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Technologies News   05-03-2019

Netflix�s new high-quality audio adjusts to match your internet speeds
Higher bitrates, and better scaling to match
Netflix is rolling out an 
upgrade to its audio streaming technology that increases the maximum bitrate of its audio and allows it to adjust based on the speed of your internet connection. The streaming service�s new high-quality audio increases the maximum bitrate of a 5.1 audio mix to 640 kbps, and a Dolby Atmos mix to 768 kbps. The bitrate will also scale based on your internet speed, and can drop as low as 192 kbps in order to stop the video from having to buffer.
The streaming service has used this adaptive approach before for its video feeds, which adjust dynamically to prevent them from cutting out. However, until now, the bitrate of a show�s audio has been determined at the beginning of a stream, with no option to adjust it once it has started. That could mean you�re stuck with lower-quality audio when your internet connection has more capacity, or a show has to buffer because it�s stuck on a higher bitrate.

The Nokia 4.2 gets a US release date and $189 price tag
The phone will start shipping in mid-May
HMD Global�s Nokia 4.2, which the company 
announced back in February, is available to pre-order now in the US for $189, and will start shipping in mid-May. Beyond its mid-range specs and Android One software, the Nokia 4.2 features an interesting take on a dedicated voice assistant button. Pressing it once will wake Google Assistant like you�d expect it to, but you also have the option of pressing it twice to bring up Google�s visual snapshot, or holding it to have the voice assistant listen to your voice command indefinitely.
Considering the budget price tag, the Nokia 4.2�s specs are modest. It�s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage, and it�s got a 3,000 mAh battery. On the back is a dual-lens 13-megapixel camera, while on the front you get a 5.71-inch 720 x 1520 notched display. The notch is reasonably small but its bezels are still a little chunky � something we can forgive at this price.
The Nokia 4.2 is available in both black and pink. HMD says it expects the phone to start shipping on May 15th.

Instagram is launching a camera redesign and dedicated shopping tags for creators
Turning Instagram into a more robust commerce platform
Instagram is announcing a couple of new features today that are designed to make the app more appealing to influencers, creators, and online business owners. It�s part of a broader shift within the company to position its photo-sharing app, which is now used by more than 1 billion people every month, as a kind of Facebook replacement. Younger users have for years been leaving the main app for greener, more hip pastures, and Facebook seems to recognize that Instagram is now at a scale and level of cultural ubiquity that it can begin carrying the torch � at least partially.
RELATED
The 5 biggest announcements from Facebook�s F8 developer conference keynote
The first new feature, announced today at Facebook�s F8 developer conference, is a redesigned camera with what Instagram is calling Create Mode. The new mode will make it easy to build a post from scratch without needing to upload an existing photo or video, which is an especially appealing proposition for ardent Stories fans who�ve built big audiences using the Snapchat-style format. The second new feature is dedicated shopping tags that will let any influencer, artist, or celebrity tag an article of clothing they�re wearing so followers can buy that item on the spot, all from within Instagram.

 

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