Apps

Apple might soon allow users to install other app stores

And allow sideloading

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Cue the flashbacks of a time when jailbroken iPhones were the norm. Years ago, packing a third-party store seemed almost a necessity during a time when less people were willing to dish out money for a few apps. Now, after app culture took off and Apple implemented harsher restrictions on sideloading, the App Store, it’s less popular now as it was back then. However, because of ongoing problems in Europe, Apple might be forced to bring back more lenient policies.

According to Bloomberg, Apple will soon allow users to download other app stores for their iPhones and iPads. Additionally, users might even be able to sideload apps from the web safely, too.

The rumored policy is a huge change coming from Apple. Previously, the company had harsh stances against other app stores and sideloading, claiming that there was no way to ensure safety with software installed from outside sources.

As of late, the European Union has gone all-in on the crusade against anti-competitive practices in the tech industry. This year, the continent instituted a new policy which will eventually force Apple to adopt USB-C to replace the Lightning cable.

After winning that battle, the EU started going after software. Several apps recently called Apple out for demanding steeper fees for keeping their apps on the App Store. Since the App Store is currently the only way to service an entire chunk of the population, these apps were left with no choice but to comply, leading to various complaints and resolutions (as we see now).

As per the new Digital Markets Act, Apple has until 2024 to comply. However, there is still a chance that it will only implement the change in Europe.

SEE ALSO: Apple essentially confirms USB-C iPhone is coming

Apps

Finally! Grab users may now pay directly using GCash

Much-awaited partnership

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GCash Grab

Grab Philippines and GCash have finally struck a partnership deal that will make payments on the superapp even easier and more convenient.

Starting February, users will be able to add GCash as a direct payment method on the Grab app, making cashless transactions on food and grocery deliveries, car transport, and other services cashless.

Prior to the collaboration, GCash users could only send money from their account to their GrabPay wallet, and vice-versa, causing a bit of hassle switching in between apps on one’s phone screen.

The partnership also means there will be no more transaction fees unlike before when Grab users have to cash in using their credit or debit cards or linked bank accounts.

Grab customers may also avail of GCash exclusive deals, and even get treats when they pay using the e-wallet.

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Apps

Twitter is teasing an ad-free subscription tier

Will cost more than Twitter Blue

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The days of a completely free Twitter are over. Back in 2021, the platform introduced Twitter Blue, a premium subscription service to introduce more features for paying users. Last year, new owner Elon Musk revamped the subscription and made the paid features more exclusive. Musk is not done. A future update will likely add a tier to eliminate all ads on the platform.

Ads and sponsored posts are persistent problems for all social media platforms as of late. Though already asking users to pay, Twitter Blue only cuts down ads for paying users by only half. As the company tries to get sponsors back on the platform, wading through a sea of ads will likely continue.

Musk, however, realizes the problem and is now dangling a carrot at those who want to get rid of ads for good. As a way to curb them, the platform’s owner teased an upcoming higher-priced subscription tier which will allegedly block out all ads.

The billionaire has not announced how much a tier might cost. Currently, the regular Twitter Blue subscription already costs US$ 8 per month. Additionally, he has not revealed if there are more plans on the docket for curbing ads.

Since acquiring the company late last year, Musk has introduced a lot of changes to the platform, often to controversial appeal. Cutting down on ads is certainly a welcome change but only depending on how much it will ask from users.

SEE ALSO: Twitter might sell usernames in online auctions

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Apps

WhatsApp now allows users to talk to themselves

Can migrate through all devices

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An unread notification triggers our inner FOMO. Once you see that red ping or that card, it’s almost impossible to ignore. Some users, to replace a traditional notepad, even message themselves on messaging apps to act as an impromptu bulletin board. Now, joining in the list of apps that allow users to do that, WhatsApp is letting users talk to themselves on the app.

Available today, WhatsApp has introduced a feature allowing users to message themselves from the list of contacts on the app. As with any other message, users can mark their conversation as unread and pin it on top of every other thread.

Compared to other developments from WhatsApp as of late, a conversation with yourself isn’t as groundbreaking, especially since other apps already offer the same function. However, the new feature does open a lot of possibilities for users.

Besides the aforementioned self-pinging system, users can also have a notepad that essentially migrates from device to device. As long as you have a WhatsApp account logged on in every device you can take with you, you can read your notes everywhere and on any device.

WhatsApp isn’t the only app to offer such a feature. Users can also do the same on Meta’s other apps including Messenger and Instagram’s private messaging feature.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp has launched Communities

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