Apps

STEPN: The app that lets you earn while you walk, jog, or run

Earn as you move

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STEPN

Have you ever wondered what to do with numbers after tracking a walk, jog, or run workout?

What if we told you that you can monetize your workouts? That’s the premise of the up-and-coming play-to-earn lifestyle app STEPN.

Launched in December 2021, STEPN allows players to quite literally earn while they move.

This is done by incorporating blockchain technology for the decentralized transfer of information and assets.

That makes it possible for the game to use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) which can later be traded for cryptocurrencies.

How it works

Of course, the process does take effort. Users must follow these steps:

  • Download v through the Apple App Store or Google Play
  • Sign up and create a wallet for the application
  • Buy an NFT sneaker from the in-app marketplace that fits their activity type (Walk, Run, Jog, or Train)
  • Players may pay for the NFT sneaker using SOL, the native crypto token of the Solana blockchain (Solana also created STEPN)

For those unaware, SOL is available on PDAX, the Philippines’ crypto exchange site. Here, interested users may convert pesos to SOL to start their purchase of an NFT sneaker.

Once a player’s sneakers are set, all they have to do is to begin moving.

The app’s GPS will track a player’s movement and reward him or her for successfully maintaining the required pace of the sneaker type they’re wearing.

Cash-outs from PDAX later on may also be done through popular outlets like Maya, InstaPay, PESONet, and more.

How much will one earn

Depending on the type of sneaker for your workout, one unit of Energy can earn you varying levels of GST – STEPN’s in-game token.

The more difficult the workout, the more GST tokens you get. Walking gets you up to 4 GST for 1 to 6 kilometers an hour while running gets you up to 6 GST tokens per Energy at 8-20 kilometers of movement per hour.

As of writing, a GST is approximately worth PhP 30.

In the future, STEPN users will also be able to collect another token called GMT in future app updates.

The GMT may be earned by leveling up your NFT sneaker.

Both GST and GMT can then be traded for other cryptocurrencies or even fiat currencies to enable players to earn as they move.

Apps

U.S. urges Google, Apple to ban TikTok

It’s about national security again

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Here we go again. Years since the last kerfuffle with the platform, the United States government is once again pursuing a ban against TikTok. However, instead of a geopolitical wave of infractions, the government’s latest pursuit will potentially untold damage on the video-sharing platform.

Recently, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr tweeted a letter he sent Apple and Google about the risks of TikTok. Carr is calling for an absolute ban from both the App Store and the Play Store. But unsurprisingly, the letter’s reasoning goes back to the old fears surrounding the Chinese app.

As reiterated in the letter, TikTok reportedly harvests an absurd amount of information from its millions of users. The platform’s owners, ByteDance, then ships that data off to servers in China. As stated in most anti-China fears, the Chinese government can notoriously request unlimited access of this data, marking a potential security risk on Americans. The letter cites evidence going as far back as 2019.

Carr urges Apple and Google to follow their policies regarding apps in their respective stores. If followed, TikTok might disappear from official sources, leaving third-party sources as the only places to get the app from.

Besides the regulatory, TikTok is also facing struggles in the competitive front. Meta’s Facebook and Instagram are reportedly taking renewed steps to compete more effectively with the platform.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is going to become more like TikTok

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Instagram is using facial recognition AI to verify your age

Currently testing

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For kids of the early 2000s, the biggest lies everyone told were whenever websites asked if they were 18 years old. Because of how limited technology was, a website’s age prompt was about as useful as blowing into a flat tire. Now, the internet has more tools at its disposal. Marking the next step in this evolution, Instagram is testing a tool that supposedly identifies a user’s age by scanning their face.

Though it’s not readily apparent with the number of children who have social media accounts, Instagram is one of those sites that require users to be at least 13 years old. But, like those old websites from yesteryear, the policy isn’t really useful for keeping children out.

Now, as reported by The Verge, Instagram wants to make the platform more secure. When a teenager wants to change their age to 18 years old or older, the app will prompt them to verify their age using one of three verification methods — at least in the United States.

The first method is simpler: submitting photos of official ID cards. The second method is a bit more complex: asking three of the user’s above-18 followers to verify the age change. On the other hand, the third uses an AI tool called Yoti.

With Yoti, users can submit a video of themselves for verification. Artificial intelligence will then analyze facial details, taking sex and race into consideration, to estimate the user’s age.

Naturally, it’s not a perfect system. There are ways to bypass it, including using someone else’s face. Regardless, it’s a bigger evolution than just simple yes-or-no prompts.

SEE ALSO: Instagram created its own font, and it’s wacky

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Android used a Drake song to diss Apple

Google doesn’t like the green bubble

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iPhone users have a certain term for Android users: the green bubble. Though it’s more known among Apple users, it’s become such a huge thing now that pop culture already makes references to it. And, due to its prevalence, Apple’s main rival, Google, has just used a popular song to diss Apple.

Users who don’t usually interact with the iPhone ecosystem might not know about the term, though. The term “green bubble” refers to how Android is visually represented on Apple’s system. Whenever an Android user joins a conversation on iMessage, the speech bubble’s color turns from the traditional blue to green. It’s become a popular way to discriminate against Android users.

On a more technical level, the change is a result of the two systems using different messaging standards. While Google uses RCS, Apple uses a proprietary system to send text and media to each other. When the two interact, Apple’s system detects this and conveys it with the green bubble.

Released in an album last Friday, Drake’s new song “Texts Go Green” takes a light-hearted approach to the phenomenon. And naturally, Google is all for it. In an unofficial lyric explainer video on their official Twitter account, Android called on Apple to fix the issue and adopt RCS.

As of late, Apple has been called out for refusing to play ball with the others in the industry. In the European Union, the company is facing an impending decree to adopt USB-C across all its devices to contribute to a universal standard in the region.

SEE ALSO: Here’s what’s coming in Android 13

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