Apps

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

ByteDance IPO going down the drain?

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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

Apple launches the Apple Music Voice Plan

Cheaper and exclusive to Siri

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With voice technology today, using an interface feels less of a necessity now. The tech world can now control their favorite apps completely hands-free with only the power of their voices. Is it finally time to ditch the user interface? Apple seems to think so. Apple Music has launched a new plan, allowing users to control the app using only their voice.

Subscribed to the new Apple Music Voice Plan, users will have access to the streaming platform’s gallery of over 90 million songs and Apple Music Radio.

To complement the introduction of voice-centric features, Apple Music is also getting a boost of new playlist and mood functions. Subscribers can use Siri to play music customized to specific activities and moods. Apple specifically mentioned examples like “Play something chill” or “Play a playlist for hiking.” Though obviously optimized for voice, the new feature is available for every Apple Music subscriber.

 

Currently, the new plan will launch for only a selected slate of launch countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Apple Music Voice Plan will cost US$ 4.99 per month. The regular individual plan costs US$ 9.99. Finally, the family plan (available for up to six accounts) sells for US$ 14.99.

SEE ALSO: Apple Music could soon support HiFi audio streaming

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iShop: One-stop solution for Brother’s products

Get those printers, sewing machines, and cartridges!

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Fans of Brother, assemble!

Brother Philippines has just introduced iShop — a new feature on the brand’s Customer Plus App serving as a one-stop solution for all Brother products.

The new feature puts together Brother’s available products. From inkjet and mono laser printers, label makers, sewing machines, to consumables like an ink cartridge. You can access iShop by tapping the shopping cart icon on the Customer Plus homepage, which will allow you to purchase products through Brother’s authorized dealers and partners.

Moreover, you can shop for Brother products on other e-commerce channels, which is also accessible from the feature. Furthermore, you can opt to reserve or purchase products from physical stores. So you can pick it up on your preferred schedule.

The iShop feature is now available on Brother’s Customer Plus App. The app can be downloaded on Google’s Play Store and the App Store.

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Pixel 6 will reportedly have a Magic Eraser feature

It can erase strangers from photos

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Taking photos at a crowded location is usually a problem for most tourists. Most of the time, you’ll end up taking photos with unwanted strangers in the background. In worse situations, someone might even bomb your photos on purpose. Luckily, with artificial intelligence now, getting perfect photos is easier. To show its power in AI technology, the upcoming Pixel 6 series will reportedly have a Magic Eraser feature.

Accidentally shared by retailer website Carphone Warehouse (and preserved through Wayback Machine), the upcoming flagship series will sport a flurry of camera features. Though the series will have the standard array of photography improvements, the most notable feature is an upcoming Magic Eraser which will “remove strangers and unwanted objects in Google Photos.”

To anyone familiar with photography software, this is already possible especially through Adobe Photoshop’s healing tool. However, getting the feature natively in a smartphone is a big step especially for tourists who might not have access to Photoshop.

Besides the feature, the accidental webpage reveals a lot of details about the upcoming flagship series. Of course, it’s not a big reveal anymore. Google itself has already shared more about the Pixel 6 series more than the leaks. The series will officially launch on October 19 in a launch event.

SEE ALSO: Pixel Pass bundles a Pixel 6 with a subscription service

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