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Careem Introduces “Assist” Car Type in Abu Dhabi

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Careem has today announced the introduction of their special car type “Assist” to serve the Abu Dhabi community of people of determination. In partnership with “Inclusion Services” Sweden’s leading operator of ground transportation services for the physically disabled, the cars will be available to book via the Careem app for trips originating in the Capital.

Inclusion cars are uniquely designed to cater for people of determination. Captains are carefully selected based on their temperament and empathetic nature and then go onto receive in-depth training on how to look after a passenger and ensure that they are safe and comfortable at all times. On booking an Assist car, a passenger will be taken door to door to their end destination with wheelchairs on board or the capacity to take a passenger’s wheelchair on board. The vehicles are especially designed to lower to the ground and with ramps to allow the easy onboarding and exit of wheelchairs.

Commenting on the introduction of Assist, Bassel Al Nahlaoui, Managing Director of Careem, Gulf said: “With thousands of people of determination living in Abu Dhabi it is only right that we do our bit as a major provider of ground transportation, to cater for this segment of the community. Ride hailing apps are borne from the notion that technology can play a role in simplifying and improving people’s lives. Connecting someone with a ride nearby to get them to a destination, when they want, hassle free, is something that everyone should have access to in today’s world. To play a role in providing people of determination with more freedom to get out and about to see their friends, go for lunch, head to the mall, all the things we take for granted, is a true privilege and something we hope to extend out to every city we operate in.”

Commenting on the partnership with Careem, Ingemar Fredricsson, CEO of Inclusion Services commented: “our partnership with Careem is not only a unique opportunity to help serve the Abu Dhabi community but also represents a much wider mission for us. We hope to be able to use this model or working with a ride hailing app, to take our services across the wider Middle East and serve every city Careem operates in. It’s also a very positive day for the ride hailing industry, to be broadening their service offering to the very people that need it more than anyone. The freedom to get out and about in comfort and with respect and dignity is something everybody deserves.”

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Gemini Advanced and Gemini Mobile App Are Now Available in Arabic

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Google is expanding Gemini’s mobile experience to Arabic speakers globally, making it available as a dedicated app for Android users and accessible within the Google app for iOS devices. Google is also introducing Gemini Advanced in Arabic, the latest conversational AI model by Google, to users under the Google One AI Premium plan.

People can have free access to Gemini 1.0 Pro on their phones to easily collaborate with the best of Google AI; whether by typing, talking or adding an image for all kinds of help while they are on the go. For Android, users can now download the ‘Google Gemini’ app available on Google Play and have the option to make Gemini their primary assistant from Google. As for iOS users, they can use or download the ‘Google’ app and tap the Gemini toggle to begin exploring.

Additionally, users can upgrade to Gemini Advanced, which is now available in Arabic, to access Google’s latest conversational AI model, Gemini 1.5 Pro. The model is more capable at highly complex tasks like coding, logical reasoning, following nuanced instructions and collaborating on creative projects. Users can access a two-month free trial of Gemini Advanced, and then subscribe to the monthly plan.

​​Commenting on the launch, Najeeb Jarrar, Google’s Regional Marketing Director in MENA, said: “We’re excited to bring Gemini a step closer to Arabic-speaking users in MENA and beyond, ensuring more people can supercharge their creativity and productivity with Gemini. Starting today, users can now tap on the benefits of generative AI directly from their phones and interact with other Google apps and services for more instant and personalized outcomes.”

People can also interact with other Google apps and services through extensions provided by Gemini in English and Arabic. With the extensions, released a few weeks ago, people can get real-time flight and hotel booking info for planning purposes, get location-based information from Google Maps and summarize specific content from Google Docs or Gmail right in the Gemini app. To activate the extensions feature, users can type (@) followed by the tool, including YouTube, Maps, Docs, Gmail & Drive.

Gemini, known previously as Bard, was launched in Arabic last July. Gemini understands questions in over 16 Arabic dialects and in turn shares responses in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). In May, Google announced the latest developments of the Gemini era and the future of AI during Google I/O – more of these features are coming to Arabic and the MENA region soon.

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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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