Responding to Members, Prime Video Updates User Interface

Amazon Prime Video is releasing a newly redesigned app that promises to bring “clarity and simplicity back to streaming” with AI-powered improvements to navigation, personalization, purchases and recommendations. Among other upgrades, the app makes it easier to quickly identify movies and series that are available to Prime members at no additional cost. Prime members had been lobbying for a brighter line between what is included with a subscription and what comes with an additional cost. A global rollout began this week, and eventually the app will be available to all Prime Video customers. Continue reading Responding to Members, Prime Video Updates User Interface

Microsoft Designer Adds AI Editing, Launches Mobile Release

Microsoft has officially moved its AI-powered Designer app out of preview, making the Canva competitor available to iOS and Android users. The app uses text prompts to generate images and designs for items such as logos, greeting cards, stickers and invitations. Powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E 3 image model, Designer is available as an app in Windows and as a free mobile app. New capabilities include the ability to edit existing designs and the addition of “prompt templates” to help users who are starting the design process with a blank canvas. “Just describe what you want to see, and Designer can create it for you,” explains Microsoft. Continue reading Microsoft Designer Adds AI Editing, Launches Mobile Release

Ticketmaster and Eventbrite Harness the Power of Social Apps

The live event business is making further inroads with social apps, as Shazam pacts with Ticketmaster and TikTok integrates Eventbrite. Ticketmaster says artists can now link live events in Apple’s Shazam app, where they’ll appear when a user Shazams a track. The feature will work in the more than 30 countries where Ticketmaster operates. The Live Nation-owned company also has deals with Snap and TikTok, whose new alliance with Eventbrite allows event producers and TikTok users to embed Eventbrite links in-stream. Now the TikTok community can discover events and purchase tickets “without ever leaving the app.” Continue reading Ticketmaster and Eventbrite Harness the Power of Social Apps

ByteDance’s DMA Gatekeeper Appeal Dismissed by EU Court

TikTok owner ByteDance lost its court battle challenging the European Union’s classification of it as a “gatekeeper” under the Digital Markets Act. The victory for EU antitrust regulators underscores its seriousness about reining in the power of Big Tech. As a gatekeeper, China’s ByteDance is lumped in with behemoths Google, Apple, Meta and Microsoft, among others. The DMA, which was passed in 2022 and came into effect this year, says gatekeepers must make certain aspects of their apps interoperable with rivals and forbids self-dealing, with stiff fines imposed for those found to fail. Continue reading ByteDance’s DMA Gatekeeper Appeal Dismissed by EU Court

Gemini Powering Google Vids Multimedia Presentation Builder

Google has launched the beta version of its Gemini-powered Google Vids productivity app, which lets users create work-related video presentations that embed documents, slides, audio recordings and even additional videos into a timeline. Incorporated into Workspace Labs, Google’s AI preview space, Google says invited participants can use Vids to “build a narrative with high quality templates” or “get to a first draft faster.” Access to Google’s royalty-free stock content library and Vids recording studio means a project can be completed “without ever leaving Workspace,” according to the company. Continue reading Gemini Powering Google Vids Multimedia Presentation Builder

Deezer Adds AI Playlists to Compete with Spotify and Amazon

Paris-based global streaming platform Deezer is fielding an AI playlist generator in an international beta launch. The move makes the indie-centric service more competitive with Spotify and Amazon Music, which have already been testing the feature. YouTube is reportedly also experimenting with AI-powered personalized radio. As of now, 5 percent of Deezer’s paid subscribers have been selected at random to try Playlist with AI, which creates playlists from text prompts that invoke moods, genres, decades, activities or “anything else that comes to mind,” according to Deezer. Continue reading Deezer Adds AI Playlists to Compete with Spotify and Amazon

YouTube Shorts Offers New Features to Compete with TikTok

YouTube Shorts has added six new creator features designed to make it more competitive with TikTok. The automatic reconfiguration tool that converts long-form videos into Shorts is coming to Android, while another upgrade lets users type in dialogue that becomes narrated speech. An “Add Yours” sticker will now invite others to share content related to a video that’s been posted, while special effects that evoke the look and feel of “Minecraft” celebrate the 15th anniversary of the popular video game. Stylized captions and a remix tool round out the add-ons announced by YouTube Chief Product Officer Johanna Voolich. Continue reading YouTube Shorts Offers New Features to Compete with TikTok

Amazon’s AI Shopping Assistant Rufus Is Ready for Prime Day

After five months of testing, e-commerce giant Amazon is releasing its AI-powered shopping assistant, Rufus, on mobile throughout the U.S. via the Amazon Shopping app. By tapping the icon, shoppers can access a chat interface and query Rufus on topics such as the best portable speakers or summer dresses under $50. In time for this week’s Prime Day event, the new assistant can also provide status updates on orders. Rufus was trained on the Amazon catalog and other Internet content, so it can provide information on a wide variety of topics and reportedly also answer questions about politics and write short stories. Continue reading Amazon’s AI Shopping Assistant Rufus Is Ready for Prime Day

ElevenLabs Voice Isolator Audio Post Tool Released with API

New York-based speech synthesis software startup ElevenLabs has launched its latest AI development — Voice Isolator and an API to go with it. Voice Isolator is designed to extract background noise, leaving clear dialogue for film, podcast, and interview post-production. The Voice Isolator API lets developers integrate the new product into third-party applications. To use the technology, content is uploaded and processed by the Voice Isolator model, resulting in what the company claims is speech comparable in quality to that obtained in a recording studio. The app is described as “free, with some limitations.” Continue reading ElevenLabs Voice Isolator Audio Post Tool Released with API

Suno’s AI Music Generator Is Now Available for iOS Devices

Suno, the AI text-to-music startup that along with AI music generator Udio is currently being sued by the Recording Industry Association of America, has launched its long-awaited mobile app. Likened to a pocket-sized virtual music studio, it is available for free (with ads) to iOS users in the U.S. Suno says a global rollout is coming soon, as is a mobile app for Android. “Whether you’re a shower singer or a charting artist, we break barriers between you and the song you dream of making. No instrument needed, just imagination,” touts Suno’s landing page on Apple’s App Store. Continue reading Suno’s AI Music Generator Is Now Available for iOS Devices

AWS Releases GenAI-Powered App Studio in Public Preview

Amazon announced the public preview launch of its GenAI-powered App Studio service. The platform — which is geared toward professionals who lack extensive software development skills — builds full-featured, enterprise-level apps using natural language prompts. Users simply describe what they would like the app to accomplish and the data sources available to it and App Studio will produce in minutes what the company claims, “could have taken a professional developer days to build from scratch.” The announcement was made during this week’s AWS Summit in New York City. Continue reading AWS Releases GenAI-Powered App Studio in Public Preview

Captions: Generative Video Startup Raises $60 Million in NYC

Generative video creation and editing platform Captions has raised $60 million in Series C funding. Founded in 2021 by former Microsoft engineer Gaurav Misra and Goldman Sachs alum Dwight Churchill, the company’s technologies — Lipdub, AI Edit and the 3D avatar app AI Creator — have amassed more than 10 million downloads for mobile, the firm says. The C round brings its total raise to $100 million for a stated market valuation of $500 million. With the new funding, Captions plans to expand its presence in New York City, which is “emerging as the epicenter for AI research,” according to Misra. Continue reading Captions: Generative Video Startup Raises $60 Million in NYC

Popular Messaging App Banned from Servicing Young Users

Federal regulators have taken the unprecedented step of banning the NGL messaging platform from providing service to users under 18. The action is part of a legal settlement between NGL Labs, the Federal Trade Commission and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. NGL, whose niche is “anonymous” communication and features the tagline “Ask me anything,” has also agreed to pay $5 million in fines. An FTC investigation found that in addition to fraudulent business claims about divulging the identities of message senders for a fee, NGL also falsely claimed it used artificial intelligence to filter out cyberbullying and harmful messages. Continue reading Popular Messaging App Banned from Servicing Young Users

Meta’s 3D Gen Bridges Gap from AI to Production Workflow

Meta Platforms has introduced an AI model it says can generate 3D images from text prompts in under one minute. The new model, called 3D Gen, is billed as a “state-of-the-art, fast pipeline” for turning text input into high-resolution 3D images quickly. The app also adds textures to AI output or existing images through text prompts, and “supports physically-based rendering (PBR), necessary for 3D asset relighting in real-world applications,” Meta explains, adding that in internal tests, 3D Gen outperforms industry baselines on “prompt fidelity and visual quality” and for speed. Continue reading Meta’s 3D Gen Bridges Gap from AI to Production Workflow

Apple Issues ‘Temporary’ Epic Game Store Approval for iOS

Apple has approved the Epic Games Store app for iOS and the App Store in the EU. But the battle apparently continues, with Apple couching the move as “temporary,” and Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney vowing to fight any reversals. Sweeney says Apple is “demanding we change the buttons in the next version — which would make our store less standard and harder to use. We’ll fight this.” Even a temporary toehold moves Sweeney — whose Maryland-based Epic Games is home to the popular “Fortnite” — closer to its goal of an alt game store on the insular Apple platform at home and abroad. Continue reading Apple Issues ‘Temporary’ Epic Game Store Approval for iOS