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Android 12 comes with added privacy features, almost like Apple

More control over your phone

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Google unveiled Android 12 at its Google I/O developer conference, and in addition to a new UI, it focuses on privacy the most. Privacy Dashboard is among the top new features that aim to amp up Android’s user safety.

Privacy Dashboard provides a single and complete view of your permissions settings.  It details out what data is being accessed, how often and by which apps. It also lets you easily revoke app permissions right from the dashboard. In simple words, it’ll show you a simple timeline of when apps have accessed your contacts, camera, mic or more. Thanks to the new layout, it’ll be easier to keep a tab on apps that lurk in the background and are generally out of the user’s view.

Android 12 is also adding a feature that’s now widely found on Apple’s iPhones — an indicator for mic and camera. The operating system now has a new pair of indicators for when an app uses your camera or microphone. A quick toggle in the drop-down settings menu will immediately revoke access to the two essential hardware components.

Google is also introducing a new function called approximate location positioning. It’ll block your precise location and, instead, share your approximate location to apps like Weather.

The password manager now lets users import passwords from other password managers along with deeper integrations between Chrome and Android. If a third-party breach is detected, the password manager will inform the user and advise a credential change. Some apps will also support Google Assistant integration, helping them change their password faster.

Lastly, there’s a new set of open-source features called Private Compute Core. In Google’s words, it “enables features like Live Caption, Now Playing, and Smart Reply. All the audio and language processing happens on-device, isolated from the network to preserve your privacy.”

Android 12 beta 1 is now available for the public to download and test on their devices. However, the software is still in a nascent stage, so an update on your primary phone isn’t recommended.

Read Also: Android 12 Beta: Everything you need to know

Gaming

God of War Ragnarok is Sony’s best-selling exclusive

Based only on its first week

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November is a great month for gamers. Because of a few major titles coming out, there are a lot of ways to scratch that gaming itch. A lot of players are happy. None more so than Sony right now. Only a few weeks since its release, God of War Ragnarok has broken Sony’s record for fastest-selling first-party title launch.

Officially confirmed by Sony through its Twitter account, God of War Ragnarok has sold 5.1 million copies only through its first week. With such an impressive showing, the title rushes past Sony’s acclaimed gallery of heavy hitters like Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Last of Us Part II, and even the title’s 2018 predecessor. That’s not a list of who’s who to shrug off.

Additionally, the sequel is now the best-selling title in its franchise. The series has come a long way since its roots in Greek mythology. Mere weeks since the release, it is already in the conversation for several Game of the Year awards alongside other heavy hitters like Elden Ring.

Not without reason, of course. From our review of the title, the sequel to 2018’s classic is a narrative masterpiece in its own right, deserving of its spot in the oeuvre of Sony’s greatest hits.

SEE ALSO: God of War Ragnarok Review

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Apps

Netflix is working on its first PC game

It’s a AAA title

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Though off to a relatively slow start, Netflix is now a gaming company as well. As of late, the platform included a variety of mobile games in its catalog of content. Every Netflix subscriber can play any of the games. Now, Netflix is working on something else entirely: a game for the PC.

Spotted by Mobilegamer.biz, Netflix has recently posted new job openings for a game director, an art director, and a technical director. All three listings describe a “brand-new AAA PC game” as a project. One listing even describes “one of Netflix’s first generation of internally developed original games.”

Currently, Netflix taps into other game studios to produce titles for them. Aside from a few independent developers, the platform even partnered with Ubisoft for mobile titles. (One of which will be based on the Assassin’s Creed franchise.)

With the listings in place, the company is expanding its efforts to developing its own titles. Right now, the unnamed project doesn’t feature a lot of details. While the project is still looking for a creative director, it’s likely that the plot isn’t finalized either.

Throughout the past year, the company has bled for subscribers. Since then, they have tried various strategies, including potential punishments for account sharing and cheaper subscription tiers.

SEE ALSO: Netflix will now let you kick people from your account

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Apps

TikTok is now under investigation by the European Union

For transferring data to China

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TikTok has now found its way under the microscope of the European Union. The collective is now investigating the platform for allegedly shipping off its citizens’ data to Chinese servers.

In a letter shared by FCC commissioner Brendan Carr (via Engadget), the current president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has confirmed ongoing investigations concerning TikTok in several countries in the European Union.

For one, Ireland is currently investigating how the platform transfers data to China and how it processes the data of minors. The Netherlands is also investigating the same data transfers and TikTok’s advertising towards minors.

For a while now, the European Union has persistently investigated various tech companies to review their compliance with the continent’s General Data Protection Regulation, which presents a stricter view on data privacy. Various companies have already found themselves on the receiving end of penalties brought down by EU courts.

An investigation on TikTok has been a long time coming. For years, the United States has doggedly hounded TikTok for the same violation of shipping user data to Chinese servers. The company continues to face threats of a ban on foreign soil.

Though an investigation in Europe is just another fight the company must face, it’s nothing to shrug off. Lately, the European Union’s ruling on charging standards is forcing Apple to finally ship their devices with USB-C, instead of the proprietary Lightning cable. The Union, especially when completely united across all the included countries, can very well make an impact on the tech industry.

SEE ALSO: TikTok, Tencent linked to sexually violent ads on Facebook

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