Facebook Messenger Kids expands its reach, adds new features

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Facebook-Messenger-Kids
Download it from the App Store today.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook Messenger Kids, the free chat app designed specifically for your little ones, on Wednesday expanded its reach to more than 70 new markets and added a number of helpful new features.

It’s now possible for parents to give kids control over their contacts (if they wish), and for kids to join approved groups. The changes come at a time when many children are out of school and unable to see friends.

Facebook beta reveals hidden dark mode for iPhone and iPad

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Facebook-dark-mode
You can't activate it yourself just yet.
Photo: WABetaInfo

A new beta version of the Facebook app for iOS contains hidden resources that suggest a dark mode is on its way to iPhone and iPad.

The feature is expected to work in tandem with the system-wide dark mode settings on iOS for automatic activation and deactivation, but users should be able to toggle it manually, too.

WhatsApp starts pushing out increased group call limit for all

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WhatsApp group calls
Look out for the newest WhatsApp update.
Photo: WhatsApp

WhatsApp has begun rolling out a big increase to its group call limit that will make it easier to keep in touch with colleagues and loved ones while stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s now possible to have voice and video calls with up to eight people. The change comes just days after code hinting at a new limit was spotted in an early WhatsApp beta release.

WhatsApp may increase group call limit to help keep us connected

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WhatsApp group calls
WhatsApp currently allows just four people in a single group call.
Photo: WhatsApp

Seeing friends and family in person just isn’t possible during a global pandemic, so WhatsApp could be making some changes to ensure that we can still have face-to-face contact (via a screen) without leaving our homes.

Changes in the app’s latest beta release suggest the limit for group audio and video calls will soon increase. It currently allows for just four participants at any one time, while others — like Facebook Messenger — can support up to 50.

Apple adds local information to its COVID-19 iPhone app

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iPhone showing coronavirus that causes COVID-19
Apple’s COVID-19 iPhone app providing reliable info about the novel coronavirus has been updated with details from each U.S. state.
Photo: Cult of Mac/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Apple updated its COVID-19 screening application for iPhone with information from each U.S. state’s health department to help users know what’s expected in their area.

This fits with the goal of Apple’s app — giving people resources to stay informed on steps they can take to protect their health during the coronavirus outbreak.

Outrun is a beautiful, privacy-first iPhone running app

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outrun
Run, in private, with Outrun.
Photo: Bruno Nascimento/Unsplash

Outrun is a privacy-focused run-tracking app that integrates with the Health app. (It’s also a seminal arcade racing game from 1986, but that’s not what we’re talking about today.) The Outrun running app is a great alternative to all those running and cycling apps that upload and/or sell your data to anyone who wants it, or drive you crazy with ads. Or both.

Google Maps spotlights nearby delivery and take-out restaurants

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Google Maps adds Takeout and Delivery buttons
Tap on the Delivery or Takeout buttons in Google Maps to see open eateries that are closeby.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A pair of easy-to-see buttons have been added at the top of the Google Maps iPhone and Android apps to help users find restaurants in their area that offer takeout and delivery service. These point people toward nearby eateries still offering service during the coronavirus crisis.