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Google announces App Growth Lab to help Pakistani app developers

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Google has launched its first-ever App Growth Lab in Pakistan, a four-month programme aimed at identifying high-potential app developers, studios, and companies that are looking to accelerate and grow their businesses. 

The programme is designed to offer intensive education and support to app developers, who will be able to learn from Google experts in areas such as Ads, AdMob, Firebase, gTech, and Play as well as industry leaders. 

The launch of the App Growth Lab programme follows the success of the Gaming Growth Lab in Pakistan last year. Google said the programme represents its commitment to help grow Pakistan’s app industry locally and globally. The programme will commence in June and run for four months. Interested organisations, app, and development studios may apply until May 22, 2023.

According to a report by Data Darbar, a private markets intelligence platform, Pakistan’s app industry witnessed a 35% growth in 2022 with 3.52 billion downloads. The App Growth Lab programme is based on four core pillars: Build, Develop, Launch, and Scale.

The ‘Build’ component of the programme is aimed at helping participants uncover the global app and gaming opportunity to understand different levers to set the all-around strategy for their company. 

The ‘Develop’ component will bring a user-centric mindset to app and game product development and leverage best-in-class technology to set the app up for long-term success. 

The ‘Launch’ component will help participants learn about strategies to win the launch, set up monetisation models, and maximise Google’s tools for data to achieve measurable growth. 

Meanwhile, the ‘Scale’ component will provide participants with knowledge of opening their app to the world by leveraging market and platform diversification strategies.

Farhan S. Qureshi, Google’s Regional Director for Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, said, “Through our ongoing efforts, we hope to support Pakistani developers in their pursuit of creating great applications for the world.” 

Saad Hameed, CEO of Game District, shared that “The Gaming Growth Lab Pakistan 2022 was one of the most insightful programmes that we have attended so far in Game District. We have learned a lot of information covering all the domains of the mobile gaming industry, from basics to advance. We have optimised our games’ performance by implementing all the intuitive knowledge that we learned from this programme.”

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WhatsApp adds a calendar function to make message retrieval simple.

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The “search by date” tool is an inventive innovation that makes it simple for users to access their favourite previous chats.

Users of Android and iPhone may now search for messages or media on a given day by using the app’s calendar interface, which is a new feature of the update. The laborious process of manually reading through chat history is eliminated by this function, which is especially helpful for regular users who have large message archives.

The announcement was also announced by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his WhatsApp channel, highlighting the company’s dedication to improving user accessibility and ease.

When users click on the calendar icon and choose a desired date, WhatsApp takes them directly to the messages that were sent and received on that specific day. This makes searching easier, which is especially helpful for those looking for certain details or memories that are hidden in their conversation history.

The addition of the calendar function to WhatsApp’s recent version rollout brings more formatting options for text, including strikethrough, bold, italic, and monospace. Additionally, the platform has given security improvements first priority, guaranteeing a secure environment for its large user base.

Nevertheless, in the middle of these developments, Android users of WhatsApp should be aware of a recent modification pertaining to conversation backups. Google Drive backups of conversations are no longer available for free since they now count against the user’s storage allotment.

To utilise this new feature, users can simply access WhatsApp, select a chat, tap on the name of the person or group, and choose the “Search” option. The calendar interface will then facilitate seamless navigation to messages from the selected date.

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VPNs, X, and Slow Internet Services Are Still Blocked in Pakistan

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Users are reporting poor performance on numerous social media sites due to widespread slowdowns in internet access. Furthermore, X (previously Twitter) has been inaccessible for the past six days, despite the Sindh High Court’s directive to allow access. In the meantime, Pakistan is blocking VPN services.

X Remains Unblockable

On February 17, 2024, the Pakistani government first prohibited access to X when it was discovered that Rawalpindi’s Commissioner had rigged election results. The block is still in effect, even though there has been no official announcement or explanation for it. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the prohibition, the administration has not yet disclosed any plans for reinstatement. Furthermore, officials are giving media outlets conflicting information about the limitations.

Blocked VPN Services

Virtual private network (VPN) services are being widely blocked nationwide, which exacerbates the problem. Apart from limiting accessibility to X, the government has initiated the banning of prominent VPN providers, impeding users’ capacity to establish connections with any server.

sluggish internet access

There is a noticeable slowdown in internet speeds and a decline in performance across Pakistan. The problem hasn’t been acknowledged by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA), nevertheless. Even though internet service providers (ISPs) insist there aren’t any outages, consumers on social media sites are nonetheless complaining about poor access.

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Another X, previously Twitter, outage has affected Pakistan.

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Adding to the current difficulties with online connectivity, internet users in Pakistan experienced yet another disturbance when attempting to use the services of social media site X, formerly known as Twitter.

Users from Islamabad and other regions of the nation were unable to use the site for several hours since the service was down.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), which is becoming increasingly concerned about the frequent outages, has not made an official remark about the matter.

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