Google has announced it will postpone the roll-out of Play Store’s new billing policy in India to April 2022. The company will continue with its new policy globally but has decided to take a step back in the developing country.
Indian entrepreneurs aren’t happy with the Google tax and have voiced their opposition in public. Two weeks ago, one of India’s largest payment app Paytm was removed from the Play Store citing violation of the gambling policy. Following the removal, the company has accused Google of monopolizing the market and exerting unfair control.
As many as 150 Indian app developers unofficially came together to work on a new idea — create a Play Store alternative. In the eyes of Indian developers, Google is often seen as a huge company that’s bullying smaller developers and extorting them. With the Epic Games vs Apple litigation already getting a lot of attention, Google has decided to play it safe in India and buy itself more time.
“We consider it extremely important to understand the concerns across the ecosystem, and these listening sessions over the next several weeks will help us find comprehensive solutions that work for everyone,” Google said in a statement.
Whenever you purchase an app, game, or an in-app package via the Play Store, Google gets 30 percent of the transaction. This was previously limited to direct in-app purchases only and exempted streaming companies like Spotify, Netflix, and more.
Google previously said that new apps must use the Play billing system by January 20, while existing apps were given time until September 30, 2021. India is a very crucial market for the American technology giant and it’ll invest US$ 10 billion in the coming five-seven years.
Signal and Telegram are trending instead
WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has announced that it will delay enforcing its new privacy terms from February 8 to May 15. In the blog post, the company says that none of its privacy-focused features are changing.
“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the statement said.
Even though WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, Facebook will still fetch some crucial information like your transactions, location, and other behavioral data from linked Instagram profile. And, we all know Facebook has a nasty reputation as far as personal data management is concerned. What makes it even more outrageous is that the policy is leave or take, and there’s no third option.
Ultrahuman is an all-in-one fitness app
Workout, meditate and sleep soundly
Staying physically and mentally fit is extra challenging during a pandemic, but it’s become essential now more than ever. Ultrahuman is a fitness app launched that offers a very convenient platform that targets the three main health points: physical exercise, meditation and sleep. It helps you stay fit from the moment you wake up until you go to bed!
This newest app, which debuted on CES 2021, features different content per category. It includes home workouts and yoga programs from world-class athletes and professional trainers to focus on your physical strength. You can choose from various workouts — from running and yoga to weightlifting and HIIT. The app is designed for all fitness levels.
With the app’s biofeedback technology, you can also track your heart rate and calories burned in real-time.
There’s also content focusing on mindfulness, including guided meditations, bedtime stories, calming meditation music, nature and sleep sounds, breathing exercises, among others. Manage stress and anxiety better by improving your mental health and sleeping patterns with the help of this series.
You can also listen to “brain music”, a section where you can find songs curated by “neuro-musicians” that aids focus, sleep and productivity.
Ultrahuman also partnered with UCLA, Mindsize, and Unified Mindfulness to bring the best of mind science and technology together.
The app is available on iOS and Android, and is already rolled out across 50+ countries globally. It’s been recognized by Apple as one of the top apps they love. Apple Watch users can also integrate their app to track their health progress real-time.
Prepare your meals through your phone, fridge using Samsung SmartThings
The kitchen, simplified
With everything going on in the world, it’s no surprise that people are spending more time in the kitchen and looking out for new recipes.
The good news? Samsung has just the thing to get it sorted quickly and easily. They’re bringing in Family Hub features into mobile users through the SmartThings app.
Samsung’s SmartThings Cooking service helps bring all of your Samsung kitchen appliances together. How? It lets you search, plan, purchase, and meal prep seamlessly through your phone or fridge through the SmartThings app.
On top of that, it recommends customized recipes based on your taste and preferences while considering ingredients available to you. You can scroll through recipe collections when you’re undecided or quickly zero-in on meals that suit your cravings.
SmartThings Cooking, powered by Whisk, is accessible through Samsung’s SmartThings. If you’ve got the Family Hub in your smart kitchen arsenal, there’s no need to fret.
The fridge keeps tabs of what you have and don’t, adding missing ingredients directly to your online grocery cart for at-home deliveries. Not to mention, you can shop through Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh, using the Whisk network.
With SmartThings added to the Family Hub smart fridge, you get to enjoy all the cool features and more! You get to access your other smart kitchen gadgets through widgets on the screen, prioritize most used apps, and feature family photos, notes, and recipes.
And, if cooking is what you’re worried about, Samsung has you covered for even that. SmartThings guides you through easy cooking steps and lets you control cooking modes, temperatures, and time settings with one touch. Leaving you with little room for error.
So, with all that in mind, was it really a surprise to see Samsung’s Family Hub win its sixth consecutive CES Innovation Award this year? For us, not quite.
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