MotoZ2-Force-Edition_MRKT_LaydownCombo_SuperBlkDv-1501129779 MotoZ2-Force-Edition_MRKT_LaydownCombo_SuperBlkDv-1501129779
Courtesy of Motorola

Motorola's Shatter-Proof Moto Z2 Force Edition And 360 Camera Moto Mod Joins The Smartphone Competition

Motorola back.

In a world of Samsung and Apple devices, Motorola doesn't want cell phone addicts lovers to count them out.

In 2016, the electronics company re-emerged and jumped head-first into the smartphone race of popularity, while daring to add more fun to mobility. With a new moniker ("Moto") and a new parent company (Lenovo), the brand that brought the sleek Razr phones of yesteryear released user-friendly devices, the Moto Z and Moto Z Force and showcased their snap and go "Moto Mods." The variety-filled accessory line included the convenient, yet crisp audio delivering JBL Soundboost speakers, the "Netflix & chill" favorable Insta-Share projector and much more. Now, after delivering technology innovation with its phones and accessories, Motorola returns with a new device, the Moto Z2 Force Edition and a new Mod, the 360 Camera Moto Mod.

This time around, the Moto Z2 Force mobile device steps up its functionality, protection, and size. The 7000 series aluminum crafted cellular device delivers up to 30 hours of battery life and 8 hours worth of juice after one 15-minute charge. With its super slim 155.8 x 76 x 6.1 mm dimension size, the water-resistant (not waterproof) device beautifully weighs in at 143 grams, similarly to its Moto Z Play device and 20 grams less than its previous Moto Z Force model. The amount of storage offered begins at 64 GB off the bat with microSD expansion capability reaching to 2 TB.

Like the first generation, the Moto Z2 Force Edition delivers a 5.5-inch shatter proof display, sure to alleviate any anxiety of visiting the cell phone doctor with sadness and a cracked screen. With its 12-megapixel front and rear cameras and 2.35 GHz octa-core Qualcomm processor, quality photos can be taken in the "professional," "true b&w," "panorama," or "depth enabled" modes adding a flair of creativity to every shot taken.

To keep the Moto Mod lovers happy and entertained while on the go, Motorola launched its very own 360 Camera Moto Mod. To keep up with the gadget Joneses, Motorola's newest addition allows users to record 360 degrees of interactive footage with 3D sound. Unlike its competitors, video editing and enhancements can be done on the devices without exporting footage onto a computer or downloading another application to take up much-needed storage space. To make the 360-degree experience even cooler, live streaming can be done with a 360 view and with high-definition streaming in 4K. In addition to the new device and Moto Mod, Motorola also released the Gamepad Moto Mod (for the hardcore gamers on the go), more battery charging options as well as a new, improved (and splash-proof) speakers, the JBL Soundboost 2.

As far as colorways, the Moto Z2 Force Edition smart phone comes in black and gold/white. Although it won't physically hit U.S. stores until August 10, the 2nd generation device is now available for pre-order on at $720 or $30/month via various carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon). As for the 360 camera mod, it comes in white and is available for pre-order for $299.99 or $13.84/month.

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Justin Sullivan

Instagram Testing Feature That Hides Number Of “Likes” From Users

Instagram could be gearing up for a permanent change that would allow users to focus on content instead of the number of likes that each posts receives. The Facebook-owned social networking giant is testing a tool that hides the number of likes that each post receives and video views., making them only visible to the account holder.

“We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people,” the company announced on social media Wednesday (July 17). For now, Instagram is running the test in Australia, Canada, Brazil, Japan and three other countries.

“We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get. You can still see your own likes by tapping on the list of people who've liked it, but your friends will not be able to see how many likes your post has received,” the company explained in a series of tweets.

We’re currently running a test that hides the total number of likes and video views for some people in the following countries:

✅ Australia ✅ Brazil ✅ Canada ✅ Ireland ✅ Italy ✅ Japan ✅ New Zealand

— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019

We’re looking forward to learning more about how this change might benefit everyone’s experience on Instagram.

— Instagram (@instagram) July 17, 2019

Jan Wong, an app analyzer who scopes out hidden codes from your favorite apps, discovered that the company was toying around with the feature in April. “Instagram is testing hiding like count from audiences,” Wong tweeted at the time.

The change could make for a big adjustment for social influencers who seemingly depend on numbers to measure their engagement. The same goes for general users who could potentially feel less pressure to garner a certain number of likes for each post.


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Body Of Popular YouTuber Etika Found In East River

Desmond Amofah, a popular YouTuber known to the gaming community as Etika, was found dead in New York City after a week-long search. According to reports, Amofah's body was recovered off of Pier 16 in the East River on Monday night (Jun. 24). He was 29 years old.

After posting an alarming eight-minute video discussing "leaving a stained legacy"and suicidal thoughts to his YouTube channel last week, Amofah went missing. Personal items belonging to him such as his driver's license and his wallet were found along the Manhattan Bridge last week, and he was last heard from on the phone around 8 p.m. on Jun. 19, per the NYPD.

Amofah amassed tens of thousands of followers due to his reviews, streams and commentary on several games, primarily pertaining to Nintendo. Recently, he has been open about his struggles with mental health on social media. His YouTube channel was taken down from the video-sharing website due to violation of guidelines. He also reportedly live-streamed an incident involving him and NYPD officers, which resulted in his admittance into a Brooklyn hospital.

This is a developing story.

We mourn the loss of Etika, a beloved member of our gaming creator community. All of us at YouTube are sending condolences to his loved ones and fans.

— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) June 25, 2019

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Will Smith And Nas Invest In App Promoting Financial Literacy For Teenagers

Will Smith and Nas are two of the big names who are reportedly investing in a new financial literacy app geared at teenagers.

Step is reportedly Apple-Pay integrated, and aims to promote the importance of setting financial limits and providing guidelines so that young people can learn more about saving.

“Schools don’t teach kids about money,” Step co-founder and CEO CJ MacDonald said of the app. “We want to be their first bank accounts with spending cards, but we also want to teach financial literacy and responsibility. Banks don’t tailor to this and we want to be a solution, teaching the next generation of adults to be more responsible with money in the cashless era.”

Per Techcrunch, the app itself enables teens to access bank accounts that do not come with a minimum balance or fees, and provides tips on how to manage money. It is led by Stripe, and saw backing from Will Smith’s Dreamers fund and Nas, raising just under $30 million in funding.

“To that end, Step has been marketing directly to its future users, doing viral things like incentivizing sign-ups by giving users a dollar towards their bank accounts (when they come online) for each person that gets referred and also signs up using a person’s code,” writes Techcrunch.

“Teenagers under 18 will even be able to sign up for accounts without parental or guardian consent — although these accounts with be very limited in their functionality.”

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