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

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?

Monday, 28 May 2018

YouTube Music Starts Rolling Out: 6 Reasons You are Gonna Like It


For the Music Lovers out there: YouTube brings you-“YouTube Music”

Recently YouTube announced YouTube music for all the music lovers out there which is basically for everyone. A week later and you have YouTube music already rolled out to the U.S. of A, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, with other countries coming shortly. All your music needs will be in one place now with YouTube Music.

You’ll be able to jam out to your favorite tunes, get recommendations based on your searches, don’t know the name of that song? No worries YouTube music has got you covered, all you have to do is place the name of the lyrics into the search bar and your sorted. You can even get songs to suit your schedule like on being on that train commute to office or while you’re on that grueling workout regime. But, now to elaborate further….

Everything under one roof with YouTube Music: 


Forget looking for songs in multiple places, instead of having a number of apps for music, you can get everything with YouTube music under one roof. Whether it is singles, whole albums or music videos, YouTube music has got everything. You can even watch concerts and get those really hard to find songs all with YouTube Music.

Recommendations customized just for you on YouTube music: 


Get recommendations just for you, right on your home screen. These recommendations will be based on your searches as well as where you’re at and what you are currently doing- you maybe at the gym, but no worries YouTube music has a playlist just for you.

Playlist Galore with YouTube Music: 


YouTube Music has got thousands upon thousands of playlists just for you and your moods. There’s “Blogged 50” if you’re in the mood for new songs and “Indie Under Pressure” to get you going on those terrible workouts.

Search smart with YouTube Music: 


Can’t remember the name of that song? You think you got those lyrics down but actually they’re wrong? No hassles, YouTube music is here to save the day or in your case get that song’s name which for the life of you can’t get out of your head.

Browse Music based on current trends:


Want to see what’s trending? YouTube music has got a hotlist screen that shows you all the latest and greatest in current music. No matter where you’re at which place across the globe you find yourself in, you can get the latest or those that are trending in your region.

Download your music hassle free on YouTube music: 

No internet connection? That’s not a problem cause you can now download your favorite tunes when you do have connection and then listen to them without those annoying ads going around in the background whenever you want.

Paid members also get an offline mixtape that automatically downloads songs that YouTube Music thinks you will like just in case you forgot to do so.

For Google Play Music members out there: 

Members will be able to access all their music and also be able to add music just like always.

Friday, 18 May 2018

3 Reasons Google's Pixel Watch May Tempt You Away From An Apple Watch

Why Google Pixel Watch Maybe better than an Apple watch for you?

Looks like Wear OS maybe getting another boost of revival from Google. The first boost the OS got was by Google changing its name from Android Wear to Wear OS as a means of showing people that the new moniker could work with both an iPhone as well as android. Basically what I’m trying to say is that Apple users can now sync their iPhones with Wear OS. But getting on with this second boost to Wear OS, Google is planning on releasing a smart watch titled Google Pixel Watch.

So get saving for this Christmas because by that time Google would have released its pixel watch which is supposed to be great. Google is planning on not only one watch but three watches under the Pixel banner. These three pixel watches will not only have the latest in Wear OS but will also show off Google’s operating system’s true potential.

Why this Pixel watch will be better than the others?


Google pixel watch will be all set to stand off stiff competition this year with Apple releasing it’s Apple Watch 4 and Samsung’s Gear 4 coming out in the later- half of this year and let me tell you these brands do not fool around either. We can surely expect the best from these brands later this year.
But since this will be Google’s first Smart Watch release and that too under its Pixel flagship offering, we’re definitely hoping that Google comes out with something that will blow our minds away.

Why Google may stand up to other big brands with its Pixel Watch?


Apart from the other tech that is going into the Pixel watch, there is news that a new Qualcomm chipset will be present in the Pixel watch. This will be the first new Qualcomm chipset going into a wearable since the last Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 was released back in 2016.

As of now there is no confirmation that the Pixel watch will have this chipset but with a Qualcomm representative saying that the chipset will be going into a device that is coming out at the year end, we have our fingers crossed that this chipset could be going into the new Pixel watch.

With this being Google’s first smart watch undertaking and because it has to provide a reference design for other third party manufacturers who are playing around with the Wear OS platform, this new Pixel Watch will definitely have to stand out from its competition.

The Pixel brand has become Google’s go to brand in past few years, with them releasing smart phone after smart phone, so now releasing a smart watch under the same banner means that Google won’t be taking any chances.

Besides all this we expect Google to bring out the latest in smart watches like GPS, LTE connectivity, fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring, NFC for mobile payments, getting notifications on the go feature, tracking for various sports to name a few.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Turning your house into a smart home with the Google Assistant

Google Assistant- your assistant at home too!

In the past couple of years smart everything has taken off, from smart cars to smart phones to even smart homes, all you need to do is say something like “turn on the lights” and the assistant will turn them on for you. No more have you to worry about switching off the lights or finding that TV remote that does not seem to be in the right place when you go to look for it. In today’s era you have the likes of Google assistant there to meet your every demand.

Using only your voice you can do multiple things in your house or in other words get the Google assistant to do stuff for you. Google has recently reported that many of the major brands in the US have tied up with Google assistant to smart control a house. Google assistant can now be found on 5,000 and counting appliances in a household. The Google assistant can be found on cameras, dishwashers, fridges, thermostats, switches, security systems, ovens and the list goes on and on, basically everything you can think off in the house.

Google assistant in your living room: 

As Google plans on bringing Google assistant to more devices this year, they have started by making your living room a smart entertainment center. You can tell the Google assistant to play music or put on that movie or play that show, all from the comfort of you couch and simply by using your voice.
Google plans on making every TV a smart TV with Chromecast, so now using Google assistant with your TV won’t be a problem, all you have to do is tell the Google home what you want and presto! It is done. Google is also working closely with other TV brands to make Google assistant compatible with the next generation of TVs.

Google assistant your new security- guard: 


Google assistant can even be found in your home’s security system. If you have a nest hello doorbell, then the Google assistant will inform you whenever someone comes, through a chime i to your smart speaker or to your phone. You could even watch whoever’s at the door through your phone or TV.
The Nest product was the first to ship with all these Google features and Google plans on bringing out Google assistant on more security devices later this year.

Google assistant on other gadgets as well: 


As we mentioned earlier, you can switch on almost everything with the Google assistant and you could do this through your smartphone or smart speaker. You could even transform your phone into your very own personal control hub of sorts, when you’re out of the house too.

Google has recently collaborated with Deutsche Telekom’s Magnets Hub and IKEA’s lighting system, which will enable many devices in the household to be activated with the Google assistant. Google plans on tying up with many more brands over the year to bring the Google assistant to more nooks and crannies of the house.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Android P Beta Announced at Google I/O 2018

Android P Beta

Android P Beta gets unveiled at the Google I/O

Google has redefined the android experience with the launch of the Android P beta update at the Google I/O. This update is making its way to the Pixel devices at once along with a number of high profile smartphone from other manufacturers. Here are some of the cool new features which are debuting with the Android P Beta.

Adaptive is the new power

Adaptive battery feature is designed to offers more consistent battery experience on the Android devices. It makes use of the AI along with the machine learning which helps in understanding the user's usage patterns and prioritize the battery power consumption for the apps and services which are most required by the user. Android P will come loaded with a new Adaptive Brightness feature which is way ahead of the simple automatic brightness. Adaptive brightness effectively makes use of the machine learning to adapt with the lightening requirement in accordance with outer conditions. This is done automatically without the help of human input in a fast and reliable fashion.

Android P wants you to spend less time on the phone

Millennial are just always glued to their devices whether they want it or not. In order to help them get rid of this ugly habit, Android P comes with a new feature called dashboard. This feature will simply showcase the amount of time spent on different apps on the given device. Apart from that, it will also show how many times the phone was unlocked and how many notifications were received throughout. This is helpful both for the developer as they will get to know the user behaviour and take the right course of action to make their device more interactive while users can heed t the stats to use the phone lesser.

Keeping a tab on the user’s ‘Digital Wellbeing’

Google has given immense focus on the user's digital wellbeing and as a result, it has come up with a new feature called App timer. This feature will help users in setting up the time limits on the apps and users will be notified about it through graying of the app icon. As the smartphone has gone smarter with each passing year people had started to rely more on the handheld device more than needed and this had started affecting the wellbeing to a great extent.

Google has taken a note of it and brought some crafty feature embedded with the Android P to help the users without sounding adamant. One such cool feature is Wind Down as the name suggests it is designed for those users who tend to use a smartphone while lying on the bed for a longer period of time. This feature will require the user to set a bedtime upon which it will turn on the night mode, Don Not Disturb and even change the screen to grayscale.

Another feature worth talking about is the much needed Do Not Disturb. This not just silences the phone against the incoming calls & notifications but also suspends all the visual interruptions that can come up on the screen. These are just some of the notable features, tweaks and enhancements made by the Google in the upcoming Android P update.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Things to Expect from Google I/O This Year Around

Google I/O

Google’s Annual Developer Conference

Google I/O 2018 is an annual developer conference by Google announcing latest hardware, software together with numerous updates for prevailing services and apps. Google is said to organise a multi-day event each year to enable developer community.

 This is done to hasten with their latest hardware they tend to improve together with the software or update with the purpose of pushing out to products. This enables developers with the opportunity of getting their own apps, services tie-ins and integrations ready before Google launches its products. But consumers prefer to view the Google I/O show since Google has a tendency of making few announcements well-known.

Google I/O 2018 event is likely to take place on May 8 and would be concluding on May 10. The said event would take place at the Shoreline amphitheatre in Mountain View, California.

Online Puzzle

The date for Google I/O 2018 had been disclosed by Google through an online puzzle where numerous users supported The Verge in solving the puzzle by operating through room in Google Maps. This was with the intention of discovering clues and knowing the date and location of Google I/O 2018.

The clues comprised of a pineapple cake in one room probably a hint at the accurate name for Android P. Since Google had always tricked around with Android names, this could be another teaser for Android fans.

Android P – Next Segment of Mobile Operating System

Probably,Android P would be showcased at the event which is the next segment of the mobile operating system of Google. The one big visual renovation of Google that has not been shown officially and which most of us are not aware of is the gesture-based navigation system which was initially disclosed in March on Alphabet Scoop podcast followed up with limited extracts of last month.

Focus – Building Web/Enterprise Application/Mobile

Google would live stream its keynote and the video would be embedded whenever it is available. A raffle system has been utilised by Google and attendees randomly selected from those registered on the company’s website where the lucky winners would need to pay for the tickets. The cost would be $1,150 for general admission, $750 for community and $375 for academic. Google has closed the registration and has notified the raffle winners and no more tickets are on sale anymore. Google I/O 2018 setting technical in-depth sessions is aimed on building web, enterprise application and mobile with Google together with open sources like Chrome, Android and Chrome OS, APIs, together with Google Web Toolkit, App Engine and much more.

Google has utilised the developer conference to announce fresh software products as well as tools for consumers and developers. A developer preview of Android P, being the next version of the mobile operating system of Google, is already available. It is expected that at Google I/O 2018, the company would disclose more consumer-facing features and open the Android Beta program to the general public. Though the schedule for Google I/O 2018 is out, Google’s topic intended is not known during the event. A few clues are disclosed as to what may come up between May 8 and May 10.

Expectations at Google I/O 2018

Google is on the look-out for a P-linked name to trail Android Oreo and this could be an early disclosure of the forthcoming name of the Android version. More updates would be coming up at Google I/O 2018 event. Earlier last year, the first developer preview of Android O had been released in March. The company had released the public beta of Android O together with its latest Android Go, a feature of the operating system intended to power low-end devices in developing markets at the time of the I/O 2017. Last year, Google released the first developer preview of Android O in March, and then, it released the public beta of Android O, along with its new Android Go, a version of the operating system meant to power low-end devices in emerging markets, during I/O 2017. It also did demos of picture-in-picture, Notification Dots, etc.

Updates – Rollout during Google I/O 2018 Event

Powered by Google Assistant, Google Home is said to be the primary part of experience of Google as well as a part wherein the company has been competing with the line of smart speakers of Amazon Echo. More updates are expected during Google I/O 2018 for the standard Google Home shortly. Android Wear had recently been re-trademarked by Google, a wearable operating system to WearOS. Probably more updates are likely to come up during the event. The chat service Allo had been kept on hold by Google recently to keep its focus on Chats which is a service that tends to depend on SMS together with wireless carriers in creating iMessage type of services, according to The Verge report.Probably more updates regarding the rollout are likely to come up along with carrier partners with some kind of timetable to when users would start to see the Chat features.