Today in Tech: New features on Instagram, Slim PS5 launching in November and more

Today in Tech: New features on Instagram, Slim PS5 launching in November and more

There's a lot that's making the rounds in the tech world today. Read all the trending technology news right here, in this edition of Today in Tech

The fist week of festive tech sales in India proved to be a massive success, with iPhones, Samsung phones and Xiaomi phones being high in demand. In fact, for the first time ever, 1.5 million iPhones were sold in India in just the first week. With more sales incoming, these numbers are surely expected to skyrocket. In addition to that, Whatsapp and Instagram are getting new features, and we have what could be a potential launch date for the thinner PS5 version, announced earlier last week. Read this and more tech news in this edition of today in tech.

Slim PS5 variant could launch in November

According to trusted leaker Billbil-kun, the slim PS5 unit could be available in stores starting November 8. In the announcement, Sony did say that the variant would be available during the holiday season, so this lines up with that. The mid-gen PS5 refresh is around 30% smaller than the current version which is in rotation as of now. Incidentally, it will be bundled with the Spider-Man 2 game, and is expected to be priced at around $559. The bundle is also expected to come with unique faceplates, similar to the ones we've seen on existing PS5 models.

WhatsApp's new feature lets you reply to status updates using 'avatars'

WhatsApp is set to roll out a new feature allowing users to reply to status updates using avatars on iOS and Android. The aim is to improve engagement with status updates. Users will now have an additional tool to engage with their contacts. As of now, users can choose from a set of eight available avatars to respond to status updates.

This feature is available to some beta testers who install the latest versions of WhatsApp beta for Android and iOS. Beta testers can also reply to status updates using an animated version of the avatars available in the set.

iPhone sales cross 1.5 million units in 1st week of India festive season

iPhone sales crossed 1.5 million units during the first week of festive sales in India for the first time ever, registering more than 25 per cent growth (year-on-year). The market saw a strong demand for Samsung, Apple and Xiaomi devices, according to Counterpoint Research. 

Online channels also registered a bigger-than-expected surge in demand, prompting them to raise prices from the third day of the sales week. This year, the iPhone 14, iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 all experienced high demand. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE also witnessed strong sales. The model was sold out after two days of the sale on Flipkart.

Google Search could help you improve your speech

Google is releasing a new feature on Search for select countries, including India. This particular feature will help users practice speaking and improve their language skills. Android users in Argentina, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, and Venezuela can try it out when it rolls out.

According to reports, when you go to translate text, a new button which will offer English speaking practice will be present, and it will also provide users with personalized feedback. Learners will be presented with real-life prompts and then form their own spoken answers. 

Google has partnered with linguists, teachers, and pedagogical experts to create a speaking practice experience that is effective and motivating. The key technology that enables this functionality is a novel deep learning model developed in collaboration with the Google Translate team, called Deep Aligner. 

Instagram showcases 4 new features

Instagram has showcased four new features for it's audiences in India. The company unveiled creative tools like Birthday, Audio Notes, Selfie Video Notes, and Multiple Lists in Stories. A test for these features will soon be rolled out.

The 'Birthday' feature will help people track their friends' and followers' big day, and react with stickers and emojis. 'Audio Notes' will help users leave a voice recording as a Note, and the 'Selfie Video' notes will allow users to capture a short video that will loop in their Note for 24 hours. 

The much-requested 'Multiple Lists in Stories' feature will allow users to create more lists beyond just Close Friends. 

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