Social audio app Clubhouse launched a direct messaging feature called ‘Backchannel’ to allow one-to-one and group text chats.
The feature is designed to help moderators chat among themselves during an active room; let people connect after an event; and broadly, foster text conversations that otherwise would have to take place in a separate app.
Its competitors, notably Twitter Spaces and Facebook Live Audio Rooms, both allow people to text chat while also running or participating in an audio conversation, so Backchannel brings Clubhouse more up to par and ensures users keep their conversations, and more of their social life, on the app.
The invite-only app, which saw explosive early growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, is now competing against a raft of tech companies from Facebook and Twitter to Spotify pushing out similar audio chat services.
Clubhouse said it had added more than 8 million new users since launching on Android in late May. It said the ability to direct message was one of its most requested features.
Launched last year, the San Francisco-based platform is looking to establish itself as the standard-bearer for digital audio and has already inspired copycat products from Facebook and Twitter.
Taking advantage of the pandemic and celebrity appearances such as Tesla boss Elon Musk, Clubhouse has popularized long conversations, whether they be chats between friends or celebrity interviews.
(With inputs from agencies)
Cat simulator 'Stray' heads to PlayStation and PC in early 2022 – Engadget
The last time we saw Stray was in the form of a cinematic trailer Sony shared in 2020 that highlighted the game’s futuristic neon-soaked setting and adorable feline protagonist. At the time, we didn’t get to see the game in action, a fact that Annapurna Interactive has now remedied. The publisher shared a slice of gameplay footage from the title during its recent showcase and said it would release Stray sometime in early 2022.
In the opening moments of Stray, our feline protagonist finds himself injured and separated from his family. Gameplay involves using his physical abilities as a cat to navigate the environment and solve puzzles. In the time-honored tradition of duos like Ratchet and Clank, partway through the adventure, you’ll meet a drone named B-12. They will allow you to converse with the city’s other robotic inhabitants and interact with certain objects in the environment. The cat has a playful side to his personality, and you can do things like scratch furniture, interact with vending machines and rub up against the legs of the robots you meet. Good stuff.
When Stray comes out next year, it will be available on PlayStation 4, PS5 and PC. Developer BlueTwelve Studio promised to show off more of the game before then.
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Cat simulator 'Stray' heads to PlayStation and PC in early 2022 – Yahoo News Canada
Sony’s new PS5 beta update also fixes one of its silliest flaws – The Verge
The first major system update for Sony’s PlayStation 5 is arriving in beta form today, finally letting you expand the console’s 667GB of usable storage by adding your own PCIe Gen 4 SSD as well as testing new UI options and expanding 3D Audio support. But the full changelog also includes a few features that Sony didn’t highlight to press — including a way to easily update your DualSense controller if you press the wrong button!
You see, the PS5 currently has a very silly flaw: the only time you can update your controller is when you boot the console. And if you say no or accidentally press the O button instead of X, you can’t trigger that update until 24 hours have passed (or you tweak your PS5’s internal clock to cheat it).
But in Beta 2.0, there’s now a dedicated menu for that under Settings > Accessories > Controllers called Wireless Controller Device Software. Please forgive my grainy photo.
You’ll still see controller update prompts when you launch the console, too — and hitting the circle button will still instantly dismiss them.
The beta also makes one of our other UI frustrations slightly better: the ability to easily turn off the console. It’s still a mystery why Sony switched away from letting you long-press the PS button to requiring extra taps, but at least now you can change how many taps it takes. Pressing the hamburger / start button in the PS5’s quick actions menu now lets you drag any of them (including the PS5’s digital power button) to a different position in that menu.
Separately, did you know the PS5 lets you set up all kinds of parental controls for your kid on what they can play, watch, and do, and it lets you remotely approve their requests over the web? I didn’t realize that, and the beta update now lets you see and respond to those asks through the latest version of the mobile PlayStation App, not just via email.
Frankly, it still needs work: it’s a convoluted process that kicks you out to a web browser for setup, requires your kid to be signed into a PlayStation Network account (not just a local profile), has you set up all kinds of limits, and kicks you out to a web browser again (requiring you to log in) when you want to approve a request. And once you let your kid play a particular game, they get to keep playing until you remove it from the whitelist.
What I want is a simple rich phone notification that effectively lets me tap “yes, you can play this for 30 minutes” or “not right now, kid” and be done with it right away. Perhaps there’s time before the 2.0 software goes gold? Or perhaps in a future update.
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