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Google plans Apple-like crackdown for in-app purchases

Google is planning for a possible crackdown on in-app purchases for the apps distributed via the Play Store. Google is asking the developers to give the company a cut of in-app purchases but it has not enforced that rules for the big names like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify who allow for the billing and purchases in their apps separately from the required system of Google. Now according to Bloomberg the day of reckoning is very near and Google is going to update the guidelines probably next week for further clarifying the billing needs ahead of the enforcement.

Google has a very strong double standard when it comes to the developer support by giving the big names an easy time as well as a wide berth while it enforces the rules in smaller and independent developers more aggressively. Developers who are not in compliance will be given a time before the new rules are enforced strictly.

Apple has the similar rules for its App Store and it is much more aggressive about the enforcement right from the start. That is why apps like Kindle on the App Store can not allow you to purchase the books from app itself and Netflix and Spotify will not allow you to sign up directly from their iPhone apps.

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Tor Browser for Android is now based on updated Firefox app

Tor Browser is an impressive browser that routes all the requests from your network through the encrypted Tor network that is intended to provide complete anonymity. Browsing the web with Tor used to require Orbot and Orfox apps till they were combined into the single Tor Browser last year. This browser has received significant update and switching to the codebase used by the new Firefox for Android.

Mozilla has come up with new Firefox app for Android to everyone earlier this year and the Tor Project has been working since April to switch its Android browser to the new codebase. The app is now based on Firefox 82.1.1 and uses the Tor version 0.4.4.5 to connect to the Internet. It has got various privacy extensions built-in like with the desktop browser. The stakeholders at Tor Project has said that we will continue working on closing the gap with the Tor browser for desktop. It also include implementation of the Circuit Display and New Identity features plus it also supports the Onion Location header and the short “.tor.onion” URLs among various others.

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The best cheap Chromebooks that you can buy right now

Chromebooks are coming in and out of the stock due to the spike in COVID-19 and working from home and after that due to starting of the remote schooling. If you are looking for a Chrome OS laptop you can still find some solid ones in $200-300 price range. All the models that are mentioned here are fast enough to handle few Chrome tabs as well as applications running at once.

Samsung Chromebook 4+ ($299)
The Samsung Chromebook 4+ is the most suitable deal the the Chromebook market. The laptop does not have a touch screen or 2-in-1 design but it has been equipped with an Intel Celeron N4000 processor and 4GB RAM. It has also been equipped with 15.6inch 1080p screen which is the main selling point. Samsung Chromebook 4+ will receive Chrome OS updates until June 2026.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet ($249)
If you are looking for something compact as well as portable then you need to go to Lenovo Chromebook Duet. It is a Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard. When you have completed with your work you can simply take off the keyboard for easier touchscreen use. It has been equipped with MediaTek Helio P60T processor, 64GB internal storage and 4GB RAM. It is only one of the few 10-inch Chromebooks that has got full HD display. It also supports the stylus input.

HP Chromebook 14a ($220)
This laptop is pretty much similar to Samsung Chromebook 4. It has been equipped with same RAM, display, resolution, processor and storage. However it has got improved speakers compared to Samsung Chromebook. This laptop will receive Chrome OS updates till June 2026.

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Endomondo is shutting down at the end of the year

There are many apps available when it comes to tracking your fitness. Many of the apps have started to disappear or have been merged into many fitness wear companies. One of these apps is Endomondo which was once one of the leaders in the market and has been around for quite some time now. Under Armour has decided that it did not require to keep it alongside its other apps and now it is going to shutdown.

Endomondo will be shut down on 31st December, 2020 and will be removed from all the stores. The company has also said that ot will be rendered inoperative but we are still unsure whether it will stop syncing or will completely refuse to track your workouts. All the Premium memberships will also be canceled at the end of this month but the benefits will continue to apply till the end of 2020.

Under Armour are now encouraging it’s users to shift to another app MapMyRun and allowing the users to transfer their data till 31st March, 2021. You need to transfer the data manually.

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Android 11 has arrived on the Raspberry Pi

OmniROM was a very famous custom ROM in the past and it may surprise you to know that it is still under development. This project is once again in the headlines for a new port by Max Weninger which brings the software to Raspberry Pi 4.

Though Raspberry Pi uses the same ARM architecture as most Android devices, porting of Android to Pi has always been a very tricky thing to do. This is mainly due to the missing drivers. Various attempts have been made to bring Android to different Pi models over the years but the new OmniROM port appears to be one of the most impressive builds yet. It has been based on Android 11 and has been designed for Raspberry Pi 4. if you are using older models you will have to stick with other operating systems.

The ROM runs Android in the tablet mode not like an Android TV device. That is a better fit for Pi which is used as productivity and learning PC. Weninger noted a forum reply which says, I really don’t think a raspi is a well equipped device to be used for ATV when you [can get an] ATV USB stick from e.g. Xiaomi for about 40E that simply works without issues and has official Google support.”

the forum thread says that hardware-accelerated video playback is not present and Mesa support for 3D graphics is a work in progress. Android typically does not work well when the booting from slow storage like SD cards but the ROM supports running from either USB or SD.

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Android TV has got a Data Saver mode when connected to mobile hotspots

Google is coming up with some awesome data-friendly features on Android TV in order to help the users monitor as well as reduce their TV’s bandwidth usage when it is connected to a hotspot in place of WiFi. These new features are coming to Xiaomi, TCL as well as MarQ TV in India soon.

One of the main features is the addition of new Data Saver mode under Network & Internet that can easily be enabled when it is connected to a hotspot. Google says that it will let you watch three times more content while keeping the same consumption. It would have been great if it was also available for WiFi networks because not everyone has got huge data caps at home. There will be a new alert along with data saver. When you will enable it you will get the notification for every 100MB, 500MB or 1GB that your TV uses while tethering. Google is also providing a guide to help you in connecting your TV to your mobile hotspots and direct local network casting from Files app on Android phones that should not consume any data. The new features are linked to new Android TV Data Saver app version which is now available on Google’s Play Store.

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Nokia is going to unveil its first phone to support Verizon’s 5G UW network

Nokia announced the first 5G phone of the world earlier this yer. Now it seems that the company is bringing the phone to USA for the very first time. A live stream pointed to 9th November announcement for a Verizon variant known as Nokia 8 V 5G UW with support for ultra wide-band network.

If Nokia 8 V 5G UW is based on Nokia 8.3 5G then it must be pretty much attractive phone with a 6.8” FHD+ display that has a hole-punch cutout for selfie cam. The camera setup is standard for the mid-range device. It has also got a 3.5mm headphone jack which will be appreciated. It has been equipped with 4,500mAh battery which will make it solid longevity phone. This will be the first phone from Nokia that supports Verizon’s 5G UW network.

Nokia published a scheduled live-stream video on YouTube and the event was set to premiere on November 9 but the video has been removed. This is not the first time Nokia has launched the phones exclusive to Verizon.

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Sony is paying almost one billion dollars to get some anime

When it comes to smartphones Sony is not the first name that comes to mind as they are not great at selling the smartphones. But they are very good at acquiring anime streaming companies. They bought Funimation three years ago and now it looks like another deal might be closing soon that will bring Crunchyroll into Sony stable at almost one billion dollars.

Sony is ready to put up an amount valued at more than $950 for Crunchyroll which may seen like loads of money. Anime is terrible but at the same time they are great as well. Crunchyroll is the biggest name in anime streaming outside Japan with more than 70 million members all around the globe. Sony has already produced some awesome titles like The Promised Neverland and March Comes in Like A Lion through its Aniplex studio.

Now the competition between the streaming companies is boiling up and not all of them can take the pressure. Streaming services require to attract the young ones and they are totally obsessed with anime. With the acquisition of Crunchyroll, Sony will gain access to more than 1,000 new titles that it could use to let you gain increased space in market that is expected to reach more than 35 billion dollars by 2025.

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Samsung SmartThings Find locates your lost devices by using other people’s phones

Tracking of any lost phone is not a difficult task as they are always connected to a network but it is not for most of other devices. Apple first experimented by using Bluetooth and ultra-wideband wireless signals for reaching the location the lost devices without WiFi or the cellular connection and now Samsung is coming up with the same technology with its own products.

Samsung has announced the launch of SmartThings Find, a new service that allows you to quickly and easily locate Galaxy devices. After 6 million users across Korea, U.S and UK signed up for early access to the service, SmartThings Find is all set for global launch on the devices running Android 8 or later. SmartThings Find also works with Galaxy Watches which are running on Tizen 5.5 or later, Galaxy Buds+ and Galaxy Buds Live.

This service uses ultra-wideband wireless and Bluetooth Low Energy to determine the location of the devices. Bluetooth Low Energy id pretty much common on smartphones now a days. The ultra wideband functionality is just available on Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold2 right now. Once the registration process is completed you can use SmartThings app for selecting the device you need to locate which should display a map.

This functionality can use the crowdsourced data from various other Samsung devices. Samsung has said that SmartThings users can use the Galaxy smartphone or tablet securely to help people locate the lost devices. If someone report his/her device as lost via SmartThings Find, any nearby Galaxy smartphone or tablet that has opted in helping find misplaced devices can alert Samsung server about it’s location which will notify you. All the SmartThings Find user data is encrypted as well as securely protected ensuring the location of the device.

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Telegram 7.2 adds new features and treats for Halloween

Telegram released a major update in the previous month and they added the channel replies, search filters and many more things. Halloween is just round the corner and Telegram is up for it. The the v7.2 this famous messaging app is getting improved which some more features like location sharing, pinned messagesm animated emojis and many more.

You are allowed to pinned multiple messages simply by tapping on the top bar jumping between them. There is also a new button for viewing them at once. Pinned messages are available in one-on-one chats now and they are limited to channels and groups.

In v7.2 location sharing has also been included. Now friends can share their location plus now you can set an alert when they are approaching nearby so you don’t need to glue your eyes to the phone. The icons on the live location map now shows which direction you are facing which will help you in spotting the distance.

There are many more features included in this version like when you send multiple sings at once they will automatically be grouped in a playlist thus making is simple and easier to listen to, forward and comment on. Opening all of them queues them all up by using the built-in media player. When the multiple files are sent at once they will be seen in single chat bubble. For the admins of the channels there are some new stats on the individual posts which includes a list of which public channels posts have been forwarded to. The animations were improved greatly in the last update and they are on the same track in this version as well. Sending the messages as well as switching the songs in the music player will look a lot better now all because of the smooth animations. You can also make memes easily as you will be allowed to edit and resend the photo quickly. Telegram has also come up with new animated emoji which are perfect for the Halloween like empty coffin and crawling spiders etc.