Google protects you: Play Protect is finally on a slow rollout to mainstream users

We’ve been hearing about Google Play Protect — Google’s solution for device protection — since this year’s I/O. And while some beta testers have seen it earlier, the feature seems to currently be on a slow rollout to all users.

What is Play Protect? It’s basically an anti-malware tool, which monitors app behavior and gives them a firm slap if they try something funny. To be clear, the Play Store has had various levels of scan for a while now. However, Play Protect ups the ante a bit.

The new service is not only a ghost scanner that checks apps that are live …


Update to Windows Maps allows users to change vocal volume control

This past June, Microsoft disseminated an update to Windows Map. Released for the fast ring, a more stable version is now ready to take over the voice control for the app. Users will get to use new features and  change the intensity of vocals used with the app. Thanks to the update, those using Windows Maps  can now choose between a softer, normal or louder sounding voice when using the turn-by-turn directions. In addition, with the update, users can access their Bluetooth settings directly from  the app’s settings menu.

A toggle switch will allow you to enable or disable …

YouTube Music now allows users to download songs, albums and playlist for offline listening

Until Google merges YouTube Red and Play Music services, music lovers get to benefit from new features that are only available with a subscription. YouTube Red is a premium service that requires a monthly fee, but one of the features that its subscribers use on a regular basis is now available for free to YouTube Music users.

Starting with the latest update, YouTube Music gains the option to save songs, albums, and playlists for offline listening, Google confirmed recently.

If you already updated to the latest version of your smartphone, you will find a new Save Offline option hidden …

Microsoft announces Skype users can now send money in conversations using PayPal

PayPal and Skype have teamed up to allow users to send money to other Skype users with PayPal via their mobile app (Android and iOS). The Send Money feature will first be available in 22 countries, and it will start rolling out today.

You’ll be able to send money with PayPal in Skype conversations without having to open the mobile browser, if you live in one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United States and the United …

Microsoft closes down Word Flow for iOS, encourages users to get SwiftKey instead

Word Flow keyboard app for iOS was a product of Microsoft’s Garage project. I say “was” because Microsoft decided to pull the plug on the development and remove Word Flow from the App Store.

According to a message posted on the app’s page on Microsoft Garage, the development of Word Flow was an experiment that it’s now complete (whatever that’s supposed to mean). Moreover, the developers recommend those who used Word Flow on their iOS devices to go ahead and download SwiftKey instead.

The Word Flow experiment is now complete! We encourage you to download …

Vladimir Putin signs law banning VPN access for Russian internet users

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Just one day after it was revealed that Apple had removed virtual private networking (VPN) apps from its China App Store at the behest of the government, we’ve learned that officials in Russia are cracking down on VPN services, too. 

A new law, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, now bans any technology, including VPNs, used to visit websites banned in Russia, Reuters reported on Sunday. 

Like China, Russia keeps a tight leash on the sites it allows its citizens to visit. Back in 2014, Putin passed a law that required internet companies to store the data of Russian users on Russia-based servers, a rule that stoked fears that Russian internet users would have their information and internet access censored by the government.  Read more…

More about Russia, Cybersecurity, Censorship, Vpn, and Tech

OnePlus 5 users complain of major battery drain issues after 911 fix

It’s been a week since OnePlus addressed a weird issue with its flagship that behaved erratically when an emergency number was dialed. The Chinese company was quick to release a small software update that patched the issue which was explained in an official statement later on.

Unfortunately, it appears that the update broke something as many OnePlus 5 owners now complain the battery life is draining unusual fast when the smartphone is idle. Even with the Doze mode enabled, some OnePlus 5 owners claim their battery level dropped by 20-25% during the night.

There’s …

Google Street View now lets users take a trip into space aboard the ISS

Have you ever dreamed of seeing the Earth from space? Not many people can make such a dream come true, which is why Google is lending a helping hand to those with near impossible dreams.

Starting today, Google Street View lets you explore the ISS (International Space Station) and have a peek at the Earth from the outer space. You’ll be able to “float” through all the modules that form up ISS while receiving detailed information about what you see directly from Google.

The imagery you see via Street View was gathered by astronauts when one of Space X’s …

China reportedly prevents WhatsApp users from sending images and videos

Facebook’s WhatsApp could easily go as one of the last of the mohicans in China, a country where messaging services that don’t abide by the government’s restrictive cybersecurity laws have been blocked partially or entirely.

Unfortunately, WhatsApp seems to be the last victim of China’s “Great Firewall,” the country’s intricate system of internet filters and controls. NYT reports China has disrupted WhatsApp services in the country, as many users say they are now unable to send videos and images through the messaging app.

Some can’t even send text-based messages, which suggests the …

Galaxy S8-exclusive New Release Radio opens to all Play Music users, here's how to access

Google just made the New Release Radio station that launched as a Galaxy S8 exclusive available for all of its Play Music service users. The station uses AI to learn your listening habits, and constantly scouts for newly released tunes or albums that are in sync with your music preferences, streaming them via the Play Music app on your phone. You know, like Spotify, Deezer and the like, but going back just two weeks in time to dig up the freshest content. 

That’s a pretty easy way to follow what’s new in your musical neck of the woods without spending too much time …