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Review: Selfdrive App



Online car subscription services offer convenience and better prices than traditional offline car rental companies. The hassle of filling out multiple forms, depositing ID cards or passports as collateral when booking a car for rental, and the fact that whether you will receive your security deposit back at the end of the rental period on time, are some of the negatives of offline car rental companies.


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To ease this process, online car subscription platforms offer the simplicity and flexibility of renting out cars either on a long-term or short-term basis without much groundwork. One such online car subscription service is Selfdrive and we got a chance to test their app and their service level.

Selfdrive has onboarded more than 25 dealerships across UAE, thus offering a wide selection of cars via renting, subscription, and leasing directly from these dealerships. The service currently covers the entire UAE, except for the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain.

The entire process of renting out the car of your choice is pretty simple. Install the app from Google Play Store or Apple’s app store. Fire up the app and let the app access your location. For renting, you can choose between Expres Booking (Daily/Weekly), Micro Lease (for monthly subscriptions ranging from 1 month to a 12 months period), Airport Rental, and Lease Pro (which lets you lease a brand new car for a period of 12, 24, or 35 months).

Categories of cars include hatchback, sedan, MUV/SUV, and luxury. Cars are also listed as per the brands, so it’s easier for you to choose the car you want to go with easily. For this review, we chose to go with the BMW X5 40i. Click on Book Now, and then select the pick-up date and the pick-up time. Next, the app will suggest added services such as roadside assistance, personal accident insurance, and so on. Choose the add-ons as you like, and click Next.

Before you confirm the booking, you will be asked to keep certain documents ready, based on your residency status. If you are a UAE Expat Residence, which I am, you will need to present your Emirates ID, UAE Driving License, Passport, and Visa with a minimum validity of 30 days. The KYC can be completed from within the app.

The next screen shows your every month installment if you were to lease the car for a period of more than a month. Confirm the details, fill up your personal and communication information, pay the first installment using either a debit or credit card and you are good to go. On the day of the pickup, you will need to go to the pickup point based on your selection while booking the car, to pick up the car.

In our experience, the car we chose was delivered to us on time. The overall procedure was pretty simple. The driving experience with the BMW X5 40i was just outstanding. Once your lease period is done, you will need to return the car to the location of your choice, which was selected in the app, while booking the rental.

The rates quoted for the lease within the app cover everything, including service, repairs, maintenance, registration, tires, insurance, 27/7 roadside assistance, and a free replacement car. Fuel costs are not covered, which is standard.

There, however, is one issue with the app. During the process of selecting the pickup location in the app, though you get an option for “Sheikh Zayed Road”, for some reason, the map displayed on top of it, showing the location, is the map of Lithuania. This error seems to be only happening in the “Luxury” section of the app. I did not encounter this issue while choosing a hatchback or a sedan model. I hope Selfdrive’s development team can quickly fix that error.

The ease of booking a rental car from the comfort of your home, without having to go through a bunch of hoops is the advantage of online car subscription services such as Selfdrive. In addition, you have assured quality vehicles, unlike many offline rental companies that offer very old models at higher than market rates.

If you are on the market for a rental car and want to get the booking done without any hassle, Selfdrive is a service you should definitely check out.

Selfdrive App As per the car chosen
  • Final Rating


Categories of cars include hatchback, sedan, MUV/SUV, and luxury. Cars are also listed as per the brands, so it’s easier for you to choose the car you want to go with easily. For this review, we chose to go with the BMW X5 40i.

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Safari to Get Smarter? Leaked Code Hints at AI Assistant



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



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



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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