10 things in tech you need to know today

Jack DorseyDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesTwitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

Good morning! Here is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

1. Twitter is expanding the character limit of tweets from 140 to 280. The company is currently testing the feature with a few users, but it plans to roll it out more broadly later in the year.

2. Google is apparently going to split off its online shopping service. The move comes as a response to comply with requests made by EU officials that deemed the company’s handling of search results was anti-competitive.

3. Google has pulled its YouTube app from the Amazon Echo Show’s catalogue. The Mountain View company claims that Amazon’s implementation of its app violates Google’s terms of service, while Amazon says that there was “no technical reason” to remove the app.

4. Instagram has introduced a number of new safety features. The service will now let everyone limit who can comment on their photos, while the automatic offensive comment filter is getting support for Arabic, French, German, and Portuguese.

5. Apple acknowledged that there is a problem with the iPhone 8’s earpiece. The phone makes a crackling noise during phone calls, and the company says that it is going to fix the issue — for the limited number of devices affected — in an upcoming update.

6. Sirin Labs has announced that it intends to launch a new phone and a PC that run on the blockchain. The company is hoping to raise around $US100 million (£75 million) to fund their development.

7. Ford and ride-hailing service Lyft have announced a new partnership. The goal is to design and test autonomous vehicles and tech together and ultimately to put Ford’s self-driving cars on Lyft’s network.

8. Tesla will reportedly use Intel chips to power its cars’ infotainment system. The American carmaker will no longer rely on Nvidia, and is seemingly already using Intel chips on more recent Model S and Model X vehicles, in addition to the new Model 3.

9. Firefox launched the latest beta of its browser, called “Firefox Quantum.” It features a completely new design and a faster, next-generation engine for increased speed performance that the company claims make Firefox faster than Google Chrome.

10. Amazon has added voice controls to its Music app via the Alexa digital assistant. The feature is currently available on both Android and iOS apps in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, with more countries to come.

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