4 biggest surprises from Apple’s totally unsurprising update

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Will we get more than the iPhone 7 next week?
None of today's announcements were keynote-worthy.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s “surprise” announcement of new products and software wasn’t all that surprising if you’ve been keeping up with the latest rumors.

Today’s updates were practically announced yesterday when the company said its store would be down in the morning for “maintenance.” Despite all the rumors of new iPads and RED iPhones that have been out for weeks, Apple still managed to sneak in a few surprises that were both good and bad.

We’re eagerly awaiting Apple’s rumored April keynote, but here’s the biggest, most surprising news from today’s teaser.

How to turn off sound in Facebook News Feed videos

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facebook-news-feed
Videos in News Feed now autoplay with sound on.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook is making big changes to the way it approaches video. Videos in the Facebook News Feed previously played silently unless users turned sound on. Now if you want to keep the sound off, you’ll need to dig through your Facebook settings.

Turn off the annoying new feature with these steps.

New Panols app lets you share panoramic shots on Instagram

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Panols makes Instagram a place where panoramic pictures can stretch.
Panols makes Instagram a place where panoramic pictures can stretch.
Photo: Panols

Instagram got the hint from users that they had grown tired of just squares and now allows mobile photographers to present horizontal or vertical pictures. But it’s still not a platform for sharing panoramic images.

A developer and frequent traveler, who grew tired of crops to his majestic captures, has created an app to bring sweeping panos to Instagram.

How to get the most out of Instagram

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These Instagram tips will help you connect with photographers who share your interests.
These Instagram tips will help you connect with photographers who share your interests.
Photo: Lee Peterson/Cult of Mac

Instagram isn’t simply a social network for sharing images. Used properly, it’s a powerful tool for connecting with like-minded photographers and getting feedback about your images.

I’m passionate about photography, and finding communities I can engage with is really important when it comes to helping me improve and get ideas for new projects. These Instagram tips and tricks, which I use on a daily basis, can really help you grow as a photographer.

Instagram’s Snapchat-like features pull in more users

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Instagram Stories has privacy and creativity settings inspired by Shapchat Stories. Instagram now has 600 million users.
Instagram Stories has privacy and creativity settings inspired by Shapchat Stories. Instagram now has 600 million users.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram’s move to adopt features similar to SnapChat seems to have paid off for the globally popular photo-sharing network.

On its blog Thursday, Instagram sent a thank you note to its community, a number that surpassed 600 million users since it was founded in October of 2010.

Instagram controls let you share more love, shut out hate

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New controls on Instagram will let users keep hate at bay.
New controls on Instagram will let users keep hate at bay.
Photo: Instagram

In a year highlighted by high-octane social media unkindness, Instagram is adding controls to make the photo sharing site safe for all.

Instagram will soon give its 500 million users a setting to turn off comments on any post, the ability to remove followers from private accounts, and a tool to anonymously report users expressing signs of hurting themselves.

Instagram gains live video and disappearing messages

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Go live with friends in Instagram's new Live Video feature.
Go live with friends in Instagram's new Live Video feature.
Photo: Instagram

Instagram announced two new features Monday that gives users more privacy controls while letting them be spontaneous with only the followers they choose.

Live Video will be added to Instagram Stores to let users connect in the moment with a live story that disappears from the the app after your broadcast. Instagram also is giving users the ability to send photos and videos that disappear from your friends’ inboxes after they have seen them – and you will be alerted when a user sees it or takes a screen shot.

How to take better photos and build an Instagram following, this week on The CultCast

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Instagram photography tips
Better Instagram photography awaits you on The CultCast.
Photo: The Gilashark/Instagram

This week on The CultCast: Learn Instagram tips, tricks and techniques to take beautiful iPhone photos and build a massive following. Plus: The crazy exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7 saga ends with a strange twist; rumors point to Macs with radically new e-ink keyboards; and an honest look at Siri versus the AI competition.

This episode is supported by CultCloth, the best way to keep your iPhone 7, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad sparkling clean. Check them out at CultCloth.co and for a limited time save 20 percent with code JetBlack.