YouTube Kids has proven to be a popular way for parents to give their children access to a limited collection of YouTube content, even if that collection occasionally includes videos depicting suicide and cannibalism (oops!). The service has slowly been expanding its global reach, and now Google has added 11 more nations to the availability list.
Motorola looks intent on layering on more phones in its One mid-range series of smartphones. Hot on the release of the One Zoom and One Action, Saudi tech retailer Extra has prematurely revealed the existence of the Motorola One Macro.
Continuing its expansion across the globe, YouTube's paid Premium membership is making its way to my neck of the woods. The service is now available in eight new countries in the Middle East, most of which are in the GCC area. If you live around here, you probably didn't expect Premium to come to us this "soon" after its international launch, so the news is a nice late-night surprise.
Technology is supposed to make life easier, but that's not always the case. For women living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, smartphones have made it harder to escape from abusive families and a social system that restricts their choices. Now, activists including Human Rights Watch are calling on Google and Apple to pull an app published by the Saudi government that helps men keep track of women and prevent them from leaving the country.
About a decade ago, buying apps and games for our phones was nothing short of a hassle. Now, it's easier than ever to just find a payment method that works for you, be it operator billing, credit/debit card, Paypal, or even gift card, and fill up your device with all the software and media that you want. If you live in Saudi Arabia, you'll be happy to know you can now use the last option, i.e. gift cards, to pay for your Google Play content.
We take the ease of billing on the Play Store for granted here in the US, but many other countries don't have as many or as flexible options when it comes to picking up apps, movies, books, or music via the service. But for customers in Colombia, Tanzania, Thailand, Chile, and Peru, new payment methods are now possible. Conversely, France and Saudi Arabia have lost some options.
Developers with apps on the Play Store can set up promo codes to give users a paid app or an in-app product for free — if they live in an eligible country. But the list of countries where developers can issue Play Store promo codes is expanding at a quick pace. Seven countries (Argentina, Chile, Peru, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, and Romania) were added to the fold in the past few weeks alone, and now four more countries are part of the list: Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.
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.
STC, the largest telecommunications company in Saudi Arabia (with well over 100 million subscribers across various Arab states), has launched support for Play Store carrier billing. Now people in the region can pay for goods by adding the fee to their next bill, rather than keeping a credit card on file. Customers can find the feature highlighted directly on the carrier's site.
You can access carrier billing by going to purchase an app and, when the payment window pops up, changing the method. Don't feel bad about committing to pay for something later instead of right away. It's not like shopping with a credit card is all that different.