Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts

Friday, 9 December 2022

What is the New YouTube Emotes Feature?

What is the New YouTube Emotes Feature?

As a YouTube user, we all have noticed a dramatic transformation in recent years because of the user engagement level. As it is essential to carry on the user-centric approach, the website has rolled out a new feature named 'YoutTube Emotes.' With the help of this feature, you can express your thoughts through fun images at the time of live streaming. You can use these images also while commenting on any post or video.

People already have used emojis on YouTube videos and streams while commenting. Now, the app has included a massive collection of custom emojis which you can send through comments. Like the stickers in Emoji Kitchen stickers, you can paste the static images into the conversation. But you should know that it will not appear like the animated stickers that you can find in Telegram.

This feature also has a little bit of similarities to the specification that Twitch offers for livestreams. When it comes to Twitch, you will get custom-created emoji from the streamers. But if it comes to talk about YouTube, you should know that the emotes are available sitewide.

But according to YouTube, the emotes are generated mainly for gaming. However, a lot of designs will be added to the platform. You should know that this feature is currently unavailable for mobiles. It seems that there will be approximately 60 emotes available for a chat.

What is the new YouTube Emotes feature?

Sometimes, it happens that we are unable to express our feelings through words. Then, we need emojis to add interest to the chat. So, to make the chats more interesting, YouTube has introduced this new 'YoutTube Emotes' feature.

Using this specification, you will be able to see a few fun images that you can use while live streaming or commenting. YouTube Emotes is actually a collection of several fun images which can be used to create a community on the app. This new feature lets you see all the emojis and emotes located under any channel membership custom emojis. Like emotes on Twitch, YouTube has introduced its own emotes. In this regard, you should know that Twitch is a famous platform for interactions of live-streaming content.

The main intention of launching this feature is to provide several emojis which you can use to communicate or comment to express your thoughts properly. Another fact that you should know is that Abelle Hayford, Guy Field, and Yujin Won made gaming Emotes. YouTube is expected to add more categories and themes. But YouTube didn't indicate whether the platform is testing this new feature in selected regions Or with small groups. Therefore, it seems that the platform will offer this new feature to all the users.

How to use YouTube Emotes:

If you want to use emotes, your first task is to hit the icon in comments or live chat. Therefore, you get to see all emojis and emotes. Whereas the YouTube emotes can be found under any channel membership custom emojis. You can insert emotes in live chat using particular names. For example, you need to type ":smile:'' to autocomplete the smile emoji. In chat, you have to type the name of emote while watching a stream. According to YouTube, Emotes are especially for gaming, but the platform will bring more emote themes.

Conclusion:

The company YouTube introduced the "Live Q&A" feature in November. With the help of this feature, it is possible to create Q&A sessions and manage them in the live chat when the streaming continues. People are able to access the feature via the "Live Control Room".

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How to use or access YouTube Emotes?

You should hit the icon only during the live chat or comments. Then, it will display all emojis and emotes.

Q. What was the new feature for the Live Q&A YouTube feature introduced last month?

It will allow you to create Q&A sessions and manage them too during streaming, and live chat.

Friday, 28 October 2022

Google Family Link

Google Family Link

Want to know what is Google Family Link for parents? It is getting a redesign to deliver a streamlined experience for guardians (parents). In this case, it helps to bring control to the forefront, Material You, and a web app.

It begins with a profile carousel at the top, which enables you to switch between accounts. You can see it available in "Highlights" and "Controls." Hence, the first tab can offer an overview of app usage.

In addition, a grid of cards shows various stats. For instance, it displays apps you have used recently, average screen time, and other recommendations. The company will provide more valuable insights soon. They are adding resources from Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, and the Family Online Safety Institute. Thus, you can navigate conversations at your home around online safety.

Regarding the Controls tab, it is possible to set up screen time limits. In addition, you can view all logged-in devices and a Bedtime schedule. Moreover, it is possible to adjust content restrictions and application data permissions.

What is Google Family Link?

Google Family Link is a Google service for family parental control. It enables parents to manage parameters for the devices of their kids. Besides, if you are a parent, you can restrict content, approve or disapprove apps, and set screen times using the app.

About:

It supports Android 10 and above. Besides, it is available in thirty-eight languages. In March 2017, it was released first to the public. Later, the company announced at I/O 2019 that it would add the feature to Android 10. It has recently been available in 38 nations, including the United States, Australia, and Japan.

An updated "Today only" feature allows you to set temporary screen time limits. Sometimes, you might need to change screen time settings temporarily. It happens when your kid requires some more time. Suppose you are traveling somewhere on a trip. In such cases, your child may need some additional time.

There is a Material You bottom bar rounding it out represents a Location with a map. For instance, we experienced sharing of Google Maps Locations in June. Thus, you can get notifications when your kid arrives at school or leaves there.

In its last part, you can see the company placing access to the bell icon in the top right corner. Thus, you can view requests that your kid makes. For instance, your child may want to download an app, access any blocked websites, etc. Hence, the top tabs help you to view alerts by your account in one view. The company introduces a Family Link web app for both parents and kids. Parents can access controls, whereas kids can realize their settings and access levels. We expect that the redesign of this service will be available soon.

Google Family Link Features:

Set Screen Time Limits:

You can view suitable screen time for your kid. Besides, it allows you to set downtime for their device. In addition, you can limit the time for apps. Thus, you can easily let your kid have a healthy balance.

Guide to Age-Appropriate Content:

You can approve any app which your kid is willing to download. In addition, if you want to block any app, you can do so. Besides, it lets you select the proper YouTube experience for your kid. For instance, you may choose a supervised experience on YouTube or YouTube Kids.

Protect Privacy:

You can choose wisely about the data for your kid using Permissions management. Besides, it is possible to see and adjust permissions for websites & extensions. You can access these via Chrome. Moreover, you can access apps downloaded on your kid's device.

Secure Account:

You can access your kid's account by managing it and data settings. Besides, you can help your kid to reset their password or change it when they forget. In addition, you can edit personal information or delete your kid's account when required.

See Where They Are:

You must want that you can easily find your family members while traveling. The Family Link app helps you to find your kid's location on the map. However, remember that you can locate them till they carry their device.

Get Notifications and Alerts:

The Google Family Link for children and teens can offer important alerts like when your kid arrives or leaves a location. It is possible to ring devices and see the remaining battery life of your device.

Conclusion:

The company has announced recent updates to the app. It can provide several options and keep your family members safer online. These current features have been rolled out and will be available very soon. Regarding a new update to the "Location tab," you can monitor your kid on a similar map using the device location. Besides, you can enable notifications. It will alert you at the time of arrival or departure from a location. The company said this in the blog post.

In addition, the "Highlights tab" enables you to monitor the use of your kid's device. Hence, it displays a snapshot where you can see the screen time, usage of the kid's app, and current apps. It will be available for parents and kids on the internet. Thus, you can access online features while your kids are away from their mobiles or don't have the app. With the help of the Family Link web experience, kids can understand the parental control settings more precisely.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Q. What does it do?

It enables parents to remain in the loop because their kids explore on their mobiles. In addition, you, as a parent, can set specific digital ground rules for your family.

  • Q. Can a child disable it?

Whether you have added supervision to the Google Account that your child is using, your kid can disable it. Once they disable this without your permission, you will get alerts. After that, the supervised mobiles will lock temporarily.

  • Q. Can you see your child's text messages on Family Link?

It lets you view your child's text messages, SMS text, and social media texts. In addition, if you are willing, you can block a few activities.

Friday, 7 October 2022

Chromecast with Google TV

Chromecast with Google TV

Google has recently released its most updated streaming device, the Chromecast with Google TV, on 23rd September, 2022. This device can provide HD streaming. Now, it is expected that the company might update its older Chromecast with Google TV unit.

Although the company did not give any Chromecast with Google TV update officially, it stated that it would update the two-year-old used Chromecast With Google TV to provide new life with Android 12. This device can bring you the entertainment you prefer, even in up to 4K HDR.

Besides, it supports the Dongle feature and comes in Black, Charcoal, Sky, Snow, Sunrise, and White colors. It's capacity includes 4 GB, 8 GB, 64 GB, 2 TB. Let's dive into the article to learn about Chromecast with Google TV review.

What is Chromecast with Google TV?

It is a device which can bring you entertainment in up to 4k HDR.

Price and Availability:

It usually costs $49.99. But you can buy it for $39.99 at the Google Store. In addition, major retailers are selling it.

Design Like other streaming devices, it is a dongle that connects to your television's HDMI port. In addition, you can control it using a small remote control. The dongle can easily fit in your palm due to its oval shape, making it ideal for skipping across a lake.

While HDMI output is on one end, a USB-C port is on the other. Besides, there exists a USB cable and plug. Remember that the device requires additional power than the power delivered by your television's HDMI port.

This included Chromecast With Google TV Remote is somewhere between the Apple TV and the Roku remote. Like Roku, this remote is curved at the top and bottom. Besides, it has a rounded rear. The remote is available in a single color, except for the Google Assistant button.

You can see a circular d-pad at the top. Besides, eight buttons beneath include Back, Google Assistant, Home, Mute, YouTube, Netflix, Power, and Input.

In addition, there are two small volume control buttons on the right hand. Like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, it is possible to plug the Chromecast into Ethernet. The company will offer a power/Ethernet adapter soon after launch.

Interface:

Nothing is radical about the interface, but it works. While there are tabs for Search, Movies, Shows, Apps, and Library at the top, beneath are thumbnails of content relevant to that menu.

Suppose you have subscribed to YouTube TV. Then, you can see a Live tab in the top menu displaying shows airing through that service. In the Sub-categories section, you will get Top Picks depending on your viewing history from the streaming services connected. In addition, it lets you see Trending on Google and Recommended Videos depending on what you have seen on YouTube.

You can see the content bought from the company on the Library tab and DVR content from YouTube TV.

Once you tap on a thumbnail, you can view the services on which it is streaming. In addition, you can see a trailer, save to a Watchlist, rate it, and watch additional details.

Streaming Services:

The device supports YouTube, YouTube TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Spotify, Disney Plus, Hulu, ESPN, Sling, HBO Max, CBS All Access, Starz, Peacock, Peloton, Tubi, PBS, and many other streaming services. In early 2021, the device added the Apple TV app. Now, Google TV might get fifty free live television channels.

It is possible to install Apps and services directly from the device. Instead, you may head toward Google Play on your mobile and send new software to it remotely.

It can stream content at resolutions up to 4K/60 fps. Besides, it can support HDR, HDR10, and HDR10+. In addition, it is compatible with Dolby Vision. Regarding audio, it can support Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and Dolby Atmos.

Performance:

Users said that it is quick and responsive. In addition, it can offer excellent video quality. While streaming your content, you must be impressed with the details and colors.

Search:

With the help of a Google Assistant button on the remote, you can search for movies and TV shows by name, genre, actor, etc. In addition, it can leverage this search engine for more general inquiries.

Remember that it is impossible to see the menu, look up directions, etc. In addition, you can not choose the mobile number to call the establishment. Whether you ask the Assistant to get you directions, it will provide an overview on the television. Thereafter, it will send directions to the mobile. This search engine is better than Alexa too.

Smart Home Features:

Do you have a Nest Hello video doorbell, a Nest Cam, or another supported home security camera? If yes, it is possible to ask the Assistant to display a feed from that device on the television. This feature is similar to what Amazon provides with its Fire TV devices. In this regard, you should know that Ring and Blink are incompatible with the device.

With the help of this Assistant, you can control other smart home devices on it. For example, you can control smart lights and smart thermostats. It is helpful to turn on and off things on command.

Pros: 

  • Sensible layout 
  • Many streaming services 
  • Remote is available 
  • Smart home features

Cons:

  • Continue Watching list is buggy

Conclusion:

We appreciate the Android 12 update, but it will not provide much for the Chromecast with Google TV. You can expect it will support a higher resolution menu UI and added privacy features with some other minor changes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What does it do?

It can be cast from multiple supported Android and iOS apps directly from a mobile, laptop, or tablet. Besides, it can mirror your Chrome browser tab to your television. If you are a new user, you will get up to 3 months of YouTube Premium. Therefore, enjoying your favorite videos and music ad-free with your voice is possible.

Q. How does it connect to TV?

You should connect your Chromecast to an HDMI input on television or any display device you have. Thereafter, you should switch the television to the HDMI input. Next, wait till the remote is not paired. Usually, it pairs automatically.

Q. Is there a monthly fee for it?

No, you don't need to pay monthly fees for these devices.

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Google Little Signals

Google Little Signals

When it comes to notifications, LEDs or any ding sound are the things that come first in our minds. We can get notifications due to the arrival of a new message or a reminder from a shopping app of a long-forgotten item on the wishlist. However, people choose sensory cues differently, and Google is experimenting with that. They are searching for new methods to signal attention subtly. Google's target of Ambient Computing or the idea of technology in the background for assistance was for a long period. Let's know what little signals are.

What do you know about Little Signals?

Little Signals is the latest Google experiment providing us with the concept regarding the shape of Ambient Computing devices that could take in the future. It is a "series of interaction experiments" made by the Google Seed Studio and Map Project Office. The experiment is available on the list of experiments with Google under the Digital Wellbeing Collection. 

It provides us with the advanced concepts for Google hardware devices. London-based studio Map Project Office designed the experiment in collaboration with Google's Seed Studio. To find the best way to balance technology, it has developed six conceptual devices— Air; Button; Movement; Rhythm; Shadow; and Tap. Every device has a different function, but these can explore a more subtle approach together with household gadgets. 

These six objects allow you to subtly use various sensorial cues to signal attention. Besides, these move from the background to the foreground as required. Every object is unique for its communication method, like puffs of air or ambient sounds.

 


Besides, the small movements or simple controls help to bring the objects to life. In addition, these make the objects responsive to changing surroundings and needs. Little signals let us know how we should stay updated with digital details while maintaining moments of calm.

What are the six objects of Little Signals?

The six conceptual objects with innovative ways are as follows: 

Air: 

It interacts with its close surroundings. Like the plant leaves, pulsed air can move nearby items to attract attention. 

Button: 

The object helps to combine scale and sound to communicate and offer control. Its right button is for more details whereas the left one is for less. While full, it can play a tone. 

Movement: 

This object offers seven pegs offering details graphically like a calendar or timer via the height and motion. These pegs usually work individually or as a group. 

Rhythm: 

It creates ambient sounds. The melody qualities convey the qualities of details as to their importance, urgency, or tone. If a wave is over the object or turns it over, it mutes it. 

Shadow: 

It can communicate via the movements of the shadow it casts. These display the status of the object. For instance, it shows slow breathing while active or stretching in response to presence. 

Tap: 

It uses the surfaces to make sounds acting as notifications. If you tap strongly, it indicates more pressing news.

 Conclusion:

According to a recently exposed Google patent, Google has been working on a 'skin interface' that means gesture control via the user's skin. You can apply it to a range of products like smartwatches and earbuds.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Is The Google FI VPN The Best?

Google FI VPN

Google has come out with their own ' VPN' (Virtual Private Network) on all Fi phones to eliminate this. Let us discuss is the Google FI VPN is best or not?

Our dependency on the mobile phone has exceeded all limits, and we are highly dependent on them for many important things. In this process, we are unaware of what repercussions are expected to happen as we pass on vital information.

They may include credit card numbers, passwords, etc., which hackers can conveniently pick up in transit and use for their gains.

What is Google Fi VPN?

Using Google Fi VPN, there are no changes that would affect the process of browsing, streaming, and downloading, with the connection being encrypted and private. In other words, you are given a free run despite the fact you are using insecure networks.

The most significant advantage is that none can locate your IP address, and hackers will have no clue that you even exist.

Found below are improvement made to this process of Google Fi VPN after its introduction:

  • It enables double-layer protection against your Phone number. 
  • Provides complete privacy and more security. 
  • Personal information is completely protected. 
  • Performance improvement but may slow down the existing speed. 

The new Fi VPN does promise this, but are there doubts regarding these claims?

1. Anonymity and protection:

The argument of using the Google Fi VPN is to:

  • Protect ourselves from hackers 
  • Preventing ISP's from collecting all our data and selling to organizations who will benefit from them. 

This is a valid argument provided you want anonymity from your ISP and is justified. But one should never forget that you cannot stay hidden from Google itself.

They would track every movement of yours and bomb you with advertisements in all the products or sites you show interest in!

2. User identifiers and Google's claim:

Google states that any data browsed cannot be traced back to the user. Such a disclaimer does cast doubts because:

  • All your activity is passing through Google. 
  • Google knows where the activity has been initiated 
  • There is no assurance from them that they would not use the information to their advantage 
  • They have the ' know-how' on how to collect your data. 
  • The question then is how much you trust Google. 

3. Speed and performance compromised:

Various VPNs state they aim to provide complete security but not sacrifice the speed or performance you have experienced before. Google, on the other hand, through their Fi VPN, says:

  • All the data will flow through their one channel 
  • There would be increased mobile data which is not less than 10 % 
  • Due to this, the users would' experience slight slowdowns.' 
This is actually in direct contrast to the statement made by other VPNs!

4. Ability to Bypass:

Fi VPN from Google is expected to do wonders on its ability to bypass all restrictions. However, it remains non-committal on bypassing geo-restrictions and blockade from many countries.

The fact is that the Fi VPN cannot change the country of origin, thus allowing the region to block you. The traditional VPN does not suffer from this issue.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Learn to Code with Grasshopper

Ever wanted to learn how to code but found it too difficult or maybe you didn’t know where to begin? Well now you can throw all those excuses away with Google’s new Grasshopper. With Grasshopper, Google allows novices to learn how to code. Recently Google even made Grasshopper available as a desktop app to better reach those novices who preferred a desktop to work on. Grasshopper was initially released back in 2018 as a mobile app. Since then millions have downloaded it on both compatible platforms of Android and iOS. With a larger screen space to work on, learning to code with grasshopper becomes easier and that’s what you can do now with grasshopper for desktop.

Googles whole Grasshopper initiative:


Grasshopper was created by Google back in 2018 to allow people access to coding education and also to give people a head start in career opportunities dealing with coding. Initially Grasshopper was started on mobile phones and millions have accessed it through that. But to reach a more wider audience, aka those who prefer larger screens, Google decided to bring Grasshopper to the desktop as well.

Since its initial release, more than 2 million people have installed grasshopper. These include but are not limited to those who have no coding experience at all. Grasshopper is aimed at those who need to know what the nut and bolts of coding are before they go on to more ambitious projects.

Google already provides a number of tech education tools and grasshopper is the latest to join this group. Besides grasshopper, there are also other tools to help you learn coding, not all by Google of course.

Learn to code with Grasshopper on a desktop PC:


Having a larger screen and a keyboard at your disposal makes learning to code much easier. Google capitalized on that fact and started Grasshopper for desktops now too. Now with the desktop app available Google is able to fit in columns for instructions, results, code- editors all side by side.

Google has also added more classes to its Grasshopper school- in addition to learning the basics you will also be able to learn how to use a code editor and a more advanced- how to make your own webpages. These classes will teach you more about CSS, HTML and Java Script.

Why is using a Code Editor a Separate Class?


In the first few classes which are more about the basics, you just learn how to create a few snippets of code and how to put them in the right order. But to learn how to create something from scratch you now have a new class- using a code editor.

What do you get after you learn to code with Grasshopper?


At the end of your course with Grasshopper you’ll be able to build a simple webpage. Besides that you will have your fundamentals down to learn the more advanced stuff. Once you have the background down you can then take on further courses on other platforms such as codecademy.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Google Bug Bounty to provide security for Android Apps

Google Bug Bounty
Many apps on Google Play Store have malware which have been discovered recently. In order to increase security of the apps, Google is seeking help from the public too. Google is regularly improving their security and privacy of their products. The Google Bug Bounty provides security for Android apps.

What is Google Bug Bounty?

Google is offering a wide range of vulnerability reward programs to encourage the people and developers to improve security for everyone. As part of the Google Bug Bounty program there are changes to the Google Play Security Reward Program (GPSRP). In addition to the Google Bug Bounty program, they are also launching the new Developer Data Protection Reward Program (DDPRP).

How does Bug Bounty offer changes to the (GPSRP)

Google Play Security Reward Program offers rewards to the developers who find any security breach on the apps. Earlier, there were only eight top apps which were included in the program. Now, any app from Play Store that has more than 100 million installs come under this program.In case a developer comes across any security breach in an app, they need to report it to Google. They can then claim a bounty of up to $20,000.

As part of Google Bug Bounty program under the GPSRP, all these apps are eligible for rewards. This is even in the eventuality of the app developer not having their own vulnerability disclosure or bug bounty program. Google will disclose the vulnerabilities to the concerned app developer. In this way the security researchers help the app developers to identify and fix the malware in their apps.

In case the developers have their bounty programs, the researchers can collect their rewards from the developer and from Google. From GPSRP, which is a part of the Google Bug Bounty Program, vulnerable data can be identified. With this Google can create automated checks to scan all the apps in Google Play for any malware.

The app developers who are affected will then be notified through Play Console. Play Console is part of the App Security Improvement (ASI) program. This program gives information on the malware and how they should fix the problem. Till date, ASI has helped over 30,000 developers fix more than 1,000,000 apps on Google Play. According to the Bug Bounty program, GPSRP has paid over $265,000 in bounties.

Launching of Developer Data Protection Reward Program as part of Google Bug Bounty

DDPRP is a Bug Bounty program which is in collaboration with HackerOne. It will help to identify and fix malware in Android apps, OAuth projects and Chrome extensions. Here, rewards will be given to those who can give complete evidence of data abuse in a similar model as Google’s other vulnerability reward programs.

In this Bug Bounty program, it aims to find out situations where the user data is being used illegitimately, without the consent of the user. There could be a breach related to an app or Chrome extension. That app or extension will be removed from Google Play or Google Chrome Web Store. In case an app developer is involved in data abuse, their API access will be removed. As per the Google Bug Bounty in the DDPRP, a single report could net $50,000 reward.

Monday, 19 August 2019

FIDO2 Enabled Log In: Google Services using Your Fingerprint?

FIDO2 Enabled
Apparently to sign in to Google Services all it takes will be your fingerprint. Google plans on allowing users to sign in to their Google accounts using their fingerprint or the screen lock on their phones. Of course, this will be available to Android devices only that are maybe initially. Normally when trying to log into one’s account you need your user ID and password. But now all that is going to be done away with. Google has rolled out this new feature with its Pixel range of phones at present. Other Android enabled devices are not too far behind either. Google plans on rolling out this new feature on Android 7 devices and above shortly or in the next few days.

More Security with FIDO2 Enabled Log In: 


Google’s new feature has been years in coming with the tech giant collaborating with the FIDO Alliance and the W3C to get things on the road. And things are now finally on the road with this new feature coming to Pixel smartphones.

This new method of logging into your Google accounts is supposed to be more secure and of course simpler to use.

In Google’s blog they mention newer methods of technology surpassing the need of the traditional logging in using your password kinda thing. With this new method of logging in coupled with the tech giants already present automated protections; this method is pegged to be more secure and easy to use.

The Point in Using FIDO2 instead of Normal Android APIs: 


According to Google’s blog the whole idea in using FIDO2 standards as opposed to your average APIs on Android is that the biometric system made with FIDO2 standards are now used on the web too. This means that various other accounts can be synced using the same biometric on different platforms as opposed to making a separate one for different log ins.

Note to Users: 


While you fingerprint maybe used across all platforms, your fingerprint will never be sent to a Google server. It will remain on the device itself, this is according to a blog posted by Google. The only thing that will be sent to Google’s Server is cryptographic proof that the user has correctly scanned their fingerprint using biometrics.

This remains an essential part of the new feature built on FIDO2 standards.

For Further Security: 


If that’s not enough there’s always Titan Security Keys as well as Android phone’s own built in security key for added protection.

These security keys as well as the new method of logging in, using biometrics, are all based on FIDO2 standards. However, the two methods are meant for different things, while one is used for bootstrapping a new device to make sure it’s the same owner logging into their account but from a new phone, the other that is verification based on biometrics, is done after bootstrapping a device and is all used for verifying the identity of the already signed in user during step- up flows.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Gallery Go: Latest App to Join the Go Series!

Gallery Go
The whole idea behind Google’s Go option is to be able to use apps with low data packs. As a new addition to the pack, Google has recently launched Gallery Go. Again, this app just like its siblings does not require much data or storage to work. The Go app, launched at Google’s third Google for Nigeria event, is available on devices running Android 8.1 and later. Another sore point is that management of photos will be available to users only in certain markets and not everywhere. As a side note Google is also planning to bring Bolo, a reading tutor app, to Ghana and Nigeria.

More about Google Gallery Go-


Gallery Go as revealed by Google in a blog post will use machine learning to organize your photos and will also work offline too. This makes it an excellent substitute for the normal Google photos app, especially on low powered devices.

The app may also appear as a pre- installed app on Google Go edition phones, even if there are only two of them at present- Itel S15 AndItel A55.

Gallery Go is meant to do all that the normal Google Photos app can do such as help you easily locate photos, edit them and manage them, all with the added bonus of using less data or cloud backup.

For first time users, the great thing about Google Gallery Go is that it plays well with SD cards making it easy to transfer photos between phones to memory cards.

As for the editing options- all the basic ones such as crop and rotate are present with some auto enhanced features as well. For low powered phones the icing on the cake is that the app is only 10 MB in size, leaving plenty of room for other things. Other things such as more room for your own photos.

A thing with low powered phones is just that – they’re low powered, any apps will slow down the phone as they take up a lot of space. But an exception is the Google Gallery Go app weighing in at only 10 MB.

Availability of Google Gallery Go: 


Google Gallery Go is only available on Android devices running on 8.1 OS and later. You can get your hands on the app or install it from the Google Play Store.

Apparently users aren’t happy with the 8.1 OS compatibility thing. Many whose phones run on earlier versions don’t have the space to install Google’s photos app and the new Google Gallery Go app is not backward compatible as well.

Even though Google seems to be targeting Go apps for their Go phones, they seem to have forgotten about smartphones running on version older to 8.1 or other low powered Android devices.

To put everything in numbers, as per Google’s very own dashboard (last updated 7th May) only 25.8% of Android devices run on 8.1 OS or later. What about the rest 74.2%?

Monday, 27 May 2019

You will soon be able to auto-delete your Location History

You will soon be able to auto-delete your Location History
Your Google account will now come with a new feature that allows you to auto-delete your Location History. You will also be able to delete your Web and App Activity data after a certain period of time. The data will be deleted automatically after either three or eighteen months which will be on a rolling basis.

Last year it emerged that Google still continued to track your location, inspite of the Location History setting being turned off. In case you want to stop your location being tracked, you have to go to your settings and turn off the Web and App Activity as well. According to the announcement made by Google, you will be able to auto-delete your Location History as well as your Web and App Activity. With this delete feature,it should cover your entire location history data that Google holds on you.

How to auto-delete your Location History


According to Google, the feature to auto-delete your Location History will be available worldwide in the coming weeks. This feature will be in addition to the existing options which allow you to delete this data manually. Initially, the ‘auto-delete your Location History’ and deleting your Web and App Activity data are the two features that will be available.

Main points regarding auto-delete your Location History


Google will auto-delete your Location History as well as Web history after three or eighteen months. Google will now have little information so as to recommend things, but not have years of private data. Up until this time, you had to either turn off this tracking or manually delete the information.

Google made an announcement that it will soon allow all those using Google services to auto-delete your Location History and Web history. As of now, the users need to visit Google and manually delete this information or completely turn it off. The disadvantage in turning off your location or Web history, is that, it can hurt your experience. As a result, Google will not have enough information to recommend things you may like.

With this new feature where you can auto-delete your Location History and Web history there is an advantage. You can tell Google to delete all information older than three or eighteen months on a rolling basis.

You can choose how long your location history or web history is to be saved to Google’s servers. You can allow Google to store your information from three to eighteen months. Any information older than that will automatically get deleted from your Google account. This will be done automatically on a rolling basis.

This feature to auto-delete your Location History and Web history should be rolling out in the coming weeks. You can in the meantime check your Google account Activity Controls page to see if the feature is available. When it becomes available, you will note the new automatic deletion option. This will feature under the Web and App Activity and Location History sections.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Our Expectations from Google Pixel 4

Our Expectations from Google Pixel 4
From the inception of the Pixel line in 2016, Google has released smartphones that offer various software updates. With its distinguished features, the Pixel handsets are a great draw among the tech savvy people.

The google Pixel 4 could be in the making as it was mentioned by a Google employee.

As regards to the features and price of the Google Pixel 4, it is mostly based on rumors.

Expectations from the Google Pixel 4


As of now, there is only speculation regarding the Google Pixel 4. In all probability, Google Pixel 4 is in the last stages of development and has still to get into production.

What is certain, is that the phone will be called Pixel 4 and it is in the latter stages of development. This information is from a software engineer who mentioned the handset by name at least three times.
The leaked image suggests that the Pixel 4 will feature the punch-hole design. The Google Pixel 4 XL will feature a dual lens camera in the top right corner of the screen. There will not be a notch and even no bezels that are visible, ensuring the Pixel 4 XL will be almost bezel free.

According to the image, it seems that Google will be opting for multiple cameras on the rear of the handset. This may be for the Google Pixel 4 XL. However, the images obtained from the patent shows a single lens camera that would feature in the Google Pixel 4.

The Geekbench benchmark for the Google Pixel 4 shows a Snapdragon 855 chipset which is more efficient than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 845. All are hoping the Google Pixel 4 can pack in improved efficiency with regards to the battery life.

The Google Pixel 4 will come with 6GB of RAM. This is up from the 4GB RAM available on the Google Pixel 3. Though the Pixel 3 provided a solid software experience, there was a lot of controversy with regards to the RAM management. The camera app used up most of the available memory and other apps would be force-closed. With regards to the Google Pixel 4, the users are hoping for 6GB of RAM together with a powerful chipset.

The smartphone will run on Android Q. It will feature a single core score of 3,296 and a multi core of 9,235 which indicates a top- end phone. The Google Pixel 4 may come with an improved dual SIM support, allowing the user to have a normal SIM and an eSIM at the same time.

With regards to the speakers, many popular handsets come with the speaker under the display. The Google Pixel 3 came with speakers that offered great audio quality and improved listening experience. One expects the Google 4 to retain the stereo speakers as they did in the Google Pixel 3.
The users are hoping that the Google Pixel 4 will come with a sturdier construction. Though the Google Pixel 3 boasted of tight lines and a glass rear, it was still subject to damage. The Google Pixel 4 should be embracing a utilitarian design.

Pricing of the Google Pixel 4


Expectations are high for an early October launch and hit the stores in early November. The pricing may be anywhere upwards from the $1,000 mark.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Google Docs API allows users to Automate many of the Things they did Manually

Google Docs API
Google recently announced an API for Google Docs. This new Google Docs API will allow users to automate many of the things that they did manually in the company’s online office suite. The Google Docs API which had been in developer’s preview since last April has now been opened up to all developers. The last developer preview launched at last year’s Google Cloud Next 2018.

Google Docs API: 


The REST API allowed developers build workflow automation services for users, create documents in bulk and also build content management services. Developers could also set up processes that would manipulate documents after the fact in order to update them. The Google Docs API also features the ability for users to delete, insert, move, merge, as well as format text. Insert inline images, work with list among many other things.

Google Docs API’s import/ export function also allows you to use Doc in internal content management systems.

Companies that use Google Docs API: 


Many companies had built solutions on the new Google Docs API. Some of these companies include names such as Netflix, Zapier, Final draft and Mailchimp. Zapier had integrated the google Docs API with its own work flow automation tool in order to help users create their own offer letters which would be based on a template. While Zapier did this, Netflix used Google Docs API to build an internal tool that would help engineers in gathering data and automating documentation flows.

For those of you having to fill out forms or invoices, instead of doing it multiple times and changing the template every time you do, you can now have product info and numbers automatically filled in for you. This new Google Docs API will make life much easier for all and sundry. Google Docs API aims at removing much of the repetitive tasks by automating it.

Google Docs API allows you to read and write documents using programs. These programs then integrate your work across all Google Docs saving you a lot of time and hassle.

To help in getting things started with the new Google Docs API, Google has developer guides, reference docs and a quick start guide. The Developer guide helps you in learning how to implement some of the most important features in Google Docs. The reference Docs contains details about API types and methods.

Many at times at the work place we find ourselves copying the same thing over and over again, Google Docs API is aimed at removing that very thing. They do this by automating most of the repetitive functions, leaving us with a few tasks. Some of the things that google docs API helps at eliminating is copying information form one document to the other and filling out forms at work.

Google Docs API is primarily intended to help out with invoicing but can be adapted to do just about anything that you need done in docs. This new API will remove a lot of repetitive tasks at the workplace.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Google Makes Learning Fun and Easier through: 13 Google for Education Tools

Sometimes learning can be tough and boring. There are times when you wish you could just lay back and rest. This may not be because you are lazy but are due to learn something that you find a little bit difficult. In such cases learning needs to be made simpler and not only that but also focused and fun. Google plans on doing just that through their Google for Education tools. Google plans on bringing the learning initiative to Chromebooks with easy student access and to make learning easier.

Learning through Devices a Part of Google for education tools: 


Google plans on launching a number of devices in 2019 with a view to providing learning. There will be more than 25+ devices or so that Google plans on releasing in the year 2019. There will be a choice from the Asus Chromebook Tablet CT100 to convertibles like the Acer Chromebook Spin 512. The Acer Chromebook Spin will have a 3:2 inch screen ratio for a larger display, so that viewing is made easier on it. There will also be other devices such as the Lenovo 300e Chromebook and clamshell devices such as the Dell Chromebook 3400.

Chromebooks are not the only devices that Google has lined up as part of its Google for education tools initiative. Google also has something for educators too. After all learning is not the only criteria but teaching is just as important if students have to learn well. Educators will have the Google Pixel Slate and the Pixelbook as options to teach with.

Customize your settings and Save your Work with these Google for Education Tools: 

Google allows you the option of customizing your settings with multilayered security settings, individual profiles, automatic updates and data protection. The thing that is great with this tool is that you can now access all these settings no matter what you device you’re using. You just log into your account and presto! All your settings are the same as you set them as on the device you logged in previously.

Google has also added in this option for all types of learners be it those with visual impairments, auditory problems and more.

Be Internet Legends with Google for education tools initiative:

Google has now started an online safety program in partnership with experts up at Parent Zone. Primary school teachers can now order the Be Internet Legends curriculum pack all for free. There are also new languages added to the pack including Arabic, Italian, Belgian, Polish, and will be soon coming in Turkish as well.

Plan with Google for Education Tools: 

As part of Google for Education Tools initiative, Google makes planning for teaching a course easier with its new Classwork page. Not only that, but Classroom has a new look and feel to it, promising to make work easier.

Jamboard an Interesting Google for Education Tool: 

You can create, edit and view Jams- a collaborative whiteboard space right on your Chromebook or from a Chrome browser or alternatively from the jamsboard app as well. Jamsboard allows you to modify frames and switch between drawing to keyboard shortcuts while jamming. You’ll even be able to add images shortly. Interested users can also head on to Jamsboard for a free course on Student agency and engagement.

Bringing Augmented and Virtual Reality to the Education Front: 

As part of the Google for education tools initiative, students can now create VR tours using Tour Creator on the Chromebook. They can then view their creations through a guided app using the Expeditions Android app. Google is also translating its most popular tour guides into Arabic, Hindi, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, French and Spanish.

Locked mode and Gradebook as Google for education tools: 


While on locked mode on the Chromebook students will not be able to browse away from their quiz unless they submit their answers.

The Gradebook on the Chromebook allows teachers to check answers and compute average for the class as well as calculate grades by weighted average or total points. Making a teacher’s life much more easier and faster.

Learning Coding as a part of Google for education tools initiative: 


Google recently introduced First + Scratch 3.0 which is the latest version of coding to be taught to kids. This version is complete with lesson plans,new videos and digital materials. The lesson plans will also be easily shared via Google Docs. To learn more about the latest version you can check out Google’s First Starter Guide.

Be Job Ready with these new Skills: 


Google for education tools now includes teaching new skills like critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication and digital skills. These skills are based on the UK Essential Digital Skills Framework and the Computing National Curriculum in England. All this will be available on the new English and Digital Skills website in the UK.

Hands on with Google for Education Tools: 


This new tool allows you to save your experiments across all your devices through your G Suite Education account. Google has also released new training modules and lessons on the Google for Education Teacher Center as well as Scholastic. If you’re more the hands on type then you can check out the new Science kit from Arduino for middle school or the new science journal app with Go Direct line of classroom sensors.

Learn about Travel using these Google for Education Tools:

Google earth also features in as a Google for education tool. You can now bring the whole world to your classroom with no download necessary. Students can learn about streets, learn about the weather, volcanoes and about sea temperature. Google makes learning interactive by showing layers and areas, distances and 3D views of things. This makes learning a lot more easier and understandable.

These Google for Education Tools are all set to make learning easier and more understandable for students. Their interactive content and ease of learning makes these tools a must have for anyone wanting a brighter future.

Monday, 10 December 2018

Google has Unveiled Flutter 1.0

Google unveiled the Flutter 1.0 at an event at the Science Museum in London, UK. The Product Manager Tim Sneath introduced Flutter 1.0 to the enthusiastic developers.

What is Flutter? 


Flutter 1.0 is a cross-platform portable UI toolkit. It is an app engine that brings software development kit (SDK) out of beta.

Since 2015, it was undergoing various stages of development. Several of the beta versions were out last year and a preview of Flutter saw the release this summer.

It allows developers to build apps that can work on Android and iOS from a single codebase.

Flutter was designed by Google so that there could be a better collaboration and rapid development between the developers and coders. It is powered by Skia 2D graphics engine.

Material Design widgets which would look nice on both, Android and iPhone devices, will be powered by Google’s Dart platform. It will enable compilation to native 32-bit and 64-bit ARM code for Android and iOS. With the ‘stateful hot reload’ feature, you get quick visual results without any need to restart, thus saving time and increasing productivity. According to Google, the development cycles are three times more productive.

Flutter, being an open source, with a BSD-style licence, allows contributions from developers all over, since there are plenty of third-party plug-ins and widgets ready to be tried out.

Ashley Narayanen told Computer Business Review that even though it has the ability to target more than one platform which is not a new concept, the others being Xamarin, Cordova and React Native, it is a product of Google and not a third party component.

The other point to be noted is that Flutter is slated to be the main framework for the next-Gen operating system, Fuschia.

Though the Xamarin framework offers a native experience, there are still problems in cross-platform targeting since a complete 100 percent of the components cannot be used across both the Android and iOS platforms.

It has been designed to support Google’s ‘Material’ design language as well. Since there is heavy use of shadows and other effects, one can use the native hardware graphics acceleration on both the Android and iOS platforms. With the result it is capable of handling such workloads.

Many Big Companies are using Flutter


Big companies like Alibaba, Groupon, Tencent and others are developing and shipping apps with Flutter.

The mobile payment service Square announced two new Flutter SDKs whereby accepting payments for goods and services would become easier with Flutter. It could be done by using a Square payment reader or payments within the mobile app developed on the platform.

Animators 2Dimensions announced the use of ‘Flare’, a tool that enables designers to create animations which could be embedded into a Flutter app and manipulated with code. With Flare, there is no need to design in one app, animate in another and convert everything to a device-specific assets and code.

With Flutter, app design is radically simplified. Google made an announcement that they would be experimenting with running Flutter on the web under the codename, Hummingbird.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Google Project Stream will be Huge for PC Gaming

Project stream to REACH New Heights!

Streaming has been the greatest invention since the internet or at least in my view. There is no hassle of downloading just the need for an internet connection. You can then watch your favorite shows, movies or listen to your favorite songs all without any problems. But that is not all streaming can do. Google plans on pushing the limits of streaming even further with its project stream operations. To make streaming even more capable than what it can currently do, Google’s project stream will be much more demanding than just streaming your average day video.

Project stream is Google’s way of pushing the limits when it comes to streaming in a good way. It is a test of sorts to see how far streaming can actually go. Our current day streaming has come a long way since only a few years back. But now for the ultimate test in project stream Google plans on streaming a blockbuster game.

Streaming a Blockbuster video game through Project Stream:


To really push the boundaries in project stream, Google has come up with a way to stream a blockbuster game and this is no ordinary game either. The game chosen for project stream is one of the best known and highly played games- Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. The game may not be released just as yet but it is well on its way to becoming one of the most played games in the world.

The game to- be- released by one of the best gaming publication houses out there- Ubisoft, is all set to feature as Google’s test on streaming with project stream.

Who gets to be a part of Project Stream?


The game is all set to reach Google’s project stream platform on October the 5th. For the duration of the project stream test, Google will select a certain number of participants to play the game for the duration of the project stream test. This will take place at no extra cost to the players.

To play the game you have to be a US resident and aged above 17 years, plus (this goes without saying) you also have to have a working internet connection like say 25 megabits per second to play. This is besides there being other criteria which you can check out on Google’s help center.

The Difficulties of Streaming a Game on Project Stream:


Streaming comes with its own set of problems like buffering and the annoying wait for that to happen. But this is when you watch something like a video. But when it comes to gaming it’s a whole different ball game.

You have graphically rich content to stream and not only that, there can be no lagging and buffering, there has to be instant interaction between the player and what happens on screen.

The only latency that is acceptable is a few milliseconds and no more. Plus if you take in graphics, that makes it a really complex process that Google hopes to overcome with project stream.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Shape Detection now with Google Chrome 70 Beta

Shape Detection


So Chrome has just turned a decade old and Google celebrated by making some major updates like an almost full change of the user interface and like with all major updates- a performance improvement as well. But that’s not all that was in store for Chrome. Google also added shape detection and other features to boost security as well, like using biometrics in web based applications. But the tinkering is not over just as yet. Google recently released its beta for Chrome 70 that includes the shape detection, web authentication and some other updates as well.

Shape Detection in Chrome: 

Google uses this shape detection API to bring a device’s feature of detecting faces, barcodes and text to web pages.

Shape detection constitutes three APIs in one bundle. You have the face detection software, barcode detection API in shape detection and of course text detection API also in the shape detection API. Basically the shape detection API pretty much does as the name describes but for further information Google has given its own description of what you can expect from its shape detection API.

For face detection in the shape detection API- given the image bitmap or face or blob even, the face detection API gives you the location of that face and the eyes, nose and mouth in that face.

To gain more control over the process you can always prioritize speed over performance when it comes to search results for faces. You could even limit the number of faces given as results, using this method in shape detection.

The barcode detection API in shape detection API decodes the bar codes or QR codes for you into strings with values ranging from single sets of digits to multi line texts.

The text detection API in shape detection API is meant to read Latin- 1 text used in images.

The use of shape detection in Chrome could open up a host of useful opportunities for developers. Adding facial recognition in shape detection API could mean better security like Apple’s FaceID. Text detection too has a lot of opportunities where it can be used in.

QR or barcode reading while it will be more useful in other places, it is less useful in places like the US where QR codes or barcodes are not used much.

Web authentication on Chrome: 

To add more security Google has added Web authentication update with support for a PublicKeyCredential type. This allows web based applications to use and create strong cryptographically attested credentials for their users.

This feature was present in Chrome 67 for desktop by default and now has been activated for Chrome Android as well.

Another feature added by web authentication on Chrome is the use of finger print or biometrics. This uses the feature present on phones or the mac to give users extra security when using web based applications. That means on various websites, web operators can ask for your finger print using the scanners on your phone or mac to verify your identity.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Android 9 Pie (Go edition): New Features and More Options This Fall

Android 9 Pie (Go edition)

Android 9 Pie (Go edition) with new Features to unveil later this year

With the release of Android 9 Pie, the Android 9 Pie (Go edition) will be unveiled shortly. Google announced the introduction of Android 9 Pie (Go edition) as they are keen on focussing on the entry-level smartphone users. Android 9 Pie (Go edition) will be succeeding the Oreo (Go edition) which was introduced in December 2017.

With the Android 9 Pie (Go edition), there will be an additional 500MB of storage out of the box as compared to the Oreo (Go edition) and more than double that of a non-Go edition device. Security features like verified boot will see an improvement, there will be faster boot time and a dashboard to check out data consumption.

Google plans to roll out the Android 9 Pie (Go edition) later this fall, but no exact dates have been stated. Smartphones that have the Android Oreo (Go edition) will also be getting a software update towards the end of this year or early next year.

Last year we saw the introduction of Android (Go edition). The sole purpose was to give first time users and entry-level smartphone users a fast and good experience. The first batch of Android (Go edition) smartphones rolled out in April. There are more than 200 smartphones selling in more than 120 countries which include India, Nigeria, South Africa, U.S. and Brazil. They had not only improved the core operating system but also added new and useful features in various apps like YouTube Go, Google Go and many more.

There is a Go edition device for everyone and they are even selling at $30. It may vary with a HD or regular VGA display, have either 4GB or 8GB or 16 GB storage and support 3G or 4G. There are more than 100 manufacturers who are planning to sell these devices by the end of this year.

Additional Features of Android 9 Pie (Go edition) 


The Android 9 Pie (Go edition) is slated to bring in a redesigned set of Google apps basically to serve the entry-level smartphone users.These entry-level smartphones with Android 9 Pie (Go edition) will see new features that include

An additional 500MB storage out of the box.

The boot time will be faster.

A dashboard to help monitor and track data consumption.

Improved security features like verified boot.

The Android 9 Pie (Go edition) will have lesser preloaded apps and new apps that are lighter. It will come with a built-in security feature and offline app install scans.

According to Sagar Kamdar, Director of Product Management, Android, these new features of Android 9 Pie (Go edition) will take care of most of the problems entry-level or first- time users experience. It could either be security issues, device performance, managing data or storage.

Google had updated the YouTube Go app with a .yt file extension wherein the users with Android Oreo (Go edition) could save YouTube offline videos to their Gallery. There was an update of the webpage voice dictation and also a new navigation for Google Maps Go extension app.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Google One with Cheaper Plans, Extra Benefits in US

Google One
Google had recently held the Google One cloud storage packages premiere in USA. Google One is a new name for storage packages that Google users can subscribe for. The Google One storage plan is open for individuals and small business alike. However the Google Drive platform still remains unchanged.

Prices range from everything in between $1.99 to $9.99 for various amounts of storage. Most people have a lot of storage when it comes down to it. You can store your music on Google Play Music which is soon to be called YouTube Music. You can store your pictures for free if they’re not above 13MP and wouldn’t you rather surf for videos on Netflix or YouTube rather than spend money on buying a storage plan. When you’ve taken into account videos, photos and music, there’s really not that much else to be stored is there?

Prices for Google One: 

 

The Google One storage platform starts from $1.99 a month for 100 GB of data with tiers for $2.99 per month for 200 GB and $9.99 per month for 2TB of data on Google One as compared to 1 TB in Google Drive. I don’t know about you, but 2 TB of data is more than anyone needs.

If this is still not that good enough, then there are larger packages with a larger price tag as well. These packages are much like Google Drive.

Google One- a Family Pack: 


The Google One package can be used for storage by the whole family too. That is up to five family members.

As a member of Google One packages, there will be incentives like certain discounts in the Google Store and so forth. But at present there’s not much to that and it maybe not that great of an incentive too.

What’s Free on Google One? 


The same 15 GB of data space is there, which is split across all tiers like photos, videos and Gmail, which most seemed to forget come under the 15 GB free bracket.

After a while that 15 GB of free space too seems to be limited and if you’ve started using Gmail form the beginning then somewhere about now you’ll be finding your space getting smaller.

Are you on the Google One plan? 


If you’re already a Google Drive user and are residing in the US then you automatically come under the Google One plan.

On the other hand if you’re a new subscriber to Google, then you’ll be signed up on a new Google One account.

If you’re not a US Resident: 


Google One is only available in the US as of now, but will shortly roll out to other countries as well. If you’ve paid for a Google Drive storage plan, then no worries you won’t loose out on what you’ve paid for but will be automatically transferred to the Google One storage plan as soon as it rolls out to your country of residence.

In a few months, Google plans on rolling out Google One to other countries as well.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Google Tracks Your Movements, You Like It or Not

Google Tracks Your Movements

You Are Being Watched as Google Tracks your Movements

Whether you like it or not Google keeps track of your daily movements. You may not want it to do so, you may switch off your location history but Google is always tracking your movements. Why you ask? Well the answer lies within Google wanting to make big bucks when it comes to advertising. By getting your location and the places you frequently visit, Google is able to tailor advertisements based off of that data.

An Associated press investigation team has learnt that Google tracks your movements even when you expressly tell them not to. How do they do this, you say? The answer is simple. They track your movements from your android phone or iOS.

Being Upfront about Tracking your Movements: 


Most of the time Google is upfront when it comes to tracking your movements. They ask your permission and if you decide to give it, then Google prepares a timeline showing your movements over a period of time.

But of course many are opposed to the idea of their movements being tracked. Alas, that has not stopped the tech giant from tracking your movements. It makes sense too that people are not so keen on letting Google track their movements.

Police have previously used the data stored by Google in nabbing suspects in an investigation. But who’s to say that data pertaining to tracking your movements will be used only by the correct authorities.

There is considerable risk of some unknown parties getting that information and using it in ways that we have not even thought about.

What does Google say about Tracking your Movements? 


According to Google, the company does not remember where you move on a daily basis. This it does when your location history is turned off.

But the reality is much different. Even with location history being off, Google still tracks your movements from various Google apps.

Take for example Google Maps, as soon as you open the app, Google immediately takes a snapshot of where you’re at. If that’s not enough for you, then knowing that when you get automatic weather updates, it pinpoints your exact location will force you to wonder how Google is getting all that info.

Forget the apps for just a second, what about innocent searches on the net for chocolate chip cookies or anything else for that matter, on your search results page you get your exact latitude and longitude and I know no one is going to be happy about that.

Who does Google keep track of? 


Studies show that Google tracks movements of nearly 2 billion users worldwide. These can be from android as well as iPhone users who rely on Google for some of their app usage.

When you turn off location history in one place, all places where such data is stored should be turned off, like other Google apps as well. But no matter how straightforward that seems it is not done. It is not that it is impossible to switch of location history on your device but knowing where to switch it off and how, can be problematic.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Google Duplex: Google's Eerie Human Phone Bot is Ready for the Real World

Google Duplex gets a Redo

These days everyone is on the AI bandwagon, from apps to gaming, you can see AI on all these platforms. So why not get AI to book appointments and reservations at restaurants? That’s what Google thought back in May when it released a bot to make reservations and other stuff, called Google Duplex. On first hearing the voice, many thought it was weird and just didn’t sound right.

At the Google’s developer conference in May, a bot or AI or Google Duplex was heard calling a salon and a restaurant to book a reservation on behalf of a human. This initial show of Duplex caused many to raise a number of issues with the chat bot, one of them being that the person on the other end did not know that they were talking to a chat bot and the other that they did not even know they were being recorded. Both of these issues significantly invades a person’s privacy and the said person is unaware of both these issues.

Google Duplex to get a redo:

Google has since then taken these issues seriously and a few weeks before Google Duplex can be used by a small number of small businesses and users, Duplex has got a big redo.

Google aims to address these issues at a time when it has released a set of principles that prevents Googlers from using AI tech in technologies that could affect or violate human rights.

Google Duplex in a Demonstration: 


This time around in order to show case the new and improved version of Duplex, Google used a Hummus shop down the road from their headquarters in Mountain View, California. Google got Duplex to make a reservation at the restaurant which they played through the restaurant’s speakers so that the assembled reporters could hear Google Duplex in action.

As soon Duplex hit the ears of all those present a few differences were immediately apparent. Google’s Duplex informed the person on the other line that it is Google’s automated booking service and that it’ll be recording the call.

There were even Google’s representatives present to answer any questions that the reporters might have. The reporters were even given a chance to rotate around and answer the phone. Google’s duplex was being made to call through Google assistant from a laptop just a few feet away in the restaurant.

While many reporters took their turn at the restaurant, many of them tried to trip up the chat bot and when the chat bot was unable to satisfactorily complete the call, another person came on line which one would barely notice as a real human being.

 

No regrets: 


Google had no regrets at showing Duplex at their developer’s conference back in May. They said they were only demonstrating the technology side of things and all the feedback that they received was really helpful in making changes and going forward.

But another question arises now, Do people really feel a need to fulfill their obligations of attending an appointment, especially now that a bot is placing an order on their behalf?