Items tagged with Google

There's no question that Google knocked it out of the park when it released the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL smartphones. In case you didn't already know, not everyone needs (or wants) to spend $700 or more on a flagship Android smartphone, which is why many were delighted that Google released its mid-range Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL priced at $399 and $479 respectively. Even at those relatively affordable prices, Google still gives customers a respectable Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 SoC with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage space, your choice of a 5.7- or 6-inch display, and an excellent 12MP rear shooter. Today, both smartphones are available unlocked with a sweet $120 discount at Amazon or Best... Read more...
Google RCS is now available on all Android devices in the United States. Its recent availability has brought up questions about its use and features. Today we will break down what it is, how to use it, and, most importantly, how it compares to regular SMS messaging.  Short Message Services (SMS) are plain and simple text messages. They are often accompanied by Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) which include videos, photos, and GIFs. Both are sent through cellular networks and therefore necessitate a carrier plan. Hi everyone! RCS is now available to all users in US as of Monday. Make sure to update both Messages and Carrier Services. — Sanaz (@sanazahari) December 12, 2019 Rich... Read more...
Google has been on a mission to improve the texting experience on Android. Following up on its Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol, which is supposed to bring functionality akin to what's available on iMessages on iOS devices, Google is rolling out a Verified SMS feature to combat the rising annoyance of text spam. You may have noticed that you receive more unsolicited text messages these days than in years past. It's a tough situation, because not every text message from a non-contact is nefarious, or spam. For example, if you have two-factor authentication enabled for a particular service, such as your bank, you'll receive a text when trying to log into your account to verify your identity.... Read more...
Google has announced a new feature for the Google Assistant that will help users who frequently travel for work or pleasure. Google Assistant interpreter mode is available for Android and iOS devices worldwide, and the rollout of the new feature started today. Google says that using interpreter mode allows a back and forth conversation with someone speaking a foreign language. To start the new feature, users can say things like "Hey Google, be my German translator" or "Hey Google, help me speak Spanish." Once the translator mode is active, users will see and hear the translated conversation on their phone. After the Assistant performs each translation, it may present the user with Smart Replies... Read more...
Google has announced that it will be rolling out a new version of Chrome in the coming days with release M79, which will bring better built-in password protection. Google introduced password breach warnings with the Password Checkup extension earlier this year. That extension would compare passwords and usernames against over 4 billion credentials that Google knows have been compromised. In October, Google went a step further and integrated the Password Checkup feature directly into the Google Account, making it available from passwords-google.com. The next natural step for the Password Checkup extension was to integrate it directly into Chrome. With the new integration, when Google discovers... Read more...
Google has announced a change for Gmail that will allow users to send emails as attachments. The update enables users to drag and drop the email they want to attach to their new message. Another way to attach an email to a new email thread is to select the emails with the check boxes on the left of messages and then click the three dots at the top of the screen and choose "Forward as attachment." Replying to an existing thread is supported by using the pop-out reply button. Google says that it has heard from users that sometimes attaching emails makes more sense than forwarding separate emails. One example is in instances where users want to forward multiple messages related to a single topic.... Read more...
Epic Games had hoped Google would reconsider taking less than a 30 percent cut from in-game app purchases if it were to make its highly popular Fortnite game available in the Play Store, but Google took a pin to the developer's balloon and said in no uncertain terms it is not going to happen—the rate would be 30 percent, just as it is for every other developer. There are exceptions to that rate, but mainly for subscription services. Netflix and Hulu, for example, are both subjected to a 15 percent royalty. Those and other similar apps primarily deal with subscriptions, though, which is why they qualify for the reduced rate. Fortnite, on the other hand, rakes in piles of cash through in-game... Read more...
The Google Fi MVNO service has been around for a few years now, and it aims to give customers a reasonably-priced alternative to traditional carriers like AT&T and Verizon while offering a few of its own perks. While Google Fi is technically supported on a broad range of Android and iOS devices, Google has reserved the complete Google Fi experience to Pixel devices and what it calls "Designed for Fi" smartphones (like those from Motorola). Today, Google announced that all smartphones that are supported on Google Fi will receive a number of features previously reserved for a select few. Now, all Google Fi devices, including the iPhone, support spam call warnings... Read more...
Google has updated the ARCore platform for augmented reality that is offered on both Android and iOS devices. The new ARCore Depth API allows any phone to create a depth map using just a single RGB camera. The depth map is created by taking multiple images from different angles and comparing them as the user moves their phone. The image below gives a good example of how the new feature benefits AR users. The app being used called AR animals. In one image, the hind legs of the cat are standing on the furniture. The updated version treats the background as 3D with depth and puts the back legs of the cat behind the furniture as it would appear in the real world. The more realistic AR function will... Read more...
The Pixel 4 family is famous for its strong support from Google. Google tends to support the devices with three years of major Android OS, along with feature/security updates, which is much better than we typically expect from other Android OEMs. Google is now introducing a new category of updates for its Pixel devices, and it is calling it a "feature drop". Google says that feature drops bring bigger and more impactful updates than the typical security updates and bug fixes, and will come "on a regular basis." The first feature drop is coming later this month and includes a handful of new features for Pixel users. One of the most prominent additions is the ability for the Google Assistant to... Read more...
One of the cool new features that the Google Pixel 4 offers users is its Recorder application. That app was initially only for the Pixel 4, but it now has expanded availability to cover most all Pixel devices including the Pixel 2, 3, 3a, and 4 smartphones. It's currently only offered for Pixel devices, not for other Android smartphones, however. The Recorder is more than the name would imply. It can record audio, but it uses AI and voice recognition to transcribe and caption label recordings in real-time, automatically. You could use the app to do things like record a meeting at work or a lecture at school and have a full transcription to look back on. Initially, Google has seemingly... Read more...
Earlier this week, Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform, which alongside the Snapdragon X55 will power next year's flagship 5G Android smartphones. While the chip itself got the bulk of the attention, Qualcomm made another announcement that has huge implications for the mobile sector. Qualcomm announced that it will soon start delivering updates for its Adreno GPUs via the Google Play Store. This is huge news for smartphones, as GPU drivers typically are only updated once a year -- when a major Android release comes down (if at all). And even then, many OEMs don't even bother putting in the effort to ensuring that mobile GPUs are running current drivers from Qualcomm. With... Read more...
Each time an updated version of a Google app lands on the Play Store, geeks are waiting to pour through it for any indication of what may be coming in the future. This is exactly what has happened with the latest version of the Google Play Store app. The app was recently updated to version 17.8.14, and in that version of the app are hints at changes to the Advanced Protection program features that Google offers. Advanced Protection is intended to give an extra layer of security to those who are most vulnerable to targeted attacks, and involves the use of a Titan Security Key. Those who are part of that program are also warned to avoid downloading any risky files. Inside the updated Play Store... Read more...
Genius, a site that posts lyrics to songs (one of the biggest around of its kind), is suing Google for allegedly scraping its data and copying lyrics from its platform. It is not entirely clear if what the lawsuit claims Google did is even illegal, though Genius is suing the tech giant for "no less than $50 million" to recover lost licensing and ad revenue. Part of what makes this case interesting is how Genius claims to have caught Google with its hand in the cookie jar. It's rather clever—Genius applies a watermark of sorts to its lyrics, by way of alternating apostrophes (straight and curly single-quote marks). This makes it easy to see if other sites are scraping its data. To drive... Read more...
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