When it rains, it pours inside Snap Maps, thanks to new World Effects

Snap Maps put you — or at least your Bitmoji — on the map. But Snapchat just launched an update that gives some flair to that world your avatar lives in. On Wednesday, June 20, Snap Inc. launched Weather and World Effects inside Snap Maps. The update brings animated weather corresponding with the actual forecast along with holiday-themed map looks and even a confetti cannon on your birthday.

The features help add more details to Snapchat’s location sharing feature — so don’t be fooled by that Snap that looks like your friend is having a great time when he’s actually caught in a downpour. The tools use the user’s location data to add animated details from the forecast to the map.

The new Weather effects bring a digitized version of the forecast in the area and animate that weather pattern over your Bitmoji’s head. The animations come when zoomed in on a specific Bitmoji on the map and include rain, sun, and snow.

The World Effects bring similar animations to the world your Bitmoji lives in, but may be less expected than the weather, Snap suggests. The feature changes the usual look of the Snap Map not for accuracy like that weather effect, but to recognize significant events or seasons. For example, Valentine’s Day may turn the usual map into a pink world that looks more like Candy Land than an actual map.

Both features are rolling out soon as the Snap Maps feature itself marks one year. The geotagged avatars and photos already have a mix of highs and lows in that short history, including users original reaction to privacy concerns over sharing a physical location inside an app most popular among younger generations. On the opposite side, placing photos on a map has offered a different perspective on current events that even some news stations have picked up on.

Snapchat isn’t celebrating a year of Snap Maps with any actual numbers on how many people use the feature, but according to Mashable, half of Snap Map users choose to share a location with friends. The update follows Snap Map’s move to the web using an embed tool, while the holiday-themed World Effects follow the platform’s geocaching Easter egg hunt earlier this year.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild bug lets Link ignore temperature effects

A newly discovered bug in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild allows players to max out both hearts and stamina. The glitch also disables temperature effects such as the heat of Death Mountain and the cold of Hebra.

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Smart Home

Smart light switches have become more affordable: Here are the best ones

The ability to control the lighting in your home can have a big effect on your living space. To have more control over your lighting, check out the best smart light switches on the market. 

Even older Apple Watches could be effective at spotting heart conditions

The Apple Watch Series 4 is known for detecting heart conditions like atrial fibrillation thanks to having an electrocardiograph feature. It turns out that older Apple Watches could be effective at tracking AFib, too.
Social Media

Facebook may soon let you watch live TV with friends in Watch Party

Facebook Watch Party is designed to allow friends to watch together, even when they can't be in the same physical space. Now, that feature could be expanding to include live TV. Facebook announced a test of the feature, starting with live…
Social Media

Federal investigation digs into Facebook’s data-sharing deals

Facebook confirmed it is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation. According to a report, the company is under investigation for sharing user data with smartphone and tablet companies.
Social Media

Facebook explains its worst outage as 3 million users head to Telegram

Facebook, if you didn't already know it, suffered a bit of an issue on Wednesday, March 13. An issue that took down not only its social networking site, but also Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. On Thursday it offered an explanation.

Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

If a new report is accurate, Snapchat will be getting an integrated gaming platform in April. The platform will feature mobile games form third-party developers, and one publisher is already signed on.
Social Media

Twitter is testing a handy subscription feature for following threads

Twitter has recently started testing a feature that lets you subscribe to a thread so that you’ll no longer need to like a comment or post to it yourself in order to receive notifications of new contributions.
Social Media

Your Google+ public content will remain viewable on the web, if you want it to

Google's failed social network — Google+ — will soon be wiped from the internet, but there's a team of volunteers working right now to save its public content for the Internet Archive.

There’s more space on MySpace after ‘accidental’ wipe of 50 million songs

MySpace is no longer a safe refuge for music and media produced in the 2000s. It said that almost any artistic content uploaded to the site between 2003 and 2015 may have been lost as part of a server migration last year.

Intel and Facebook team up to give Cooper Lake an artificial intelligence boost

Intel's upcoming Cooper Lake microarchitecture will be getting a boost when it comes to artificial intelligence processes, thanks to a partnership with Facebook. The results are CPUs that are able to work faster.
Social Media

New Zealand attack shows that as A.I. filters get smarter, so do violators

The shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand were livestreamed to social media, and while stats show networks are improving at removing offending videos, as the system improves, so do the violators' workarounds.

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.