Latest The Memo News
May 12, 2021
(TECH NEWS) Memo is a new communication tool that helps you communicate with your friends, team, and fans in a “smarter way”. Published Whether you’re planning a team project or organizing your next getaway, there are two things you need. You need a place where you can centralize all your information, and a place for easy communication with the people who need to be in the know, all with minimal distraction. While there are several ways for you to go about this, this new tool says it is “a smarter way to communicate with your friends, fans and team”. Memo is a communication tool that aims to “reclaim focus in a distracted world” by offering you a technology that makes planning and communicating effective and simple. According to the company, Memo can serve as an alternative to email and Slack . The tool offers a “Shared Inbox” feature where more than one team member can read and reply to emails as themselves. This way everyone knows what is or isn’t pending. To make sure your questions aren’t being dodged by that one person who never answers, Memo highlights your questions in your message. When a recipient replies to your message, your question will automatically show up in the reply so the reader is encouraged to respond. If you need to, you can also comment on specific words or sentences. Also, live attachments can be shared inline and files can be directly uploaded to Google Drive all within the app. Additionally, you can drag and drop content around in your messages for quicker editing, and you can create email groups to start different conversations. Planning your next vacation is exciting, but it can be difficult at the same time. The constant back and forth messages of links, photos, and videos can quickly become an organized mess. To stop this from happening, Memo makes it easy to organize, share, and consume all this content. For instance, instead of having to send your friends long ugly links for hotel bookings or directions, Memo will recognize the link you enter and generate a preview with an image, title, and description. Now, when you revisit all those links you sent a week ago, you won’t have to scroll through a list of links that don’t mean much until you click on them again. Memo also has several built-in integrations that make viewing and sharing your content with friends and family a lot easier. By simply copying and pasting your YouTube, Vimeo, Loom, Reddit, Twitter, or Google Photos links into your Memo, the app will automatically embed the content for you. Also, with the tool, you can create a personal contact page where you can direct people to contact you. If you already have an inflated inbox, this can help filter out any unwanted messages. If you’re streaming content across several platforms , this could be an all-purpose message page you can direct your fans to during and even after your event. Getting started with Memo To get started with Memo, first sign up for an account . Once you’ve authenticated your account, you can start setting up your greeting page. So you can get an idea of how to go about creating your page, Memo has some sample text to get you started. However, you can also use your own creativity to come up with your personalized greeting. Once you are happy with how your page looks, you hit save, and you can share your page and start making conversations. Currently, Memo is free for personal use. If you want to get a Team account , you can pay for an annual or monthly plan. Overall, Memo does seem like it can enrich your communication by letting you put all that information you need for your next presentation or vacation all in one easy-to-use platform. Apple pushes forward with a new App Tracking Transparency feature starting with the iOS 14.5 update. This is a privacy enhancing popup notification to remind users that apps are tracking them. When the new iOS update is installed, iOS device users could see a full page pop up notification requiring them to consent to being tracked across other websites and apps. Apple defends this update as a measure to better protect users who are unaware of who is tracking them. Let’s face it, far too many of us are oblivious to the extent to which Facebook and other apps follow our online activity down every rabbit hole. Almost any smart phone user has had the experience of seeing an eerily accurate ad pop up on their feed for something they mentioned in passing, commented on, searched for, or clicked on. According to the Apple website, “Tracking refers to the act of linking user or device data collected from your app with user or device data collected from other companies’ apps, websites, or offline properties for targeted advertising or advertising measurement purposes. Tracking also refers to sharing user or device data with data brokers.” Some of this information is harvested through a user’s Advertising Identifier, which does not reveal personal information, but can also include your name, email address, or other identifying information. Facebook is fighting back against the App Tracking Transparency feature. In late 2020, Facebook took out full page ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal claiming that this measure would harm small businesses relying on Facebook to reach their audience. Facebook stands to lose an estimated 7% of their second quarter revenue if 80% of iPhone users opt out of being tracked on the social media network. While 7% of revenue may seem like small potatoes, for a money-making giant like Facebook, this could mean an approximate $2 billion loss. Ouch. “If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.” This concept has been around and well understood in advertising circles since the TV advertising boom of the 1970s. However, it has regained traction with Facebook and other free apps tracking users’ activity to mine information. This activity record allows Facebook and others to give digital marketers and advertisers a hyper-targeted way to reach their ideal potential clients. This opt-in vs. opt-out model will have an impact on apps like Facebook, that earn their millions if not billions largely by tracking users to create an opportunity-rich environment for advertisers. Most of us understand that a trade off of allowing some advertising tracking is precisely what allows us to use apps like Facebook for free. Thus Facebook’s concerns and implied threats to begin charging for the app use. Some iOS 14.5 users are already seeing a pop up stating that when users allow tracking, they are helping to “keep Facebook/Instagram free of charge.” The concerns are how much of the tracking we are aware of, how much information they are actually tracking, and how little control we have over it. Not all iOS 14.5 users are seeing either of these pop ups yet (I am not seeing either yet, despite going into my Settings > Privacy > Tracking settings and toggling the button on to make it show up). Suffice it to say the dust has yet to settle on the matter. It’s strange to hear “Google” and “privacy” in the same sentence without “concerns” following along, yet here we are. In a twist that’s definitely not related to various controversies involving the tech company, Google is giving back some control over data sharing —even if it isn’t much. Starting soon, you will be able to opt out of Google’s data-reliant “smart” features (Smart Compose and Smart Reply) across the G-Suite of pertinent products: Gmail, Chat, and Meet. Opting out would, in this case, prevent Google from using your data to formulate responses based on your previous activity; it would also turn off the “smart” features. One might observe that users have had the option to turn off “smart” features before, but doing so didn’t disable Google’s data collection—just the features themselves. For Google to include the option to opt out of data collection completely is relatively unprecedented—and perhaps exactly what people have been clamoring for on the heels of recent lawsuits against the tech giant. In addition to being able to close off “smart” features, Google will also allow you to opt out of data collection for things like the Google Assistant, Google Maps, and other Google-related services that lean into your Gmail Inbox, Meet, and Chat activity. Since Google knowing what your favorite restaurant is or when to recommend tickets to you can be unnerving, this is a welcome change of pace. Keep in mind that opting out of data collection for “smart” features will automatically disable other “smart” options from Google, including those Assistant reminders and customized Maps. At the time of this writing, Google has made it clear that you can’t opt out of one and keep the other—while you can go back and toggle on data collection again, you won’t be able to use these features without Google analyzing your Meet, Chat, and Gmail contents and behavior. It will be interesting to see what the short-term ramifications of this decision are. If Google stops collecting data for a small period of time at your request and then you turn back on the “smart” features that use said data, will the predictive text and suggestions suffer? Only time will tell. For now, keep an eye out for this updated privacy option—it should be rolling out in the next few weeks. If you’re tired of feeling separated from your coworkers, friends, or classmates, Zoom has a new feature that will make you feel like you’re all in the same place once again. At Zoomtopia , Zoom’s annual user conference, the company announced its Immersive View feature that they say will allow for a “more engaging and collaborative way to meet”. With Immersive View, video participants can all be arranged in a single virtual space. Hosts can choose from one of Zoom’s immersive virtual scenes and embed video participants within that scene. To make sure your scene is as natural as possible, hosts can move around and resize a participant’s image so they can look like they are sitting on a chair in a classroom or conference room. For added fun, you can even set a custom background. So, if you’d rather be part of the Galactic Senate Chamber, you can create your own scene. Up to 25 video participants can be in the same virtual space. Any additional people after that will show up as a thumbnail strip on the top of the screen. And, at any time, you can change the view back to Speaker View or Gallery View if you want to. Immersive View is available on Windows and macOS for desktop. By default, all Free and single Pro accounts using Zoom 5.6.3 or higher will have the feature enabled. To use the feature, first start your Zoom meeting or webinar on your desktop. In the top-right corner, click “View” and select “Immersive View”. To place participants into the scene, choose between automatically and manually. By choosing automatic, as many participants as the layout will allow will be added to the scene. If you choose manual, you can add and remove participants as you’d like. Since Immersive View will use the first 25 participants, manual works well for larger meetings. If participant No. 26 needs to speak up, you can remove someone and add No. 26 in. After you’ve made your choice, select one of the provided virtual backgrounds or upload your own image. If you choose to use your own custom background, make sure to follow Zoom’s virtual background specs for the best results. Finally, click “Start” to launch your scene, and, now, you’re all set! Those that aren’t using Zoom 5.6.3 or higher will not be able to see the Immersive View. Instead, they will see either the Gallery View or Speaker View with a black background. Currently, Immersive View isn’t available in breakout rooms yet. Also, recordings of Immersive Views aren’t supported. Depending on your recording settings, recordings will appear in Gallery View or Speaker View. Considering all the video call fatigue going on right about now, the timing of Zoom’s Immersive View feature couldn’t come at a better time. It will be refreshing to see a video call without just heads inside boxes.