The U.S. government threatened to ban TikTok and WeChat if no suitable U.S. company bought it, and even though TikTok and Oracle just recently signed a deal as "trusted tech partners," that apparently wasn't enough. The U.S. Commerce Department today shared that TikTok and WeChat will not be available for download from U.S. app stores anymore starting Sunday, September 20, confirming the initial announcement on August 6. Read More
As part of the Trump administration's crackdown on Chinese apps, the US government is set to ban all transactions with Tencent, the owner of WeChat, beginning on September 20. As that deadline approaches, the US Justice Department has issued a filing clarifying that it does not plan to penalize individual WeChat users themselves as part of the ban. Read More
Amidst escalating border tensions between the two nations, India’s been on a banning spree targeting apps with any Chinese connection. We’ve already seen a couple of these rounds that took down some big names like TikTok from the Indian Play Store. With the latest update to the restricted app list, the Indian government has decided to pull the plug on a total of 118 apps, including the wildly popular multiplayer game, PUBG Mobile. Read More
The past few months have seen a global crackdown on applications owned by companies based in China, almost entirely due to political backlash at the country, rather than concerns over data privacy. India has now banned over a hundred China-made applications, most notably including TikTok, and now the United States is following suit. Read More
The internet in China is different from the internet in the rest of the world. Services are heavily censored by the state, making it impossible to discuss unsanctioned political topics on the web openly. WeChat, in particular, is known to monitor and censor its platform in China. However, an investigation by The Citizen Lab shows that WeChat doesn't only monitor Chinese citizens, but also extends this activity to people all over the world using the app. It does that to feed its censorship algorithms, which helps filter out certain content proactively. WeChat essentially crowd-sources international users' data. Read More
Version 1.4 of the Android Wear app started rolling out late Friday. The theme of this update, at least for what's currently live, is a set of changes to the Settings screen. There are a couple of new options, but they come at the expense of the battery stats screen. A look under the hood also shows that a few other features are either live or in the works for the next Wear OS update. Read More
One of the nice things about sending traditional SMS messages is the option not to type them. Using the Google app (or an Android Wear device), you can just say "OK Google, send a text to Mom: Look Ma, no hands!" You can do the same through Hangouts and email. The feature is a life saver while driving, when messages would otherwise go unanswered.
Now you're able to use third-party messengers as well. Google has announced support for WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Telegram, and NextPlus. Just say "send a Viber message" or "send a Telegram message" in place of text or email. Read More