Apps

No bootloader unlocking for Huawei Mate 30

But installing Google apps is still possible

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A Huawei spokesperson officially clarified that it has no plans to unlock the bootloader of the Mate 30. As such, the Mate 30 won’t be able to sideload Google apps, including the Play Store.

No Google apps by default

Huawei launched the Mate 30 series last September 19 with impressive specs. One of the highlights of the Mate 30 was the cameras — packing features first for a smartphone. However, the Mate 30 has an Achilles heel: it doesn’t come with Google apps by default. One of which is the Google Play Store.

The Play Store is a standard for all Android phones as it allows users to download their favorite apps securely and hassle-free. Losing the Play Store has been a big blow to the Mate 30, and Huawei has already provided an alternative in the form of the AppGallery.

However, since it is new, there are only few apps that would be available here to cover the needs of most users. These users would want to install the Google Play Store. This is where the bootloader unlocking comes in.

Bootloader unlocking

Bootloader unlocking lets users sideload Google apps. Until recently, Huawei’s policy doesn’t allow for the unlocking of the bootloader. But considering the situation Huawei has faced over the recent months, Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu has stated that they initially planned to allow bootloader unlocking on Mate 30 during in an interview with various journalists.

However, a Huawei spokesperson has reached out to Android Authority and clarified that there is “no plans” yet to allow bootloader unlocking. So Mate 30 users have to look for other ways to install Google apps on their phone.

Other ways to install Google apps

There are other ways to install Google apps. As reported by Android Authority, Reddit users have installed Google apps without rooting or hacking involved. However, the method is risky since there are privacy and security issues concerned.

The method involves installing a third-party app called LZ Play. The app is used by system administrators to manage Android devices. The app requires a hefty list of permissions — for example, the app requires users to grant it system-level permissions. This alone should discourage some users wary of giving their data to a third-party app.

For those who want to proceed despite the risks, installing LZ Play is fairly simple. Simply download the app’s APK through its official website. After downloading the APK, install the APK and follow any prompts thrown by the installation process. Google apps should appear after the installation.

If any issues appear with signing-in to the Google apps, simply restart the phone. The folks at Android Authority have installed the app on their Mate 30 Pro and it worked seamlessly. No other methods had been reported that would let Mate 30 users install Google apps on their devices.

Serious uphill battle

Without Google Play Store to access millions of Android apps, most users will be discouraged from buying the Mate 30. Without bootloader unlocking, it will leave few who are courageous to buy the Mate 30 with no choice but to stick with Huawei’s own apps.m

As of right now, the Mate 30 series is facing a serious uphill battle. The loss of Google apps means that most users might stay away from it.

Apps

QuickShare will be Samsung’s alternative to AirDrop

It has cloud powers too

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Samsung is developing an alternative to AirDrop. It has a rather straightforward name of “Quick Share” and appears to carry all the functions of Apple’s offering.

Spotted by XDA-Developers, the feature lets Samsung users quickly share files, photos, and videos to other Samsung users. They can set to receive from their trusted contacts by selecting “Contacts Only”. Alternatively, they can receive files from any nearby user by choosing “Everyone”.

To differentiate it from Apple’s seamless file-sharing feature, Samsung will let users upload files to Samsung Cloud. Nearby SmartThings appliances will download the files and stream it to the user’s Galaxy device. However, there is a size limit of 2GB per day with this feature.

This feature will probably debut on Galaxy S20 when it launches on February 11th. It will likely remain exclusive to newer Samsung devices sporting OneUI 2.0. However, it is possible that this feature will roll out to other devices through over-the-air updates.

Samsung is not the only company developing its own nearby file sharing tool. Last August, rivals OPPO, Vivo, and Xiaomi announced an unprecedented partnership to develop an AirDrop-like feature for their devices. These are a welcome development for Android users longing for a decent AirDrop alternative.

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Apple isn’t encrypting iCloud backups because of the FBI

Public security is their concern

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One of Apple’s selling points for its products is encryption by default. For a long time, the Cupertino company advertised device encryption for its iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks.

For users, it means better security and privacy against malicious hackers wanting to steal sensitive information. All device data is securely stored and encrypted so only the users can access them.

However, there is one thing missing from Apple’s encryption clause. By default, iCloud backups are unencrypted — Apple can see any data users store in the cloud service.

Privacy no more

While the company remained mum on the issue, a report by Reuters revealed why Apple didn’t encrypt iCloud backups for many years.

It turns out, the company planned on encrypting all iCloud backups last 2016. During that year, the company successfully fought a court battle against the FBI for unlocking the iPhone of a school shooter. The encrypted iCloud plan has the code name “Plesio” and “KeyDrop”.

Apple discussed the encryption plans with the FBI but the agency complained about its implications. Pressured by FBI and several US agencies, Apple later caved in and dropped plans to encrypt iCloud backups.

Sources gathered by Reuters also suggest one reason for dropping encryption: more users will find it hard to retrieve their data once they lost their password.

Implications and repercussions

With iCloud backups remaining unecrypted, FBI can easily request a court order for Apple to turn over precious data to the agency. As such, iCloud data became one of the preferred evidence for the agency, with more than 1,568 cases involving its use.

Apple has not yet commented on the issue. However, expect the fallout from this relevation to be swift and widespread, as more tech companies face the dilemma of balancing users’ privacy against the need for upholding public security.

Source: Reuters

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Apps

WhatsApp is finally getting a dark mode for Android

Currently available only in beta

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Android’s dark revolution is finally in full swing. Following the launch of Android 10, the operating system has slowly updated its supported apps to accommodate the much-awaited dark mode. Android apps are getting darker, potentially saving millions of eyes at night. The revolution has already swept the heavy hitters like Twitter and Instagram.

Now, the popular messaging service, WhatsApp, is getting the same treatment. More specifically, WhatsApp has rolled out the feature for its Google Play Beta Program.

On the updated app, users can access four types of display modes. The first two are the basic Light and Dark modes: dark text on a white background and white text on a black background. The third automatically switches between the two modes, depending on the time of day. The fourth, dubbed as Set by Battery Saver, switches depending on your current battery.

Unfortunately, the Beta Program is not accepting new members at this time. Only current members of the program can access the new mode. Currently, if you want a makeshift dark mode, you can change your chat wallpaper to a dark image.

Given the timeliness of the beta update, a public release will likely roll out in the near future.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp may soon get disappearing messages

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