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

Race For Water is a virtual race and fundraiser for clean water access

Raise funds when you run, walk, or ride your bike

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Clean water is a right, not a privilege. As per United Nations, the average distance African and Asian women walk to collect water is six kilometers, while carrying at least one 20-liter jug.

Waves for Water Philippines, in partnership with Takbo.PH launches Race For Water, in time for Women’s Month and Water Month. The virtual fundraiser is also tribute to World Water Day, addressing the global water crisis we are facing.

Runners and fitness enthusiasts can hit their personal targets through this online event while helping people along the way. This innovative race is designed to ensure social distancing and prioritize safety among participants and beneficiaries.

“I want clean water access for everyone, how do I help?”

Wherever you are in the world, you can join the virtual event, but entitlements and raffle prizes are open to Philippine residents only. To join, you can amp up your support by walking, running, and biking that extra mile.

Sign up at app.takbo.ph and record your progress using any GPS-tracking app of your choice. For every personal target hit, there’s a monetary equivalent. Waves for Water will convert the accumulated distance traveled by all participants into liters of filtered water.

Proceeds of Race For Water will go towards building a gravity-fed water system for an upland indigenous peoples’ community in Porac, Pampanga. This ensures they have water points within meters of their homes.

“When can I sign up and join the race?”

The Virtual Race starts March 1, 2021, and will be ongoing until April 15, 2021. To know more about Race For Water, visit the fundraising page.

Follow @wavesforwaterphilippines and @race4water on Instagram, for updates on giveaways, premium raffle items, and other side events. The event is organized in partnership with H&M Philippines, Aveda Philippines, The Bouldering Hive, and co-presented by TUMI Philippines, San Miguel Corporation, and Atlas.

For more information, visit Race for Water Virtual Run | Race for Water Virtual Ride.

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Apps

BPI Foundation’s Breakthrough app teaches personal finance through a digital board game

Your financial choices can either save you or break you!

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BPI Foundation, the social responsibility arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, launched its first interactive mobile game. Called Breakthrough: The Financial Choices We Make, the game aims to educate more Filipinos about personal finance in an entertaining manner. For brevity, we’ll be calling the game Breakthrough from hereon.

You can sharpen your financial awareness, understanding, and judgment — from basic to complex financial concepts. Saving, budgeting, insurance, debt management, investments, and retirement planning; your financial choices can either save you or break you.

Walkthrough

Breakthrough utilizes a board game set up like Monopoly, but instead of humans, you’re going against AI opponents. Players roll the dice which travels around the digital board landing on a corresponding tile.

Each tile presents common life events where a player’s decision can affect their score. There’s an opportunity to save, go on vacation, invest in stocks, or purchase insurance. You can even experience mishaps beyond your control like getting scammed, phished, or having emergencies such as car breakdown and home damage.

Overall, you can either amass or lose wealth depending on the path you decide to take. Whoever has the most assets, investments, coins, and highest net worth wins the game.

App development

The development of the app is the Foundation’s response to the World Bank’s study recommending the use of edutainment as a form of teaching financial concepts to the public, as stated by BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo.

Apart from the board game, the app included a Financial Wellness journal, quizzes, and tips for players. Moving forward, the BPI Foundations plans to use the app in future runs of financial education webinars and other Foundation activities.

Moreover, the game is planning to scale up, further improving and expanding the gameplay. The Foundation, together with its partner Taktyl Studios, is working on allowing multi-player options, too. Breakthrough is now available on the App Store and Google’s Play Store.

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Facebook to pay $650 million in facial recognition lawsuit

The company that never learns

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A federal judge has approved a settlement in which Facebook will pay US$ 650 million to a class-action lawsuit over its tagging feature. The lawsuit alleged that facial recognition technology, used to tag photos, infringed on users’ privacy.

Facebook users who submitted claims will get at least US$ 345 from the company, the AP reported. The lawsuit had claimed that the adoption of facial recognition technology was being done without seeking permission from users. The social network also failed to inform the users how long their data was being stored.

While many of us view the tagging option as a feature, the platform collects sensitive facial recognition data, whose handling procedures remain opaque. Facebook ended photo-tagging suggestions in 2019 and instead opted for a model to allow users to control what data the platform has over their face.

“Overall, the settlement is a major win for consumers in the hotly contested area of digital privacy,” wrote Judge Donato. “The standing issue makes this settlement all the more valuable because Facebook and other big tech companies continue to fight the proposition that a statutory privacy violation is a genuine harm.”

The class-action case was first filed in Illinois in 2015, suggesting a violation of the Biometric Information Privacy Act. Facebook initially agreed to pay US$ 550 million last year, but another $100 million was added to the judge’s insistence.

 

Attorney Jay Edelson, who originally filed the suit in Illinois in April 2015, told the Chicago Tribune that the settlement was a “big deal.” He also tweeted that the settlement, “was the largest cash privacy class action settlement in history.”

Facebook has an abysmal track record of managing users’ data. In 2019, The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) imposed a US$ 5 billion penalty on Facebook for misrepresenting users’ ability to control their facial recognition data, as well as other sensitive account metadata.

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