Family Tech News Roundup: Nov 3rd-Nov 9th

This week we have news from Microsoft, Boomerang, Instagram and all the cell phone carriers. Find out why you might have gotten a super random text on Thursday.

This week we have news from Microsoft, Boomerang, Instagram and all the cell phone carriers. Make sure you are following @FamilyTech on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Join our Facebook group to help get your parenting or tech questions answered!

Edge Browser Update

While I enjoy a lot about Microsoft’s offerings, Internet Explorer has long been a joke of a browser. When they tried to rebrand it to “Edge” and give people popups about how much better and faster their browser was than Chrome or Firefox, it fell on mainly deaf ears.

A while ago, Microsoft announced it would be using Chromium as a base for their totally revamped Edge browser, and it looks like it’s getting closer to release day. This week Microsoft announced a brand new logo for the browser.

The new logo looks a lot like a wave, and maybe a little bit like a blue firefox logo.

It remains to be seen if this new logo and browser will gain any sort of traction in the real world. Most people who use Edge, only do so because it is the default browser and they don’t want to or know how to change it. The new browser will launch on January 15th.

Strange Old Texts

The parenting Facebook group I’m in blew up this week with questions about how someone who was blocked from their kids’ phone was suddenly able to text them in the middle of the night! I’m sure many kids got in trouble, and many relationships got suddenly difficult as people across different carriers suddenly got random old text messages in the middle of the night.

Most of the messages apparently came as duplicates of messages sent on Valentine’s Day (so you can imagine what kind of content they may have contained!) Most of the cell phone carriers blamed a system glitch for the issue.

The moral of the story, if you or your kid got a random text message on Thursday, it wasn’t their fault and don’t punish them.

Instagram Likes Disappearing Soon?

For a little while, now Instagram has been testing NOT displaying the likes an image gets in other countries. The company announced this week that it will be testing out the removed feature in the United States this week.

The company states that it is in an effort to help with teenage mental health issues. While it is true that these days teens actually have quantifiable data about their popularity or lack thereof. So and so posted an image and got 300 likes, and I posted one that only got 10, therefore so and so is more popular than I am.

It’s hard to argue with that kind of data, so on one hand, removing the likes could be beneficial. However, I don’t see a company like Instagram making adjustments like this without a solid business reason to do so. I believe it may encourage actual engagement (that the company can track) instead of helping people that might be boosting their numbers artificially.

The feature will start rolling out to accounts this week, but likely won’t disappear for all accounts right away as it’s still being tested.

Boomerang is Back in the Apple Store

My favorite parental control app is now back and available to download in the Apple store. Even though it’s still not able to do everything it can on Android, due to Apple’s 3rd party limitations, it’s definitely better than nothing! But really, why are you still getting an iPhone for your kids anyway?

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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