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Google Tightens Third-Party App Policies After Google+ Fiasco

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The Google+ bug that eventually led to the demise of the service altogether for consumers, has forced the tech giant to take necessary steps to tighten the reins on what data is shared with third-party apps. Google has refined developer program policies to include ceiling limits on which Android apps can access SMS permissions and call logs, and is also removing user information available on Contacts Provider. Furthermore, Google is also providing more granular control over third-party app permissions for Google accounts, so that users can choose what data to share and what not to, and limiting access to Gmail consumer data as well.
More granular Google account controls mean users can decide what account data they choose to share with each app. Instead of seeing all requested permissions in a single screen, apps will have to show you each requested permission, one at a time, within its own dialogue box. “For example, if a developer requests access to both calendar entries and Drive documents, you will be able to choose to share one but not the other,” Google explains on its blog. These changes will begin to roll out to new clients starting this month and will get extended to existing clients at the beginning of 2019.
Furthermore, Google is limiting access to consumer Gmail data, and has updated the user data policy to reflect the change. Only apps directly enhancing email functionality will be authorised to access this data. These include email clients, email backup services and productivity services like CRM and mail merge services. Moreover, these apps will need to agree to new rules on handling Gmail data and will be subject to security assessments as well.
Furthermore, Google is also limiting access for Android apps that want call (Phone) and SMS data. It will only let those apps access SMS and call data that the user has selected as default for making calls or text messages. This app will also first need to request for permission. (There are some exceptions-e.g., voicemail and backup apps.). Google is also removing access to contact interaction data from the Android Contacts API within the next few months, and is rolling out additional controls and update policies across more of their APIs. For developers, the updated user data policy can be read here.
Amidst all of this, Google is gearing up to launch the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL devices in New York City. The event will begin at 11am EST (8:30pm IST). At the event, the company is also expected to unveil a new Chromecast dongle, the Home Hub, and Pixel Stand, apart from the Pixel Slate Chrome OS tablet.


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Huawei Mate 20 X 5G Goes Official With 5G Support, Smaller Battery, and 40W Fast Charging

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Huawei Mate 20 X 5G – the 5G ready variant of the Huawei Mate 20 X – has finally gone official. After an alleged render and retail packaging of the phone surfaced online last month, Huawei has officially launched the phone and has also detailed its availability and pricing for the UK market. The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is identical to the Huawei Mate 20 X, except the fact that the former is 5G compatible and packs a smaller battery with support for faster 40W charging.
Huawei Mate 20 X 5G price, availability
The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G has been priced at GBP 999 (roughly Rs. 89,500) in the UK. The phone will reportedly hit the shelves in June and will be available from leading operators like Vodafone, Three, EE, and O2. Three and O2 have individually confirmed that they will offer the 5G-ready Huawei phone in summer. Additionally, the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G will be up for grabs from retail partners likes SKY, MPD, and A1 in the UK. There is no word from Huawei regarding the phone’s availability in other markets, including India. Huawei is also bringing the Huawei Mate X foldable phone to the UK market, but there is no official information regarding its pricing and availability as of now.
Huawei Mate 20 X 5G specifications
As mentioned above the main difference between the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G and the standard Huawei Mate 20 X is 5G support, which comes courtesy of the Balong 5000 modem inside the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G. But it has a smaller 4,200mAh battery with support for 40W charging, compared to the 5,000mAh battery inside the Huawei Mate 20 X that only supports 22.5W fast charging standard, just as a recent leak had indicated.
The rest of the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G specifications include a 7.2-inch OLED full-HD+ (1080×2240 pixels) display and the in-house Kirin 980 SoC paired with 6GB of RAM. The phone features a 40-megapixel sensor with a wide-angle lens on the back, accompanied by a 20-megapixel ultra-wide-angle-lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera. The Huawei Mate X packs a 24-megapixel front camera and comes with IP53 water and dust resistance rating.

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Sony HT-X8500 2.1 Channel Dolby Atmos Soundbar Launched in India

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Sony is steadily expanding its Dolby Atmos soundbar range in India, as its just added a new budget option called the HT-X8500. This soundbar supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and connects to a Bravia TV wirelessly, over Bluetooth. The HT-X8500 is on sale in India now for a price of Rs. 29,990 and is available online and through all of Sony’s stores and authorised retail partners.
Up until now, Sony had just one Dolby Atmos soundbar in the market called the HT-ST5000, which came at a steep premium of Rs. 1,39,990. The new HT-X8500 is a lot more accessible in that respect, which is part of Sony’s strategy to bring Dolby Atmos to a lot more living rooms. One of the reasons for this price gulf between the two models is that the HT-X8500 doesn’t come with a stand-alone sub-woofer and has fewer drivers in the soundbar.
Instead, there are two sub-woofers placed at the centre of the soundbar, which is supposed to deliver good bass. At either end of the soundbar are two full-range drivers, which together with the sub-woofers, simulate a 7.1.2 channel audio experience. Sony claims its Vertical Surround Sound technology is what makes getting a Dolby Atmos sound experience possible, without dedicated speakers for each channel. It also says that it can take stereo audio and simulate a surround effect too, with a dedicated mode on the remote.
The HT-X8500 soundbar measures 890x64x96mm and weighs around 3.1kg. It supports Bluetooth 5, HDMI ARC input, HDMI eARC output, is HDCP 2.2 compliant, and is compatible with HDR and DolbyVision. The soundbar can be placed on your TV stand or it can also be wall mounted.
“[The] Sony HT-X8500 soundbar is designed to enhance the audio to complement the TV viewing experience, said Hidenori Hino, Business Head, Audio, Sony India. “With Dolby Atmos and built-in subwoofer, cinema and music lovers will see, hear and feel their favourite shows, movies, and music like never-before,” he added.

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I like challenges thrown at me: Shreyas Talpade

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Shreyas Talpade says there have been times when he was written of as an actor but he always managed to prove his talent.
In his 19-year-old career, Shreyas has had a mix bag of hits and flops but every film has been a learning for him, says the actor.
“Coming from a non-film background, all you need is an opportunity to show your work, show your versatility. And I am grateful for all the work that I have done and reached this far and still doing work I think it is great. Every film has taught me something. The journey is not over yet,” he told PTI in an interview.
Best known for his critically-acclaimed turns in Dor and Iqbal, the actor says he has learnt to balance praise and brickbats that are a part of being a performer.
“If everything is going in your favour or is good, then you will become complacent. I like challenges thrown at me, I don’t mind when I am not called a star, or when people say I am finished or think I am a non-actor. I know what I am capable of. I believe in myself.”
Shreyas says it is tough to sustain in this industry and he is aware that everyone goes through highs and lows.
“Even the biggest of stars including Amitabh Bachchan sir had to go through a weak phase, he had to struggle. It is part of your professional journey. One who has the hunger and passion for cinema will do whatever it takes to do good work.
“One thing that the industry has taught me is that it is never too late to start or restart at any point. Like how Bachchan sir reinvented himself,” he says.

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