This week, the tech industry led with new software and app releases. A switch in pace compared to the onset of new products recently, Google debuted its new beta feature, a form of community-contributed Notes for its search engine. Nothing, meanwhile, attempted to tackle the stigma of green text messages with its own namesake app.
Over at Instagram, the app is granting users the ability to show feed posts and Reels to Close Friends exclusively. And to round it off, Meze Audio does indeed have a new piece of hardware: the Empyrean II headphones.
Below, Hypebeast has rounded up the top tech stories of the week so you can stay up to date on trends in the industry.
Google is seeking to make its search results more community-oriented with a new feature called Notes. Currently in the beta phase, Notes allows users to add commentary to search results, backed by Google’s research that demonstrates people like seeing how others feel about a given topic. For the time being, those interested in participating will have to “opt-in” on the Search Labs settings.
“Notes will let people share their knowledge right on Search, helping others find the best answers for their weirdest or most wonderfully unique questions, and discover what’s most useful for them on the web,” the company wrote in its announcement.
Nothing is attempting to tackle the stigma against Android users, a quality most often evidenced by their green text messages. The London-based tech company has a new app called Nothing Chats that aims “to break down communications barriers related to messaging platform incompatibility and the social stigma that becomes associated with it as a byproduct.”
For the project, Nothing teamed up with Sunbird, a company that specializes in cross-platform Android messaging, for an end-to-end encrypted messaging service. It’s up in the air whether Android users will actually utilize the app but nonetheless, Nothing Chats will launch on Friday, November 17.
Instagram is helping users curate who can see their content. The app’s latest feature, however, may lead to a total wipeout of “finstas.” Instagram has given users the ability to share their posts and Reels exclusively with their Close Friends list.
The feature has been available on Stories since 2018 and was later rolled out to Notes. Instagram says that by making it an option across all content mediums, it hopes to cultivate a more “pressure-free space” to interact with other users.
“We hope this opens up more ways to be your most authentic self on Instagram while having more choices over who sees your content,” the company wrote.
Romania-based brand Meze Audio is expanding its line of premium headphones with the Empyrean II. The pair are planar magnetic headphones, meaning they provide a more natural, wide-reaching sound compared to headphones with dynamic or electrostatic drivers. In terms of their look, the headphones feature patterned ear cups and come with the option for silver or copper-plated cables. While not too far of a deviation from your standard over-the-ear headphones, the Empyrean II offers a more futuristic look over the typical build.
The Empyrean II headphones are available on Meze Audio’s website for $2,999 USD.