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HUAWEI HMS App Innovation Contest Goes Global

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Developers around the world are being invited to put their skills to the test on a global stage with the launch of the HUAWEI HMS App Innovation Contest, Apps UP, launching on the 13th of July till 30th of August, 2020. The inaugural contest will see entrants compete against other experienced developers to create innovative apps that improve and help navigate everyday life. Apps UP contest provides a platform for developers in each of the five competition regions: Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and China to showcase their skills and innovation.

HMS Core integrates Huawei’s Chipset-Device-Cloud capabilities, providing core capabilities to developers such as Machine Learning Kit, HiAI, AR Engine and more. Developers can easily achieve direct access and global all-scenario intelligence distribution across all devices by integrating their apps with HMS Core.

With AppGallery’s continued growth and position as one of the top three global app marketplace, winners of the Apps UP contest will get the chance to have their apps promoted on HUAWEI AppGallery, making them accessible to hundreds of millions of Huawei and HONOR users from more than 170 countries and regions, combined with the benefits of AppGallery Connect, providing one-stop service open platform for mobile apps, which help developers innovate and carry out efficient operations.

Prizes and wider benefits also include:

  • $200,000 in total, funded by the Shining-Star Program, in cash prizes in the following categories: Best App, Best Game, Best Social Impact App, Most Popular App, Honourable Mention
  • Opportunity to compete on a global stage and showcase technical ability using leading HMS Core
  • Discussion with industry experts and Apps UP expert judging panel
  • Free access to Huawei Developers events, courses, and certifications

To celebrate the launch of the contest, Huawei hosted a live virtual event on Monday 13th of July at UTC+4:00 15:00 to showcase what’s in store for developers. The event marked the opening of the global contest including talks from Adam Xiao, Managing Director of Huawei Mobile Service in the Middle East and Africa, and successful developers from the Middle East to talk about their experience with Huawei HMS Core.

Examples of the integration with HMS Core showed at the launch event include art app Sketch AR, an application that uses HUAWEI HiAI to create a smarter app for virtual art creation. Another is StorySign, which integrates with Machine Learning Kit and blends image recognition, HUAWEI HiAI Optical Character Recognition (OCR) translate popular children’s books into sign language to ensure deaf children can enjoy story time.

Commenting on the launch of the HUAWEI HMS App Innovation Contest, Apps UP, Zhang Ping’an said, “The number of talented developers of HMS ecosystem is growing. The work that developers do is integral to so much of our daily life. Through the apps they create, they empower us to seamlessly navigate the world around us. At Huawei, we want to invite developers to join us in building a better future and turn their ideas into reality using HMS Core offered by Huawei Mobile Services.”

To enter, participants must register an account on the official website, https://developer.huawei.com/consumer/en/digix/appsup  between 13th July – 30th August 2020 and sign up either as an individual or as a team of up to three members. All apps must be developed integrating HMS Core and submitted on the contest official website before 18:00 UTC+8 on 30 August 2020, where a panel of regional industry experts will score each entry on social value, business value, user experience and originality.

From there, at the stage of public review, the top 20 shortlisted apps in each region will be made available for the public to download on the contest official website or HUAWEI AppGallery from 21st  September, making their way to the finals in October.

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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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