Apps

Netflix and Spotify will be taxed by the Philippine government

As well as other ‘digital service providers’

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Netflix and Spotify as well as other digital services you’re subscribed to might hike their prices following the latest move by the Philippine government.

The House Ways and Means Panel of the Philippine Congress has approved the bill that proposes the imposition of a 12% VAT (Value Added Tax) to companies, local and foreign, that engage in the exchange of goods and services for monetary value on digital platforms.

Netflix and Spotify were prominently mentioned but the bill will impose the 12% VAT on any digital service provider. It defines such as follows: “an entity which provides digital service or goods to a buyer through an online platform for purposes of buying and selling of goods or services or by making transactions for the provision of digital services on behalf of any person.”

This means most of your online subscriptions will likely be affected. Further expanding the definition, the following also fall under the “digital service provider” category:

  • third party that acts as a conduit for goods or services offered by a supplier to a buyer and receives commission therefore
  • platform provider for promotion that uses the internet to deliver marketing messages to attract buyers
  • host of online auctions conducted through the internet, where the seller sells the product or service to the person who bids the highest price
  • supplier of digital services to a buyer in exchange for a regular subscription fee over the usage of the said product or service
  • supplier of electronic and online services that can be delivered through an information technology infrastructure, such as the internet.

We’ve reached out to Netflix and Spotify inquiring how they will respond to this development. We have yet to receive a response as of writing.

Philippine debt climbing

The authors of the bill argue that this will level the playing field between local and foreign companies. The Philippines’ assistant secretary notes that the government could gain a PhP 10 Billion revenue from this measure.

This comes on the heels of another report noting that the Philippines’ debt has breached the PhP 9 Trillion mark. The borrowed funds have been earmarked for COVID-19 response.

However, there still has been no implementation of mass testing and proper contact tracing which have been proven to be effective in containing the spread of the virus. This, despite the Coronavirus cases in the country already breaching the 80,000 mark — well above the number in neighboring countries.

Source: GMA News

Apps

Facebook on iOS now has dark mode

It’s more dim than dark

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Facebook Dark Mode

Took them a while but it appears Facebook on iOS now has dark mode. The company started publicly testing the feature back in early November and it looks like more users are now able to make the switch.

To turn your Facebook app into dark mode on iOS, you only need to tap the Menu button on the lower-right hand side of the screen. Scroll down and look for Settings and Privacy then tap that. Afterwards, the Settings and Privacy option will expand. You’ll then see Dark Mode right up above App Language. Tap on Dark Mode. It’s turned off by default but you have the option to turn it on or match your system settings.

Earlier reports suggest the company is also testing the dark mode on Android. However, as of the moment, it’s only more widely available for iOS users.

Android users should be able to see the update come to their devices in the next few weeks.

It’s important to note that this is different from the dark mode that some Android UI/UX. This particular app date is native to the app versus the one forced by the Android skin.

SEE ALSO: Facebook launches dark mode for desktop

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The best apps in the App Store this 2020

According to Apple

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It’s that time of the year! Apple finally presented its App Store Best of 2020 winners. The technology giant recognized 15 apps and games that contributed to making life easier, healthier, and more connected this year.

Best Apps of 2020

iPhone App of the Year: Wakeout!, developed by Andres Canella

iPad App of the Year: Zoom

Mac App of the Year: Fantastical, developed by Flexibits

Apple TV App of the Year: Disney+

Apple Watch App of the Year: Endel

Best Games of 2020

iPhone Game of the Year: “Genshin Impact,” from miHoYo

iPad Game of the Year: “Legends of Runeterra,” from Riot Games

Mac Game of the Year: “Disco Elysium,” from ZA/UM

Apple TV Game of the Year: “Dandara Trials of Fear,” from Raw Fury

Apple Arcade Game of the Year: “Sneaky Sasquatch,” from RAC7

App Trends of 2020

App Trend of the Year: Shine, for helping users practice self-care.

App Trend of the Year: Caribu, for connecting families to loved ones.

App Trend of the Year: “Pokémon GO,” for reinventing the way we play, from Niantic.

App Trend of the Year: ShareTheMeal, for helping users make a difference.

App Trend of the Year: Explain Everything Whiteboard, for helping bring remote classrooms to life.

App Store Best of 2020 award

To celebrate these 15 apps, Apple had its designers bring meticulous craftsmanship, creating the first-ever physical App Store Best of 2020 award. It was inspired by the signature blue App Store icon.

Committing to its sustainability mission, each award reveals the App Store logo set into 100 percent recycled Aluminium, with the winner’s name engraved on the other side.

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Enterprise giant Salesforce acquires Slack for $27.7 billion

Salesforce’s biggest purchase in the 21st century

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Business software pioneer Salesforce is buying work-chatting service Slack for US$ 27.7 billion. The acquisition of Slack is being hailed as Salesforce’s biggest purchase in the 21st century.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has said that together the two companies will shape the future of enterprise software. Salesforce has a robust unified platform for businesses to connect with their employees, customers, and partners, making it a perfect match for Slack.

The deal comes as the communication platform struggles to fully capitalize on the Coronavirus pandemic. With remote working becoming the new norm, the demand for enterprise communication apps has skyrocketed.

It faces a lot of competition from Microsoft Teams, which is deeply connected with Office and Outlook. Even Facebook and Google joined the race. However, their solutions lacked deep integration with other enterprise modules.

Slack was founded as a gaming company in 2009 in Canada but it soon emerged as the widely used workplace messaging app. It focused on real-time communication, giving teams the option to rely on an instant messaging app over email.

Details of the sale

According to the acquisition terms, Slack shareholders will receive US$ 26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share or US$ 45.5 per share based on Salesforce’s closing price on Tuesday.

Salesforce was the first company in the world to widely adopt the SaaS (Software as a Service) model, and it has worked wonders. The company was also among the first to leverage the cloud computing trend. It designed its entire systems around a decentralized hub that can be accessed remotely from any device, anywhere.

If the deal goes through as planned, Salesforce hopes to control Slack sometime from May to July 2021.

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