Apps

Oracle wins bid for TikTok’s US operations

Will the White House approve?

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TikTok’s parent ByteDance has chosen Oracle to be it’s US partner and the American technology company will get a significant stake. ByteDance has abandoned talks with Microsoft about a possible sale.

According to Bloomberg, the partnership won’t be an outright sale and look like corporate restructuring. There is a possibility that Oracle will be called TikTok’s trusted tech partner in the US.

“ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft,” Microsoft said in a post. The company teamed up with Walmart to make a bid, but couldn’t make the cut due to increasing pressure from China. However, Walmart continues to explore an investment via a consortium of investors led by Oracle.

President Trump is all set to ban TikTok on September 20 and all the companies are scrambling to make the deal go through. The short-video app has already been banned in India and faced a very turbulent run in other markets.

Due to the sale, TikTok’s US operations shall be handled by an American company, ensuring user data integrity. The White House wants an outright stake sale in TikTok to remove Chinese influence. However, ByteDance is trying to wrap up the deal without an outright stake sale.

In the middle of all this, the Chinese government issued new regulations that prevent ByteDance from transferring its technology to a foreign buyer without explicit permission. Microsoft was eyeing TikTok’s algorithm but the recent regulation from China made the deal difficult.

The US is hitting down on Chinese companies that are alleged to have close ties with the Chinese government. Due to the same reason, the US has also banned Huawei and ZTE from doing business with American counterparts.

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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