Apps

YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now available in PH

Offers a personalized music experience

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YouTube officially introduces its new music streaming app in the Philippines — YouTube Music.

In a nutshell, it is a reimagined, made-for-music app and web player that has official songs, albums, thousands of playlists, and artist radio plus YouTube’s catalog of remixes, live performances, covers, and music videos.

While all this is available for free in the ad-supported version of YouTube Music, a paid service called YouTube Music Premium is also available. This allows you to play songs and videos in the background while you toggle between apps, write a text message, or lock your phone during a run.

YouTube Music Premium also offers offline downloads and an ad-free experience starting at PhP 129 per month.

According to the company, YouTube Music not only has official songs, albums, and live performances, but it also has those hard-to-find music that one can only find on YouTube.

Another thing that makes it stand out is the ability to look for certain songs just by typing in parts of the lyrics. It’s useful for those times that you don’t know the title and know only a short part of its chorus.

The app also allows you to switch between music videos and songs with just a tap. YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers can enjoy a seamless transition between a song and its music video seamlessly.

It’s also noteworthy that subscribers of Google Play Music will get YouTube Music Premium membership as part of their subscription each month with no changes to the existing subscription.

Additionally, users may also opt for YouTube Premium which already includes membership to YouTube Music Premium for PhP 159 per month.

If you want to save more on subscriptions, you may sign up for a YouTube Family Plan where you can share a paid subscription with up to five other family members living in the same household for PhP 199 per month.

For additional info and complete rates, you may visit their website.

Apps

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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Apps

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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Apps

Microsoft could bring Android support to Windows in 2021

Feeling the heat from Apple’s move to ARM

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system is widely used globally and has remained the laptop and PC segment’s undisputed leader. However, Linux, as well as macOS, have gained considerable traction in the last few years. To maintain its edge, Microsoft could bring Android support to Windows soon.

According to a Windows Central report, internal discussions are ongoing over the possibility of bringing Android runtime to Windows 10. Currently, you can install a third-party emulation software like Bluestacks to run Android apps on a Windows device. But the experience is far from perfect and still requires a bit of a learning curve.

Apple has a significant lead in this regard because its move to an ARM-based M1 processor allows it to run iOS apps on macOS seamlessly. This ideally helps in bridging the software gap between two very different devices.

Microsoft has tried to achieve a similar goal with the Universal Windows Platform. But the results are still limited because there are barely any devices with a smaller form factor leveraging the operating system.

More importantly, Microsoft wants to bring Android apps to its Microsoft Store. While there’s no information on how it intends to achieve this, the report does say the release is expected by Fall 2021.

Microsoft no stranger to cross-platform apps

Microsoft has whole-heartedly adopted cross-platform compatibility and has a host of apps on iOS as well as Android. If it’s able to bring Android apps to Windows, it’ll challenge the status quo of Chromebooks, which has long been a pain for the Redmond giant in the affordable segment.

This isn’t the first time a company is trying to incorporate Android within its proprietary operating system. BlackBerry 10 supported Android runtime, and the brand leaned on it to make apps easily available. While the move was too late for BlackBerry, it isn’t the same for Microsoft.

It’s worth noting that the idea is in a very nascent stage right now. We don’t know how Microsoft intends to distribute Android apps or whether it’ll start supporting Google Play Services. Although one thing’s for clear — Microsoft is feeling the heat from Apple.

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