Pokemon Go has full access to your Google account

Pokemon Go has taken the gaming world by storm with its AR location-based game play. It is currently available in the US and Australia. To get started playing the game, you’re required to sign-in with a Google account. No other social account sign-in such as Facebook or Twitter is offered.

Pokemon Go has full access to your Google account

You might like to know that once sign-in from within the game, Pokemon Go has full access to your Google account. You can check which apps are connected to your Google account from the myaccount.google.com site. Click on “Connected apps & sites”, scroll down to look for the “Connected apps & sites” section, and then click “MANAGE APPS” link. Click on the app to expand for the access detail.

This might not be as alarming as it appears as apps such as Google Maps for iOS also require full access to your Google account. Google has this to explain about full account access:

  • When you grant full account access, the application can see and modify nearly all information in your Google Account (but it can’t change your password, delete your account, or pay with Google Wallet on your behalf).
  • Certain Google applications may be listed under full account access. For example, you might see that the Google Maps application you downloaded for your iPhone has full account access.
  • This “Full account access” privilege should only be granted to applications you fully trust, and which are installed on your personal computer, phone, or tablet.
  • If you’ve granted full account access to an app you don’t trust or recognize, we recommend that you revoke this permission by clicking the Revoke access button.

If you don’t feel comfortable about the full access, you can revoke the access. And then use another Google account to continue your hunt in Pokemon Go.

Updated. Niantic, the developer of Pokemon Go, has issued statements that says the full access is an error and the game only requires basic profile info. Niantic is working on a fix together with Google.

Google launches My Activity site to let you see how much they track you

Google launches My Activity site to let you see how much they track you

Google has a new My Activity site which displays in a timeline your activities using Google services, such as what sites you visit, your search history, where have you been, what devices you’ve used etc. You can search and filter your activities. And you can delete the tracking data if you so choose. If you use Google services a lot, head over to My Activity and be overwhelmed by the amount of your data collected by Google.

Apple policy changes for developer

At WWDC 2016, Apple has made three changes to its policy in a bid to attract more developers to its platforms.

The first change came last week where Phil Schiller, the person in charged of the App Store, announced that Apple will open its in-app purchase renewable subscription to all categories of apps. Currently developers can adopt renewable subscriptions only for a few kind of app category, such as magazine app.

The second policy change is with Apple TV apps. Current policy states that all Apple TV apps must support the Apple remote. This is the reason why you do not see many console games being ported to Apple TV, as it takes effort to build for the Apple remote. This restriction will be gone. It is expected we will soon see more games being ported and made available on the Apple TV.

The third policy change is with regards to Mac apps and iCloud. Currently only apps on the Mac App Store is able to build iCloud features into their apps. Apple will relax this policy to allow apps outside of Mac App Store to use iCloud as long as the app is signed by a registered Apple developer. It is doubtful if this change will revert the decisions by many major apps that abandoned the Mac App Store. 

A smarter Apple? A softer Apple? 

Watch your calories with Google search

For those watching their weight and calorie counting, Google search has a built-in food analyser that could come in handy. Just enter in Google search in natural language how much fat/calories/salt is in a given type of food.

Watch your calories with Google search

For example “How much protein is in 135 g of salmon”, “How much salt is in one Big Mac”. It even comes with a drop down menu for you to select more specific food type of your query. 

Apple Can Do Better #1 – Podcasts for iOS annoying playback bug

We’re starting a new “Apple Can Do Better” series where each post will describe an area that Apple can do better, be it a bug or a missing feature. To start off, we want to highlight a bug in Podcasts app that still exist in the current iOS 9.3.2.

Podcasts for iOS annoying playback bug

Podcasts for iOS is the most buggy app that is bundled with iOS 9. The current release in iOS 9.3.2 has seen improvements but an annoying bug remains.

While a podcast is playing, and you tap (let say you’re at 15:23 mark of the podcast) a different podcast to play, the newly selected podcast will start at 15:23 instead of starting from the beginning. We notice this bug does not happen all the time, and it occurs more often if you listen to downloaded podcasts rather than streaming.

Apple can definitely do better rather than giving us such an obvious bug.

WWDC app has gone dark, now with tvOS and watchOS version

WWDC app has gone dark, now with tvOS and watchOS version

Apple has refreshed its WWDC app for iOS with a new black and white icon and dark theme. The app now has edition for Apple TV and Apple Watch. 

Make the most of the 2016 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference with the WWDC app. Even if you can’t join us in San Francisco, you can still follow along each day on iOS and tvOS. And because the WWDC app experience extends to Apple Watch, favorite session information is available right on your wrist.

• Watch live streamed sessions on iOS and tvOS.
• Stream or download WWDC videos from this year and previous years.
• Start watching on one iOS device, and pick up where you left off on another iOS device or on the new Apple TV.
• Browse times, locations, and descriptions for sessions, labs, and special events.
• Mark schedule items as favorites.
• Keep up with the latest news, get important notifications, and see new photos throughout each day.
• View accessible maps to find your way around Moscone West.
• Provide feedback on content and speakers for each session.
• Add your pass to Wallet for faster check-in at WWDC.

WWDC app is essential for attendees of Apple’s developer conference which kicks off June 13 Monday for a whole week. It includes track schedule and info, and sessions will be streamed live on the app. The app is also useful for all other Apple developers not in San Francisco for the event, to watch the live streams and to download the session videos.   

The WWDC keynote will start on June 13 10am (PT). Apple has invited the press to this presentation, where Tim Cook and his teams are likely to give highlights of new features of next generation version of iOS, OS X, tvOS and watchOS. 

Useful YouTube keyboard shortcuts you should know

If you watch a lot of YouTube on your Mac, it pays to learn some of the keyboard shortcuts to have better control over the videos you watch on YouTube.

Play / Pause. Press the Space or K key to toggle play and pause. 

Skipping. Press the number keys 0 through 9 on your keyboard to move forward and back a percentage of the video duration. Press 0 to go to the start, 1 to go to 10%, 2 to go to 20% and so on.

Rewind & Forward. For more fine grain control, you can press J and L to move forward and back 10 seconds at a time.

Full Screen. Press F to enter full screen mode. Press Esc to exit.

Mute. Press M to mute the sound.

Play a song directly on OS X without iTunes using Spotlight Search

Play a song directly without iTunes using Spotlight for OS X

If you don’t feel like opening up iTunes on your Mac, you can always use Finder’s Quick Look feature to play a song. But you can not continue playing the song in the background. Spotlight Search will allow you to play a song directly and in the background.

Activate Spotlight Search using the usual keyboard shortcut Command + Spacebar. Type the name of the song to let Spotlight search your hard disk. Select the song from search result, hover over the album artwork and click on the play button.

You can now exit Spotlight Search and the track will continue to play in the background. To pause or stop the song, activate Spotlight and click on the same button on the cover art.

Notes for OS X supports importing of Evernote file

Notes for OS X support importing of Evernote file

Starting with OS X El Capitan 10.11.4, you can take the files you created in other apps and import them into Notes app. Notes app can import files with file format of txt, rtf, rtfd, html and enex. To start importing files on your Mac, select from Notes menu File > Import Notes.

enex is Evernote XML Export format. Apple is obviously targeting Evernote users as it grows Notes’ capabilities and adoption. Imported notes however might look different, and features not supported by Notes will be removed during import. Nevertheless, direct import support is a more robust solution than using AppleScript to get enex files into Notes.

Experience Amazon Echo in your browser at Echosim.io

Visit Echosim.io to experience Amazon Echo

With over 3 million units sold, Amazon Echo is a surprised hit and define a new category of smart home device. Its no wonder Google is developing its Google Home clone to compete, and rumours point to a similar device coming soon from Apple.

Echo enthusiast Sam Machin has created a web app based Echo simulator at EchoSim.io, complete with Alexa integration. Amazon Alexa is the bot engine (equivalent to Siri) behind Echo. The site is build to enable developers to experiment and test their Echo/Alexa apps. It is even promoted by Amazon to its developers.

Amazon Echo/Alexa is better than Siri in few areas. It is an always on device listening to you for the whole house. Currently Apple TV has Siri but is is only for query on TV, movie, song content, and is not always on. Echo has a superior and more accurate voice command detection capability. And its killer feature is an open API and platform for integration to third party apps and services. It is rumoured that Apple will release an SDK for Siri in the coming WWDC developer conference.

If you have not jump on the Amazon Echo bandwagon, check out EchoSim.io to find out what the fuss is all about.