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Meta’s new Threads app kicks Twitter while it’s down


Meta’s new Threads app kicks Twitter while it’s down
Threads sure looks a lot like Twitter.
Image Meta

Meta just launched Threads, a new text-based social networking service that goes head-to-head with Twitter. Meta’s Facebook and Instagram have always competed with Twitter, of course, but Threads does so directly. The two apps are nearly identical.

Twitter has struggled since being acquired by Elon Musk in 2022, and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg clearly sees an opportunity to supplant it.

Mark Zuckerberg says Apple Vision Pro is too expensive and antisocial


Two people having a conversation, one wearing the Vision Pro headset with EyeSight.
A totally normal conversation between two humans.
Photo: Apple

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks Apple’s $3,499 Vision Pro headset does not pack any significant technological breakthroughs. He claims his company explored all options used by Apple — but ultimately decided against them.

Zuckerberg expressed his thoughts on Vision Pro in a companywide meeting with Meta employees.

Meta squeezes in VR headset tease ahead of WWDC23


Meta Quest 3 is
Meta Quest 3 is "coming this fall."
Photo: Meta

That’s some interesting timing on Meta’s press release Thursday for a VR headset not expected to come out until at least late September. Mark Zuckerberg and company wedged in a tease for Meta Quest 3 just four days ahead of WWDC23, when Apple is expected to unveil its much-anticipated AR/VR headset.

The Meta press materials even appropriated “we can’t wait,” one of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s trademark phrases.

5 ways Apple ‘Reality Pro’ VR headset will beat Meta’s


Don’t expect the Apple VR headset to be the first step in re-creating Ready Player One by delivering a full metaverse.
The hardware for Apple's VR/AR headset might be better than science fiction.
Photo: Warner Bros. Entertainment

New leaked details about Apple’s upcoming VR headset show the company is learning from mistakes made by makers of rival devices. Most notably, it’s reportedly creating a headset — possibly called “Reality Pro” — that will offer more realistic avatars, and won’t require the user to hold controllers in their hands.

Here are five ways Apple’s not making the same errors as Meta and other companies.

Why you should never use the browser in Facebook and Instagram


Why you should never use the browser in Facebook and Instagram
You can always count on Meta apps to suck up as much users data as possible.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The web browser that Meta built into the iPhone Facebook and Instagram applications can collect far more information about users than they probably realize. It can “track every single interaction with external websites,” according to a developer.

But users don’t have to stay in this sketchy browser. Leaving it is easy – here’s how.

Zuckerberg says Apple and Meta are battling over the internet’s future


Apple versus Meta
The CEO of Meta says his company and Apple are in a "competition of philosophies and ideas."
Photo: Cult of Mac

Both Apple and Meta (formerly Facebook) are both building AR/VR headsets, but they’re going about it in dramatically different ways. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly told Meta employees the two companies are in “a competition of philosophies and ideas.”

It’s possible the metaverse is the future of the internet. And Zuckerberg describes Meta as being a leader in creating an open metaverse with multiple companies working together, while he says Apple is creating its own closed version.

But Zuckerberg’s comments ignore another major philosophical difference between the twin companies. Apple believes in protecting user privacy, but Meta makes its money by collecting and selling information about users.

WhatsApp finally adds emoji reactions and features for groups


At first, WhatsApp users will have just six emojis to choose from.
At first, WhatsApp users will have just six emojis to choose from.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Looks like secure chat client WhatsApp just got a little livelier. Its long-promised emoji-based Reactions and newly developed Communities features for organizations rolled out on Thursday.

Users will have six emojis to play with to start. And in addition to new Communities, WhatsApp’s Groups functionality gets a revamp, too.

Apple accuses Meta of ‘hypocrisy’ for nearly 50% commission on metaverse sales


Apple accuses Meta of ‘hypocrisy’ for nearly 50% commission on metaverse sales
Selling anything in Meta’s VR metaverse will cost developers quite a bit.
Photo: Meta

Facebook’s parent company Meta will claim almost half of the money third-party developers earn from sales in Horizon Worlds, the VR platform for Quest headsets. An Apple executive says that “lays bare Meta’s hypocrisy,” considering it has criticized Apple in the past for its 30% App Store fee.

Facebook Messenger adds a bunch of handy, Slack-like shortcuts


Facebook Messenger shortcuts
It's now easier to send silent messages, GIFs, payments, and more.
Image: Meta

Facebook Messenger? Meta Messenger? Just Messenger? We don’t know what it’s supposed to be called these days. But we do know it just added a bunch of useful, Slack-like shortcuts that help you get things done faster.

You can use them to silently deliver messages without notifications, to find the perfect GIF, to send payments and more — all without having to fiddle around inside menus. And Meta says even more are coming later this year.