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

Next Android update is Android 12.1, not Android 13, rumor says

Just a minor update

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One of the highlights of the year is a new Android update. Like clockwork, Google updates the biggest mobile operating system in the world. It’s gotten so popular that the entire industry speculates on the codename each update is attached with even if the company stopped doing them years ago. The hype is there. However, Android users might have to taper their expectations next year. Instead of Android 13, Google might launch Android 12.1 next year.

Reported by XDA Developers, the rumor speculates that next year’s Android update will just be a minor one of the upcoming Android 12 this year. According to one of the publication’s recognized developers, Google attached an “sc-v2” tag for the next Android update, instead of “T” for “Tiramisu,” the internal codename for Android 13. For those who still follow the internal codenames for Android, “sc” refers to Snow Cone, the internal codename for Android 12. As such, it’s natural to assume that the next update is just Android 12.1, rather than Android 13.

It’s been a while since Google released minor updates in lieu of major updates. However, it’s no surprise. Android 12 is already a big update, relative to the past few updates. The update features a revamped design called Material You. Google can believably improve the new update more before launching a major one.

SEE ALSO: Android 12 is Snow Cone

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Apps

Google starts rolling out Material You apps

More coming this month

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There is no one more excited for Google’s upcoming products than Google itself. Though the company hasn’t officially launched its products yet, Google has persistently teased everything in the weeks and months leading to their debuts. Now, the company is slowly rolling out Material You apps ahead of the Android 12 launch.

Material You refers to Android’s design revamp for the upcoming Android 12 update. An evolution of Google’s smooth Material Design, the new design personalizes the user interface and the phone’s apps according to the user’s preferences. Android 12 is all about customization.

Of course, since the update also affects apps, Google is also rolling out apps that reflect the new design. Despite the lack of Android 12, the new apps are coming out ahead of time. Officially announced by Google’s Workspace blog, Google Drive will start the new push with its rollout starting today. After Drive, Google Meet will come out on September 19, and Google Calendar will launch on September 20. Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets have already rolled out a week ago.

The new apps will feature new navigation bars, floating action buttons, and a new font called Google Sans. The new font will make readability easier for smaller font sizes.

Android 12 is set to launch soon. Additionally, Google is already launching teasers for the upcoming Pixel 6 series featuring the new, in-house Tensor chipset.

SEE ALSO: Android 12 will make Chrome more colorful

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Spotify launches new recommendation feature, Enhance

Personalize per playlist

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Adding new songs to your Spotify playlist can be quite a monumental task. Trying to grab songs from a recommended playlist might not always mix and match well with a personal playlist’s mood. Spotify is improving recommendations with an all-new feature rolling out today: Spotify Enhance.

Launching in several countries all over the world, Enhance will automatically add songs which fits a playlist’s mood. Users who have the feature can toggle the feature on every playlist. The recommended song will then pop up in the playlist’s songs. Likewise, users can toggle the feature off to get rid of the recommended songs.

However, rather than dumping the recommendations at the start or at the end of a playlist, Spotify will sprinkle them after every two songs, providing a healthy balance between old and new songs. The feature will add only 30 songs at a time.

Additionally, these songs aren’t officially added to the playlist yet. If a user finds a song they like, they can link a plus icon beside the song. Added songs will be in the playlist permanently.

The feature will come only to Premium subscribers. Likewise, not every country will have the feature at first. Spotify hopes to roll out the feature for more countries in the coming weeks and months.

SEE ALSO: 3 eargasmic podcasts to listen to on Spotify’s Music+Talk

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