Google Assistant's language support was expanding quickly toward the end of 2018, but since the beginning of this year, the rate of additions slowed down considerably. As Google I/O nears, we're sure to see those pick up pace a little. Case in point, Assistant now supports Arabic (Egypt) and (Saudi Arabia). The former appears to be in open beta and available to all, while the latter is in closed beta and only showing for a few people.
Earlier this year, it was rumored that Spotify would arrive in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) sometime in Q4 2018. It seems the speculation was true, as Spotify has now launched in a handful of MENA countries — but only to those with invites.
For years, governments around the world have tried to block various web services. This has often proved tricky in recent times, as the recent Telegram bans in Iranand Russia revealed. For example, Russia broke countless other sites while attempting to block Telegram, because they shared the same infrastructure (AWS, Google Cloud Messaging, etc).
On a new Android device (or an old one), opening up the Play Store is the quickest way to get your hands on a digital book. Thing is, that's only the case if you live in a supported country. Today Play Books are making their way to nine countries throughout the Middle East.
The Infinix HOT 2 (why do all Android One phones have terrible names?) is fairly similar to the other semi-standard phones: MediaTek processor, dual-SIM capability, 1GB of memory. It does vary from the blueprint a bit, because the gold model shown above will be offered with 2GB of RAM and presumably a small price increase.
Dear Egyptian readers: yes, we know you're out there. We're sorry to report that Google Street View still isn't available for the vast majority of your country. And while you'd surely prefer Street View in Cairo or Alexandria for the sake of convenience, at least Google has made a small stop in Egypt... at the place where all the other Americans go first, the Giza Necropolis. Street View is now available in and around the pyramid complex.
Google has taken its trademark Street View rigs around the Great Pyramid, the Pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure, the Great Sphinx, and the various smaller pyramids, tombs, and monuments that still stand in the area.
Egyptian Android users, the day you've been waiting for has finally arrived... assuming that you've been waiting to hand over some pounds to hard-working app developers. Google has updated its list of paid app territories to include Egypt, so open the Play Store and gorge yourself on ad-free indulgences.
Previously Egyptian Android users could download apps from the Play Store, but only free titles. A long-standing petition at Change.org has called for access to paid apps, though there's no indication that the 54 signatures present spurred Google into action. Like most territories outside of the U.S. and western Europe, Egypt still does not have access to the wider Google Play Music, Google Play Movies, and Google Play Books libraries.
Samsung is definitely on a roll with the Galaxy S III updates - not a day goes by without a massive rollout of Jelly Bean to devices all over Europe, and now the Middle East as well. The company began sending Android 4.1.1 OTAs to the following territories:
While we still wait for newer products like Play Movies or Play Books to reach a wider audience, Google's been hard at work bringing a slightly more useful product to additional countries: Google Maps with Navigation. After bringing voice navigation to India, nine more new countries are being added to the supported list for the Navigation beta. Including the following:
United Arab Emirates
Unfortunately, the service will require Android 4.0 or higher. This is likely due to Arabic script API incompatibilities with older versions. Though, it's a little unclear on just when all the necessary features would've been added (for example, bi-directional text was only added in Jelly Bean).