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10 most controversial apps and games from 2020

Poco F2 Pro Fortnite controversial apps

The app global is an enormous position. There are literally thousands of programs and video games between the Google Play Retailer and Apple App Retailer. It’s no marvel that a few of them get into bother every so often. This 12 months used to be a reasonably large one for controversies. Some spanned virtually all the 2020, whilst others are nonetheless ongoing on the time of writing. The pandemic for sure didn’t assist issues, or even the FTC were given into the combo a bit bit. Let’s check out probably the most debatable apps and video games from 2020.


1. ToTok is allegedly spying on folks

Totok screenshot 2020

ToTok, a well-liked chat app (now not be at a loss for words with TikTok), used to be banned from the Google Play Retailer in January after The New York Instances wrote a piece of writing presenting sturdy proof that it used to be a secret agent app for the United Arab Emirates govt. Numerous the app’s luck got here from the UAB govt blocking off an identical options in different apps. Huawei promoted the app as neatly. It ultimately made its as far back as the Play Retailer in early January however used to be got rid of once more in February. It stays long past from each Google and Apple’s app shops on the time of writing.


2. Google Footage removes limitless backups

Google Photos screenshot 2020

Credit score: Joe Hindy / Android Authority

For years, Google Footage represented the most efficient deal in cellular historical past. It mean you can add and retailer your telephone’s footage and movies at a relatively decrease high quality without cost. Pixel units had been allowed to add full-resolution footage and movies totally free too, as one of the crucial perks of proudly owning the Google units.

Comparable: The most productive Google Footage choices

Alternatively, Google introduced an finish to loose uploads in 2020. It’s nonetheless to be had in the intervening time, however make stronger stops June 1, 2021. Sure, that comes with Pixel telephones as neatly. After that, importing footage will absorb Google Power house. You’ll be able to all the time purchase extra Google Power garage and stay it, however the loose and limitless perk used to be superior. Folks had been understandably disenchanted. There are options, however none of them are as simple or as obtainable as Google Footage.


three. Google bans 600 apps, good-bye Cheetah Cell

The Cheetah Mobile Play Store page.

Apps and video games get banned at all times. Google Play Give protection to by myself prevents neatly over a thousand million installs of malware in step with 12 months. Alternatively, there used to be one thing particular about this batch. Those 600 apps had been banned for offering just about no receive advantages to end-users and for current simplest to function many commercials as conceivable. Amongst the ones 600 used to be principally each Cheetah Cell app at the Play Retailer. It’s roughly an open secret that Cheetah Cell’s programs are most commonly snake oil. Google’s banhammer in spite of everything proved it to everybody. Just right riddance, Cheetah Cell.


four. India bans a number of Chinese language apps, together with TikTok and PUBG Cell

India and China are having some political variations nowadays. A part of the fallout used to be a mass banning of many Chinese language apps from the Google Play Retailer in India. The record integrated some giant hitters like maximum UC apps, WeChat, TikTok, ES Report Explorer, maximum DU apps, and, mockingly, Blank Grasp by way of Cheetah Cell earlier than it used to be got rid of far and wide. There used to be even an app (not to be had now) that advised you which of them apps had been Chinese language so you want to eliminate them. India would ultimately upload some other 117 apps, together with PUBG Cell, to the record. A brand new model of PUBG in particular meant for the Indian marketplace is in building, however with out a ultimate liberate date. This one is ongoing so it’s possible you’ll neatly see extra about it in our debatable apps record of 2021.


five. FTC desires to know the way apps use your knowledge

YouTube Music on smartphone stock photo 1

The FTC previously ordered a number of on-line products and services to expose how they use consumer knowledge. The products and services in query come with YouTube, TikTok, Fb, WhatsApp, Twitter, Reddit, and several other others. It’s a veritable who’s who of tech giants. As well as, the FTC desires to know the way every corporate makes use of that knowledge to serve ads, how they find out about consumer engagement, and the way their algorithms paintings. The inquiry is usually a giant deal since some of these corporations compete with every different. Alternatively, privateness is a big worry for folks nowadays so we’ll see the way it seems. This took place in December 2020 and it’s nonetheless ongoing on the time of writing.


6. Google retires Google Play Song in choose of YouTube Song

Google Play Music stock photo 2

Credit score: Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

We knew Google used to be changing Google Play Song for YouTube Song final 12 months. The saga didn’t formally spread till this 12 months, on the other hand. It came about on two fronts. At the one aspect, YouTube Song regularly won a number of options from Google Play Song whilst the latter used to be being sundown. The switch of energy was reliable on December 4th when Google Play Song started in point of fact shutting down for everybody.

See additionally: Google is making a large mistake killing Play Song for YouTube Song

Many Play Song shoppers hated the transfer. The entire procedure took one of these very long time that tempers had numerous time to boil over right through the transition. YouTube Song is bettering, but it surely’s nonetheless a long way at the back of its predecessor when it comes to options. Plus, the record of viable choices is fairly quick and calls for more than one apps for someone having a look to interchange each characteristic. Numerous folks will omit Google Play Song, together with me.


7. The COVID-19 publicity notification API

covid 19 exposure notifications express android ios iphone

COVID-19 hit the arena like a ton of bricks, and everyone is able for 2020 to be over with on account of it. The CDC really helpful all of us wash our fingers, keep six toes aside, and put on mask. In the meantime, Google and Apple attempted to create a device to trace who has COVID-19 and who used to be uncovered. The touch tracing API used to be met with cynicism and skepticism because it used to be able to monitoring folks and telling others who you got here into touch with.

Google and Apple kind of squashed the ones worries by way of introducing a rulebook of varieties. Alternatively, the worst phase is how lengthy it’s taken governments to roll out apps that use the API to trace the COVID-19 unfold. Many states in the USA don’t have it, and lots of areas all over the world by no means gained an app both. Even in puts the place the apps exist, now not many of us use them. For example, the Virginia model of the app simplest has 100,000 installs in comparison to its inhabitants of eight.five million.

Maximum variations of the app have deficient critiques mentioning the shortcoming to report sure effects, gradual publicity updates, and now not getting notifications when folks know they had been uncovered by way of a liked one and the liked one reported it. It’s December 2020 and the collection of circumstances is spiking international. It’s transparent this effort used to be a bit bit overdue since a vaccine is coming quickly. Alternatively, it’s constructed into iOS and Android, so possibly it’ll paintings higher for the following pandemic.


eight. The entire Zoom factor

Zoom App logo on phone

When the arena went into lockdown, video conferencing was an enormous deal. Zoom arguably gained out. Heaps of businesses, faculties, and different organizations used it in lieu of face-to-face touch. Sadly, Zoom wasn’t able for that a lot exposure. Zoombombing was a factor. Folks would sign up for Zoom conferences with out invitations and do terrible issues. The video meetings weren’t encrypted and there have been a number of alternative safety problems.

Zoom ultimately encrypted the whole lot, but it surely took a long time to get to that time. It ultimately fastened numerous its safety woes or even locked folks out in the event that they didn’t replace. There have been efforts made to stop Zoombombing as neatly, however now not earlier than a significant kid endangerment factor. The corporate additionally had 500,000 accounts compromised and there used to be a lawsuit at one level. Nonetheless, Zoom controlled to hit 300 million day by day energetic customers only a few months in the past. It simply had one of the vital ridiculous years we’ve noticed an organization undergo in a very long time.


nine. The US govt as opposed to TikTok

tiktok on android phone

America is embroiled in a business battle with China. Closing 12 months, the massive deal used to be the USA embargo on Huawei, and it used to be mentioned advert nauseum. This 12 months, the point of interest has shifted to the arena’s fastest-growing social media community ever, TikTok. The whole lot began with some privateness considerations. America govt used to be apprehensive that TikTok’s dad or mum corporate would flip over delicate consumer knowledge to the Chinese language govt. In the meantime, the app used to be banned in different nations because of “immoral content material” and different considerations. Ultimately, the USA govt determined to prohibit the app (together with WeChat), but it surely used to be halted on the final 2d on the behest of a federal pass judgement on.

As a way to steer clear of the ban, TikTok needed to promote to some other corporate. Microsoft used to be in talks for the longest time, but it surely ultimately partnered with Oracle so it will proceed to function in the USA. Alternatively, the USA govt sought after to seem over the code to verify it used to be safe earlier than it will approve the deal. Lots of the controversy is over for now, however numerous folks nonetheless don’t believe TikTok.


10. Epic Video games (and co.) as opposed to Google and Apple

Fortnite - controversial apps

Welcome to an issue that would possibly neatly drag on for a couple of years. Fortnite in the beginning introduced on iOS within the App Retailer and as a standalone app on Android. It ultimately migrated to Google Play in early 2020. A short while later, Epic Video games attempted to squeak in a fee way that circumvented the 30% reduce Apple and Google take from builders. In consequence, Apple kicked Fortnite out of the App Retailer adopted rapidly by way of Google Play. Then all hell broke free.

Epic Video games instantly filed a lawsuit in opposition to Google mentioning anti-competitive practices. It additionally accused Google of crushing offers with LG and OnePlus to pre-load units with Fortnite. Oh, and the corporate additionally sued Apple for principally the similar factor. Apple made an estimated $360 million from Fortnite earlier than the expulsion. It additionally when compared Epic Video games to shoplifters in one of the vital atypical lawsuit responses we’ve ever noticed. In the meantime, Google tightened its insurance policies on in-app purchases to just the usage of Google’s device, efficient in early 2021.

Epic Video games isn’t status by myself right here. A bunch of Indian startups has the same opinion that the 30% reduce is just too prime for builders in India. Moreover, Microsoft joined Epic Video games within the combat as a result of Epic Video games additionally develops the Unreal Engine. Epic Video games and Spotify united with Tile, Fit Staff (Tinder, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid, Fit.com), Deezer, Qobuz, and a ton of others to create the Coalition for App Equity. Epic Video games has been preventing the 30% tax for 2 years now, and whilst Apple did make some adjustments to its insurance policies to drop the reduce to 15% for smaller builders, the battle is a long way from over. Don’t be stunned if it’s in this record in 2021 as neatly.


Take a look at debatable apps and video games from earlier years:

If we neglected any giant controversies, let us know about them within the feedback! You’ll be able to additionally click on right here to try our newest Android app and recreation lists.

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