The first day of Facebook’s F8 developer conference 2019 came to an end with exciting announcements. This year the whole keynote was all about privacy, every minute there was constant mention of privacy which is completely understandable after the whole Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal fiesta. Moving on, Facebook had made some interesting announcements during the keynote such as updates on Facebook’s design and services, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger’s redesign, long-awaited announcements on Oculus Rift S and Quest, Facebook’s Spark AR and Portal smart camera. Let’s have a look at them one by one.
Before going into other key features, first, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Facebook’s new update “FB5” comes with the new Facebook icon. The overall design looks refreshing, clean and simple. There are less blue colour or as Mark says, “Look it’s not even blue anymore”.
Facebook clearly put out extra work on Groups and Events tabs. FB5 has dedicated groups tab with a personalized group feed from groups you have joined.
“Meet New Friends” feature connects you with strangers with common interests. The new redesign also makes it easier to find events near you.
Facebook is working on a new version of Messenger called LightSpeed which is being developed to keep the storage low and decrease the app start-up time. According to Facebook, WhatsApp is the fastest messaging app when it comes to start-up time. Based on the testing this new version is admittedly faster than WhatsApp and it is below 30mb (Current Messenger app is over 127mb).
Facebook is also bringing the end to end encryption of WhatsApp to Messenger. No one can read your conversations, neither the Government nor Facebook only you and your contacts.
Facebook Messenger is getting a brand new desktop mode on all platforms! No need to open the browser to read your text anymore.
Facebook Dating Service
Last year Facebook at F82018 introduced Facebook Dating Service and this year it’s expanding it to 14 more countries. The Secret Crush feature lets you create a secret list of crushes from your Facebook friends and if those friends are also using Secret Crush and they add you to their list, its a match! Facebook connects you with your crush. This list is completely private and no one knows about this except you.
Instagram’s camera gets a new refreshing Interface. It does all the same things it did before but in a more refined and simpler way. The “Create Mode” lets you create quizzes, stickers, countdowns and a lot more!
Instagram is currently working on anti-bullying measures like comment filters, Safety mode and Away mode. Away mode lets you take a break from Instagram without deactivating your account.
Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest are finally out and pre-orders are starting today. Both of these headsets cost $399 and shipping starts from May 21st 2019.
Oculus Rift S
The Oculus Rift S is the incremental update to the original Oculus Rift VR headset which launched 3 years ago. The new Oculus Rift has Oculus Insights for positional tracking same like the Oculus Quest. With new updated designs, better display and resolution bump, touch controllers, inside-out tracking and an array of promising exclusive game titles, the Rift S sounds like a good deal.
The Oculus Quest is a 6DOF standalone headset which runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. The four cameras on each corner take care of positional tracking (Inside-out tracking) which makes the Quest a completely wireless VR headset. It is placed between the “high-end” Oculus Rift S and “entry-level” Oculus GO. It will be launched with 50+ game titles. Sean Liu, Director and Product Management at Oculus explains the key features of Oculus Quest! Lets hear it from him.
Spark AR Studio
Spark AR Studio lets you build AR experiences that track and follow movement, create effects that transform your surroundings into immersive AR experience.
Share your creation with the world. Reach a global audience by publishing your work through Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.
Portal, Smart Camera from Facebook
Portal is a smart camera from Facebook which automatically pans and zooms to always keep you in the frame. The Portal also doubles as a voice assistant which is powered by Alexa.
Messenger and WhatsApp are coming to Portal which means the end to end encryption found in WhatsApp and in future updates of Messenger is also integrated into Portal.
It is clear that Facebook’s goal is to make privacy the future and bring back the trust of users. The company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg is dedicated in doing that, let’s hope they do it right this time. It is good to see that Facebook is evolving along with the Users. Looking forward in seeing you guys in the next post. Until then, I’m Parzival and I’m signing off!