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How to Use Google Lens on iPhone

Google Lens can now recognize over a billion items in the world around us, the search engine giant announced this week. That's four times as many things that the AI-powered feature could identify when it was first launched last year, thanks partly to a huge number of Google Shopping products which have been added to its knowledge base. While its optical character recognition engine has been optimized to read more product labels, Google has also honed its machine learning and AI to recognize more animals, including common pet breeds. In addition, you can use Lens to get more information about places as well as word definitions and translations of words. Google Lens can now also recognize people, Wi-Fi network names for auto-connecting, and geometric shapes. And if it isn't sure what an object is, it will offer up similar photos that match. Google Lens originally appeared on iOS as part of Google Photos and could only be used on pictures you'd taken. However, last week Google added the feature to its flagship search app, and this implementation is better since it allows you to aim your phone's camera at things in your environment in real time. Follow the steps below if you'd like to give it a whirl. How to Use Google Lens on iPhoneIf you don't have it already, download the Google app [Direct Link] from the App Store and launch it. Sign in with your Google credentials or create an account. Tap the Lens icon to the left of the microphone in the Search bar. Tap the blue button that says Turn on camera to use Lens. Tap OK in the permissions alert to

How to Export Your Passwords and Login Data From Google Chrome

In Chrome 66, rolling out now for Mac and iOS, Google has added a password export option to the web browser so that you can easily migrate your login details to another browser via a third-party password manager app. In this article, we'll show you how to export your passwords from Chrome on Mac and iOS. At the end of the process, you'll be left with a CSV file containing all your login credentials. Popular password managers like Enpass and 1Password accept CSV files for importing login data. Just be aware that the CSV file you export from Chrome is in plain text. That means your credentials could be read by anyone with access to it, so make sure you securely delete the file once you've imported the data into your password manager of choice.

'Google' Articles

Apple Watch Competition to Grow as Google Plans Its Own Wearables Following Fitbit Acquisition

Google today announced it plans to release its own "Made by Google" wearables following its $2.1 billion acquisition of fitness tracker maker Fitbit. The deal is expected to close in 2020 pending regulatory approvals.Over the years, Google has made progress with partners in this space with Wear OS and Google Fit, but we see an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market. Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created engaging products, experiences and a vibrant community of users. By working closely with Fitbit's team of experts, and bringing together the best AI, software and hardware, we can help spur innovation in wearables and build products to benefit even more people around the world.Fitbit confirmed that it will continue to support both Android and iOS, and that Fitbit health data will not be used for Google

Google to Acquire Apple Watch Competitor Fitbit for $2.1 Billion [Updated]

Update: Fitbit today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Google for approximately $2.1 billion. James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit:More than 12 years ago, we set an audacious company vision – to make everyone in the world healthier. Today, I'm incredibly proud of what we've achieved towards reaching that goal. We have built a trusted brand that supports more than 28 million active users around the globe who rely on our products to live a healthier, more active life. Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission. With Google's resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone. I could not be more excited for what lies ahead.Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices & Services at Google:Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created terrific products, experiences and a vibrant community of users. We're looking forward to working with the incredible talent at Fitbit, and bringing together the best hardware, software and AI, to build wearables to help even more people around the world.Fitbit will continue to remain platform-agnostic across both Android and iOS, and the company says Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. The transaction is expected to close in 2020, subject to regulatory approvals. Google is in talks to acquire popular fitness tracker maker Fitbit, according to Reuters, which could help the company better compete with the Apple Watch along

Hands-On With Google's MacBook Air-Style Pixelbook Go

Google earlier this month unveiled the Pixelbook Go, a new premium Chromebook that's similar to a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro, but Chrome OS. In our latest video, we went hands-on with the Pixelbook Go to see how it measures up to Apple's ‌MacBook Air‌ (the two have similar price points) and whether or not it can serve as a ‌MacBook Air‌ replacement. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the Pixelbook Go looks rather similar to a MacBook featuring a lightweight chassis, a large trackpad, a 13-inch display with slim side bezels and a thicker top/bottom bezel, a keyboard with speaker grilles at each side, and a similar hinge mechanism. A G logo at the top and a wavy, bumpy textured feel at the bottom sets it apart from the ‌MacBook Air‌. Like Apple's MacBooks, the Pixelbook Go offers a simple, clean design. Pricing on the Pixelbook Go starts at $649 for an Core M3 processor and 64GB of storage, but we tested the upgraded Core i5 model with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, which is priced at $849. That's the model most similar to the entry-level ‌MacBook Air‌, which comes with a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor, 128GB of storage, and 8GB RAM for $1,100. The Pixelbook Go is cheaper than the ‌MacBook Air‌, but there are some areas where it is definitely lacking in comparison. When it comes to the display, for example, it's adequate, but the HD quality just doesn't measure up to the ‌MacBook Air‌'s Retina display. There is an upgraded version of the Pixelbook Go with a 4K display, but that machine is priced at $1,400. One area where

Google's Search Algorithm is Now Better at Parsing Natural Speech Queries

Google today announced a change to its core Search algorithm that it says can better understand conversational search queries. Through improvements in natural language analysis, the company says that it has improved its ability to analyze queries that reflect how people speak in real life and recognize the relevant context. Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like "for" and "to" matter a lot to the meaning, Search should be able to understand the context of the words in a query, allowing users to search in a way that feels more natural. The company says the improvements are down to a system it introduced last year called BERT, or Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, which allows Google to analyze the context of a sentence a lot better and return more pertinent information. In a blog post announcing the change, Google offers the following example to show off BERT's capabilities – a search for "2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa." The word "to" and its relationship to the other words in the query are particularly important to understanding the meaning. It's about a Brazilian traveling to the U.S., and not the other way around. Previously, our algorithms wouldn't understand the importance of this connection, and we returned results about U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. With BERT, Search is able to grasp this nuance and know that the very common word "to" actually matters a lot here, and we can provide a much more relevant result for this query. Google reckons BERT will help Search

Camera Comparison: Google Pixel 4XL vs. iPhone 11 Pro Max

Google last week announced its newest flagship smartphones, the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4XL, both of which are meant to compete with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, Apple's newest devices launched in September. In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with a Pixel 4XL and an iPhone 11 Pro Max to compare the cameras in the two devices to see how they measure up against one another. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Both the Pixel 4XL and the ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ have impressive cameras, and when it comes to standard shots taken with the rear-facing image, there's little difference in quality. Both smartphones are producing some great images, though the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ tends to create images with a cooler tone while the Pixel 4XL has a warmer overall tone. Each smartphone does well with highlights and shadows, but the Pixel 4XL has a feature for adjusting these settings in real time while they need to be post processed on the iPhone. The iPhone does have one edge - a third ultra wide-angle camera lens. The Pixel 4XL is limited to two cameras, a standard wide-angle and a telephoto lens, so it can't quite match the capabilities of the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌. Google pioneered Night Sight (the equivalent of the iPhone's Night Mode) last year, and the feature continues to be impressive this year. Night Side and ‌Night Mode‌ are quite similar, and it's tough to pick a clear winner for low-light photos. The ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ tends to produce photos that look a bit more natural, while the Pixel 4XL offers up sharper, more vibrant night

Google Working on Software Update to Bring Eye Detection to Pixel 4's Face Unlock

Google has said it will release a software update "in the coming months" that will let Pixel 4 owners require their eyes to be open for the phone's Face Unlock security feature to work. Image via NextRift The acknowledgement follows last week's discovery that the Pixel 4's facial authentication system isn't currently capable of distinguishing a face with eyes open versus eyes closed. The finding immediately sparked concerns that the phone could be opened by anyone simply by waving it in front of its sleeping / dead owner. Google's Pixel 4 Face Unlock feature replaces the fingerprint sensor and works similarly to Apple's Face ID, which is found on iPhones and iPads that have a TrueDepth camera system. However, Face ID requires by default that the user's eyes are open, although users can turn off this Attention Aware option in settings. Previously, Google said that Face Unlock "is designed to get better over time with future software updates," but stopped short of committing to deliver the "Require eyes to be open" toggle that was spotted in pre-launch leaks of the Pixel 4's features. Now though, it wants customers to know that the setting is on its way. The company gave the following statement (via The Verge): We've been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months. In the meantime, if any Pixel 4 users are concerned that someone may take their phone and try to unlock it while their eyes are closed, they can activate a security feature that requires a pin,

Google to Fix 'Bug' That Lets iOS Photos App Users Upload HEIC Images for Free

Google has said it will patch a "bug" in Google Photos that enables iPhone users to store pictures in the cloud in their original quality without counting toward their Google Drive storage limit. Currently, the Google ‌Photos‌ iOS app happily uploads photos in Apple's efficient HEIC format without requiring them to be converted from "Original Quality" to "High Quality JPEG." The reason is that the HEIC photos are already smaller than Google's compressed JPEG format, so the ‌Photos‌ app doesn't convert them during upload, meaning the pictures are essentially stored on Google's servers for free in their original size. The quirk was uncovered by a Reddit user last week. However, the unintentional perk for Apple device owners looks to be on borrowed time. Over the weekend, a Google spokesperson told Android Police: "We are aware of this bug and are working to fix it." The wording of the statement doesn't exactly make it clear how, though. Google ‌Photos‌ may start converting HEIC photos to the less-efficient High Quality JPEG format during upload, which would result in an additional reduction in quality. Alternatively, Google could allow the pictures to be uploaded as-is but start counting them toward Google Drive usage. We'll have to wait and see which course the search giant takes. Under Google One plans, Google account holders are entitled to 15GB of free Google Drive cloud storage. Beyond the free allotment, Google charges $1.99 a month for 100GB storage, $2.99 for 200GB a month, and $9.99 a month for 2TB, with additional 10TB and 20TB storage options

Google Pixel 4's Face Unlock Feature Works With Eyes Closed, Sparking Security Concerns

Google has ignited security concerns over the facial authentication system in its new Pixel 4 smartphone by admitting that it will unlock the device even when the user's eyes are shut. Google unveiled the Pixel 4 this week to mostly positive reviews, many of which praised the phone for its super-fast new face unlock system, which replaces the fingerprint sensor and works much the same as Apple's Face ID on iPhones, except for one key security feature. The BBC has discovered that the Pixel 4 can be unlocked even with the user's face even if they're sleeping (or pretending to be asleep). That contrasts with Apple's Face ID system, which engages by default an "Attention Aware" feature that requires the user's eyes to be open for the iPhone to be unlocked. Attention Aware can be disabled for convenience, but the Pixel 4 lacks an equivalent security feature entirely. Proof, for those asking #madebygoogle #pixel4 pic.twitter.com/mBDJphVpfB— Chris Fox (@thisisFoxx) October 15, 2019 To its credit though, Google isn't hiding this fact. A Google support page reads: "Your phone can also be unlocked by someone else if it's held up to your face, even if your eyes are closed. Keep your phone in a safe place, like your front pocket or handbag." To "prepare for unsafe situations," Google recommends holding the power button for a couple of seconds and tapping Lockdown, which turns off notifications and face recognition unlocking. In early leaks of the Pixel 4, screenshots revealed a "require eyes to be open" setting for face unlock, so it looks as if Google tried to

Google Event Highlights: Pixel 4, Pixel Buds 2, Pixelbook Go, and More

Google today unveiled several new products at its Made by Google event in New York, including the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones, Pixel Buds 2 wireless earphones, Pixelbook Go notebook, and new Nest devices. Pixel 4 The new Pixel 4 and 4 XL were widely rumored ahead of their release, to the point that Google even shared teaser photos of its own, and now the devices are official. Key features include 90Hz displays, a new rear-facing 16-megapixel telephoto lens, facial authentication, motion sensing, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Pixel 4 sports a 5.7-inch OLED display, while the larger Pixel 4 XL has a 6.3-inch OLED display. Both displays are 90Hz for a smoother experience, compared to 60Hz for the iPhone 11 Pro and most other smartphones. With the Pixel 4, Google says you can fine-tune the brightness and amount of detail in the shadows, helping with difficult shots like sunset portraits. And with a new astrophotography capability, Night Sight on the Pixel 4 can capture shots of the night sky, the stars, and even the Milky Way when visible. Google has moved away from both the notch and rear fingerprint scanner of the Pixel 3, with the Pixel 4 and 4 XL instead featuring a sizeable top bezel housing an earpiece, front camera, and sensors for a facial authentication system similar to Face ID. Google says the Pixel 4 has the "fastest face unlock" of any smartphone. Google says face unlock on the Pixel 4 is aided by a new Motion Sense feature that uses a miniature radar sensor to detect movement around the

U.K. Court Reinstates Lawsuit Accusing Google of Bypassing Safari's Privacy Settings to Track iPhone Users

An appeals court in London has reinstated a lawsuit filed against Google that accuses the company of unlawfully gathering personal information by circumventing the iPhone's default privacy settings, according to Bloomberg. The collective action, equivalent to a class action lawsuit in the United States, alleged that Google illegally tracked and gathered the personal data of over four million iPhone users in the U.K. between 2011 and 2012. The case was first brought in November 2017 and had been dismissed in October 2018. "This case, quite properly if the allegations are proved, seeks to call Google to account for its allegedly wholesale and deliberate misuse of personal data without consent, undertaken with a view to a commercial profit," wrote Judge Geoffrey Vos in a ruling today, per the report. A similar lawsuit was filed in the United States in 2012, when Google was discovered to be circumventing privacy protections in Safari on iOS in order to track users through ads on numerous popular websites. Specifically, Google took advantage of a Safari loophole that made the browser think that the user was interacting with a given ad, thus allowing a tracking cookie to be installed. With that cookie installed, it became easy for Google to add additional cookies and to track users across the web. At the time, Safari blocked several types of tracking, but made an exception for websites where a person interacted in some way — by filling out a form, for example. Google added code to some of its ads that made Safari think that a person was submitting an invisible

Apple Arcade vs. Google Play Pass

With the launch of iOS 13, Apple released Apple Arcade, a new $4.99 per month gaming service that provides unlimited access to new and exclusive games. Less than two weeks later, Google announced its own gaming service called Play Pass, which also offers unlimited access to games. In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with both services to compare them. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Both Apple Arcade and Play Pass are priced at $4.99 per month. Apple offers a one-month free trial while Google offers a 10-day free trial, but for the first year, Google is offering a deal that drops the price of Play Pass to $1.99 per month. Though the prices are similar, the two services are quite different. Apple Arcade features new and exclusive games, some of which were funded by Apple, while Google's Play Pass offers up older games. Play Pass includes some super popular titles like Stardew Valley, Reigns, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Terraria, and more, but the problem with older games is that many people may have already played them. Play Pass is also not limited to games -- Google is including apps too. AccuWeather, Pic Stitch, ISS HD, and Tunable are some of the apps offered. ‌Apple Arcade‌ only offers gaming titles, but all of the games are fresh, new, and exclusive to ‌Apple Arcade‌. In some cases, though, some of the games are also available on consoles, but on mobile platforms, ‌Apple Arcade‌ gets exclusive access. That means no Android equivalent. It's not clear if apps can leave ‌Apple Arcade‌, but Google

Google Launches New $4.99 'Play Pass' Service on Android Devices to Compete with Apple Arcade

Google today announced the launch of a new gaming service called Google Play Pass, which gives Android users access to more than 350 games and apps for $4.99 per month, similar to Apple Arcade. Google's version, like ‌Apple Arcade‌, provides games to customers without in-app purchases and without ads. There is a family sharing option, and a Play Pass subscription can be shared with up to five family members. Google's service is not limited to just games, and it includes titles that are already released, such as Stardew Valley, Terraria, Monument Valley, Knights of the Old Republic, Facetune, and AccuWeather. Google's offerings are also not exclusive, which is one of the key features of ‌Apple Arcade‌. With ‌Apple Arcade‌, all of the game titles are only on the App Store when it comes to mobile devices, but some are also developed for release on console. ‌Apple Arcade‌ is also limited to new content and doesn't include popular older apps like Play Pass. Given that Google is using existing games in Play Pass, it has a larger catalog of available titles at launch - hundreds, compared to Apple's 60+. Google says customers can count on new titles monthly, which is something Apple has also promised. According to The Verge, Google plans to pay developers through user engagement with the apps, though it's not entirely clear what that means at this time. Google said that it's more than just screen time or number of app opens per week. Google has been working on the Play Pass service since 2018, and began testing it out at the end of July. Play Pass is

YouTube Music Gains New Personalized 'Discover Mix' Playlist Updated Weekly

YouTube Music has launched a new automated playlist called "Discover Mix" to help subscribers to the streaming service find new songs and artists that match their taste. Image via 9to5Google Similar to Spotify's popular "Discover Weekly," Google's new playlist features 49 songs consisting of music that's "picked for you," according to your listening history, and updated every Wednesday. The playlist can be found in the YouTube Music app, under a recently added "Mixed for you" shelf that also includes the "New Release Mix" and "Liked Songs" playlists. Like those lists, it can be saved to your library for quick access and supports offline playback. Initial comments on Reddit suggest the Discover Mix includes undiscovered tracks from artists that users are already familiar with, along with a few new artists, some from genres that haven't been explored before by the listener. The new playlist follows last month's launch of Google's "New Release Mix" to YouTube Music, which features the "hottest 50 songs" and looks designed to compete with Spotify's "New Music Friday," and Apple Music's "New Music Daily" playlist, which also launched in August. Discover Mix is currently rolling out, although like many of Google's new features, it may take some time to become widely available. Customers who subscribe to Google Play Music are also automatically signed up to YouTube Music, which is expected to replace the former service soon. For a direct comparison between ‌Apple Music‌ and Google Play/YouTube Music, click here.

Gmail for iOS Gains Setting for Automatically Blocking Images

Google today updated its Gmail app for iOS devices with a new image blocking setting for easier access to the option designed to prevent Gmail from automatically loading attached images. Many email tracking clients use small, invisible images as a means of tracking when an email has been opened and viewed, allowing for invasive features like read receipts. Gmail on the desktop has long had the setting that lets images be blocked by default, but now that setting is also accessible on iOS devices for personal Gmail accounts, so it's easier for those who primarily use iOS devices to activate it. From the release notes for the latest update of Gmail:You can now choose to be asked before external images are displayed automatically. To enable this for new incoming messages, go to Settings > specific account > Images and select Ask before displaying external images.As The Verge points out, this appears to be a response to a recent controversy with Superhuman, an email app that allowed users to track the location of a person who opened an email as well as what time of day the email was read. Location tracking has been removed entirely and read receipts are off by default in Superhuman following public outcry, but the issue did raise awareness about tracking features in email apps, which may have prompted Google to expand the setting to iOS devices in addition to the web. Gmail can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Google Outlines iPhone Vulnerabilities That Let Malicious Websites Steal User Data for Years, Now Fixed

Google's Project Zero published a blog post this week about a previous security threat wherein malicious websites quietly hacked into the victim's iPhone. This small collection of hacked websites were used in what was described as "indiscriminate" attacks against unsuspecting visitors for years, but the threat has been addressed by Apple. If the attacks were successful, a monitoring implant would be installed on the targeted iPhone, able to steal private data including messages, photos, and GPS location in real time. Google estimated that thousands of visitors headed to these websites per week over the course of two years, and that iOS versions ranging from iOS 10 to iOS 12 were exploited. There was no target discrimination; simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant. We estimate that these sites receive thousands of visitors per week. TAG was able to collect five separate, complete and unique iPhone exploit chains, covering almost every version from iOS 10 through to the latest version of iOS 12. This indicated a group making a sustained effort to hack the users of iPhones in certain communities over a period of at least two years. Project Zero discovered exploits for a total of 14 vulnerabilities in iOS, seven for Safari, five for the kernel, and two separate sandbox escapes. The team reported these findings to Apple in February, and Apple's release of iOS 12.1.4 that same month addressed the issues. Google's deep dive into the iOS exploit can be read on the

Android 10 Announced as Google Drops Dessert-Inspired Names

Google today announced its next major version of Android will be named Android 10, as the company has decided to move past dessert-inspired names for the operating system like Ice Cream Sandwich, Lollipop, and Marshmallow. Android's new logo Android's naming scheme is now consistent with iOS. Android is only on version 10 though, compared to iOS 13, because Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and KitKat were all considered version 4.0 through version 4.4.4 releases between 2011 and 2014. Android also launched over a year after the original iPhone. Until now, Android 10 was expected to be named Android Q, but there are few well-known desserts that start with that letter, perhaps contributing to Google's decision to switch to a numbered scheme. Google also admitted that the dessert names "weren't always understood by everyone in the global community." Google has also revamped the Android logo for the first time since 2014 and shared a video to unveil the new branding: The final beta of Android 10 was seeded earlier this month. The update will be publicly released in the third

Google Assistant Will Soon Let You Assign Reminders for Friends and Family

Google Assistant is about to gain a new reminder feature that allows you to get someone else to do your bidding. Called Assignable Reminders, the feature lets you set reminders for other people, so long as they are in your Google Contacts or opted in to your Family Group. You can create a reminder using your voice ("Hey Google") or text, and set it to be delivered to a phone or via a smart device at a certain time, or make it geo-location aware so it shows up when the person arrives at a particular place, like the home or office. According to Google, Assignable Reminders can be set to repeat, and you'll be able to check a history of reminders you sent to other people and any that have been assigned to you. For children under 13 to use assignable reminders, they must be granted access to the Assistant on Google Home by adults in the household, and all users can block someone from sending them Assignable Reminders. Assignable Reminders will roll out over the next few weeks in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. The feature will work on Google's smart speakers, Android devices, and iPhones and iPads with the Google Assistant app installed. Google's Assistant app is a free download for iOS, available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Google and Amazon Put Brakes on Human Review of Voice Assistant Recordings

Following Apple's decision last week to suspend a Siri program that allows employees to listen to audio recordings for quality control purposes, Amazon and Google have both chosen to make their policies on human reviews of voice assistant audio more clear. Late last month, Apple confirmed that a small number of anonymized ‌Siri‌ requests are analyzed for the purpose of improving ‌Siri‌, after a Guardian report revealed that contractors regularly hear private conversations recorded by Apple's voice assistant. To allay privacy concerns, Apple said it was temporarily stopping the program while it reviewed the process that's currently used. It also said it plans to release a software update that will let ‌Siri‌ users opt out. On Friday, Google said it had also suspended its policy of reviewing Google Assistant audio. The company actually suspended the practice across the EU on July 10 when a German privacy regulator started investigating it following a Belgian media report, but this is the first time Google has confirmed the fact publicly. According to Bloomberg, Amazon will let Alexa users opt out of human review of their voice recordings. The new policy took effect Friday, and adds an option in the settings menu of the Alexa mobile app for removing recordings from analysis by Amazon employees. All of the tech companies employ staff to review a small subset of voice recordings while claiming to anonymize the source. For example, Google distorts the recording before it is listened to, so as to disguise the user's voice, while Apple strips them of

Google Overtakes Apple to Become Most Cash-Rich Company

Google parent company Alphabet has overtaken Apple to become the world's most cash-rich company, reports The Financial Times this morning. According to the FT, Apple’s cash hoard has fallen to $102 billion, down from a peak of $163 billion at the end of 2017. Meanwhile, Alphabet's $117 billion cash reserve has risen by almost $20 billion over the same period. However, as FT notes, Alphabet's new title as "king of cash" may be somewhat of a poisoned chalice, as it could antagonize investors who would rather see the cash being used to reward shareholders with buybacks or dividends. The leadership switch is said to be a result of Apple's own efforts to reduce its liquidity, by taking advantage of US tax reforms to repatriate overseas reserves and pay out to investors. The company has spent $122 billion on buying back stock and paying dividends in the past 18 months. Alphabet's stock buybacks, by contrast, have been paltry. In the nearly four years since it began repurchasing its own stock, it has spent an average of only $1.7bn a quarter. In that time, it has handed out more new shares in the form of employee stock benefits than it has bought back through its repurchase programme. As a result, the payments have done nothing to lift its earnings per share — the reason investors generally welcome buybacks.Alphabet's new cash-rich status also comes at a time when it is under more intensive scrutiny than ever before. Google and its parent company have received over $9 billion in antitrust fines by the EU in the past two years. It is now facing a new antitrust

Google's Upcoming Pixel 4 Smartphone Features Face Unlock and Gesture Recognition

Ahead of the launch of its new flagship smartphone, the Pixel 4, Google has been sharing details on the device to get ahead of leaks. The design of the Pixel 4 was unveiled in June, and today, Google offered up a look at some of the features that will be included in the new smartphone, including Face Unlock and Motion Sense. Face Unlock is designed to unlock the Pixel 4 much like Face ID unlocks modern iPhones, and the Pixel 4 is even using a 3D sensing camera similar to the iPhone X and later. There are two Face Unlock IR cameras, an ambient light/proximity sensor, a Soli radar chip that powers Face Unlock and other features, a dot projector, and a Face Unlock flood illuminator. The Face Unlock feature on the Google Pixel 4 will support secure payments and app authentication, which is unique as most Android devices do not have a secure enough facial recognition system to allow it to be used for payments. Google says that it is designing its facial recognition system differently than Apple's, making it a more fluid experience that works in any orientation. According to Google, when you reach for the Pixel 4, the face unlock sensors are activated, recognizing that you want to unlock your phone. If the face unlock sensor recognizes you, the phone will open as you pick it up, all in one motion. Google suggests this is superior to other methods such as the Face ID unlocking sequence on iPhones. "Other phones require you to lift the device all the way up, pose in a certain way, wait for it to unlock, and then swipe to get to the homescreen," read's