With OnePlus, Oppo, and Realme all having successfully launched products in European markets, fellow BBK sub-brand Vivo must have been feeling left out. Not to be outdone by its siblings, the company has just announced its expansion into Europe with a range of handsets and audio products.
Google has faced a lot of scrutiny in Europe. Whether it's finding fault with Google being the default search provider on Android phones to considering a ban on face recognition in public spaces, the EU generally takes a very pro-consumer focus on things. Now a series of working documents have surfaced that indicate the European Commission is considering a number of proposals that affect big tech — including a requirement that users be allowed to remove any pre-installed applications on a device.
Back in June, EU members agreed that their coronavirus tracing apps would need to be interoperable to make it easier to travel during the summer, hoping that this would help to trace contacts across borders to prevent a second wave. While that timeline hasn't quite worked out (summer holidays are over in most countries), the European Commission today has announced that it's finally setting up a standardized interoperability gateway for tracing apps.
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Google may have announced its intention to purchase Fitbit last year, but deals between large corporations like this move slowly. Regulators in both the US and EU have expressed concern about the world's largest ad company gaining access to potentially sensitive health data gathered by Fitbit's wearable devices, and Google's reassurances haven't helped. After an initial review by the European Commission, it has decided to press ahead with an in-depth investigation into the merger that is expected to be completed by December 9.
After publishing the source code of its COVID-19 tracing app, Ireland's Health Service has now additionally donated the code to the Linux Foundation. To make it available to other governments with as little modifications as possible, the company behind the application, NearForm, has built a white-label solution called "COVID Green."
From online streaming to classic vinyl, there are a lot of ways to listen to music these days. Spotify is one of the biggest names in the streaming game, but that doesn't mean much if it's inaccessible in your country. Today, Spotify's announcing availability in 13 new market regions across Eastern Europe, along with 200 new playlists from the region.
For various reasons, Google restricts access to Google Play depending on what region you're browsing from. This means that the apps, games, and other content in the Play Store vary by country, and you can't even see an app listing if it's not available for purchase in your area. Now, it looks like Google is loosening up a bit, as users in the European Union are able to see Google Play content from other countries in the EEA (European Economic Area) region.
Netflix, along with several other online streamers, had to curb its video quality in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that subsequently led people to move almost their entire life and communication online. Its restrictions have been in place since March in Europe, one of the hardest-hit regions, to ease the strain on network infrastructure. Now that the situation there is showing signs of improvement, Netflix has started removing those quality caps in some areas.
With the shift to telecommuting en masse, home broadband connections are under a tremendous load following the surge in data needs for things like video conferencing. While the situation is similar around the world, Europe is hit particularly hard with entire countries under lockdown. To ease some of that network congestion, Netflix yesterday decided to lower its streaming quality in the region, and now, YouTube is following suit.