Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include… Google halves its revenue share of in-app subscriptions on the Play store, WhatsApp to bring in encryption for backup chats after privacy fears, Huawei launches smartphone overseas despite U.S. sanctions crippling its mobile phone business and much more…
Google halves its revenue share of in-app subscriptions on the Play store
Google has made another tweak to the fee structure for apps hosted on the Google Play app store, again granting certain developers a larger slice of the pie. The change specifically affects apps that rely on recurring subscription revenue.
Previously, Google took a cut of 30 percent in the first year that a recurring subscription was active, then 15 percent in the years after that. Now, Google will take a cut of only 15 percent from the very start.
WhatsApp to bring in encryption for backup chats after privacy fears
WhatsApp is allowing users to encrypt their backed-up chats, making them unreadable without access to a password or 64-digit encryption key.
Facebook, the messaging app’s owner, said from Thursday some users would be able to fully encrypt messages stored on Google Drive or Apple’s iCloud. The company said it would be introducing the feature slowly to people with the latest version of WhatsApp.
Huawei launches smartphone overseas despite U.S. sanctions crippling its mobile phone business
Huawei launched its mid-range Nova 9 smartphone overseas for the first time on Thursday, starting in Europe.
The Chinese smartphone giant’s business overseas has been crippled since U.S. sanctions were imposed. But it hasn’t stopped Huawei from launching its phones in international markets.
Google Chat is finally getting this fundamental messaging feature
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Google has announced it is pushing out a simple but important new feature for its instant messaging service, Chat.
As per the company’s latest blog post, Google Chat and Spaces (the group chat equivalent) will soon benefit from the ability to mark messages as read or unread, on both mobile and desktop.
How to usher payment revolution for millions without a smartphone
The heart of India doesn’t beat to the tunes of a glitzy edgy smartphone. Away from the world of an instant dopamine hit, Instagram hashtags and Snapchat filters, the true heart of the nation is still connected by the evergreen, reliable and enduring feature phones. Yes, the same compact devices that can go on for days with a single charge and can be afforded easily, without having to necessarily avail EMIs or burn a hole in one’s pocket. Thus, it hardly comes as a surprise when the next wave of mobile payments in India has set its eyes on the segment of users loyal to feature phones
A massive ‘stalkerware’ leak puts the phone data of thousands at risk
The private phone data of hundreds of thousands of people are at risk. Call records, text messages, photos, browsing history, precise geolocations and call recordings can all be pulled from a person’s phone because of a security issue in widely used consumer-grade spyware.
But that’s about as much as we can tell you. TechCrunch repeatedly emailed the developer, whose identity is well hidden, through all known and non-public email addresses, but lines of inquiry to disclose the issue went cold. We sent emails with open trackers to tell if they had been read, but no luck there either.
Square Enix opens a new studio dedicated to mobile games
Square Enix is ramping up its mobile game efforts by opening a studio devoted to phone titles. The publisher has launched a Square Enix London Mobile location that will focus on free-to-play games. It’s relying on both Square Enix’s own brands as well as other big-name licenses.
The first projects reflect that strategy. The already-announced Tomb Raider Reloaded is a top-down puzzle solver coming to Android and iOS in 2022. A new, as-yet untitled game based on Avatar: The Last Airbender is also in the works from Canada-based Navigator games.
UK’s antitrust regulator to probe music streaming market
The UK’s antitrust watchdog will take a close look at the music streaming market.
Today the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it will be conducting a market study of music streaming as soon as possible, as its latest piece of work aimed at expanding competition in digital markets.
It uses market studies to identify competition and consumers issues — and, if needed, to look at how best to tackle problems.
Why 5G Needs AI To Succeed
Few technologies are as complementary as AI and 5G. The complexity of the 5G ecosystem necessitates a level of service assurance not possible through manpower alone. From network diagnostics to cybersecurity to personalized applications that will fundamentally change how businesses and consumers interact, AI will underpin fifth-generation mobile networks.
There is already significant industry investment in the pairing, as more than half of service providers have integrated some aspect of AI into their 5G networks. Data is the crux of why AI and 5G are so synergistic: 5G is a firehose for data, which AI can then analyze and learn from faster in order to develop unique customer experiences that meet users’ multitudinous needs.