More than 200mn people used Samsung’s fitness app in 2020

Agencies
January 6, 2021

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Seoul, Jan 6: Samsung Electronics on Wednesday said its fitness tracking app was used by more than 200 million people around the globe in 2020 as the South Korean tech giant tries to further expand usability of its health platform.

Samsung Health, which was first launched in 2012, offers various health-related features from virtual exercises to tacking of sleep patterns, heart rate and blood pressure, reports Yonhap news agency.

"In the past year alone, Samsung Health users burned around 3 billion calories and took around 78 trillion steps combined -- the equivalent of walking from the Earth to the sun and back 200 times," said Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker.

To attract more people to its health app, Samsung said it will introduce a new Group Challenge feature next week that allows users to open a health competition, in which they can each invite up to nine other people.

Starting Tuesday, Samsung said users can create a challenge in the "Together" section of the app and check who can move the farthest or the fastest.

The service is the latest expansion of the Samsung Health Challenge features. The app already offers a Global Challenge, which users can enter monthly step count competitions against all Samsung Health users around the world.

"On average, those who use the Challenge features in the Samsung Health app walk over 22 per cent more than the average Samsung Health users," the company said.

"This demonstrates that motivation and competition can be key factors in achieving your health goals, which is why Samsung continues to add new features and capabilities to help you have fun while staying healthy.

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Agencies
January 17,2021

LG Uplus To Terminate 2G Services By June | Science & Tech

Seoul, Jan 17: LG Uplus, a major South Korean telecom operator said it will phase out its 2G services by the end of June, a move that would mark the complete termination of the country's aging network.

The carrier said it has applied to end its 2G operations with the government and will decide on a specific time frame for the service's termination.

The move comes after SK Telecom, South Korea's largest wireless provider, ended its 2G services in July last year, while rival KT Corp. shut down 2G operations back in 2012.

LG Uplus said the looming termination comes as the network has fallen out of favor over the years amid launches of new networks, including 5G, reports Yonhap news agency.

Aging telecommunications equipment and lack of devices that support 2G have led to dwindling subscribers.

The carrier's 2G users stood at 3,74,000 as of end-November last year, accounting for just 2.5 per cent of the carrier's total 14.8 million subscriptions, according to ICT ministry data.

With the shut down of 2G, LG Uplus said it would focus on improving its 5G services, which have 2.5 million subscribers.

South Korea first launched 2G mobile services in 1996 based on the world's first commercial code division multiple access network built by SK Telecom, facilitating the country's advance in the telecom segment.

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Agencies
January 16,2021

Messaging app Signal faces global outage days after adding millions of users

San Francisco, Jan 16: Cross-platform messaging app Signal faced a global outage on Friday, just days after it was downloaded by millions of new users.

Users across the world reported they were unable to send messages on both the mobile and desktop applications.

The company posted on Twitter that it was experiencing technical difficulties and was “working hard to restore service as quickly as possible.”

Ever since its rival WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, unveiled its new privacy terms last week, Signal has seen a huge interest from new users.

Signal said that it has been adding new servers and extra capacity at “a record pace” every single day this week nonstop.

“...but today exceeded even our most optimistic projections. Millions upon millions of new users are sending a message that privacy matters. We appreciate your patience,” the messaging app tweeted.

It further said it is working to get the service back online.

Signal is experiencing technical difficulties. We are working hard to restore service as quickly as possible.

— Signal (@signalapp) January 15, 2021
“We are making progress towards getting the service back online. Privacy is our top priority, but adding capacity is a close second right now,” add the tweet image here.

According to estimates, in India, Signal was downloaded by close to 3 million users.

WhatsApp on Friday (local time) said it has decided to postpone a privacy update due to “misinformation causing concern” among people, the company said.

“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the blog post read.

This came following a rise in concerns among the public regarding a threat to their right to privacy.

The New York Times reported that since the announcement of the privacy update many users and some media outlets interpreted the notification as a marked shift in WhatsApp’s data-sharing practices, mistakenly believing that the company could now read people’s conversations and other personal data.

The concerns resulted in people switching to other messaging services such as Signal and Telegram. This week, Signal became the No. 1 app in India, one of WhatsApp’s biggest markets, on Apple and Android phones, the NYT said.

Earlier this month, an advocate in Delhi filed a plea stating that WhatsApp’s update privacy policy violated the Right to Privacy and sought to direct the Centre to lay down guidelines in the exercise of its powers under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act and under the Constitution of India to ensure that Respondent Whatsapp does not share any data of its users with any third party or Facebook and its companies for any purpose whatsoever.

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