Apps

Google Play Store in-app billing deadline delayed to 2022

Google Play Store in-app billing deadline delayed to 2022

The business models of many app stores have come under fire in the past year or so, escalating with Epic Games' lawsuit against Apple. At the heart of the matter is how platform owners are using their position to implement mechanisms and policies that force developers to give up as much as 30% of their profits. To be more specific, even small in-app purchases are required to go through Apple's or Google's billing systems, which means giving them a cut of the revenue, but Google is now postponing the strict enforcement of that policy until next year.

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WhatsApp adds encrypted cloud backups, but only for some beta users

WhatsApp adds encrypted cloud backups, but only for some beta users

WhatsApp has introduced a key privacy feature that'll help prevent unwanted snooping in your old chat logs -- but you can only access it if you're a beta user on Android. With the latest beta update, WhatsApp now offers encrypted cloud backups, meaning that anyone who acquires your stored chat logs won't be able to read them.

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Amazon gets Fakespot product analyzer kicked from App Store

Amazon gets Fakespot product analyzer kicked from App Store

It's no secret that Amazon has a counterfeit product problem, and so it's no surprise that services have appeared aiming to help protect consumers from this issue. The most popular service is arguably Fakespot, which says that it analyzes product reviews on listings to give shoppers a 'true' product rating. Now, thanks to Amazon, the app has been kicked from the App Store.

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Pocket Casts acquired by WordPress owner Automattic: What will change?

Pocket Casts acquired by WordPress owner Automattic: What will change?

The people that own WordPress just acquired Pocket Casts. In a world where popular, widely used, and excellent apps and companies are acquired and destroyed all the time, this acquisition actually seems like a best-case scenario. Given the relatively reasonable and decidedly non-destructive nature of the company since inception, it seems likely Automattic won't take a knife to Pocket Casts in any major way after acquisition is complete.

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Google Search history: How to delete last 15 minutes (or other spans of time)

Google Search history: How to delete last 15 minutes (or other spans of time)

Google Search now allows users granular controls for deleting search history. Depending on the app or interface you use, you should be able to relatively easily drop in and delete all history from your searches in tiny increments. The latest simple update to the iOS Google app - the Google Search app, that is - allows a user to "Delete last 15 min" with 2 taps.

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Google Search protects your search history with these new features

Google Search protects your search history with these new features

Most people tend to use Google to search for anything they need information on, ranging from the mundane to the personal. Few people give a thought to how Google, by default, tracks those searches, one way or another, something that could induce fear and uncertainty in some users when they realize that fact. Fortunately, Google has become more responsible in handling that kind of data and giving users more control over their online lives. Now it is introducing new features in Google Search that will keep search histories safe from prying eyes, including Google's.

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Facebook Messenger adds Soundmoji, a type of emoji with sound effects

Facebook Messenger adds Soundmoji, a type of emoji with sound effects

Facebook has rolled out a new library of emojis for its messaging app that adds a new layer of expression to the commonly-used images: sound effects. Facebook calls these Soundmoji, explaining that when selected, the recipient will not only see the emoji but also hear a related sound, including everything from clapping and chirping crickets to sound bites from TV shows.

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WhatsApp true multi-device support arrives, but only for some users

WhatsApp true multi-device support arrives, but only for some users

Facebook has improved WhatsApp multi-device support and it is making it available to some users as a limited public beta test. With this beta, WhatsApp users can finally access their chats across multiple devices other than their smartphone -- and these devices won't be dependent on your phone to continue using the messaging service.

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Microsoft’s Clippy is about to make a big comeback, but not in the way you think

Microsoft’s Clippy is about to make a big comeback, but not in the way you think

Those who were Microsoft Office users back in the late 90s or early aughts undoubtedly remember Clippy, the paperclip office assistant who offered tips and tricks for Office that most found annoying rather than helpful. Even though Clippy hasn't been used in any Office apps for many years at this point, the irritating little office assistant still has quite the reputation. It seems that Clippy is about to make a grand comeback too, though you don't have to worry about it greeting you every time you open a new document.

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Xbox Family Settings app can now manage kids’ spending

Xbox Family Settings app can now manage kids’ spending

Gaming consoles like the Xbox are often considered to be a solitary machine for a solitary gamer, but that hasn't been the case for the past years. Consoles have even become a means by which families spend time together at home or for kids to develop skills often associated with safe gaming. The latter is an important consideration for parents who want to give their kids access to consoles and the games available for them. The Xbox Family Settings app tries to make that task less of a chore, and its newest features promise to save parents money or prevent them from accidentally losing some.

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Kindle Vella is a mobile-first episodic story platform

Kindle Vella is a mobile-first episodic story platform

Reading on the go has become more fashionable recently, and as much as Amazon would prefer that people buy and use its Kindle eReaders or Fire tables for that purpose, it has to concede that some people prefer reading on their phones. While certainly possible, the smaller screen and mobile use cases don't exactly make phones conducive for long materials. That's why Amazon is launching its new Vella platform that divides and deliveries stories into serialized chunks that you can pay for per episode.

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Speedtest for Videos is now on Android

Speedtest for Videos is now on Android

Most people only start to fret about their Internet's download speeds once those actually dip to the point of being noticeable. Ookla's Speedtest has long been regarded as one of the go-to tools for benchmarking those speeds, though not without some controversy and criticism. These days, however, raw download and upload numbers are less important than how those speeds will affect their video streaming binge. That's why Ookla expanded its Speedtest app to include tests for video streaming, a feature that is finally available on Android months after its initial announcement.

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