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MWC 2020 cancelled amidst COVID-2019 fears

THE TECH CIRCUIT - Yasunari Ramon Suarez Taguchi - The Freeman

The organizers of the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona announced last week that this year’s holding of the annual mobile industry tradeshow has been canceled due to concerns revolving around COVID-2019.

Originally scheduled to run from February 24 to 27, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain, the event’s cancellation statement by GSMA (the organization that spearheads the event since 2006) reads: “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.”

The announcement came after a number of this year’s participating/exhibiting brands/manufacturers expressed their intent to forgo their attendance in this year’s MWC due to COVID-2019 concerns that pertain to health, travel and logistics.

MWC has been hailed as the world’s biggest annual mobile industry tradeshow where new products and advances in mobile communication tech by various brands and industry stakeholders are publicly introduced.

It is reported that in lieu of the annual tradeshow’s cancellation, brands that were originally scheduled to unveil new products in this year’s MWC will be doing so in separate gatherings/unveiling events within the year.

Google’s “Emoji Kitchen”

Google rolled out last week a new tool for Android that allows for the making and use of custom emoji stickers.

Accessible via the keyboard app Gboard and named “Emoji Kitchen,” the tool runs by an emoji mash up premise that allows users to make custom emoji’s like fitting a cowboy hat to a smiley face emoji, add a range of eyewear to various basic emoji faces, add hearts to different emojis and the like.

As the tool’s functions are integrated to the Gboard suite, its custom emojis can be sent as stickers to communications in various messaging apps like Messenger, Snapchat, Gmail, WhatsApp and more.

More information about “Emoji Kitchen” is hosted on Google’s official online channels.

Facebook’s “Hobbi”

Though the cancellation of this year’s MWC was a hot topic in the tech circuit over the weekend, this didn’t stop tech pundits from harping about a new app-and-service suite by Facebook.

Named “Hobbi” and developed by Facebook’s New Product Experimentation Team, the app basically affords users with a tool to document and share progress photos/videos of various hobby projects. It touts intuitive content organizing features that streamline the process of documenting the progress of personal crafts/projects.

Available for iOS device users in select markets, many of those who’ve come by the app describe it as a Pinterest-like tool, save that it doesn’t come with Pinterest’s “pin” function to bookmark photos/projects shared by other members of the platform.

“Hobbi” is the fourth app developed by the New Product Experimentation Team after a meme creator suite named “Whale,” a social networking app named “Bump” and a live radio app intended for schools named “Aux.” More information about the app is hosted on Facebook’s official online channels.

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