Apps

Huawei’s AppGallery offers various rewards this January

App rewards for the new year

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Got the latest Huawei smartphone? You might be bummed to find out that it lacks Google Play Store. Due to the ongoing ban, some of their smartphones come with their versions of popular Google apps and services instead.

In place of Google Play Store is the Huawei AppGallery. It features numerous apps divided into several categories. To entice you to look at the selection of apps from AppGallery, Huawei is offering various rewards through the app from January 1 to 31.

You can receive a wide range of perks such as vouchers from selected app partners, Huawei Points and Huawei smartphones by simply installing select apps and joining events inside the app. The promo has three divisions:

Download apps and get Huawei points

You can win up to 800 points by installing select apps from the AppGallery. Each one of the 16 participating apps come with 50 points equivalent to PhP 50. These points can then be used for in-app purchases in Huawei’s AppGallery, Themes, Mobile Cloud, and more.

New Year gifts on the AppGallery’s Gift Center

Huawei is treating its users with freebies for the new year. You can claim these freebies by going to AppGallery’s Gift Center. Freebies include VIU subscriptions, iFlix VIP subscriptions, and many more.

Play Games and Win HUAWEI Smartphones

Do you play Guns of Glory, Jellipop Match, Mobile Royale, Rise of Kingdoms and Saint Seiya? You have a chance to win HUAWEI smartphones by buying in-game items and paying through Huawei’s in-app purchases (IAP).

To participate, you must download the participating game(s) from AppGallery. Then, purchase in-game items via Huawei’s IAP with a card payment method. Participants can spend on more than one game to accumulate the spending amount.

The top 30 in-game spenders across Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand will win a Huawei smartphone.

The promo has three phases. The first phase will run from January 1 to 7 with Nova 5T as the prize. The smartphone prizes for Phase 2 (January 8 to 14) and Phase 3 (January 15 to 31) will be revealed on the starting date of each phase.

You can visit Huawei’s promo website for more information.

Apps

How to get NBA League Pass with your telco provider

There are two package options

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NBA action is in full swing. In fact, it has been since August when the season restarted following a shut down that was caused by the dreaded Coronavirus pandemic. As of writing, we’re in the thick of the Conference Finals series. If you want to catch all the action, here’s how you can get NBA League Pass through different telecomm providers in the Philippines.

It’s now easier than ever to get access to the games legally. All of Smart, PLDT, and Globe are offering the same price packages.

PhP 85 — Watch any three games of your choice
PhP 485 — 30-day pass for all games including live and on-demand

Here’s how to get the subscription for each provider.

Smart Postpaid and Prepaid
(Also works with TNT and SUN Postpaid)

  • Download the NBA app (iOS / Android /APKPure)
  • On the app, click on the icon at the top-right corner
  • Click sign-in
  • A banner on top of the page will appear for Smart, Sun and TNT subscribers
  • Click ‘Get Started’
  • Enter mobile number for verification and a one-time PIN which will be sent to your mobile number
  • Choose your provider: Smart, TNT or Sun.
  • Choose your NBA League Pass Package (3-game or 30-days) and enter mobile number
  • Confirm your payment by entering the one-time PIN sent to your mobile number
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

PLDT Home

  • Go to pldthome.com/nbaleaguepass
  • Select your preferred package
  • The amount will be added to your next bill
  • PLDT will give a voucher
  • Download and sign-in to the NBA app
  • Enter the voucher in the promotion code field
  • Click NBA logo and start watching

Globe

  • Open the GCash app
  • Go to Buy Load
  • Look for the PayTV tab
  • Choose your preferred package. (Note: The chosen package is valid for 90 days).
  • Confirm payment
  • Open the NBA app and enjoy!

As mentioned earlier, we’re no in the Conference Finals with four teams remaining. Dueling in the West are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. Meanwhile in the East, it’s a battle between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics.

A new NBA champion will likely be crowned in the next 30 days so now is the best time to subscribe!

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Twitter is probing its AI’s racial bias in picture previews

They’re working on improving it

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Twitter uses a neural network to show you relevant previews of all the pictures that are posted on the microblogging platform. If the image contains text, the area is prioritized for a preview. Similarly, human faces are also given preference.

The preview makes it easier for the viewer to get a gist of the tweet without the compulsion of opening the entire picture. Although, the feature isn’t up-to mark since a lot of users have complained about the AI’s racial bias.

Several users posted a picture that has both, a white man and a black man’s face. But the preview often shows the white man’s face only. Users noticed the difference after a similar anomaly was observed on Zoom, where the facial recognition technology failed to identify a black man’s face, but had no trouble when the skin tone was changed.

 

Liz Kelley from Twitter’s communication team said they had tested the neural system for bias, but didn’t come across gender or racial bias during testing. She also confirmed that they’ve got more analysis to do and shall be open-sourcing all the work for others to review and replicate.

Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis and Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal were quick to acknowledge the shortcoming and said they’re “investigating” the neural network.

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Apps

TikTok and WeChat will be banned from app stores in the US

So, did the Oracle deal go through?

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After months of escalating, the US Commerce Department has announced it’ll ban business transactions with TikTok and WeChat. The two apps are owned by Chinese giants ByteDance and Tencent, respectively.

Practically, you won’t be able to directly download the app via stores like Play Store and App Store. Furthermore, companies are also barred from hosting these apps in the US. Essentially, the user won’t be able to download the app from third-party websites that are hosted in the US.

It also blocks US companies from providing services through WeChat “for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.”

However, it remains unclear whether the announcement means the Oracle-TikTok deal won’t be going through. The Trump administration wanted ByteDance to sell its local TikTok operations to an American company.

In the last few months, multiple American giants like Walmart, Twitter, and Microsoft were interested in getting their piece of TikTok. But things haven’t moved smoothly and the Chinese government isn’t keen on handing over TikTok’s algorithm to an American company.

While Oracle has been chosen for a deal with ByteDance, the latter continues to maintain that the ongoing process isn’t an acquisition and Oracle shall be a technology partner. This is in stark contrast to what President Trump envisions as a business takeover.

The app ban could be a tactic to pressure the Chinese, but we can’t be certain of that right now. Going by the latest statements, it’s clear that the administration wants to completely block user’s access to these apps and is willing to go the extra mile.

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