, Ireland and Spain, QWERTZ in Germany)

Email, including support for corporate servers with Microsoft Exchange(2), as well as personal email support (POP3, IMAP)

Robust messaging support (IM, SMS and MMS capabilities) (3)

High-performance, desktop-class web browser

Bluetooth(R) 2.1 + EDR with A2DP stereo Bluetooth support

8GB internal memory (~7GB user available)(6)

USB mass storage mode

MicroUSB connector with USB 2.0 Hi-Speed

Proximity sensor, which automatically disables the touch screen and turns off the display whenever you put the phone up to your ear

Light sensor, which dims the display if the ambient light is dark, such as at night or in a movie theater, to reduce power usage

Accelerometer, which automatically orients web pages and photos to your perspective

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g(7)

Ringer switch, which easily silences the device with one touch

Removable, rechargeable battery

Dimensions: 59.57mm (W) x 100.53mm (L, closed) x 16.95mm (D)

Weight: ~135 grams

An array of compelling accessories also will be available for Palm Pre, including the first inductive charging solution for phones (sold separately). Simply set Palm Pre down on top of the elegantly designed Palm Touchstone(TM) charging dock without worrying about connection, orientation or fit. Palm Pre is active while charging, so you can access the touch screen, watch movies or video, or use the speakerphone.

Availability and Pricing

Palm Pre is scheduled to be available initially in the UK, Ireland and Germany exclusively on the O2 network, and in Spain exclusively on the Movistar network, in time for the holidays. Pricing for the phone has not yet been determined.

Customers who would like to register to receive additional information about Palm Pre and be notified when it’s available can register at:

About Telefónica

Telefónica is one of the world’s largest telecommunications operators by market capitalisation. Its activities are centred mainly on the fixed and mobile telephony businesses, while its broadband business is the key growth driver underpinning both. It operates in 25 countries and has a global customer base of 260 million. Telefónica’s growth strategy is focused on the markets in which it has a strong foothold: Spain, Europe and Latin America. Telefónica is a 100% private sector company with its shares listed in Madrid and other stock exchanges and more than 1.5 million individual shareholders.

About Palm, Inc.

Palm, Inc. is a leading mobile products company, creating instinctive yet powerful mobile products that enable people to better manage their lives on the go. The company’s products for consumers, mobile professionals and businesses include Palm(R) Treo(TM), Palm Pre(TM) and Palm Centro(TM) phones, as well as software, services and accessories.

Dji Mini 3 Review: Palm

Pros

Portrait camera mode

Good photo & video quality

Long flight time

Cons

No front or rear obstacle sensors

Can’t track subjects, except in QuickShots

No Hyperlapse or slo-mo

Our Verdict

The Mini 3 loses quite a few of the Mini 3 Pro’s features, but is also quite a bit cheaper and is a good upgrade from the Mini 2. If you don’t care about the better video quality or vertical shooting, then save money and find a discounted Mini 2.

When DJI released the Mini 2 back in 2023, it addressed a lot of the criticisms levelled at the original Mini. But it still lacked some features that would have been desirable such as ActiveTrack, which allows the drone to follow a subject – a person or car, for example – while flying automatically.

Then, DJI launched the Mini 3 Pro which had all the bells and whistles, but came at a pretty steep cost.

Now, though, the company has added a more affordable option: the Mini 3.

It’s similar in many ways to the Mini 3 Pro, but also lacks some of its best features. And that’s understandable: there needs to be a reason to still buy the Pro.

The question is, should you buy a Mini 3 or not? And that’s a question you’ll be able to answer by the time you’ve read the rest of this review.

Features & design

Weighs <249g

Up to 38 minutes of flight time with ultra-light battery

Compatible with RC-N1 and DJI-RC remotes

Side by side, it’s not easy to see the differences between the Mini 3, its predecessor (the Mini 2) and its big brother, the Mini 3 Pro.

All have the same form factor with fold-up arms, a three-axis gimbal that keeps the camera steady and a battery that slots into the rear.

Jim Martin / Foundry

All weight less than the crucial 250g threshold, which means they’re exempt from registration in some parts of the world, and in those where it does still have to be registered, exempt from pilot exams.

You can fly all three drones much more freely than heavier ones, closer to people and buildings and over people.

It’s important to know and follow the rules in your area, though.

Jim Martin / Foundry

The Mini 3 uses the same batteries as the Pro but can fly for longer: up to 38 minutes when using the standard battery. In some places, including Australia, you can buy a ‘Plus’ battery that extends flying time to 1 minutes, but it’s heavier and means the Mini 3 no longer counts as a sub-249g drone.

Just like the Pro, you can fly it with the RC-N1 remote, which requires a smartphone, or the more expensive DJI RC, which has a built-in screen and doesn’t need a separate phone.

DJI also sells the Mini 3 on its own, if you happen to already have a compatible remote.

Missing features

Importantly, the Mini 3 doesn’t have the obstacle sensors of the Pro, which means it’s much like the Mini 2 and won’t stop before crashing into a tree or anything else.

Jim Martin / Foundry

The other major difference is that it has no tracking capabilities, so cannot lock onto a subject and follow them like the Pro can.

It doesn’t have any automatic flying modes at all – no Hyperlapse or MasterShots – and can only perform a selection of what DJI calls QuickShots. These are automatic, and can circle around you, fly straight up, fly away from you, boomerang away and then back, and corkscrew around you.

These are handy for quick clips to share on social media, but for everything else, you’ll need to pilot and control where the camera points manually.

The Asteroid QuickShot mode, oddly, is not present, just as it isn’t on the Mini 2.

Another difference is that the Mini 3 uses the lesser O2 video transmission system. This provides a 720p video feed at 30 frames per second up to 10km away, though in many countries you must fly with the drone in line of sight, so these long ranges aren’t particularly relevant anyway.

And while the camera is the same as the Mini 3 Pro’s, its capabilities are curtailed.

Jim Martin / Foundry

There’s no option to record video in D-Cinelike, which Pros use so they can post-process footage, and no option to shoot at 10-bit.

Performance

Apart from obstacle avoidance, flying the Mini 3 is exactly the same as the Mini 3 Pro. It’s relatively quiet and hovers well when it has picked up a good number of satellites.

It’s just as quick and manoeuvrable, and has the same Cinematic, Normal and Sport modes, and the same wind resistance. You won’t want to fly it on very windy days, but for a lightweight drone, it handles even fairly strong winds well, and better than the Mini 2 does.

Jim Martin / Foundry

It’s reassuring, too that the return-to-home function will automatically kick in when there’s only just enough power to fly back to the home point, or if the signal from the remote control is ever lost. You can also engage it manually using a button on the remote, or in the app.

If you do lose track of it, or crash it and can’t see where it landed, the ‘find my drone’ function makes it beep fairly loudly to help you.

It’s useful for the same reason when taking portrait photos, too, although the automatic panorama creation on the Mini 2 means it can hold its own for vertical photos as it simply takes several and stitches them together, leading to even higher resolution.

Here are some photos I took on the Mini 3. It doesn’t allow you to access the full 48Mp mode, but you can shoot in JPEG + RAW simultaneously.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Jim Martin / Foundry

Jim Martin / Foundry

Jim Martin / Foundry

Unfortunately, the panorama modes didn’t work for me: all I found were the individual photos in a Panorama folder on the microSD card, but no actual panoramic photo. This seems to be down to testing using early software and hardware.

The camera has autofocus, but there’s a limit to how close it can focus. If you’re trying to take photos of people or objects up close, they could end up blurred. You can tap on the screen to focus on a specific area, but the remote has a half-press for focus lock as well.

With almost identical video specs to the Mini 2, you might wonder if there’s any point in spending more on the Mini 3 when the older, cheaper drone can also record 4K at 30fps, has the same maximum bitrate of 100Mbps, offers the same levels of digital zoom and records in the same H.264/MP4 format.

The difference is that the Mini 3’s camera has a larger sensor and a lens with a bigger f/1.7 aperture. What this means is it can capture more light than the Mini 2’s camera, which in turn means better quality video – cleaner, crisper and with better colours – and a similar increase in quality in low light, making night photos and videos sharper and more detailed.

I didn’t have a Mini 2 to capture any comparison photos, but here are a couple of photos taken at night on the Mini 3:

Jim Martin / Foundry

Jim Martin / Foundry

Plus, the Mini 3 can record HDR at its top resolution, but the Mini 2 doesn’t offer HDR at all.

Don’t forget, too, that the Mini 2 cannot shoot vertically like the Mini 3 can, and it’s worth noting that QuickShots are supported in the Mini 3’s vertical mode.

Another difference is that the Mini 3’s gimbal can rotate upwards by 60°, which is a lot more than the Mini 2’s 20°, and it can also move further in other directions, which means video is more stable even in higher winds.

The fact the Mini 3 removes these options means it’s much simpler to use: you just choose the resolution and frame rate and hit the record button. As a side note, it’s frustrating that the default video mode is 1080p, so the first thing you’ll want to do is adjust the settings when your first fly the Mini 3. The resolution for QuickShots needs to be set separately: you might otherwise assume you’d already done it, and wonder why they didn’t look as good as your regular 4K footage.

One thing I noticed when flying the Mini 3 at night was that the LEDs, which are only on the front arms, are almost invisible unless it’s facing you, and they flash so slowly that it can be quite difficult to keep tabs on it against a dark sky.

Price & availability

You can buy a Mini 3 for $469 / £439, which sounds cheap, but that’s the drone only, with no remote.

With the RC-N1 (the same remote you get with the Mini 2), it costs $559/£519, or $110/£100 more than the Mini 2.

You can instead opt for the DJI RC, below, which is very convenient compared to using your phone, but this costs $699/£669.

Jim Martin / Foundry

Then there are Fly More bundles, again with the option of both remote controls. These come with a total of three batteries, a charger that holds all three, plus a carry bag that holds the drone, remote and batteries.

With the RC-N1, that costs $718/£768, and with the DJI RC costs $858/£828.

You can buy all of these from DJI directly, but you’ll also find them at other retailers for exactly the same prices.

For alternative options, read our roundup of the best drones.

Verdict

The Mini 3 may be a relatively big improvement over the Mini 2, but it comes at a higher price. With the RC-N1 remote, it’s a lot more expensive, which will no doubt cause some to decide to save their money and opt for a Mini 2 instead.

It’s not clear how long DJI will keep the Mini 2 in its range, but at the time of writing, there were some tempting discounts on the Mini 2 and Mini 2 Fly More bundles that made it even more appealing.

It’ll be a while before there are any deals on the Mini 3 but if you want 4K HDR video, the ability to shoot vertically, and have longer flying time, all without paying an even higher price for a Mini 3 Pro, then DJI’s newest sub-250g drone offers a great all-round package.

Of course, if you can afford more, the Mini 3 Pro is a much more capable drone and is certainly worth it.

News Roundup 4Th October 2023

Google’s new data control features, Instagram launches ‘Restrict’, fewer women in executive marketing roles, Burger King under fire for tweet and Twitter testing ‘Stream Tweets’

This week has seen Google announce a slew of new features designed for helping users better manage their privacy and data, all of which are now being rolled out.

Burger King has come under fire by the ASA for a tweet that was deemed to be irresponsible and condoning anti-social behaviour.

Twitter is reportedly testing a new feature to show tweets in real-time in users’ feeds.

We’ve got more info on all of these news stories below in this week’s roundup.

Google launches new data control features

Google has announced a new set of data control and security options aimed at helping users have more control when managing their data. According to Google, “managing your data should be just as easy as making a restaurant reservation, or using Maps to find the fastest way back home.”

To help with this, Google has added four new controls that will allow people to better manage their digital presence.

Incognito Maps

The first of these controls is incognito mode being added to maps, following on from it being added to YouTube earlier in the year.

Users will be able to activate incognito mode in the Maps app so their activity, such as the places they are searching for, won’t be saved to their Google Account. This means it won’t show in their app history or be used for personalization purposes.

Incognito mode can be selected from the menu when a user taps their profile picture. It can be turned on and off easily, allowing users to return to their personalized Maps experience. Android users will be able to start using incognito mode on Maps later this month, while it will be rolled out for iOS in the coming months.

YouTube auto-delete

Google is also rolling out auto-delete to YouTube, allowing users to delete their activity on YouTube. Users can choose the time period for the app to keep their data – three months, 18 months or until it is deleted – and Google will take care of the rest.

Google Assistant

Updates to Google Assistant have also been made, allowing it to easily understand and manage data. For example, users can ask Assistant “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?” and Assistant will provide information on how data is kept secure.

People will also be able to control their data with simple voice commands within the next few weeks, meaning they can ask for Assistant to delete things that were said to it. These features will be automatically added to Assistant so users don’t need to do anything to activate them.

Password security

Finally, Google is helping users strengthen their password protection with updates to its password manager. While password manager automatically protects passwords across different accounts, it is being made more powerful with the introduction of Password Checkup.

The new feature will tell users whether any of their passwords are weak or if they have been used across multiple sites, helping to promote better password habits. It will also inform users if their password has been compromised, such as in a third-party data breach.

Instagram launches Restrict feature

This new feature is a great option for individuals who are having issues with other users but don’t want to deal with the repercussions of blocking them outright, helping to reduce friction and conflict.

The number of women in executive marketing roles is declining

There has been a drop in the number of women working in marketing executive positions, according to the latest Diversity Best Practice (DBP) Inclusion Index and the #inclusion100 benchmark.

Looking at the results by race paints shows that there has been an increase in the number of Asian women being hired into executive roles, with a 2% increase compared to last year. The representation of black women in these positions has remained steady at 1%.

However, both white women and Latinx women saw a decline in executive representation, with figures now standing at 24% and 0.3%, respectively.

While it is a shame that the results have not been more positive this year, they do highlight where work needs to be done and can be used to call on companies to hire more women into executive marketing roles.

Burger King milkshake tweet deemed ‘irresponsible’ for condoning anti-social behaviour

Following the incidents, one of which saw European MP Nigel Farage covered in milkshake, a number of establishments stopped selling milkshakes when election candidates were due to appear in certain locations. This included a McDonald’s in Edinburgh announcing that it would stop selling the drinks while Nigel Farage was at a rally in the city.

In response to this news, Burger King tweeted that it would still be selling milkshakes in Scotland, saying: “Dear people of Scotland. We’re selling milkshakes all weekend. Have fun. Love BK. #justsaying”. Burger King attempted to justify the tweet in a follow-up post, which said: “We’d never endorse violence – or wasting our delicious milkshakes! So enjoy the weekend and please drink responsibly people.”

The fast-food company defended the tweet saying that it was a “tongue-in-cheek reaction to recent events”. However, the ASA did not accept this response and was critical of the tweet, suggesting that it both encouraged and condones the anti-social behaviour. According to the ASA, 24 people complained that the tweet was offensive and encouraged violence.

“We considered the ad, therefore, condoned the previous anti-social behaviour and encouraged further instances. We, therefore, concluded that the ad was irresponsible.”

Twitter testing new ‘stream tweets’ feature

This means that users can go back to life before the introduction of Twitter’s algorithm-defined feed. It could also enable users to see tweets sooner, leading to more timely reactions and conversations on the platform.

Amazon’s October Tablet Surprise: 5 Questions

This latest rumor falls in line with previous Amazon tablet whisperings. In May, Amazon purportedly had two tablets planned before the end of 2011, including one with a quad-core processor. That same month Consumer Reports asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos if his company planned to release a tablet to which Bezos said, “stay tuned.” More recently, a report surfaced claiming Amazon planned to ship one million tablets in the third quarter of 2011.

It’s been pretty clear for some time that Amazon wants to get in the tablet game, and most critics believe the online retailer is well suited to challenge Apple’s iPad. Amazon is the only Apple rival that can match the iTunes store with a large online MP3 music outlet, an online music player, TV and movie rentals and purchases, e-books and the newly launched Appstore for Android. With just over three months to go until a potential Amazon tablet enters the market, here’s what I’m wondering about Amazon’s plans.

Why two tablets?

It sounds like Amazon has a twofold tablet plan: get into the market early with a tablet, any tablet, and then come out with a more solid device later. The problem is a number of companies have already tried that plan such as Research In Motion with its BlackBerry PlayBook, Samsung with the Galaxy Tab, and Dell with the Streak. None of those tablet makers have fared well with the “just get it out the door” strategy. Would Amazon do any better?

How much will it cost?

Nine or 9.7?

The Journal says the Amazon tablet will be “roughly” 9 inches. That makes me wonder whether Amazon isn’t shooting for 9.7 inches, the same size display as the iPad. However, a number of Android tablets are opting for 10.1-inch displays such as the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Perhaps Amazon will opt for a larger size instead?

Which Android flavor?

Android is a pseudo-open source platform in the sense that Google keeps each new version under wraps and then publicly releases the source code at a later date. For the tablet-specific Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Google has decided not to release the source code. Instead, the company will release code for the next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, when it launches later this year. Will Amazon be an Ice Cream Sandwich partner at launch or are they cozying up to Google to get their hands on Honeycomb right now? If the answer to both of these questions is “no,” then Amazon would be stuck using a non-tablet version of Android such as Froyo or Gingerbread.

No camera?

It’s debatable whether a 9- or 10-inch tablet needs a rear-facing camera to grab snapshots, but a front-facing camera for video chat is pretty standard these days. Numerous tablets have a front-facing camera, including the iPad 2, PlayBook, Streak 7 and the Galaxy Tab. If Amazon’s tablet doesn’t at least include a video chat option, can it stand up to the flexibility of non-Apple tablets, let alone the iPad?

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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