Apps

How India is implementing the Chinese apps ban

TikTok is banned, once again!

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In a startling build-up, India has disclosed a list of 59 apps that originate from China and currently stand blacklisted. The two countries are involved in a deadly border stand-off and the anti-China sentiment is brewing at maximum speed.

The banned apps include globally recognized social platforms like TikTok, utility apps like CamScanner, and even games like Mobile Legends. The Ministry of Information and Technology stated that these apps are a threat to India’s security and sovereignty since their user data collection practices are questionable.

TikTok has been taken off the Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store. It means that if you already have the app installed, you can continue to use it without any issues. However, you won’t be able to download the app again since it’s no longer listed.

Obviously, you can rely on direct .apk files. But, this method isn’t recommended since it could pose a security or privacy threat to your phone and hasn’t cleared bare minimum audits.

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is headquartered in Beijing and the app first became popular in the Chinese market before spreading worldwide.

The ban isn’t effective yet since a lot of apps like ShareIt, CamScanner, and Shein are available in the stores. We expect these apps to gradually move out in the coming hours or days.

Furthermore, India has asked its internet service providers to help enforce the ban. While the details about this implementation remain unclear at the moment, we’re assuming a few IP addresses related to these apps will be blocked. Once this comes into force, you won’t be able to access TikTok or Mobile Legends content even if you have the app.

India already bans a host of porn websites using this technique. An error message is displayed that says the ISP has blocked access to the website after receiving a directive from the Ministry. If the telecom operators are fully onboard, India can successfully thwart a major chunk of traffic flowing to these apps.

Apps

Disney+ now streaming in Singapore

Have you subscribed yet?

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The wait is over. Disney+ is now finally available in Singapore.

If you’ve been longing to stream Disney classics, new shows like The Mandalorian in the Star Wars universe, or just want a feel good flick from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you can now do so via the streaming app.

The subscription costs SG$ 11.98 per month or SG$ 119.98 for a year. With it you’ll have access to a library of 500 movies and over 15,000 episodes of some of your favorite shows from Disney Channel.

You’ll also gain access to content by other major entertainment companies like Pixar, National Geographic, and Star.

To sign-up, users need to go to the Disney+ website and you’ll be asked to input your email address so they can keep you updated on how to subscribe. A subscription plan lets the user stream on four different devices at the same time. There are also different profiles for each subscription just like Netflix. However, instead of just five, Disney+ gives you up to seven profiles.

GeekCulture put together a list of supported devices so check them out to see if you have any of them.

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Netflix now has a Downloads For You feature

Not to be confused with Smart Downloads

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Netflix Downloads

Netflix wants to make sure you have something to watch even when you’re on the go with its new Downloads For You feature.

Not to be confused with Smart Downloads which lets you find the next episode of your favorite show even when you’re on the go, the Downloads For You feature automatically downloads recommended shows or movies to your mobile device based on your tastes.

Don’t worry though, despite it doing things automatically for you, you’re still ultimately in control. It takes two steps to opt in.

  1. Go to the Downloads tab on your mobile device and toggle on Downloads For You.

  2. Choose the amount of content you want downloaded to your device (1GB, 3GB, or 5GB) and click Turn On. The more space you allow, the more recommendations Netflix will download for you.

Here’s how it should look like.

Just like Smart Downloads, the Netflix Downloads For You feature will only work while you’re on Wi-Fi. It’s also only currently available on Android with iOS testing happening soon.

SEE ALSO: DOTA anime series coming to Netflix

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Spotify will launch high-quality audio later this year

Price unannounced

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Since the advent of music streaming, Spotify has enjoyed its dominance as the most popular service with the most varied gallery of music. However, competing services, like Tidal, can easily one-up the industry leader in terms of audio quality. Despite Spotify’s relentless promise to deliver top-tier audio, the service hasn’t upgraded its audio quality that much. That will soon change, though. Spotify has now confirmed that high-quality audio is coming later this year.

Currently, Spotify is streaming its music at a paltry 320kbps. From an audiophile’s standpoint, 320kbps is the bare minimum bitrate for music listening. However, hi-fi audio — that is, bitrates that escalate from 1000kbps and go as high as 9216kbps– unlocks an entirely new experience for more discerning ears. To put it lightly, hi-fi audio sounds more vibrant and more alive, especially given a workable audio setup.

With the announcement, Spotify is reportedly pushing the feature to select markets at an unannounced date. Unfortunately, the company has not announced how much the new feature will cost users who want to upgrade. Hi-fi audio definitely costs a lot more. Tidal, for example, offers its highest quality audio for US$ 19.99 per month.

In the past, though, Spotify has talked about launching the feature for an additional US$ 7.50. At the time, the promise didn’t result into anything. This time, Spotify Hi-Fi finally seems official.

SEE ALSO: Spotify is testing its own Stories feature

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