Huawei’s next flagship phone will ship without Google integration


Staff and visitors walk pass the lobby at the Huawei office in Wuhan, China

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On September 18, Huawei is set to reveal its next flagship smartphone, the Mate 30, in Europe, but it’ll launch without built-in access to the Google Play Store or any of Google’s other apps and services (Reuters).

A Google representative told Reuters that the Mate 30 “cannot be sold with licensed Google apps and services due to the U.S. ban on sales to Huawei” – a recent extension to a US trade ban only covers existing products. Android itself is open source, side-loading Google Play is usually trivial and Huawei is preparing its own app store for launch, but it remains to be seen whether European users will have any interest in a high-end phone that ships without Google Services.

To help stem the tide of anti-vaccination conspiracy theories that put herd immunity – and thus vulnerable lives – at risk, Pinterest has begun showing scientifically-verified vaccination information when people search for related terms, such as “measles” or “vaccine safety” (TechCrunch). The image-sharing network had previously stopped showing search results for the terms to prevent the spread of vaccine misinformation but is now working with bodies including the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics to provide accurate data.

Apple has apologised for having contractors listen to Siri voice recordings without clear notice to its users (The Verge). It’s updated its privacy policy and default settings so that recordings of Siri interactions are retained only if users opt in to help train the digital voice assistant, and says that only Apple employees – not outside contractors – will be involved in listening to and annotating recordings.

At 11:59pm today, August 29, the banks will stop accepting new claims for mis-sold PPI, hoping desperately to draw a line under a scandal that has cost them more than £45bn in compensation (WIRED). But the culture that drove banks to sell useless products is still rife, according to Treasury documents, and the regulator that is supposed to police the banks has dropped an inquiry into the culture that allowed corruption to flourish.

Google has quietly announced that its dedicated Kids platform, with restricted content and parental controls, will finally get a web browser accessible version this week (Gizmodo).

The move appears to be a response to a US FTC ruling requiring a separate, kid-friendly experience for under-13s on all platforms, rather than just on mobile devices. It’s not immediately apparent whether it’ll be available for non-US users at launch and YouTube has made it clear that it won’t be using manual content moderation, so some disturbing videos could still slip through the net.

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