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Shazam for Android now recognizes music played through headphones – TechCrunch

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Shazam, the Apple-owned app that helps users identify songs playing around them, can now recognize songs you’re listening to through your headphones when using an Android phone or tablet.

Acquired by Apple for $400 million last year, the company introduced a feature called ‘Pop-Up Shazam’ to its Android app this week that, when enabled, works with any other Android app to track and identify songs playing externally or internally on the phone.

It’s a feature that many users have requested for years. Prior to this, when a user would chance upon a music track in say a YouTube video, they only had two inconvenient ways to shazam the song. They could either unplug the earphones from the phone and let the audio play through the built-in speakers, or draw an earpiece close to the mic of the phone.

The new feature enables Shazam to track the audio signal beaming off of other apps, thereby not completely relying on just output from the surrounding and a phone’s speaker. The app is tapping the audio signal by using a persistent notification that floats around and could be dragged — like the ones from Facebook Messenger — and can be activated by a single tap.

In our test, the feature worked as advertised through both wired and wireless earphones (amusingly, Apple’s AirPods) and on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube apps. iPhone users hoping to use a similar feature will likely have to patiently wait as persistent notification isn’t something that Apple’s mobile operating system currently supports. Apple could potentially find an alternative workaround in the future.

Google has taken a shot at audio recognition in recent years, too, after it introduced a ‘Now Playing’ feature in its Pixel 3 series smartphone last year. If enabled, the phone actively looks for songs playing in the surrounding, identifies them and keeps a log.

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Walmart Onn Android TV streaming device almost ready for launch

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In its efforts to compete with Amazon, Walmart has started investing in its own mobile and entertainment hardware. Unlike Amazon’s Fire devices, however, Walmart’s Onn brand has stayed directly under Google’s blessed Android ecosystems, which means access to Google Play Store and services. That was true for tablets and now it seems it will be true for Walmart’s first streaming device. That might not be the HDMI stick we’ve seen before but will instead be an Onn Android TV box.

Although we were expecting Walmart to jump on the streaming bandwagon, the first device we saw in that direction was an Android TV stick that passed by the FCC last March. That, however, was not the device that suddenly popped up on Walmart’s own website a few days ago. Instead of a stick, the first Onn streaming device might be a branded Google ADT-3 instead.

Google’s ADT-3 Android TV developer kit is more than a year old, nondescript, and pretty boring visually. That’s exactly what the Walmart Onn Android TV device looks like, save for the Onn name engraved on top. It even has the same positions for the HDMI port and the micro USB power port on the opposite side, the same as the Google ADT-3.

The most interesting part of the package is, in fact, the remote control that is completely different and new. Unlike the ADT-3, it has a lot more buttons to offer, including dedicated ones for Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, and HBO MAX. There is also a button for Google Assistant, of course, but it has been enlarged and relocated to the top.

The listing has been up for days, suggesting that it wasn’t just an error. The page also puts a $30 price tag on the Walmart Onn Android TV UHD Streaming Device and all that’s left is for the retailer to officially launch the product.

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Galaxy S21 FE, Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3 might launch in August

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It seems that Samsung is really trying to step up its schedule this year, but perhaps not too early as expected. Initial reports claimed that Samsung’s next Unpacked event would take place in July, considerably earlier than it had ever done in the past years. A new report now says that the event will instead be in August again but, more importantly, Samsung will reportedly have three phones to launch, all of which are meant to fill in the gap that the Galaxy Note will leave this year.

Samsung already made it more or less official that there will be no Galaxy Note this year. That decision was partly blamed on the global semiconductor shortage, and probably indirectly because of the Galaxy S21 Ultra that already has S Pen support. Ironically, that shortage won’t change the fact that Samsung will launch three phones in its place instead.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are already expected, of course, and they might still be launching earlier than they did last year despite this August schedule. The Galaxy Z Flip 5G did launch in August while the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy F20 FE followed later. That Samsung will just be announcing everything in August and make the devices available in the following months is also a possibility.

Unfortunately, the report from the Yonhap News Agency didn’t come with details about the Galaxy S21 FE or Fan Edition. If it will repeat the same formula from last year’s Galaxy S20 FE, it will simply be a watered-down and more affordable version of the base Galaxy S21 model. The report does estimate a 700,000 KRW price tag, roughly $624 versus that base model’s starting $799.

The Galaxy S21 FE might be overshadowed by the more expensive foldables, though, at least as far as attention is concerned. The Galaxy Z Fold 3, in particular, is expected to have Samsung’s first under-display camera and its first foldable to have S Pen support. The Galaxy Z Flip 3, which skips a generation to match its foldable sibling, is believed to have a bigger cover screen.

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Facebook really wants you to read articles before sharing them

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It’s a common Internet habit: reading an article’s headline and then sharing the work without reading it. There are multiple reasons someone may do this, not the least of which is making assumptions about what the article presents based on its titles. Facebook is taking steps to address this habit, which can be problematic at times, by rolling out a new prompt.

The problem with sharing articles based on nothing more than the title is the risk of spreading misinformation, coming to conclusions that aren’t supported by the article, and lacking key details needed to discuss the matter. Actually reading the article provides context that may give the person sharing it a more informed perspective about the topic.

Facebook has announced that in order to encourage users to read articles before sharing them, it will now show them a prompt if they attempt to share a news article link they haven’t opened. The prompt includes the option to open the article first or to continue with sharing it.

Facebook notes in its prompt, “Sharing articles without reading them may mean missing key facts.” The prompt is described as a test at this time; it’s unclear how widely it is available. As with any test, it is possible it may change in the future or, perhaps, be removed.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this kind of feature appear on a social media platform. Last summer, Twitter introduced a similar prompt that encouraged its readers to read an article before sharing it. The feature first arrived on Android before rolling out in October 2020 on iOS.

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