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Google, Apple criticised for Saudi app allowing men to track female relatives

“It is available in Apple and Google app stores in Saudi Arabia” writes Daily News Egypt for dailynewsegypt.com. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in an interview with NPR that he was unaware of the Absher app, the Saudi-based government app which allows men to track the movement of female family members, but he will investigate.Apple and Google have different systems for flagging inappropriate apps.Apple pre-screens apps, and Google relies on its users to alert it about violations.Both Apple and Google have faced previous controversy over apps in their stores. Source: dailynewsegypt.com

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Why buy a single smart plug for $26 when a smart power strip with 4 plugs costs the same price?

“Conico Smart Power Strip has been approved for safety and quality assurance (ETL and FCC certificate)” writes Maren Estrada for bgr.com. Surge Protection: This power strip surge protector supports surge protection, effective absorption of the sudden high voltage, protect the connection equipment from damage.You can voice control 4 smart AC plugs individually on Jinvoo app with Amazon Echo accessories.Easy to Operate: Just connect this usb power strip with your wall outlet, download the Jinvoo Smart app, add it into your account via 2.4G wifi network. Source: bgr.com

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Saudi Arabia tried to justify its app that lets men control where women travel amid a firestorm of criticism

“The Saudi Interior Ministry defended the app in a press statement via the official Saudi Press Agency on Saturday” writes Bill Bostock for businessinsider.com. Saudi Arabia has responded to criticism aimed at its Absher app, which Apple and Google are currently investigating.Saudi Arabia also railed against attempts to “politicize” the app, following interventions from international lawmakers, including US Senator Ron Wyden. Source: businessinsider.com

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Apple acquires Pullstring for likely Siri upgrade

“Pullstring went on to work with personal assistant app creation and integration with Google Assistant and Amazon Echo (with Alexa)” reports slashgear.com. Imagine Apple releasing an application that allowed developers to integrate Apple software (especially Siri) in whatever product they desired.Pullstring was created by a group of former Pixar executives, and made its way in the world first with toys. Source: slashgear.com

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ScaleFactor Launches Android App For Real-Time Accounting

“Corporate accounting platform ScaleFactor is rolling out its Android app for business professionals to gain real-time visibility into company finances” reports pymnts.com. Research released in 2017 from Intuit found accountants cite a lack of proper record-keeping as the biggest accounting mistake that small businesses make.The app is already available on the iOS App Store and Google Play, the company noted.The app supports multi-entity login for professionals with more than one business, and alerts users when action needs to be taken.The company is introducing its Android app to link small business…

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Apple, Google pressured to drop Saudi app that lets men track and control women

“Even if Google and Apple remove the app from their stores, it won’t solve the problem of male guardianship” writes Victoria Rodriguez for mashable.com. Google and Apple are under pressure from human rights groups and a U.S. senator to remove from their stores an app called Absher.Still, activists believe Apple and Google could send a powerful message to the Saudi government by dropping Absher. Source: mashable.com

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Sources: Apple buys Pullstring, an SF-based enterprise voice app developer, for up to $40M; Pullstring has raised around $44M in venture capital

“Background: Pullstring was founded in 2011 by a group of former Pixar executives, and originally was used to power interactive voice apps for toys (including Hello Barbie in 2015)” reports axios.com. It later broadened its approach with the introduction of such IoT products as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant.Making it easier to write voice apps combined with a more open Siri could help close the gap, even though both Google and Amazon continue to invest heavily in voice. Source: axios.com

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Apple just reportedly bought a startup that specializes in helping companies build voice apps

“Apple has acquired Pullstring, a company that helps companies publish voice apps for platforms like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant, according to a new report from Axios” writes Lisa Eadicicco for businessinsider.com. Amazon is considered to be the market leader in the digital assistant space, and that lead only lengthens when you look at smart speaker use specifically.A Strategy Analytics report from October suggests that the retail giant accounts for 63% of smart speaker use in the United States, whereas Google accounts for 17% and Apple only accounts for…

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