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India might plan to launch own app store as start-ups criticize Google

2nd October 2020
"Several Indian start-up founders are calling for a local app store that doesn’t charge a high service fee."

India is open to launching its own mobile app store or expanding an existing one if it receives enough demand from domestic firms for an alternative to Apple and Google platforms, a senior government official said on Thursday. The country has some 500 million smartphone users, most of whom use Google’s Android platform, but Indian start-ups have criticized the company for policies they say stifle their growth.

SoftBank-backed Paytm, one of India’s leading payments firms, protested against the U.S. tech giant’s decision to remove its app for a few hours last month citing violations of gambling policies. Alphabet-owned Google also said this week that it will strictly enforce a policy that will levy a 30% commission on payments made within apps on its Android store.

India already runs a mobile app store that lists over 1200 mainly government-backed applications, but also Paytm, and the government could also consider expanding that instead of starting from scratch, the official added. India’s technology ministry, Google, and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google has previously said that fewer than 3% of developers with apps on its Play store sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and nearly 97% comply with its payment system policy. Nonetheless, several Indian start-up founders are calling for a local app store that doesn’t charge a high service fee.“If we have to give 30% fees to Google and also pay for customer acquisition, how will our budding businesses survive?”

Paytm disagreed with Google’s assessment but removed certain promotions to have its app reinstated. The company’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma has said in interviews that Google was acting as “judge, jury, and executioner”. Without referring to Paytm by name, Google later said its policies were aimed at protecting users from potential harm and were applied and enforced on all developers consistently.

Source: reuters

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Everything you need to know about Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) | Apps

27th February 2020
"Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) is a big effort to create a whole new ecosystem of apps, cloud services, and the developer community."

Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) is a big effort to create a whole new ecosystem of apps, cloud services, and developer community that we are going to explore in detail below.

What is Huawei Mobile Services (HMS)?

HMS is a set of applications and services providing many advanced features like Huawei ID, push notifications, payments and other services from Huawei for its device ecosystem. And to deliver a smarter, faster and better seamless experience. Since Huawei cannot use Google Mobile Services (GMS), the company has decided to expand Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) throughout its global users.

Huawei Mobile Services Apps and Services

HMS includes the following apps and services:

- Huawei AppGallery
- Huawei Browser
- Huawei Mobile Cloud
- Huawei Themes
- Huawei Music
- Huawei Video
- Huawei Reader
- Huawei Assistant and more

Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) Apps

Available in more than 170+ countries/Regions the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) apps including, Huawei Browers has completed over 200 million downloads, Huawei Cloud over 160 million and Huawei Themes app over 70 million downloads.

Huawei is also expanding its Huawei Music with over 150 million downloads, Huawei Video with over 130 million and the Huawei assistant with over 140 million downloads.

Huawei AppGallery

Huawei AppGallery

According to Huawei, the Huawei Mate 30 series comes pre-installed with Huawei AppGallery an official application distribution platform. Since its global launch in April 2018, AppGallery has been serving more than 400 million global monthly active users in more than 170 countries and regions.

The company also informed that the accumulated downloads have reached 180 billion within a year and the number of overseas apps released on Huawei App Gallery is increasing as more developers join the HMS ecosystem.

The AppGallery also provides recommendations to Mate 30 series users according to their location and country selection. Intelligent recommendations include local and nearby apps, popular local apps for an enhanced experience.

Huawei Browser

Huawei Browser is a secure and easy-to-use mobile browser, providing Internet browsing experience, search service and complete privacy protection for the users. Currently, there are more than 200 million monthly active users worldwide.

Huawei Mobile Cloud

Huawei Mobile Cloud protects data security from account authentication, data transmission, and data storage. It can securely store important data such as photos, videos, and contacts, and realize multi-end data synchronization to help users manage data safely and conveniently. The amount of monthly active users has reached 160 million globally.

Huawei Themes

Through the versatile lock screen, personalized icons and tens of thousands of online themes, Huawei Themes brings a different experience to users around the world with a colorful and versatile design. The global monthly active users exceed 70 million.

Huawei Music

Users can listen to high-definition music through Huawei Music, and enjoy a wide range of music content and apps such as tens of millions of music libraries, popular song lists, audiobook channels, HiFi zones anytime and anywhere.

Users can easily follow the music trend and experience a richer audio experience. At present, Huawei Music has served more than 70 countries and regions, with more than 150 million monthly active users worldwide.

Huawei Video

Huawei Video, together with Youku, Mango TV, Sohu.com, Jetsen Huashi Wangju, HUACE FILM&TV, Sony, Disney, and other global partners, bring consumers the ultimate audio and video experience.

With a large number of high-quality contents, users can not only enjoy the popular broadcast of Youku and Mango TV, as well as tens of thousands of Hollywood and Chinese movies, art, humanities, knowledge and education, and other special content, enjoying a rich video experience across the world.

At present, Huawei Video has been launched in China, Italy, Spain and other places, with more than 130 million monthly active users.

Huawei Reader

Huawei Reader has cooperated with dozens of partners in the Chinese market, including IReader Technology, Dianzhong Technology, Ali Literature, and China Literature, which has provided users with more than 1 million copies of high-quality content, covering classic publications, bestsellers, and other categories. Huawei Reader will also be launched globally, creating a digital reading platform to give users a richer reading experience.

Huawei Assistant

Huawei Assistant will be launched online together with the Huawei Mate 30 series. Users can simply swipe to the -1 screen to have quick access to various services, as well as global search, situational intelligence, news hotspots and other smart service cards to provide them with rich service.

The news hotspot information service covers 30 languages in 82 countries and regions and provides intelligent reminders of 117 important event information and more than 150 stock market information.

FOR DEVELOPERS
Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) as well as HMS apps, incorporates Huawei’s chip, device and cloud capabilities and integrates a set of HMS core services (HMS Core), tools, and platforms for IDE development and testing.

According to the data shown by Huawei, HMS together with Huawei third-party applications and services forms an HMS Ecosystem for 560 million (previously 570 million) Huawei users across the globe with 1.3 million (previously 1.01) registered developers.

Developers of HMS Core capabilities and services only need to integrate the HMS Software Development Kit in order to use Huawei’s open capabilities.

Huawei has also officially opened 14 HMS Core services, including 9 basic services and 5 growth services, to provide developers with an intelligent Ecosystem with Open Capabilities and quick access to HMS Ecosystem.

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Apple, Google drop Fortnite from the app store

14th August 2020
"The battle video game has been massively popular since its launch in 2017."

Apple and Google dropped the popular game Fortnite from their app stores after the game’s developer introduced a direct payment plan that bypasses their platforms.

Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases in games, which has long been a sore spot with developers.

Fortnite is free, but users can pay for in game accoutrements like weapons and skins. Its developer, Epic Games, said in a blog post Thursday that it was introducing Epic Direct payments, a direct payment plan for Apple’s iOS and Google Play. Epic said the system is the same payment system it already uses to process payments on PC and Mac computers and Android phones.

Apple and Google said the service violates their guidelines.

“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,” Apple said in statement.

Google said Fortnite will remain available on Android, just not through its app store. Android users can download the app from other app stores, although that’s generally not an option for iPhone users.

Epic Games did not immediately return a request for comment. Epic’s Fortnite Twitter account said the company would debut a new short film called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite,” a seeming parody of Apple’s iconic “1984” commercial that introduced the Macintosh computer. It has also filed a complaint against Apple in the U.S. District Court in Northern California for dropping Fortnite.

Source:AP

 

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Dark mode for Google Maps is Here!

1st October 2020
"Google Maps Dark Theme is Here!"

A dark theme is making its way to Google Maps as some users are reporting. Google is rolling out an app-wide dark mode to Google Maps as of version 10.51.1 running on Android 11.

It seems the change is gradually rolling out on the server-side as updating to the latest version of Google Maps is not enough to see the option appear in the app’s settings menu.

The appearance setting in the app will let you force the dark theme indefinitely or match the Android phone universal system theme setting.

There has always been an automatic night-mode that switches on during navigation when the sun goes down if the user is navigating through a tunnel, but it was never applied when browsing maps or menus.

Is anyone else seeing this update on their end? I have not yet seen the change reflect on my OnePlus 8 Pro running the Oxygen OS 11 Open Beta 2. In a Reddit post, at least one person claims to have received Google Maps dark theme and they posted screenshots for proof. You can see it below, where they now have an “Appearance” option in settings that lets them force light or dark themes, or they can let Google Maps listen to whatever the system theme is set at.

source: gsmarena

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