Apps

YouTube Go finally launches in 130 countries

Exclusively on Android

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For many in Southeast Asian countries, video streaming can take a huge toll on data charges. Finally, Google is laying that to rest with the global launch of its lightweight YouTube Go app.

Compared to the original app, YouTube Go eats up less data, reducing the blow on costs at the end of the month. The reduced data usage also eases video streaming in areas with weak signals. Despite the default low data setting, users still have control over how much data the app uses.

The app allows downloading for offline viewing. The feature comes in varying video quality and data usage options. However, even at high video quality, downloading doesn’t take too many megabytes. Downloads will use either the phone’s storage or memory card. Further, the feature allows users to preview the video first before downloading.

YouTube Go can also transfer the video files to other YouTube Go users wirelessly. The transfer takes up no data but is still quite fast.

Originally announced back in September of 2016, YouTube Go was first launched only for the Indian market. After the exclusive beta testing, the app was released in 14 other countries. Now, Google is finally launching the app to over 130 countries worldwide. (Google is still mum on which countries are included in the list. However, you can probably check off those with fast Wi-Fi and data networks.)

YouTube Go is another step in Google’s Android Go program. With a full suite of light apps, Android Go is a lightweight version of the mobile operating system. It uses less memory, storage, and data, allowing more convenience for budget-friendly devices and data plans. Apps in the program (including YouTube Go) are compatible with phones that go as low as Jellybean 4.2.

Besides YouTube Go, Google has also released a lighter version of their Assistant app, called Google Assistant Go. Both YouTube Go and Assistant Go are available for download exclusively through the Google Play Store.

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

Apps

Google is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price

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Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.

Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.

India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.

The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.

Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.

Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.

Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.

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EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page

For just two Bumble coins!

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You can’t buy your way to true love but you can now buy a top spot on Bumble’s swipe page.

You heard that right. Bumble just announced their new feature and they’re calling it Spotlight. For two Bumble coins, which is around US$ 2, you can get your own profile to the top of the swipe page — the most conducive spot for swiping. Your profile stays there for 30 minutes and people won’t even know you paid for the extra airtime.

Similar to Tinder Boost, this new feature allows for a bigger shot at better swiping results. It basically bumps you up in the queue. Remember, though, that you can only pay for being more visible on the app, but the swiping is still left to the other party.

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