Enterprise

Google is starting to take user privacy seriously

Might copy Apple’s privacy nutrition labels

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Recently, Apple announced a new privacy-oriented feature: privacy nutrition labels. A future requirement for app developers, the feature will show users just how much of their data goes to an app’s trackers. After Apple, Google is reportedly trying to take user privacy seriously too.

According to Bloomberg, the Android developers are developing a feature similar to Apple’s privacy nutrition labels. The company is looking at options which will “limit data collection and cross-app tracking.”

However, instead of completely copying Apple, Google is looking for laxer alternatives. Notably, Apple’s recent solutions stepped on a lot of toes in the developer world including giants like Facebook and Epic Games.

Google, on the other hand, draws a lot of its revenue from advertising. The company has a lot to lose from limiting an advertiser’s ability to track users. Currently, Google is still planning its own iteration of privacy options. As such, the company is consulting heavily with stakeholders on the best way to go.

Whichever way the company goes, user privacy is always a great concern for any company to have. Because of recent events, the world is taking user privacy and data collection a lot more seriously. Everyone wants to know how third parties are using their data.

In Apple’s case, the upcoming privacy nutrition label will come with the iOS 14.5 update coming later this year.

SEE ALSO: Apple is adding privacy nutrition labels to the Apple Store

Enterprise

Xiaomi blacklists “Samsung” and other terms from its phones

But there’s a reason why

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Throughout the past few years, Chinese smartphones have received a lot of flak for its ties to geopolitical issues. Both Huawei and ZTE have already suffered through bans from the American government. Naturally, Xiaomi is in a similar boat. Unfortunately, because of a new research report, things might get worse before they get better.

According to a report published by the National Cyber Security Centre in Lithuania, Xiaomi’s smartphones automatically download a list of terms that they blacklist. The list includes sketchy terms like “China,” “Taiwan Solidarity Union,” and other geopolitical terms. Obviously, including China-related terms can cause a bit of alarm for users elsewhere. However, the blacklist might have uses outside of the obvious.

Spotted by XDA Developers, Xiaomi uses the list for advertising purposes. Besides the China-related terms, the list also includes its brand rivals like “Samsung” and “ZTE.” It also includes pornography and piracy terms. Most ironically, the list also blocks its own smartphone models. The publication spotted that the blacklist is used solely by the smartphone’s advertising platform. Which does make sense now.

The list is designed to block out ads from competing companies and its own (which makes sense since someone who owns a Xiaomi phone probably doesn’t need to see a Xiaomi ad anymore). Blocking pornographic and piracy-supporting ads also makes sense. The China-related terms remain problematic, but there is no indication that Xiaomi uses the list for anything other than advertising.

Further, Xiaomi should activate the filter manually. The automatic download doesn’t automatically mean that the phone is censored. That said, there is still a possibility that Xiaomi can use the filter for more geopolitical reasons. At the very least, current reports don’t point toward that for now.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi 11T series focuses on mobile filmmaking

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Apple might be forced to ditch Lightning cables for USB-C

New EU ruling wants a universal standard

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Apple’s Lightning cable remains one of the most divisive aspects in the debate between Android versus Apple. A respectable number of Android users refuse to switch simply because Apple keeps its ecosystem locked under its own hardware like the cable. And, of course, who doesn’t empathize with users looking to borrow a charger from a friend only to find out that they use Lightning or USB-C cables? Fret not; a new ruling might force Apple to ditch their Lightning cables.

The European Commission has issued a new ruling proposal to fight against “consumer frustration and e-waste.” The biggest suggestion proposes that all devices should abide by a universal standard: USB-C. Obviously, the brand most affected by such a proposal is Apple. For years, the brand has stood behind exclusive ports, while others have already adopted the more universal USB-C standard.

It’s not a complete loss for the iPhone maker, though. Another proposal wants to unbundle the free chargers in every new smartphone box. Last year, Apple already made the controversial decision to stop including free chargers in new iPhone boxes. Other brands have slowly followed suit. If passed, other brands will have to follow in Apple’s footsteps as well.

Besides those two, the proposal also wants to prevent charging limitations. Tech makers must not limit their charging speeds, regardless of device or charger. Additionally, brands must be more transparent about their charger’s specs in order to properly inform consumers about buying decisions.

As of now, the proposal hasn’t been approved for the entire region yet. Once it has, the region will implement a 24-month transitionary period for brands. Even then, there’s still a chance that the ruling might not make it to other regions. Either way, it’s a good start towards a more universal standard outside of the Lightning cable.

SEE ALSO: Google Pixel 6 series will not have a free charger

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Huawei garners more partnerships for HarmonyOS 2

Huawei is paying attention to its consumers

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Nova 8

Huawei continues to struggle with its loss of Google services for mobile devices. On the brighter side of things, the company is striving for development in other departments as well.

Huawei gives the Philippines another affirmation for its commitment to developing an AI ecosystem. The announcement came at the Huawei Development Day 2021. Strategic planning made 96 percent of the local apps available in the App Gallery.

A key move in this development is their partnerships with banking and e-Commerce apps. GCash, KonsultaMD, and WishFM to name a few, are a part of the key roster for their partnerships.

Some of you may know about the strong partnership of Huawei and DICT ( Department of information and Communications). With this partnership dating back to 2018, they came up with the Philippine Startup Challenge (PSC). This is a national startup competition that targets ICT solutions for real-life problems.

Lastly, the company also presented its funding programs regarding app development. They have recently invested US$ 1 Million to their recognized regions for app development. Namely, APAC, Europe, LA, Middle East, and China.

HarmonyOS 2 and Petal Nearby

At the latter part of 2021, HUAWEI will release a new version of HarmonyOS. Because of this, the “One as All, All as One” tagline is born. Easier connections between devices are expected of this update, as HarmonyOS is the operating system of their devices.

At the HDD event, the company claimed to have four breakthroughs:

  1. DecouopledOS and hardware
  2. Sharing capabilities between devices
  3. Smooth and low latency operation
  4. DevEco Studio

To know more about the four, you can watch the Huawei Developer Day 2021 and skip to the 44:39 timestamp for your convenience.

Petal Search is the search app for Huawei, this allows users to search for places and even restaurants as an example. With their latest introduction to its new channel, Petal Nearby. This is present in numerous devices in 170 countries with 50 languages available and 20 different categories.

Petal Nearby is the result of Huawei studying its consumers behaviors and their search trends. It’s a more location optimized service letting users find local businesses and restaurants based on their preferences. The results vary depending on your location. The user can change the city in case for  advanced planning purposes.

Huawei is finding new ways to develop their services for its consumers. The company is doing whatever it can to survive in this competitive industry.

 

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