What you need to know
- The popular regional messaging app ToTok was pulled from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store earlier this year.
- The app has now been restored to the Google Play Store.
- ToTok continues to deny allegations of spying.
ToTok is a popular messaging and video chat app in the UAE, and it was pulled from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store over the holiday period as allegations of spying started to fly. As per a report from the New York Times, American Intelligence officials had confirmed the app to be an Emirati spy app, built with the intent of harvesting user data like contacts and location for surveillance purposes.
The firm behind the app was also unmasked as a front company for Abu Dhabi-based cyberintelligence firm DarkMatter. Despite all that, the app was restored to the Google Play Store this weekend, as ToTok itself has confirmed.
Concerns still remain about the app's security with allegations of bribes being given to journalists in exchange for positive ToTok PR.
ToTok's founder, Giacomo Ziani, denied the allegations vigorously last week, saying;
We firmly deny this baseless accusation, and we are profoundly saddened by this complete fabrication that was thrown at us. We feel caught up in some vile conspiracy against the UAE, and even jealousy by some people, who do not wish an app like ours from this region to ever become a global player.
He also released a Twitter plea aimed at the CEOs of both Apple and Google, requesting that they reinstate the app in their respective stores. ToTok has not yet been restored to the App Store a time of writing.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Fit and feeling good: How I'm using Google Fit to stave off 2020's chaos
A summer spent indoors and the frantic pace of the fall launch season have left me being significantly less active this year, but with Google Fit and the TicWatch Pro 3, I'm trying to claw my way back.
Snapdragon chips are going to make Chromebooks even better
Snapdragon Chromebooks mean better battery life and connectivity. Both are things that most every Chromebook user wants more of!
I turned off my phone for a day and it was the best decision I made in 2020
The internet is great and useful for so many things. But a day without it was like a reboot inside me. You should try it.
Spice up your smartphone or tablet with the best icon packs for Android
Being able to customize your device is fantastic as it helps to make your device even more of "your own". With the power of Android, you can use third-party launchers to add custom icon themes and these are just some of our favorites.