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Musafir.com Launches New Arabic Mobile App

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Musafir.com, UAE’s first home grown, premium-experience travel website, has announced today the launch of its new Arabic app. The app is set to launch immediately on iOS and Android platforms.

The app offers a range of innovative features allowing customers to personalise their travel experience. These include a sub-second search on flights, express checkouts without having to fill in credit card details repeatedly, e-visa application services, holiday and hotel bookings, as well as  advanced search filters such as destinations with halal food offerings.

The announcement comes at a time when smartphone penetration is reaching new record levels across the region. According to a recent report by PwC titled “Global Megatrends and their impact on the Middle East’s travel and tourism industry”, smartphone penetration across the GCC is among the highest in the world, reaching 78% in the UAE and 77% in Saudi Arabia.

Albert Dias, Chief Technology Officer, Musafir.com says, “At Musafir.com, innovation is at the heart of what we do as a business and what our customers have come to expect from us. And, with the region steadily advancing towards the digitization of the travel and tourism industry, we must ensure that our products respond to evolving customer demands. The new Arabic mobile app will give our customers more control over the travel booking process, allowing them to manage and complete their trips anytime and anywhere.”

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Hold Onto Your Seats, Android Users: A Fart Button is Coming!

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Get ready, Android users, for a quirky addition to your phone calls: a fart button.

As revealed by 9to5Google, users on the beta update channel of the Google Phone app are discovering a fresh menu during their calls, titled “Audio Emoji.” This unexpected feature equips callers with a soundboard boasting six different sound effects, audible to both parties on the call. Among these effects are clapping, laughter, celebratory cheers, a sorrowful trombone tune, a “ba dum tss,” and, peculiarly, flatulence. Despite the term “emoji,” the only emoji-like aspect is the use of emojis as buttons to trigger the sounds.

Accompanying these audio emojis are brief animations that complement the sound effects. Notably, there’s a rather distasteful depiction of a “chocolate ice cream cone” squelching to the ground amidst buzzing flies. It’s not hard to guess which emoji corresponds to this effect. It appears that these animations may be exclusive to the sender, although their visibility for the receiver is uncertain, especially if they also have audio emojis activated.

The full extent of this feature’s functionality remains to be seen, as it’s gradually rolling out. I didn’t encounter it on my Pixel 8 Pro, and Google hasn’t officially announced it yet.

If you find yourself confronted with the Audio Emoji menu and prefer not to encounter a miniature cartoon poop in your calls, you can deactivate the menu by tapping an “X” located in its top right corner. However, it’s unclear whether this action prevents friends from sending sound effects your way.

Fortunately, there’s a cooldown period between emojis, which means you won’t be bombarded with a flurry of fart sounds followed by a sad trombone and a punchline sound effect. With Google I/O, the tech giant’s premier hardware and software event for 2024, just around the corner, let’s hope Google has more substantial innovations to unveil on May 14th.

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Huawei Launches Painting App Called GoPaint

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Huawei has announced the upcoming launch of GoPaint, a brand-new self-developed painting app designed specifically for tablets. This exciting development marks Huawei’s entry into the digital art app market, further solidifying their commitment to empowering creative expression.

The GoPaint app promises a wealth of features for both seasoned artists and aspiring creators. It boasts a comprehensive brush library developed in collaboration with a top art team, ensuring a diverse range of tools for various artistic styles. User-friendly features and intuitive design make GoPaint accessible even for beginners, with a full set of tutorials included to guide users on their creative journey.

This launch comes after the resounding success of Huawei’s GoPaint Worldwide Creating Activity in 2023, highlighting the growing demand for digital art tools. By leveraging valuable user insights from the industry’s first smart device vendor to launch a self-developed painting app, Huawei aims to elevate the user experience and make artistic creation accessible to all. Their core concept of “Creation of Beauty” underscores this commitment.

Huawei’s decade-long expertise in the tablet market positions them perfectly to launch this innovative app. Their industry-leading tablets, like the HUAWEI MatePad Pro 13.2″, boast features like the first large flexible OLED display and seamless integration with the pressure-sensitive HUAWEI M-Pencil (3rd generation). Combining this cutting-edge hardware with the powerful GoPaint app creates a perfect ecosystem for artistic creation.

Huawei is poised to become a trailblazer in the digital art world by bridging the gap between its innovative hardware and software. The GoPaint app, expected to be unveiled at the HUAWEI Innovative Product Launch on May 7th, signifies a new era for creative expression on Huawei tablets. With its comprehensive features, user-friendly design, and beginner-friendly tutorials, GoPaint empowers both established artists and aspiring talents to unlock their creative potential.

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Shure Launches the new MV7+ Microphone

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Shure has launched its new hybrid XLR/USB dynamic microphone with the launch of the MV7+ Podcast Microphone. The MV7+ is aimed at those seeking to capture broadcast-quality audio in even the most challenging of spaces. With Shure’s cutting-edge Voice Isolation Technology, the focus lies on the user’s voice, avoiding annoying background noises and ensuring outstanding audio for every recording and streaming session.

It also includes a new, innovative onboard Digital Signal Processing (DSP) engine which powers a suite of advanced features, like an improved Auto Level Mode, a Digital Popper Stopper for enhanced plosive control, Real-time Denoiser, and Adjustable Reverb. Thanks to its unique full-touch LED live meter display and numerous customization options, the MV7+ sets a new standard in sound quality and personalization while diving into a vibrant world of colour.

To elevate the user experience to the next level, the MV7+ podcast microphone integrates with the free, new MOTIV Mix Desktop app, Shure’s latest MOTIV software interface. MOTIV Mix provides users with the ability to configure all aspects of the MV7+. The software also offers multi-track recording and routing to support users with greater control of their live streaming and recordings. With MV7+ and MOTIV Mix, it’s easier than ever to sound authentic, freeing up creators to let their imagination shine brightly.

“Modern content creators and streamers are constantly searching for new ways to customize their set-up and sound to set themselves above the pack,” said Sean Sullivan, Associate Director of Global Product Management at Shure. “The MV7+ is our answer to this challenge. It builds off the legacy of the MV7 and delivers broadcast-quality audio in any setting while empowering creators with intuitive customization and control. Through our latest DSP innovations and the new MOTIV Mix desktop app integration, the MV7+ is set to redefine excellence in audio recording for every session.”

New Features and Benefits:

  1. Multi-Color LED Touch Panel: Elevate the audio experience with a customizable LED touch panel. Choose from over 16.8 million colours to visualize your sound levels or engage an ambient pulse effect. A simple tap anywhere on the LED Panel Live Meter instantly mutes the microphone, ensuring privacy and control.
  2. Real-time Denoiser: Leverage the advanced DSP technology of the MV7+ to eliminate background noise. It works in harmony with the microphone’s Voice Isolation to deliver pristine sound, even in less-than-ideal recording environments.
  3. Digital Popper Stopper: Remove harsh plosive sounds to avoid acoustic distractions and a cumbersome physical pop filter on camera.
  4. Improved Auto Level Mode: Intelligent audio adjustment adapts the microphone gain based on the distance, volume, and room dynamics, providing perfectly balanced sound automatically.
  5. Onboard Reverb: Choose from three types of onboard reverb settings–Plate, Hall, Studio—and set intensity levels to add desired depth and richness to recordings.
  6. Hybrid XLR and USB-C outputs: The MV7+ integrates into any setup as it provides hybrid USB-C and XLR output and connects seamlessly with your laptop or phone (iOS and Android), offering unparalleled flexibility and ease of use.

Shure has also announced the new MOTIV Mix software for the MV7+ microphone. This platform allows users to customize the LED panel, access up to five multi-track recording and routing channels, and fine-tune settings like sound signature, gain, and more. A Beta version of the new software will be available to experience with the MV7+ at launch, helping users reduce the number of apps needed to streamline their workflows. Key features of MOTIV Mix include:

  • Multi-channel Mixer: Control multiple channels of audio to record, monitor or use your mixed audio for your live stream.
  • Soundcheck: Check your mic’s gain setting and optimize it with the help of Soundcheck.
  • A redefined Monitor Mix Slider: Mix mic output and system audio playback levels individually.
  • Full access: to advanced DSP features of your MV7+ Podcast Microphone.

MOTIV Mix will soon be compatible with other legacy MOTIV products such as the MV7 and the MVX2U, serving as a building block for forthcoming software innovations and premium features. The MV7+ Podcast Microphone comes in two colours (black and white). The black MV7+ is available now at Shure’s official partners and Amazon. This summer, the white version will be available along with a special bundle, the MV7+ Podcast kit, that includes the microphone in black and a Gator mic stand. Each purchase comes with a 3m USB-C to USB-C cable, a printed quick start guide, and a MOTIV MIX Art Card with download instructions. Other accessories such as a 15-inch USB-C to lightning cable and a replacement foam windscreen are available for purchase individually.

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