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Apple’s Manufacturing Aid to Nasal Swab Maker COPAN Diagnostics Helped Shipping of 15 Million Kits

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Apple. (Image Credit: Reuters)

Apple. (Image Credit: Reuters)

The iPhone maker had initially aimed to help COPAN go from making several thousand kits per week to 1 million kits a week, with the firms also looking to create at least 50 new jobs in Southern California.

Apple Inc said on Monday nasal swab maker COPAN Diagnostics has shipped 15 million COVID-19 sample collection kits to hospitals in California, Texas and other US states, bolstered by manufacturing help from the tech giant. Apple awarded $10 million here to the Murrieta, California-based company in May last year and sent engineers to help revamp the production process at a time when shortages of testing supplies had slowed efforts to track the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The iPhone maker had initially aimed to help COPAN go from making several thousand kits per week to 1 million kits a week, with the firms also looking to create at least 50 new jobs in Southern California. Apple did not say on Monday whether the 1-million-kit-per-week goal had been hit, but said COPAN had increased its production by nearly 4,000 percent, opened a new facility and hired 250 employees.

“The driver behind that was that everybody wanted to make a difference within a time frame where we could make a difference,” Normal Sharples, COPAN’s chief executive, said in a statement.

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TECHNOLOGY

Twitter Fleets Gets Twemoji Stickers, Some Android Users Can Now Access Twitter Spaces Audio-Chatroom

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Twitter’s version of Snapchat Stories, called Fleets is now getting a new update that brings Twemoji Stickers tray. The latest feature enables users to add emojis or stickers to Fleets for a better visual appeal. Until now, the Fleets feature on the Twitter Android or iOS app only allowed users to add text over photos or videos. Users could still add emojis if the keyboard had in-built emoji options; however, the latest feature gives access to more 3D-enhanced stickers directly. Moreover, Twitter Spaces, a Clubhouse-inspired audio-chat room is reportedly rolling out to select Android customers.

The Twemoji option for Twitter Fleets is now rolling out to users in Japan and will likely reach other markets in the coming months. The Twemoji button sits next to the text button, as per a photo shared by Twitter. Additionally, the Twemoji currently appears to be limited to iOS users while availability details for Android client remain unclear. Though the feature does not seem to be substantial, it is likely that Twitter would soon add more options like AR filters – similar to what Facebook offers with Stories on Instagram. Notably, the micro-blogging company acquired Chroma Labs last year, the team behind Chroma Stories. The app basically allowed users to add a range of colourful frames and filters to their Stories content.

In another Twitter-related news, some Android users are now getting an early preview of Twitter Spaces, a Clubhouse-inspired voice-based conversation room right on the platform. According to Android Police, Android users who have access cannot start Spaces chatroom yet but can join others and react with emojis. The company is expected to roll out the stable version in March, though the availability may vary according to regions. Twitter Spaces has been available to select iOS users since early February. Twitter Product Designer Maya Patterson had previously explained that the Spaces feature is meant to create a safe space for intimate conversations in public. It will essentially allow users to join or start a voice-based chatroom where they can discuss any topic. Admins will have control over who can speak or join.



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