Spotify Free’s new update has on-demand playing, low data mode

Free just got better!



Spotify’s streaming service has always thrived on its freemium model. Premium users enjoyed a modicum of features — offline downloads, playing on demand, no ads. Meanwhile, Free users settled for otherwise.

Following a new update for Free users, Spotify has now begun to delineate the two types of users. The latest update introduces a few features that were previously exclusive for Premium users.

Upon opening the new app, users will notice the enhanced UI. Spotify has decluttered its homepage for a more seamless and personalized approach to your music. It reduced the number of album/playlist carousels you go through after every scroll.

Underneath the UI, Spotify finally introduced a limited version of on-demand playback. Free users still can’t play every song they want on demand. However, the app will allow on-demand for 15 playlists of their choice.

You can’t choose which playlists will come with the feature. Instead, Spotify handpicks them for you based on your listening habits and preferences. Additionally, the selected 15 will include Discover Weekly, Daily Mix, and Release Radar — playlists which suggests new songs for you to listen to. In total, they should cover a total of 750 songs.

Based on your preferences, the app can now suggest songs you can favorite as you search for songs. Previously, Spotify reserved this feature for Premium users.

Additionally, the new app will come with a “low-data” mode. This will come in handy for users with data caps and/or poor coverage.

Despite Spotify’s generosity, the new features hope to tease and entice users to switch to Premium. Regardless of the company’s intentions, the update shows that Spotify has not left its Free users hanging.

The new Spotify Free will gradually roll out to users over the coming days and weeks.

SEE ALSO: Spotify could launch its first car speaker soon


Google is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price



Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.

Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.

India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.

The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.

Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.

Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.

Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.

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EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite



Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page

For just two Bumble coins!



You can’t buy your way to true love but you can now buy a top spot on Bumble’s swipe page.

You heard that right. Bumble just announced their new feature and they’re calling it Spotlight. For two Bumble coins, which is around US$ 2, you can get your own profile to the top of the swipe page — the most conducive spot for swiping. Your profile stays there for 30 minutes and people won’t even know you paid for the extra airtime.

Similar to Tinder Boost, this new feature allows for a bigger shot at better swiping results. It basically bumps you up in the queue. Remember, though, that you can only pay for being more visible on the app, but the swiping is still left to the other party.

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