Apps

Google launches lightweight Gmail Go

Available only on Go phones

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Google has added another member to its “Go” family of apps. Gmail Go joins YouTube Go, Chrome Go, Files Go, and Assistant Go in Google’s push towards lower-end, budget-friendly smartphones.

The lightweight app shares similarities with the standard Gmail app. Gmail Go is still compatible with multiple accounts, conversation view, and message categorization. Using Gmail Go feels the same as its regular counterpart.

However, like other Go apps, Gmail Go takes up less space on your phone and uses much less bandwidth. To do this, it foregoes several features from the original.

The most obvious change is the less frequent syncing; Gmail Go won’t download images automatically; and the intervals between automatic message syncing are also longer.

Similarly, the app only takes up 25MB on your phone, compared to Gmail’s 47MB on regular phones. Accounts on Gmail Go also have access to 15GB of free storage.

If you want to try Gmail Go on your flagship, you’re out of luck. The lightweight version is available only on phones compatible with Android Go — or those that come pre-installed with Gmail Go. Unqualified phones won’t find the app on the Google Play Store.

On the other hand, compatible phones can have both versions of Gmail installed on the same phone.

Android Go is Google’s initiative to attract more users from the budget phone category. Coupled with a slew of lightweight apps, the new OS efficiently uses the phones’ limited resources for optimal performance. Gmail Go and the other Go apps are available for download on Google Play through Go-compatible phones.

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

Apps

Waze now supports Apple Music

Link those accounts

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Music always goes well with driving. However, because driving demands both hands on the wheel, controlling music playback isn’t always the most seamless experiences. Thankfully, a lot of navigation apps are expanding their support towards the most popular music streaming platforms right now. Today, Waze has announced that the app now supports dual functionality with Apple Music.

Of course, Apple Music isn’t the most popular platform today. Still, expanding support is always a win. With the new update, Waze users can now control their Apple Music content straight from the navigation app.

It does need a bit of setup, of course. Users will have to link their Waze account to their Apple Music account through the Audio Player setting on the app. Besides Apple Music, Waze also supports Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

Though the streaming platform is already a staple especially for Apple users, Apple Music is doing more to create a viable plan against other streaming giants today, including a cheaper Siri-only plan that rids the need for an app interface. The service also increased the price of its student plan in several countries recently.

Both Apple Music and Waze are available for download on the App Store and on the Play Store.

SEE ALSO: Apple Music increases subscription price for students

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Apple Music increases subscription price for students

In the Philippines and Singapore

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In the Philippines, Spotify is still king. However, the platform’s dominance isn’t enough to deter other music streaming services from setting up shop in the country. Much like Spotify, these other platforms are ever-changing and prone to price changes. If, for example, you use Apple Music as a student, you’re likely affected by a recent increase in the country.

In South Africa, Twitter user @LVDNoff took to the platform to reveal an email from Apple detailing a price increase for Apple Music’s student plan. “Apple is raising the price of this subscription from US$ 1.49 per month to US$ 1.99 per month,” the email read. Though it’s not a huge increase, a few extra cents can put a larger dent in a student’s allowance. Unfortunately, the email didn’t reveal why an increase was tacked on. It also doesn’t reveal if regular subscriptions might see similar increases.

MacRumors, who first reported about the tweet, uncovered something else about the price hike, too. South Africa isn’t the only country getting an increase. According to the publication’s findings, the following countries are also seeing higher student prices: Australia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Africa.

The report doesn’t indicate specific increases for each country. However, Apple Music’s website currently shows a subscription worth PhP 75 per month. When the service first launched in 2018, students paid only PhP 69 per month.

SEE ALSO: Apple launches the Apple Music Voice Plan

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Spotify lets you blend your music tastes with K-Pop stars

Mix and match with BTS

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Last year, Spotify introduced an all-new feature for music discovery. Blend takes your and your friend’s music preferences and melds them into one shared playlist. The feature can ultimately bring two people closer together by introducing one to the other’s music. Now, Blend is getting a major update: a K-Pop expansion.

And no, it doesn’t just mean a sudden infusion of K-Pop songs for your Blend playlists. Users, especially K-Pop fans, can now blend their music preferences with those of popular K-Pop groups, including BTS, AB6IX, ENHYPHEN, NMIXX, Stray Kids, and TOMORROW X TOGETHER.

As always, using the feature on these groups will create a playlist combining your songs with their favorite artists. You won’t just get a helping of their songs; you’ll get the songs of the ones they like.

Further, you’ll get a share card saying how much your preferences match up to theirs. Users can share these cards directly to social media platform. Use them as badges of honor to proclaim how alike you are with your favorite group.

Blending with artists isn’t totally new, though. Earlier this year, Spotify also unleashed the feature to cover Western artists like Charli XCX, Lauv, and Megan Thee Stallion, among others. Expanding this feature taps into a huge market that Spotify has, the K-Pop fanbase.

SEE ALSO: Spotify launches new recommendation feature, Enhance

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