Pixel 4- Auto Robocall Screening, More; 2020 iPhones-Bigger Batteries & Interest Free AppleCard Installments; Mac Pro Orders Imminent; Snapchat Essentially Getting Deep Fake Editing Ability

Pixel 4 is getting a software update with some cool features. Venturebeat.com reports that US Pixel 4’s will get a call screen feature that automatically declines calls from unknown parties and filters out suspected robocallers. The handsets will also have improved video calling on Duo, and an upgraded Google Assistant will hit more Pixel phones. Photos snapped on Pixels will now be convertible to a portrait by blurring the background after the fact. Google is calling the update and ones coming ‘Feature Drops,’ and promises bigger updates with ‘more helpful and fun features.’ They expect updates on mainly a monthly basis.

The iPhone models for 2020 will have a customized battery protection module that is smaller and thinner. According to macrumors.com, that means they will have slightly bigger batteries inside for more use time. Also, Apple has now confirmed something teased by Tim Cook in October….Apple Card will be adding the ability to take advantage of 0% financing for iPhone purchases. On top of that, you will still get the 3% cash back on the iPhone purchase! This will have no effect on your other Apple Card purchases, which, of course, will still get charged interest if you don’t pay them off monthly. So far, Apple hasn’t indicated whether the 0% installments will be extended to other Apple products like Macs, iPads, or accessories.

Apple has announced that orders will be open on the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR starting tomorrow, December 10th. Be ready for your wallet to cry huge tears…the Pro starts at $5999, and the XDR display at $4999. This combination of muscular bad boys will set you back a minimum of $10,998! In other words, you had better be ready to be a pro user or be able to make real money with your new Mac Pro…or else have a nice trust fund of pile of cash from cashing out your successful startup!

Snapchat is about to launch a big (and potentially controversial) feature. Months ago, there was quite a flap about some software that could add a face (yours, a movie star, whatever) to a video, creating what was called a ‘deep fake.’ This was particularly upsetting to actresses, who found a quick proliferation of porn videos preporting to feature them. The software was quickly taken down most everywhere. Now, techcrunch.com says Snapchat is launching Cameos. They are basically an alternative to Apple’s Bitmoji…for quickly conveying reaction, emotions, etc. You can paste your face or others into a video you can share. While it only is live in a few countries in test mode, and Snap claims it’s only for GIFs, it could be fairly quickly corrupted back into deep fakes again…something that worries politicians (who fear fake ads) in addition to the above noted Hollywood actresses. Stay tuned…and look for yourself in a video doing something you’ve never done before soon…this horse may have really left the barn now.


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