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iPhone 7 plus. Photo: Maciej Luczniewski/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Two big efforts to test horizontal swiping over vertical feed scrolling interfaces may offer hints from Silicon Valley about where mobile UX design is headed.

Be smart: The popular "Stories" format that was created by Snapchat and then adopted by Facebook-owned Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and the core Facebook app, have used this function for a while to allow users to advance through more content more quickly.

  1. YouTube has been rolling out a new feature on iOS that will let viewers swipe right or left to navigate between videos, according to an interview with Popular Science. The feature, known internally as “swipey watch,” has been two years in the making, and will be coming to Android devices later this year.
  2. Instagram was in a PR tizzy in December after reports found that it had been testing a new horizontal tap-to-swipe design for months. The company told users that it was just a test that accidentally rolled out widely.

Why it matters, via TechCrunch's Josh Constine: "Tap to advance...eliminates the need for big thumbstrokes on your touch screen that can get tiring after awhile. It also means users always see media full-screen rather than having to fiddle with scrolling the perfect amount to see an entire post. Together, these create a more relaxing browsing experience that can devour hours of a user’s time."

Go deeper: Instagram assures users horizontal feed change was just a test

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 9 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.