TikTok gets avatars and a Dutch app wins a major design award from Apple. These are the apps of the week.
Last week, Apple announced the winners of the Apple Design Awards: twelve apps that the company says do something special. Dutchman Odio won one of these awards. This app provides soothing ambient sounds.
It goes a step further than just the sounds of rain or the quiet babbling of a stream. The application uses spatial audio. If you’re wearing AirPods or Beats headphones, it’s as if the sounds echo around you.
Odio does not only use sounds, but soundscapes composed by artists. The idea is that you filter out distractions from your surroundings by immersing yourself in such a soundscape. You can adjust them yourself, for example by adding sounds, removing them, making them closer or farther apart.
The app is free, but a subscription is required to listen to all soundscapes. To celebrate the Design Award win, the Eindhoven team released the new soundscape 2 hours added to the app. It is free for all users.
Download Odio for iOS (free).
Coping with your feelings is not an easy task for many people, especially young people. Several youth aid organizations have teamed up to create an app that can help young people in this area. The result is the Feelee app.
In the app, you choose an emoji every day that matches your feeling at that time. This information is linked to data collected automatically. The app sees how much you move, sleep and spend on your phone. This should help young people understand what, for example, little sleep or staring at your smartphone all day can do to your state of mind.
The idea is that this information can then be used in a conversation with a care provider. But even without additional help, the app can help you better understand your own emotions.
TikTok introduces avatars: animated characters that allow you to show yourself in the video app without showing your face. These avatars are freely customizable. You can choose different hairstyles, makeups and accessories. Avatars are now rolling out globally. Once you have them, you can find the avatars in the effects corner of the app by searching for “avatar”.
TikTok stresses that this is the first release and that the company will continue to improve the numbers. Inclusion is a top priority here. For example, TikTok offers a wide range of skin tones, hair colors, and clothing items, such as scarves.
Additionally, TikTok is introducing screen breaks. Users can set them themselves, so as not to drag too long in the application. A new Screen Time dashboard with statistics is also introduced. Users between the ages of 13 and 17 who use the app for more than 100 minutes per day will receive a notification with information about these screen time options.
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