Apps

TikTok, Mobile Legends, 57 more Chinese apps banned in India

ByteDance IPO going down the drain?

Published

on

The government of India has decided to ban 59 apps of Chinese origin and released a list of all the blacklisted apps. This includes ByteDance’s TikTok, Alibaba’s UC Browser, and other popular apps like CamScanner, ShareIt, and Mobile Legends.

India’s Ministry of Information Technology said it was banning the 59 Chinese apps after receiving “many complaints from various sources” about apps that were “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner”.

TikTok was in the news recently for “snooping” on users’ clipboards, which was uncovered by the latest iOS 14 update that is currently a beta for developers. TikTok had nearly 120 million active users in India and was among the top 10 apps on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

The list of apps banned by India also includes the microblogging platform Weibo, strategy game Clash of Kings, and e-commerce apps Club Factory and Shein.

Numerous local rip-offs of TikTok are already online and users are migrating in hordes. TikTok users too have tried to migrate their audience over a period of time to Instagram, but the conversion rate has been lower than expected.

Tarun Pathak, an analyst at research firm Counterpoint, estimated that the order will impact one in three smartphone users in India.

CamScanner and ShareIt are utilitarian apps with a very rotten reputation of data collection. Furthermore, UC Browser and UC News push too many ads and have near-zero advertising moderation. These genuinely pose a serious threat in terms of data collection.

The relations between India and China continue to head downhill amid a huge border standoff. The skirmish has already amassed casualties on both sides but neither has any intention of backing down. Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the anti-China sentiment is at an all-time high and Indians are actively trying to avoid anything that finds its roots in China.

Apps

Google’s Hold for Me feature will kill annoying delivery jingles

Published

on

If you were like us during this tempestuous lockdown season, you love (and still love) getting stuff delivered, whether it’s food or something new for the house. Unfortunately, despite our love for new things, one thing we still hate is an unending delivery hotline call. Yes, we mean those annoying-but-needlessly-catchy marketing jingles. (In fact, Sarah Geronimo’s Jollibee jingle is still ringing in my ears as I write this.)

Finally, Google has a solution for this work-from-home nightmare. Announced earlier today, the company is introducing a new functionality for calls on hold. The new Hold for Me feature will place Google Assistant in line for you whenever a hotline places you on hold. You don’t need to listen through 40 loops of hold music anymore.

Using Google’s Duplex AI, the Hold for Me feature will alert you — through a sound, a vibration, or a notification — when the call is ready for you. According to Google, Duplex technology can accurately detect if the hotline finally responds with either a recorded message or a human representative. Despite the need for AI processing, Google assures users that the company isn’t storing call data. All call data will remain inside the phone.

The feature is launching inside Google’s Phone app. Users can toggle the feature on or off through the Settings and activate it manually during calls.

For now, Google is launching the feature through an early preview in the new Pixel 5 and Pixel 4A 5G. Both smartphones will launch sometime in October and November.

SEE ALSO: Google is officially launching Android 11 today

Continue Reading

Apps

How to get NBA League Pass with your telco provider

There are two package options

Published

on

NBA action is in full swing. In fact, it has been since August when the season restarted following a shut down that was caused by the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic. As of writing, we’re in the thick of the Conference Finals series. If you want to catch all the action, here’s how you can get NBA League Pass through different telecomm providers in the Philippines.

It’s now easier than ever to get access to the games legally. All of Smart, PLDT, and Globe are offering the same price packages.

PhP 85 — Watch any three games of your choice
PhP 485 — 30-day pass for all games including live and on-demand

Here’s how to get the subscription for each provider.

Smart Postpaid and Prepaid
(Also works with TNT and SUN Postpaid)

  • Download the NBA app (iOS / Android /APKPure)
  • On the app, click on the icon at the top-right corner
  • Click sign-in
  • A banner on top of the page will appear for Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers
  • Click ‘Get Started’
  • Enter mobile number for verification and a one-time PIN which will be sent to your mobile number
  • Choose your provider: Smart, TNT or Sun.
  • Choose your NBA League Pass Package (3-game or 30-days) and enter mobile number
  • Confirm your payment by entering the one-time PIN sent to your mobile number
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

PLDT Home

  • Go to pldthome.com/nbaleaguepass
  • Select your preferred package
  • The amount will be added to your next bill
  • PLDT will give a voucher
  • Download and sign-in to the NBA app
  • Enter the voucher in the promotion code field
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

Globe

  • Open the GCash app
  • Go to Buy Load
  • Look for the PayTV tab
  • Choose your preferred package. (Note: The chosen package is valid for 90 days).
  • Confirm payment
  • Open the NBA app and enjoy!

As mentioned earlier, we’re no in the Conference Finals with four teams remaining. Dueling in the West are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile in the East, it’s a battle between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

A new NBA champion will likely be crowned in the next 30 days so now is the best time to subscribe!

Continue Reading

Apps

Twitter is probing its AI’s racial bias in picture previews

They’re working on improving it

Published

on

Twitter uses a neural network to show you relevant previews of all the pictures that are posted on the microblogging platform. If the image contains text, the area is prioritized for a preview. Similarly, human faces are also given preference.

The preview makes it easier for the viewer to get a gist of the tweet without the compulsion of opening the entire picture. Although, the feature isn’t up-to mark since a lot of users have complained about the AI’s racial bias.

Several users posted a picture that has both, a white man and a black man’s face. But the preview often shows the white man’s face only. Users noticed the difference after a similar anomaly was observed on Zoom, where the facial recognition technology failed to identify a black man’s face, but had no trouble when the skin tone was changed.

 

Liz Kelley from Twitter’s communication team said they had tested the neural system for bias, but didn’t come across gender or racial bias during testing. She also confirmed that they’ve got more analysis to do and shall be open-sourcing all the work for others to review and replicate.

Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal were quick to acknowledge the shortcoming and said they’re “investigating” the neural network.

Continue Reading

Trending