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Google's Revamped News App Now Available on iOS Devices

At its Google I/O developer conference last week, Google debuted a revamped Google News app focusing on balanced news delivery with personalized news suggestions, and as of today, the new Google News app is available for download on the iPhone and iPad. According to Google, the News app is designed to use "the best of artificial intelligence to find "the best of human intelligence" by taking advantage of new AI techniques to organize a constant flow of new information into digestible storylines. A "For You" section offers up personalized news suggestions based on user interests, which is designed to learn user preferences through continued usage. It displays five personalized stories with a mix of important headlines and local news. A "Headlines" section offers the top headlines in the world, and an accompanying "Full Coverage" feature is meant to provide details on all of the different ways a particular story has been presented by a variety of news sources, aggregating the headlines from multiple publications. Through the "Newsstand" tab, you can discover various news websites as well as more than 1,000 magazines, and you can subscribe to paid news sites like The Washington Post and The New York Times using a Google Play account if so desired. Google News for iOS replaces the existing Google Play Newsstand app, which has been overhauled with a new name and a new design with the launch of Google News. Full release notes for the update are below:Google Play Newsstand is now Google News! What's new: - Enjoy an entirely new, cleaner look, designed for a

YouTube Testing Incognito Mode for Private Video Browsing in Mobile App

Google has offered an Incognito Mode in its Chrome web browser for nearly ten years now, offering users the chance to disable their browsing history and web cache while the mode remains active. Features like Incognito Mode offer peace of mind since users can navigate to any website without being tracked and without cookies being stored, all while maintaining the same features as a normal web browsing experience. Today, AndroidPolice reports that Google might extend this feature into its mobile YouTube applications, following the discovery that Google is testing an Incognito mode in the Android YouTube app. For users in the test, Google has combined "Switch account" and "Sign out" into one menu item behind account settings, leaving a new slot for "Turn on Incognito." When this is on, it appears to act similar to Incognito in other Google products, with a pop-up box explaining that all activity from the Incognito session "will be cleared" and the user will go back to the last-used account when they decide to exit the mode. At the bottom of the screen a small bar reminds users that "You're incognito," and AndroidPolice discovered that subscriptions are hidden as well during this time. Image via AndroidPolice However, YouTube warns that "your activity might still be visible to your employer, school, or internet service provider." Otherwise, the mode in testing acts similarly to Google Chrome's Incognito feature and will prevent any video searches and watched videos from being saved to the account history. Notably, this means the service's recommendations would not

Apple News Now Allows All Publishers to Serve Ads via Google DoubleClick

Apple News now lets all publishers use Google's industry standard ad-serving tool DoubleClick, after limited testing last year. Apple told Digiday that DoubleClick can now be used to serve traditional banner ads on Apple News, including animated GIF ads, but it can't yet be used to serve HTML5-based ads or pre-roll video ads in the app. The rollout should make it easier for publishers to sell and fill ad space next to their articles on Apple News. Apple lets publishers keep 100 percent of the revenue from the Apple News ads they sell directly. "We're thrilled with the results we've seen from the Apple News DFP beta," said Beth Lawrence, executive vice president of digital sales for Discovery. "We've seen strong fill rates across our Apple News channels for Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel, with a peak fill rate over 90 percent." DoubleClick-served ads in Apple News have limited targeting options, in line with Apple's commitment to user privacy:The ad-targeting options break down into two categories: context-based targeting and audience-based targeting. Contextual ads can be aimed based on the article's publisher, its content category within Apple News and the tags a publisher appends to the individual article as well as according to whether it appears on an iPhone or iPad. Audience-wise, the ads can be targeted by a person's location (though only at the designated market area level), their gender and their age group.Apple previously used its now-defunct iAd platform to fill unsold ad space in Apple News, but it later outsourced the job to

Google Announces New Cloud Storage Plans Including 2TB for $9.99 a Month

Google has announced a new series of cloud storage plans arriving for Google Account holders, including a new family option for divvying up a single storage plan amongst up to five members. Called Google One, the new plans will replace existing Google Drive paid storage plans and include 100GB storage for $1.99 a month, 200GB for $2.99 a month, and 2TB for $9.99 a month (down from $19.99). As a result, Google is removing its 1TB/$9.99 plan, but will continue to offer 15GB storage for free to all Google Drive users. The other existing tier that will continue to be offered is 30TB for $300 a month. As before, the new storage plans provide users with space for Google Drive, Gmail, and original quality photos and videos (including 4K) in Google Photos. All the paid plans come with access to live chat support, a feature that was previously limited to G Suite business account holders. The changes will be seen first by paying Google Drive users in the U.S. "in the coming months", with rollout to users in other countries shortly after. For the sake of comparison, Apple's iCloud monthly storage plans are 50GB for $0.99, 200GB for $2.99, 2TB for $9.99, and 5GB free storage for non-paying

Hands-On With Android P's New Swipe-Based Gesture System

Google yesterday introduced the newest version of Android, Android P, at its Google I/O developer conference held in Mountain View, California. Android P includes a few enticing features like a new Dashboard for monitoring usage and an adaptive battery feature for improving battery life, but what was of interest to iPhone users was the new gesture system. Android P adopts a new gesture-based system interface that's reminiscent of the interface of the iPhone X, so we decided to download the Android P beta to check it out for ourselves. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For years, Android has used a navigation system that focuses on three buttons: home, back, and multitasking. That's gone in Android P, having been replaced with a small oblong button at the bottom of the display that will be familiar to iPhone X users. Swiping up on the button brings up a card-like interface with an app overview that includes a search bar, your recently used apps, and five predicted apps, while a longer swipe (or a second swipe) brings up the All Apps screen where you can access all of the apps installed on an Android device. As on the iPhone X, you can use the swipe up gesture from anywhere in the Android operating system, regardless of which app is being used, while a tap goes to the Home screen. A left or right swipe, meanwhile, initiates a "Quick Scrub" gesture that lets you swap between your recently used apps. The iPhone X's gesture system is intuitive and easy to use, so it's no surprise that Google opted to introduce a similar design, and it's

Google Maps Gaining AR Street View, 'For You' Recommendations, and More

Google today outlined several new features coming to Google Maps at its Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California this morning. First and foremost, this summer, Google Maps will be updated with a new personalized "For You" section that offers up recommendations based on your interests. The Maps app is gaining a dedicated "For You" tab that is designed to "tell you what you need to know about the neighborhoods you care about." It will feature new restaurants opening nearby, trending spots, and more, based on places you've rated and places you've visited. For You will be accompanied by a new "Match Score" that predicts which restaurants you're most likely to prefer based on your personal preferences, which is designed to help you to choose between multiple restaurant suggestions. To facilitate making plans with others, Google Maps is gaining a feature that will let you long press on any restaurant or location to add it to a shortlist that can be shared with friends to get their input. Once shared, your friends can add additional suggestions to the list and vote on the place they'd most like to visit to find a group favorite. Google also announced a new augmented reality feature that's coming to the Street View version of Maps for walking directions. When you're using Google Maps to find a location that you're walking to, you'll see an AR overlay with specific directions on which way to go and information on exactly what's around you, reimagining walking navigation. Google says it is augmented GPS with VPS, or a visual positioning

Google Shows Off Android P With New iPhone X-Style Gestures

At its Google I/O event taking place in Mountain View, California this morning, Google showed off features that are coming in Android P, a new version of Android that's set to launch this fall. Google is focusing on three parameters for Android P: Simplicity, Intelligence, and Digital Wellbeing. Android P has a new gesture-focused interface, which is similar to the interface that Apple introduced for the iPhone X. "The new design makes Android multitasking more approachable and easier to understand," said Android Engineering VP Dave Burke on stage, after explaining that Google has been working on it for more than a year. Android P does away with the standard three button home, back, and multitasking lineup that's been available on Android devices for the last several years. Instead, As with the iPhone X, there's a little oblong navigation button at the bottom of the screen that enables several gestures like swiping up to access a card-like interface that displays a search bar and recently used apps. A single upwards swipe goes straight into the app overview, which includes a list of recently used apps as well as a search bar and five predicted apps at the bottom of the display. You can swipe through the apps to go forwards and back through them. A second swipe up on the button icon opens up an All Apps screen where all of the apps installed on the device are located for quick access. "Architecturally, what we've done is combine the all apps and overview spaces into one," said Burke. A walkthrough of the interface is available at 2:26:00 As might be

Google Assistant Gaining Support for Multiple Requests and Continued Conversations, Will Be Able to Make Phone Calls for You in the Future

Google today hosted its annual I/O conference designed for developers, where the company had several new announcements to share related to AI, Google Assistant, and machine learning. Google announced the launch of its next-generation machine learning chip, the TPU 3.0, which is powering many AI improvements to Google products using machine learning techniques. Gmail, for example, is gaining a new smart compose feature that will suggest full phrases for you as you type. Pressing the tab key will insert the suggested phrase, cutting down on the amount of typing that you need to do in Gmail. In the next couple of months, Google Photos will get Suggested Actions, offering contextual functions for you to act on. For example, if you have a photo with a friend in it, Google Photos will suggest sending the photo to the friend. If a photo is underexposed, Google will suggest a fix that can be initiated with one tap. It can also do things like remove the background color from an image, or colorize a black and white photo. Multiple improvements are coming to Google Assistant, Google's version of Siri. Google Assistant is gaining six new voices, including John Legend's Voice, and there have been improvements to the assistant's understanding of the social dynamics of conversations. Continued conversations will be supported in the coming weeks, which means you won't need to say the Ok Google activation phrase for every request. Instead, you can say it once and then follow up a request with additional questions that Google Assistant will be able to understand. As of

Google's Gmail App for iOS Gains Snooze Button, Support for Sending/Receiving Money With Google Pay

Google today updated its dedicated Gmail app for iOS to introduce two important new features, which include support for snoozing messages and Google Pay integration. A new snooze button allows Gmail users to choose to snooze emails that need to be put off until a later time, introducing feature parity with many third-party email apps and the Inbox by Gmail app. Gmail users can also now send and request money as an attachment in Gmail using Google Pay. Anyone with an email address can receive Google Pay funds, a feature that has long been available on the desktop and Android versions of Gmail.What's New - You can now use the new snooze button to put off emails that you just can't get to right now. - You can now send and request money as an attachment in Gmail with Google Pay. You can pay anyone with an email address.Google in April launched a redesigned Gmail web interface with features that include a revamped and customizable sidebar, actions for inbox messages, and the snooze feature that was also introduced today in the Gmail for iOS app. Inbox by Gmail, also designed for iOS users who use Gmail, received an update today as well, but it was more minor in scale, focusing on bug fixes and performance improvements. Inbox by Gmail continues to not offer support for the iPhone X, Apple's newest device. Gmail for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Google's Advanced Protection Program Now Works With Native Apple Apps

Google today announced that it has expanded support for its Advanced Protection Program to native Apple apps that include Apple Mail, Calendar, and Contacts, improving the feature for iOS users. For those unfamiliar with the Advanced Protection Program, it's designed for high-profile Google product users who need maximum protection from hacking attempts. It's a feature aimed at journalists, activists, business leaders, and others who feel vulnerable to targeted security breaches. The Advanced Protection Program offers Google's strongest security against phishing, accidental sharing, and fraudulent account access through the use of two physical Security Keys and restrictions on what apps and services can access Google content. Prior to today, the Advanced Protection Program only allowed customers to use Google apps, but it is now expanding to encompass dedicated Apple apps so iOS users will not need to change their usage habits. Apple's Mail, Calendar, and Contacts apps can now access Google's Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts data. Google users can learn more about the Advanced Protection Program and enable it through Google's Advanced Protection Program website.

Google Says Assistant Works With Over 5,000 Smart Home Devices, HomeKit/Siri Around 200

Google this morning posted a story on its Keyword Blog that highlights the ongoing growth of its AI helper, Google Assistant. According to the company, the Assistant now works with "every major device brand" in the U.S., meaning that it can connect with more than 5,000 smart home devices, up from 1,500 in January. This growth period saw media and entertainment queries increase by 400 percent, with Google users taking advantage of "OK Google" commands on Android TV, smart TVs, and Chromecast. Another popular area for Google is security cameras like Nest's products, including the Nest Hello doorbell. When someone rings the doorbell, Nest can communicate a chime to Google Home, play a livestream on Chromecast, and then users can respond to their visitor on their smartphone. Google also laid out plans for Assistant expansions later this year, including placing the Assistant on DISH Hopper receivers, Logitech Harmony remotes, smart door locks from August and Schlage, security cameras from Panasonic, and alarm brand support from ADT, First Alert, and Vivint Smart Home. Over the past year, we’ve made great progress ensuring that the Google Assistant can work with all types of connected devices, and now every major device brand works with the Assistant in the U.S. Just how many devices is that? Today, the Google Assistant can connect with more than 5,000 devices for your home—up from 1,500 this January. That includes cameras, dishwashers, doorbells, dryers, lights, plugs, thermostats, security systems, switches, vacuums, washers, fans, locks, sensors, heaters, AC

Google Rolls Out Gmail Redesign for Web Browsers, Featuring Email Snoozing, Confidential Mode, and More

Google launched its redesigned Gmail web interface today, introducing several new features including some the company trialed in its Inbox for Gmail app. The launch is a phased rollout, so not all users will have immediate access to all the changes listed below, and those who do will need to opt-in to them. The major visual difference comes in the form of a new right-hand sidebar that provides multiple options for customization. Users can choose to add Google Calendar, Google Keep, or Google Tasks in the side window, or collapse it completely and focus only on their inbox. Likewise, the left-hand panel can be collapsed now, too. The inbox view has also been updated with the ability to perform actions on messages without opening them. Hovering over an email with the mouse cursor displays buttons to archive, delete, mark as read, and a new "snooze" feature. Opting to snooze an email hides the message until later in the day, tomorrow, or later in the week. The function has been brought over from Inbox for Gmail, but currently there doesn't seem to be any way to activate it for an email that's currently open. Google has also introduced a new AI-powered feature that "nudges" the user to follow up and respond to messages it thinks are important, offering up quick reminders for them to take action. Also, the smart reply function has been brought over from the Gmail mobile apps, allowing users to respond to emails quicker. In addition, Gmail is rolling out a number of security/privacy features in the coming weeks, one of which is a new confidential mode. This

Google Chrome 66 Browser Adds Default Mute Autoplay Feature, Password Export, and More

Google is currently rolling out its Chrome 66 update to users of the web browser on Mac and iOS. The Mac version now mutes autoplaying content by default, while both desktop and mobile versions include a passwords export option, security improvements and new developer features. Mute autoplay was originally slated for Chrome 64, which introduced autoplay settings on a per-site basis, but the function got pushed back for unspecified reasons. However, Chrome 66 now rolls out the default behavior for all users, and feeds into Google's wider intention to make the media playback experience more consistent when users navigate the web. Going forward, web-hosted media can only automatically play if it has no audio, if the user interacted with the page during a previous browsing session, or if the user frequently plays media on the site. Similarly on mobile, media can only autoplay if the site was added to the Home Screen by the user. The new passwords export option was previously hidden in Chrome's backend flag menus, but Chrome 66 adds the option to the user-facing settings. That said, it's still not obvious how to generate the CSV file containing your login credentials, so we've published a separate how-to article that goes through the process step by step. As for enhancing security, Chrome 66 follows through on Google's plan to deprecate Symantec-issued certificates, after the company failed to comply with industry security standards. The decision to end its trust for Symantec certificates was made when certificates for example.com and variations of test.com escaped

Images Reveal Google's Gmail Redesign Coming to Web Browsers on Mac and PC

Google has reportedly been working on a design overhaul of its Gmail interface on the web, and today The Verge obtained a collection of images that show off this redesign. The new look of Gmail is said to currently be in testing within Google and "with trusted partners." Images via The Verge According to the new images, Gmail for the web will update to fall in line with Google's mobile Gmail apps, including some elements of the company's Material Design. One of the major visual differences is a new sidebar that provides multiple options for customization. Users can choose to add Google Calendar, Google Keep, or Google Tasks in the side window, or collapse it completely and focus only on their inbox. Along with Material Design and the sidebar, The Verge noted that Google is adding three new layouts for Gmail users to pick from: Google is providing three new layouts to choose from, including a default view that highlights attachments like documents and photos, a comfortable view that doesn’t highlight attachments, and a compact view that increases the amount of messages you can see on a single page. The compact view is the most similar to the existing Gmail design, allowing existing users to keep a similar layout. There will also be two new additions coming to the web called smart replies and snooze, both taken from the Inbox by Gmail app. Smart replies is also on the basic iOS and Android Gmail apps, providing users with straightforward replies for quickly responding to emails. Snooze lets users temporarily remove emails and reminders from their inboxes until they

Apple Hires Google's Chief of Search and Artificial Intelligence

Apple has snapped up John Giannandrea, who today stepped down from his position as the head of Google's search and artificial intelligence unit, reports The New York Times. According to Apple, Giannandrea will run Apple's overall "machine learning and A.I. strategy," reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. In an email sent out to employees and obtained by The New York Times, Cook had high praise for Giannandrea. "John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal," he said. "Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear." Giannandrea's hiring comes as Apple has recently faced criticism for Siri, the AI-based personal assistant built into products like Macs, iPhones, iPads, the Apple TV, and the HomePod. Many believe Siri has serious shortcomings in comparison to AI offerings from other companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google due to Apple's heavy focus on privacy. The Information, for example, recently shared an in-depth look at Siri and how it has become a "major problem" for the company due to rushed development and poor communication between teams. At Google, Giannandrea, a senior vice president, was involved in the push to integrate artificial intelligence throughout Google products, including internet search, Gmail, and Google Assistant. Prior to joining Apple, Giannandrea spent 10 years at Google, joining the company following Google's acquisition of Metaweb, a startup where he worked as a chief technology officer. In recent years, Apple has been

Google Acquires Tenor for 'More Effective' GIF Searches in Google Images and Gboard

Google this week announced that it has acquired popular GIF search platform Tenor for an undisclosed sum. In the announcement post, Google said that web and mobile searches have "evolved" over the years and Google Image searches pertaining to GIFs have seen an increased amount of traffic -- "we see millions of searches for GIFs every day." Following a recent update to the iOS and Android Google app that introduced more context around images, Google said it will now "bring GIFs more closely into the fold" through the Tenor acquisition. No specifics have been given yet, but the company said that Tenor will help Google surface GIFs "more effectively" in Google Images and, particularly, in the mobile Gboard app. We’ve continued to evolve Google Images to meet both of these needs, and today we’re bringing GIFs more closely into the fold by acquiring Tenor, a GIF platform for Android, iOS and desktop. With their deep library of content, Tenor surfaces the right GIFs in the moment so you can find the one that matches your mood. Tenor will help us do this more effectively in Google Images as well as other products that use GIFs, like Gboard. Tenor is available as its own app on a variety of devices, including iOS and macOS, but Google promised that the GIF service will "continue to operate as a separate brand" so these apps won't be affected by the acquisition. Google will also help Tenor through investing in the service's technology, as well as in relationships with content and API partners. Tenor has a long list of brand partners including movie studios, TV

As Apple Plans to Launch New Low-Cost iPad, Google Debuts First Chrome OS Tablet

On the eve of Apple's education-focused event where the company is expected to debut new low-cost iPads, Google and Acer have debuted the first Chrome OS tablet. The new Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is the first tablet to run Chrome OS, which has previously been available on laptops, desktops, and tablet/PC hybrids. According to Google, the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 is designed to give schools the "easy management and shareability of Chromebook laptops" in a lightweight device that offers touch and stylus functionality along with Google Expeditions AR integration. It features a 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 display in a 9 inch by 6.6 inch body that weighs just over 1.2 pounds. Like other Chrome OS devices, it supports Google Play, giving students and teachers access to millions of Android apps, and it can be managed by IT professionals right alongside other Chromebook devices a school might already have in use. There's a built-in 2-megapixel HD webcam at the front of the tablet, along with two speakers and a microphone. A 5-megapixel rear camera is designed to allow children to capture photos and videos, and it features a 9-hour battery for all-day usage. Inside, the Chromebook Tab 10 is powered by a 6-core 3399 RockChip processor and it includes 4GB of RAM and 32GB integrated memory. It charges via an included USB-C port that can also power other devices. Each Chromebook tablet comes equipped with a low-cost Chromebook Wacom EMR stylus that doesn't require charging or pairing. It uses advanced machine learning to "predict student writing for a natural writing

YouTube Increasing Ads Between Music Videos So More Users Pay for Upcoming Streaming Service

YouTube will soon place more advertisements in between music videos for some users, in an attempt to "smoke out" anyone who treats YouTube like a free music video playlist service and convince them to pay for its upcoming subscription music service (via Bloomberg). YouTube's unnamed service is described as a "necessary counterweight" to Apple Music and Spotify, and was last rumored to be launching this month. The news came from a recent SXSW interview with YouTube's global head of music, Lyor Cohen, who went so far as to say that the company is trying to "frustrate" free YouTube users so that they're subsequently "seduced" into paying for a monthly subscription. The new service will include exclusive videos, music playlists, and more, all aimed at "die-hard music fans." People who treat YouTube like a music service, those passively listening for long periods of time, will encounter more ads, according to Lyor Cohen, the company’s global head of music. “You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and you get an ad right after that,” Cohen said in an interview at the South by Southwest music festival. “There’s a lot more people in our funnel that we can frustrate and seduce to become subscribers,” Cohen said. “Once we do that, trust me, all that noise will be gone and articles people write about that noise will be gone.” Cohen said that YouTube is trying to "be good partners" with the music industry, while also hoping to silence any rumors about the company's alleged harm to the industry and its artists. Over the years, some people have

Google Lens Currently Rolling Out to iOS via Google Photos App

Google has announced that its previously Android-only Google Lens feature is now rolling out to iOS users who have the Google Photos app installed. First unveiled last year at the Google I/O 2017 conference, Google Lens uses the company's image recognition and machine learning algorithms to identify the subjects of photos and videos and present additional helpful actions and information to the user. For example, if you take a picture of a business card, Google Lens will offer to save the phone number or address to one of your contacts. Similarly, taking a photo of a book, landmark, building, painting, plant or animal can throw up an option to view more details about the picture's subject. A few things to note: Currently Google Lens only works if your device's language is set to English, and you're running the latest version (3.15) of Google Photos. You can check what version you're running in the app's settings – tap the cog icon and select "About Google Photos" in the menu. Also note that your Google Lens activity is saved to your Google Account if you have Web & App Activity turned on. Starting today and rolling out over the next week, those of you on iOS can try the preview of Google Lens to quickly take action from a photo or discover more about the world around you. Make sure you have the latest version (3.15) of the app.https://t.co/Ni6MwEh1bu pic.twitter.com/UyIkwAP3i9— Google Photos (@googlephotos) March 15, 2018 If you still don't see the Google Lens icon when viewing individual photos or videos, it's likely the feature hasn't reached your

FaceTime Competitor Google Duo Gains New Video Messages Feature

Google Duo, Google's cross-platform FaceTime-style video calling app, was today updated with a new video messages feature that's designed to allow users to leave video voicemails whenever someone doesn't pick up a call. Google says that if a person you're calling declines or misses your call, you can record up to 30 seconds of video (or voice) to send to the person. Video messages can be played in the Duo app by tapping on the sender's icon, and a quick call back can be done through the "Call now" button available after watching a video message. All video messages will disappear one day after they were first watched, but can be saved to the iPhone's camera roll if so desired.Sometimes, your mom isn't free for a video call at the moment you're trying to show off your culinary masterpiece. The same goes when you're trying to catch your best friend to rave about your favorite basketball team's recent win. But even if they miss your call, you shouldn't lose the opportunity to show them what you were calling about. Beginning today on Google Duo, you can leave a video message when the person you're calling can't pick up.First introduced in August of 2016, Google Duo works on both iOS and Android devices. Users sign up with a phone number and can then place calls to any contacts who also have the Duo app installed. Google Duo, like Google Hangouts, another Google video app with a more enterprise focus, has been fairly popular since it launched. Duo is consistently within the top 20 free apps in the Social Networking section of the U.S. App Store, and with the new