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By Jay Bonggolto
Google Play Store will add a new section to explain how apps use your data
by Jay Bonggolto
Early in 2020, Google introduced policy changes to the Play Store meant to ensure that apps have the right permission to access background location data. Now, the search giant has previewed a new section in Google Play that will increase the transparency around how apps are using your data.
Google announced today that, beginning in the second quarter of 2022, developers will be required to include information about how their apps collect and share data as well as other data pertaining to privacy and security. With the new safety section, users can check what type of data is collected by the app and how it's used. These pieces of information may include location, contacts, name, email address, photos, videos, audio files, and storage files.
The new section will also show if an app encrypts data it gathers and obeys Google's policy for creating apps and games for children. It will also highlight whether specific data being accessed is essential for an app's functionality and whether an independent party verified an app's safety section. There are elements in it as well that will show if users can request to have their data removed if they uninstall an app. These pieces of information must be included when developers submit or release updates to their apps beginning next year.
Developers will gain access to the new policy requirements and resources starting in the third quarter of this year and then they can add the necessary information in the Google Play Console by the fourth quarter. The safety section will go live in Google Play in the first quarter of 2021.
It's noticeably a similar policy change to what Apple introduced last year for app listings in the App Store. Apple's Privacy Labels essentially provide an overview of data that an app gathers and what it does with it. It's interesting to see how Google will implement this policy in its own ecosystem.
By Abhay V
Twitter rolls out support for viewing tall images in tweets on iOS and Android
by Abhay Venkatesh
Twitter today announced a change to the way images in tweets are displayed on its mobile apps. The company will finally begin displaying taller pictures in tweets on its iOS and Android apps and will stop cropping the pictures in them to a pre-set aspect ratio. The company has been testing the feature for the last few months. The announcement itself came via a tweet from the company that contained an example.
The change is indeed a welcome one as it will no longer result in awkward images cropped inaccurately. This also will help the company avoid criticism about the algorithms’ bias with specific images since taller images will automatically be cropped to the center if they are too long to be completely displayed in the tweet. As usual, users can tap on the image to view the full-length picture.
The firm adds that the structure of the tweet will be identical to how it is previewed when being composed. Currently, the change is rolling out to users running the iOS and Android apps. However, there is no word on when it will make it to the web clients and on the desktop. In addition to this, the company has been making other changes related to images such as adding support for high-resolution uploads in tweets.
Considering that the feature has just begun rolling out today, it might be a while till all users receive the update.
Have you received the feature yet and what do you think about this change? Let us know in the comments below!
Android tablets are getting a new Entertainment Space for media consumption
by João Carrasqueira
Google has announced a new feature for Android tablets, called Entertainment Space. Inspired by last year's Kids Space that debuted alongside some Lenovo tablets, this new feature is designed to make it easier for users to browse and find shows, games, and books to pass the time.
The Entertainment Space interface is split into three major tabs: Watch, Games, and Books, and each one does what you'd expect it to. In the Watch tab, users can view content from all the services they have accounts for. The interface will surface content from all the available services, including recommendations based on your history and the ability to quickly jump back into something you were watching before.
The Games and Books tabs are a bit more limited in scope, since you can only rely on Google Play Games and Google Play Books. Each category will feature popular content at the time and highlight games you've playing or books you're currently reading. Some games also support Instant Play so you can get started without any downloads, while books offer free previews so you can know more about them before committing to a purchase.
The Entertainment Space is coming to Walmart onn. tablets later this month, and tablets from other brands such as Lenovo and Sharp will also add it later in the year.
By Jay Bonggolto
Samsung ends security updates for the Galaxy S8 and S8+
by Jay Bonggolto
Samsung has pulled the plug on security updates for the Galaxy S8 and S8+. The devices were announced back in 2017, marking the beginning of smartphones with thin bezels. They had since enjoyed four years of Android security updates, although that has now come to an end.
On its security updates page (via 9to5Google), Samsung has removed the two flagship phones from the list of handsets that are receiving support. If you intend to keep your Galaxy S8, you'll have to cope with the current software version moving forward, knowing that it will no longer receive fixes or any form of updates.
While security updates for the legacy phones have ended, it's worth noting that the Galaxy S8 and S8+ continued to receive support for a longer period than Google's Pixel phones. Samsung managed to beat Google at its own game when it announced in February that it would roll out four years of security updates for Galaxy devices. In contrast, the Pixel devices receive only up to three years of security and feature updates.
Like most of Samsung's flagships, the Galaxy S8 lineup received two major OS updates and up to three years of monthly security updates before it was moved to the quarterly schedule early last year. Noticeably, the Galaxy S8 Active and S8 Lite are still receiving security updates under the quarterly and biannual schedules, respectively, since these were released a few months after the Galaxy S8 phones were launched.
By Laurentiu A.
I have one question for all of you...
What is this ugly, beta, squared, badly pixelated THING on my taskbar?
It says News and interests and yes, I know its a new feature from Microsoft.
How can a billion dollar company, with thousands of employees and rich history in software, design this?
The sun icon looks very bad, the text that displays the weather is blurry and the app itself is sluggish.
How can they release something like this worldwide, without shame?
I am serious...