Apps

Google rolls out Android Oreo (Go edition) for budget phones

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The launch of a new Android version is a thrill often enjoyed only by Android aficionados. With the new Android Oreo (Go edition), Google hopes to bring the excitement back to a wider audience — the entry-level segment.

Google is bundling the new Android Oreo (Go edition) with the impending Android 8.1 update. The Go edition will be pushed to lower-end phones.

The Go edition optimizes the Android experience for limited hardware by fine-tuning the phone’s performance, storage, and security.

Since entry-level phones have lower-end hardware, performance is always an issue. Even with just 512MB of RAM, the Go edition improves these phones’ memory usage to run apps more efficiently. Google boasts that the average app will run 15 percent faster on the Go edition.

Image source: Google

The Go edition also comes with a flurry of new optimized Google apps that are light on both memory and storage. These include Google Go, Google Assistant Go, and Files Go, among many others.

Google Go redesigns Google Search, reducing the search-as-you-type app to its bare essentials; this Lite version weighs in at less than 5MB in size. Meanwhile, Assistant Go brings the voice-activated assistant to the budget phone. As reported previously, the new Files Go app manages your files and saves up to 1GB of storage every month.

The Go edition comes bundled with an optimized Play Store, which recommends apps that run most efficiently on the device. It also comes with Google Play Protect, which scans apps on your device even when you’re offline.

The launch of the Android Oreo (Go edition) comes at the forefront of Google’s push for its “next billion users.” It maximizes the ASEAN region’s potential as an internet hub. India, for example, has already crossed the 400-million internet users mark.

The Go edition will bring Android Oreo to more users in more regions. Starting 2018, entry-level smartphones will ship with the special version installed.

SEE ALSO: 8 things you must know about Android 8.0 Oreo

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Apps

Apple isn’t encrypting iCloud backups because of the FBI

Public security is their concern

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One of Apple’s selling points for its products is encryption by default. For a long time, the Cupertino company advertised device encryption for its iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.

For users, it means better security and privacy against malicious hackers wanting to steal sensitive information. All device data is securely stored and encrypted so only the users can access them.

However, there is one thing missing from Apple’s encryption clause. By default, iCloud backups are unencrypted — Apple can see any data users store in the cloud service.

Privacy no more

While the company remained mum on the issue, a report by Reuters revealed why Apple didn’t encrypt iCloud backups for many years.

It turns out, the company planned on encrypting all iCloud backups last 2016. During that year, the company successfully fought a court battle against the FBI for unlocking the iPhone of a school shooter. The encrypted iCloud plan has the code name “Plesio” and “KeyDrop”.

Apple discussed the encryption plans with the FBI but the agency complained about its implications. Pressured by FBI and several US agencies, Apple later caved in and dropped plans to encrypt iCloud backups.

Sources gathered by Reuters also suggest one reason for dropping encryption: more users will find it hard to retrieve their data once they lost their password.

Implications and repercussions

With iCloud backups remaining unecrypted, FBI can easily request a court order for Apple to turn over precious data to the agency. As such, iCloud data became one of the preferred evidence for the agency, with more than 1,568 cases involving its use.

Apple has not yet commented on the issue. However, expect the fallout from this relevation to be swift and widespread, as more tech companies face the dilemma of balancing users’ privacy against the need for upholding public security.

Source: Reuters

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WhatsApp is finally getting a dark mode for Android

Currently available only in beta

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Android’s dark revolution is finally in full swing. Following the launch of Android 10, the operating system has slowly updated its supported apps to accommodate the much-awaited dark mode. Android apps are getting darker, potentially saving millions of eyes at night. The revolution has already swept the heavy hitters like Twitter and Instagram.

Now, the popular messaging service, WhatsApp, is getting the same treatment. More specifically, WhatsApp has rolled out the feature for its Google Play Beta Program.

On the updated app, users can access four types of display modes. The first two are the basic Light and Dark modes: dark text on a white background and white text on a black background. The third automatically switches between the two modes, depending on the time of day. The fourth, dubbed as Set by Battery Saver, switches depending on your current battery.

Unfortunately, the Beta Program is not accepting new members at this time. Only current members of the program can access the new mode. Currently, if you want a makeshift dark mode, you can change your chat wallpaper to a dark image.

Given the timeliness of the beta update, a public release will likely roll out in the near future.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp may soon get disappearing messages

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5 best makeup filters on Instagram Stories

Nothing like the convenience of virtual makeup!

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Since time immemorial, apps and smartphones’ built-in beauty modes have allowed us to apply airbrushing, contour, lipstick, blush, and eyeshadow without lifting a makeup brush. But there’s nothing like the convenience of the virtual makeup we get through filters on our favorite social media apps.

Here we’ve rounded up the best makeup filters you should save on Instagram Stories. Apologies for the barrage of selfies you’re about to see!

Francesca

If, like me, your go-to everyday look is the winged eyeliner then Francesca is filter you need to save on your Stories. It’s best used when you haven’t drawn anything on your lids yet as it might be difficult to match your wingtip with the filter’s.

Try the Francesca effect here.

Eyelashes

If you’re the type who can’t leave the house without mascara, Eyelashes is the one you need to save. It won’t curl your lashes in real life, but any selfie you post from here on out will look like you made the effort to look nice even when you just got out of bed. There are 3 different styles of lashes because one size does not fit all looks!

Try the Eyelashes effect here.

Natural

Want to look fresh at 5pm even without retouching? As its name suggests, Natural will remove blemishes and blot oil from your face and the resulting selfie will still look as natural as possible. It also adds a little bit of tint to your lips without going overboard.

Try the Natural effect here.

Glitter Lips

Smudged lipstick after a greasy meal is a problem we all deal with. Get that selfie on point even without a trip to the powder room with Glitter Lips. Choose from 7 different glossy shades — there’s nude, pink, even gold!

Try the Glitter Lips effect here.

+2 Vintage*Blush II

This filter adds freckles and blush to your cheeks, and smoothens your skin out. But +2 Vintage*Blush II isn’t just a makeup filter — it also changes the mood of your entire photo to something warmer. You get a total of 4 different looks, with two adding noise to the entire image for more of that vintage feel.

Try the +2 Vintage*Blush II effect here.

We all get by with a little help from friends and technology. As with anything, use makeup filters in moderation and with the best of intentions.

Do you use makeup filters on Instagram Stories? Let us know what your favorite is in the comments below.

SEE ALSO: PSA: Snapchat dysmorphia is real

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