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“Selfdrive” Launches Smart Mobility App

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Selfdrive, an entity of Pinewoods Tech Serve, has launched an all-in-one Smart Mobility App. The app is serving as a game-changer for the car rental space offering its users a seamless, reliable, and convenient mechanism to rent a car on demand. The cutting-edge mobile app provides direct access to dealership fleet to its users, allowing them to rent a car by the day, subscribe by the month, or lease a car up to 3 years, offering complete flexibility in booking duration.

The company to date has served over 50k customers and witnessed a 30% MoM growth in customer base in the past six months. The app is built on a proprietary tech foundation concept, Search – Select – Pay, that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to match customers’ profiles with the cars that they would like to drive, making the selection process and renting a car absolutely seamless experience.

This app is available to download on Android and iOS, which offers users the option to select from 65 different car models across 15 different car brands from 45 different locations in the UAE within three hours. Some of the key brands available to rent are Nissan, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Renault, Mazda, Infinity, Volkswagen (VW), BMW, and many more.

Speaking about the launch of its app, Soham Shah, CEO, and Co-Founder of Selfdrive said, “As one of the largest car rental service providers in the UAE, we strive to offer exceptional service to our customers every step of the way. We bring together exclusive offers on the app starting from AED 49 per day and AED 999 per month. That’s not all, with the launch of ‘Lease Pro’ in this app, users can now rent a brand new ‘Zero Km’ car under its 12 – 24 – 36 months subscription that would be exclusively registered on demand by the car dealer.”

“The smart mobility platform is a testament of our commitment to curate best deals on cars direct from the dealership, whilst making it possible for anyone to rent a car on demand and get it delivered too. This alleviates the hassle of going through multiple car rental agencies to find the best car models and rates on offer,” added Shah.

The Car rental market accounted for $86 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $131 billion by 2026, projecting a CAGR of about 7% during the forecast period. Selfdrive launched in 2017 is the UAE’s largest car rental tech platform that has crossed 2000 cars on road.

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Safari to Get Smarter? Leaked Code Hints at AI Assistant

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Eagle-eyed developer Nicolás Álvarez has spotted clues in Apple’s backend code suggesting a major upgrade for Safari in iOS 18: a browsing assistant powered by artificial intelligence. MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris confirmed the existence of the code, but details remain scarce.

The assistant might leverage Apple’s privacy-focused iCloud Private Relay to transmit relevant data for analysis, potentially requiring an iCloud+ subscription. This aligns with the rumoured focus on generative AI in iOS 18, aiming to streamline iPhone experiences.

Several browsers already boast AI tools like Microsoft Edge’s GPT-4-powered Copilot and Arc Search’s webpage summarization. Apple’s assistant could offer similar functionality or even go beyond.

Another intriguing discovery by Álvarez was “Encrypted Visual Search” within the code. While details are sparse, it could be related to last year’s leak of a “Visual Search” feature for Apple’s unreleased Vision Pro headset. This feature allowed copying and pasting real-world text into apps. Perhaps Apple is refining the technology for a secure iPhone debut, or it might be an extension of the existing Visual Look Up feature for identifying objects in photos.

With Apple’s WWDC keynote scheduled for June 10th, we can expect official details on these potential features in just a few months. So, get ready for a potentially smarter Safari experience in iOS 18!

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Android Gets Supercharged Find My Device Network: Locate Lost Devices Even When Offline

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Android users rejoice! Google has finally launched its highly anticipated Find My Device network, offering a significant upgrade to lost device recovery. This new feature goes beyond the limitations of the previous Find My Device setting, which only worked for powered-on and connected devices.

The key lies in Bluetooth. This new network leverages Bluetooth signals to locate missing phones, smartwatches, earbuds, and even trackers, even if they’re disconnected from Wi-Fi or cellular data. It’s like a digital bloodhound, sniffing out your lost tech.

Here’s what the network offers:

  • Offline Tracking: Lost your phone with a dead battery? No problem. The Find My Device network can locate Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones even when powered off.
  • Expanded Range: The network finds any compatible Android phone or tablet, regardless of online status.
  • Bluetooth Tracker Integration: Starting in May, use the Find My Device app to locate items like keys or luggage attached to Chipolo and Pebblebee Bluetooth tracker tags. These tags are designed specifically for the network and offer additional security features, like unknown tracker alerts across Android and iOS devices.
  • “Find Nearby” Feature: (Also coming in May) Can’t find your phone under a pile of laundry? Use Bluetooth tags to pinpoint its location, even if it’s hidden nearby.
  • Nest Integration: The Find My Device app will show you the location of a missing phone or item relative to your home Nest devices, giving you a helpful reference point.
  • Sharing Device Tracking: Permit trusted individuals to track your device with you.

This launch comes after a delay announced in September 2023. Google prioritized user privacy and addressed concerns about the potential for misuse of Bluetooth trackers. Reportedly, the upcoming iOS 17.5 beta includes security measures that address these concerns, paving the way for Google’s network launch.

While only Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro benefit from powered-off tracking, the network itself works with any Android phone running Android 9 or later.

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Google’s Vids: Aiming to Be the Next Big Productivity App

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For years, the office grind has been dominated by the trinity: documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. But Google is throwing a wrench in the mix with Vids, a new app designed to make creating collaborative, shareable videos easier than ever. Forget fancy editing software – Vids is all about practicality. It’s built for the everyday tasks we juggle at work: pitching ideas, updating teams, or explaining complex concepts. Think of it as Google Slides transformed for video.

“Anyone who can make a slide deck can make a video with Vids,” says Kristina Behr, Google’s VP of product management. “No video production experience needed.” The process is refreshingly simple. Drag and drop assets from Drive or other sources, arrange them in a timeline, and add your voiceover or on-camera segments. The result? Think recorded presentations, video calls, or those ubiquitous training videos with a talking head and supporting graphics. Vids might not win Oscars, but they can churn out a variety of useful content.

But Vids is more than just a creation tool. Share your creations with colleagues, and they can comment, leave notes, or even jump in and edit themselves. It’s all about seamless collaboration, much like Google’s other productivity apps. “Imagine a spreadsheet, but in video form,” says Behr. Sharing a Vid isn’t just handing over a file – it’s opening a conversation.

Vids isn’t the first player in this space. Tools like Loom and Descript offer similar video-focused functionality. Even project management platforms and Vimeo are getting in on the act. Google might be late to the party, but their bet is clear: the future of work is video-centric. With remote work on the rise and video communication booming, Google believes employees will spend less time hunched over emails and more time crafting impactful videos. Their secret weapon? Tight integration with the existing suite of Google tools, with even more to come, including mobile support.

One surprising omission? YouTube, Google’s video giant. While there’s some shared technology under the hood, Behr emphasizes the distinct purposes: “The audience and use cases are completely different. Vids is for work, by workers. We’re laser-focused on that specific need.” Vids is slated for a public beta launch this summer. Early testers within Workspace are already seeing trends emerge – short, focused videos under three minutes, perfect for pitches, training, team updates, or celebrating achievements. Behr herself has ditched her email recaps in favour of Vids, finding that viewers appreciate the added layer of personality.

Vids could have easily been bolted onto Slides or Docs. But by giving it its own space, Google sends a clear message: this isn’t just another presentation tool, it’s a paradigm shift in information sharing. While Google’s app graveyard is vast, the Docs-Sheets-Slides trio remains a tech titan. Vids aspires to join those ranks, permanently altering how we communicate in the digital age.

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