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This Week In Technology: Google, Instagram, and More


Google Announced Browser-Based Gaming Service

Google announced a browser-based video game streaming service named Stadia. The service attempts to use the company’s cloud technology and network of data centers. The technology will allow users to play games through a browser without waiting for downloads. This can make games as easy to access as YouTube videos.

Google said that Stadia will be available by the end of the year. It is currently unknown what the price of the games will be. And although the service features games, it may not include the games that users want. However, it will be compatible with mice and keyboards, USB controllers, or a WiFi-enabled controller.

Instagram Adds Shopping Feature

Instagram is testing a feature in the US that lets users shop from the app by using a “checkout” option on items tagged for sale. The move is another by parent company Facebook to monetize other companies. Users can tap on a product that appears on their timeline to see its price. They can then tap on the product again to receive an order form.

In order to make money, Instagram plans to introduce a selling fee. The feel will also help fund transaction-related expenses. However, Instagram didn’t release specific financial details of the feature.

Netflix Will Not Join Apple TV Services

Netflix will not make its selections of movies and TV shows available through Apple’s video streaming service. Currently, Apple is expected to unveil a new television and video service on March 2. Sources said that Apple may resell subscriptions from CBS Corp, Viacom Inc and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp’s Starz among others, as well as their own original content.

Snapchat Will Launch Gaming Service

Snapchat plans to announce its gaming platform for developers next month. The platform, developing under the name “Project Cognac,” will feature games designed to work specifically in the Snapchat app. The new platform will be unveiled at Snap’s first-ever summit for content and developer partners in Los Angeles on April 4.

Apple Watch Detects Irregular Heartbeats

The Apple Watch was able to detect irregular heart pulse rates that could signal the need for further monitoring for a serious heart rhythm problem. This demonstrates a potential future role for wearable technology in healthcare.

In addition, researchers hope that the new technology can assist with finding atrial fibrillation, the most common form of irregular heartbeat. “The physician can use the information from the study, combine it with their assessment … and then guide clinical decisions around what to do with an alert,” said Dr. Marco Perez, one of the study’s lead investigators.