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Tech Giant Google Refuses to Remove Controversial Saudi App

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google has refused to pull out a controversial government app from Saudi Arabia which lets men track and control women who travel, saying it does not violate its Play Store policies.

According to a report in the Business Insider on Sunday, the tech giant told the office of California Democrat Representative Jackie Speier, who had called for the removal of the app called “Absher”, that the app does not violate its terms of service.

The US Representatives Speier, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and 11 others have demanded that Apple and Google must both remove the app.

Speier called Google’s response “deeply unsatisfactory”.

“The responses received so far from Apple and Google are deeply unsatisfactory. As of today, the Absher app remains available in both the Apple App store and the Google Play Store even though they can easily remove it,” Speier was quoted as saying.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

Apple was yet to announce its decision.

Absher allows Saudi users to access government services and also offers features which allow “Saudi men to grant and rescind travel permission for women and to set up SMS alerts for when women use their passports”.

Also Read- NASA’s Newest Mars Lander Starts Digging Into The Red Planet

An earlier report suggested Saudi men could use the app to control female dependents.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms. (IANS)

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120 New Games to be Added to Google Stadia in Year 2020

Google has also confirmed four games for 2020 they are Doom Eternal, Cyberpunk 2077, Gods and Monsters, and Watch Dogs: Legion, while none of them have confirmed release dates for Stadia

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Google Stadia is right now available in 14 countries -- Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US -- with a monthly subscription of Stadia Pro costing $9.99 (Rs 690 approx) in the US. Wikimedia Commons

US based search engine giant Google has revealed that it will add more than 120 games to its its subscription-based game service ‘Stadia’ this year.

More than 10 games in the first half of this year alone that will only be available on Stadia when they launch.

“Looking at our upcoming lineup, we are tracking more than 120 games coming to Stadia in 2020, and are targeting more than ten games in the first half of this year alone that will be only available on Stadia when they launch. We are working with our partners to share more on those games soon,” the company said in a statement recently.

In the next three months, Google plans to release support for 4K web gaming, improved assistant functionality for web gaming, additional Android phone support and wireless web gameplay via the Stadia controller.

Google Stadia
By opening the newly launched Google Stadia app from the Play Store, user would see a screen promoting Destiny 2, which is expected to be one of the first games that will be offered to Stadia user. Pixabay

“Gamers can expect more features coming to Stadia in Q1 and beyond. A key benefit of our platform is that we can add these features without any updates or downloads, and we are starting to roll out the following over the next three months: support for 4k gaming on the Web, add further Assistant functionality when playing on the Web, support additional Android phones, wireless gameplay on the Web through the Stadia controller,” the company added.

The company recently released the last batch of games it promised for 2019, including Borderlands 3 and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 while Ghost Recon Breakpoint is coming soon.

Also Read: US Judge Orders Facebook to Disclose Malicious Apps’ Data: Report

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the first game to offer Google’s promised Stream Connect feature that lets players see their teammates’ screens so they can coordinate.

Google has also confirmed four games for 2020 they are Doom Eternal, Cyberpunk 2077, Gods and Monsters, and Watch Dogs: Legion, while none of them have confirmed release dates for Stadia. (IANS)