Apps

India bans PUBG, along with 100 more Chinese apps

The second wave of India’s app ban

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PUBG

India has announced a PUBG ban, further clamping down on apps by Chinese developers. The game is among 118 apps that are now banned, amid rising tension between the two countries. The government has already banned 59 apps, including TikTok and Mobile Legends.

The game is insanely popular in the country and often considered a benchmark to review phones. Players aren’t very happy about the new ban and the internet is filled with memes and jokes about the PUBG ban.

The government says it banned the apps because the posed a risk to “sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of state and public order.” The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent an exhaustive recommendation for blocking these malicious apps.

The ban comes against the backdrop of tensions along a disputed Himalayan border. Satellite images appear to show that China has built new structures overlooking the Himalayan border region.

Privacy and security concerns

Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, authorities around the globe are skeptical about trusting Chinese companies due to the possibility of a backdoor, surveillance, or data theft. Anti-China sentiments have consistently risen and TikTok’s ban fueled the demand to develop an indigenous alternative.

Similarly, American President Donald Trump has also threatened to ban Chinese apps like TikTok. ByteDance-owned TikTok could sell its assets to Microsoft or Walmart soon.

Chinese internet giant Tencent is in the spotlight because it has ties with PUBG as well as game developer Garena. It has massive investments in India’s internet ecosystem, including Flipkart, Ola, Swiggy, and Gaana.

Last year, Huawei was added to a blacklist by the US, barring it from transacting with American counterparts. The Chinese telecom giant is now shipping phones without Google Play Services and has lost valuable 5G contracts from a handful of countries.

Apps

Top iOS 15 Features to look out for

FaceTime for Android, anyone?

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The next version of iOS rolls out this fall. There are new features such as FaceTime for Android, new Memojis, rebranded Safari and Messages app, personal identification card compatibility for Wallet, and more.

But in this video, we rounded up our Top 10 iOS 15 Features you should look out for.

Watch the whole video by clicking here.

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Apps

Voilà AI Artist turns your selfies into 3D cartoons, caricatures

And many more artistic renditions!

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Voilà AI Artist

From FaceApp to Zepeto, plenty of avatars from these apps proliferated social media platforms. Most recently, the Internet went crazy with cute avatars once more. You probably noticed how people have been posting a 3D cartoon version of themselves, akin to a Disney character. It’s all thanks to Voilà AI Artist — a photo-editing app using artificial intelligence to turn your photos into artistic renditions.

Get yourself painted as a Renaissance painting.

Voilà AI Artist

Have your selfies transformed into a 3D cartoon from an animated movie.

Turn your photos into a 2D cartoon…

Voilà AI Artist

… or even have your face drawn as a caricature.

Voilà AI Artist

Voilà AI Artist is developed by WeImagine.AI., a Canada-based team of creators and developers. The app is free to download on the App Store and Google Play Store. If you’re concerned about the app’s privacy policy, read it here.

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Apps

The US revokes Trump’s executive order that banned TikTok

A level-playing field for everyone

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President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Wednesday that sets criteria for the government to evaluate the risk of apps connected to foreign adversaries. It’s specifically meant for apps like TikTok and WeChat, which President Trump banned.

It should use an “evidence-based approach” to see if they pose a risk to US national security, said Biden. If apps are found violating fundamental laws, a ban can be imposed. The task of identifying threats has been given to the US Commerce Department.

Trump’s executive order particularly targeted TikTok and WeChat. Instead, Biden is opting for a level-playing field for everyone. Biden shares the same concerns as Trump, but their approach is vastly different.

Under the previous administration, TikTok remained in a precarious position as Trump sought to ban the app unless it sold to an American company. A proposal was produced that would have seen Oracle and Walmart owning a US entity of the service and taking responsibility for handling TikTok’s US user data and content moderation.

But there were numerous legal challenges, and before they could be ironed out, Trump lost the election. The Biden administration’s new executive order does not affect those negotiations, which are a separate process. The order also calls upon federal agencies to develop recommendations – for future executive actions or legislation — on how to protect the data of US citizens.

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