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Threads Surpasses X in Downloads, Tests an In-App Camera

Users appear to prefer Meta Platforms’ Threads to Elon Musk’s social platform X, based on the disparity between the number of downloads, which is widening. Globally, Meta’s Instagram spinoff — which has many of the same features as the app formerly known as Twitter — has recently been seeing three times as many daily downloads as X on iOS devices, and more than twice as many from the Google Play app store for Android. The analysis is from intelligence firm Appfigures, which this week lists Threads as No. 2 among all free app downloads, and X at No. 40. As Threads introduces new features, it is also testing a new in-app camera. Read more

Latest Disney Accelerator Backs AI, VR, Autonomous Vehicles

The Walt Disney Company has selected five companies to be in its annual Accelerator program, three of them AI startups, one in robotics and one developing VR. The program, now in its tenth year, identifies promising new tech companies to benefit from Disney funding and mentorship in exchange for an inside track on talent and acquisitions. The class of 2024 includes AudioShake, which leverages AI to aid in mixing and dubbing audio tracks for mixing or dubbing; ElevenLabs, which has a text-to-speech app for GenAI voicing; and Promethean AI, a digital archives search platform that informs prototype design. Read more

MWC: Motorola and Lenovo Demonstrate Smart Connect App

Motorola and Lenovo have teamed up on Smart Connect, a Windows 11 app that aims to make moving between devices and sharing content across digital ecosystems a seamless experience. The software solution is designed to make workflows “uninterrupted,” a goal of busy multitaskers. “Smart Connect eliminates disruptions when transitioning between compatible devices by seamlessly connecting core devices like phones, tablets and PCs,” the companies said, explaining it will allow users to “easily amplify everything displayed on their phones onto a bigger screen.” For example, games, movies and TV shows can be moved from phones to TVs. Read more

Lenovo Unveils Transparent Laptop and AI Portables at MWC

Lenovo made waves at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, debuting a transparent laptop that is evoking science fiction metaphors and, some say, pointing to a new direction in computing. Lenovo hailed the concept ThinkBook product as an “industry first,” complete with a borderless 17.3-inch MicroLED transparent display, providing a “see-through” experience. Lenovo also touted its AI-powered portables, including a new ThinkPad T14 Gen 5 and ThinkBook 14 2-in-1 Gen 4, both featuring Intel Core Ultra processors “for the next wave of personalized business computing.” Read more

MWC: Qualcomm Unveils AI Hub and Promotes 5G, 6G Tech

Qualcomm raised the curtain on a variety of artificial intelligence, 5G, and Wi-Fi technologies at Mobile World Congress Barcelona, which runs through Thursday. The San Diego-based chip designer unveiled an AI Hub it says will help developers create voice-, text- and image-based applications using pre-optimized AI models. Qualcomm’s flagship AI chips — the mobile Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor and the PC-centric Snapdragon X Elite — were announced last year. With the first splash of products now heading to market the company is promising to push the boundaries of 5G and 6G. Read more

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