Google Accidentally Enables Pixel 6 Feature On Older Phones

One of Google’s most talked-about Pixel 6 exclusives may not be so exclusive after all.The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are packed with exclusive features enabled by Google’s new Tensor processor. However, it appears that at least one of these new features may not be so exclusive after all.

According to former Xda Developers Editor-in-Chief, Mishaal Rahman, and backed up by several Twitter users, Google’s much-vaunted ‘Magic Eraser’ tool, which uses machine learning to automatically remove unwanted items from your photos, can be enabled on older Pixel models simply by installing an updated version of the Google Photos app (APK link).

According to the above Twitter thread, some have successfully enabled the feature on a Pixel 4a and a Pixel 3XL, and others have even enabled the feature on non-Google devices by rooting their smartphones and spoofing Pixel credentials with Pixel Props. However, others have so far failed to make the feature work.

Based on these reports, it appears Google has accidentally enabled this premium pixel 6 feature on older models. But perhaps the biggest takeaway is that the company’s much-vaunted tensor ship clearly is not required for magic erase to operate. That said, we don’t know yet whether there are any significant differences in quality when used on non-Pixel-6 devices.

It does give us hope, however, that Magic Erase might eventually see official support on other devices. It’s definitely a prime candidate for Google’s library of premium Google Photos features available to paying subscribers.

Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram

I’ve been working as a technology journalist since the early nineties. My passion is photography and the ever-changing hardware and software that we use to create it, be it traditional cameras and Photoshop or smartphones and tablets with their numerous apps. I have also worked extensively on computing titles such as PC Magazine and Personal Computer World and managed the PCW hardware testing labs. This has seen me testing and reviewing all manner of technologies in print and on line. I take on both written and photographic assignments and you can get in touch with questions, tips or pitches via email. Find me on Instagram @paul_monckton.

Source: Google Accidentally Enables Pixel 6 Feature On Older Phones

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Related Contents:

Chokkattu, Julian (October 26, 2018). “Google Pixel Stand Review”. Digital Trends. Retrieved January 4, 2019.

Google Maps Offensive Continues as Apple Begins Mapping New Regions

While Apple Maps is said to be a solid alternative to Google Maps, it’s not necessarily a secret that Apple’s app isn’t quite here yet. Especially outside of the United States, as Apple has often been extremely slow when it comes to rolling out new features for users who don’t live in the company’s home market.

Apple Maps, for example, has already received massive updates in the United States, including better maps and new features like traffic information with road signs and traffic light warnings, but this new experience continues to be available in limited markets.

But on the other hand, the iPhone maker is working tirelessly to expand Apple Maps to more markets, as the company itself knows it’s pretty much the only way to compete with Google Maps.

And more recently, Apple sent its fleet of Subaru Impreza used for data collection to Austria, with the mapping process due to start today. The company hasn’t shared any information on how long the entire process will take, but according to local media, Apple just wants to focus on vehicle-based data for now, so foot mapping wouldn’t take place. as part of this first step in the process.

This is probably a sign that Apple wants to improve the navigation component of its app, although time will tell how quickly the new data will be available to users in Austria.

The good news is that Apple is indeed making very good progress when it comes to expanding Apple Maps to more regions. Right now, this is one of the biggest shortcomings of using Apple Maps compared to alternatives like Google Maps, as the preloaded app on iPhones still lacks map data. updated and new features in many major markets.

Apple has yet to confirm Apple Maps’ expansion in Austria, but expect to see the company’s Subaru Imprezas on the streets of the country for several months.

After Apple hinted it was parting ways with Google Maps for its own proprietary system and application, Google is firing back, announcing it has new mapping technology ahead of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. In an invite sent to press last week, Google promised to “show off some of the newest technology and give a sneak peak at upcoming features,” according to CNET.

No word yet on whether the mapping technology will be for Google’s Chrome browser or for android phones or both, but mobile support seems likely. Will Google’s new application include something similar to Apple’s powerful new 3-D mode, which, according to 9-to-5 Mac, boasts “beautiful, realistic graphics”? Stay tuned as Map Wars 2012 continues.

Source: Google Maps offensive continues as Apple begins mapping new regions – OLTNEWS

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Critics:

The Google Maps apps for iOS and Android have many of the same features, including turn-by-turn navigation, street view, and public transit information.Turn-by-turn navigation was originally announced by Google as a separate beta testing app exclusive to Android 2.0 devices in October 2009. The original standalone iOS version did not support the iPad, but tablet support was added with version 2.0 in July 2013. An update in June 2012 for Android devices added support for offline access to downloaded maps of certain regions, a feature that was eventually released for iOS devices, and made more robust on Android, in May 2014.

At the end of 2015 Google Maps announced its new offline functionality, but with various limitations – downloaded area cannot exceed 120,000 square kilometres and require a considerable amount of storage space. In January 2017, Google added a feature exclusively to Android that will, in some U.S. cities, indicate the level of difficulty in finding available parking spots, and on both Android and iOS, the app can, as of an April 2017 update, remember where users parked. In August 2017, Google Maps for Android was updated with new functionality to actively help the user in finding parking lots and garages close to a destination.

In December 2017, Google added a new two-wheeler mode to its Android app, designed for users in India, allowing for more accessibility in traffic conditions. In 2019 the android version introduced the new feature called live view that allows to view directions directly on the road thanks to augmented reality Google Maps won the 2020 Webby Award for Best User Interface in the category Apps, Mobile & Voice. In March 2021, Google added a feature in which user can draw missing roads.

In 2005 the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) complained about the potential for terrorists to use the satellite images in planning attacks, with specific reference to the Lucas Heights nuclear reactor; however, the Australian Federal government did not support the organization’s concern. At the time of the ANSTO complaint, Google had colored over some areas for security (mostly in the US), such as the rooftop of the White House and several other Washington, D.C., US buildings.

In October 2010, Nicaraguan military commander Edén Pastora stationed Nicaraguan troops on the Isla Calero (in the delta of the San Juan River), justifying his action on the border delineation given by Google Maps. Google has since updated its data which it found to be incorrect.

On January 27, 2014, documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and the GCHQ intercepted Google Maps queries made on smartphones, and used them to locate the users making these queries. One leaked document, dating to 2008, stated that “[i]t effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system.

References

Why You Suddenly Need To Stop Using Google Chrome

It's time to ditch Chrome—here's why.

If you’re among the billions of people using Chrome, then Google’s stark new data harvesting disclosures should come as a nasty surprise. Worse, a new Chrome revelation, one that hasn’t yet made headlines but which is detailed below, should serve as an even more serious warning. Here’s what you need to do now.

Google is under fire this week, after the surprising amount of your data harvested by Chrome has been disclosed. This is a genuine threat to your privacy. Worse, a more serious issue for Google, detailed below, hasn’t even made headlines yet. Chrome is totally out of step with Safari, Edge and Firefox, shattering Google’s “privacy first web” claims. All of which should give you a serious reason to quit Chrome today.

Last year, when Apple said that it would force app developers to disclose the scale of data collected and linked to its users, all eyes turned to Google and Facebook. Many suspected that this level of scrutiny would shine an alarming light on the world’s two most valuable data machines. And that’s exactly what has happened.

The issue for Google is that, unlike Facebook, it sits both sides of the fence. Guarding your privacy on one side—with Android and and its mail, docs and drive ecosystem, and an advertising behemoth on the other, collecting $100 billion plus in ad spend, the majority of its annual revenue. In that regard, it’s really no different to Facebook.

And so, there’s little surprise that Apple’s mandatory privacy labels have shown these two ad giants to be well out of step with their peers when it comes to collecting your data. If your business model is monetizing your users’ information, then you’ll want to collect as much as you reasonably can—and Google and Facebook don’t disappoint.

“Google doesn’t care about protecting user privacy,” privacy-centric DuckDuckGo warned this week, when Chrome’s privacy label was finally revealed, “they care about protecting their surveillance business model. If they really cared about privacy, they would just stop spying on billions of people around the world.”

DuckDuckGo focused on the data that Google collects, linked to its users. But there’s a different dataset in the detail, included below, that’s much more damaging to Google and which shows Chrome to be shockingly different to its major rivals.

MORE FROM FORBESStop This ‘Secret’ Location Tracking On Your iPhone-3 Critical Settings You Need To Change Today

I have already warned that Gmail collects more data than other leading mail platforms. In its defense, Google pointed me at comments made by CEO Sundar Pichai, that “we don’t use information in apps where you primarily store personal content—such as Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Photos—for advertising purposes, period.”

You’ll note that Chrome isn’t on that list, nor is it an app “where you primarily store personal content.” But it is an app where you enter private and sensitive search terms and conduct private transactions. But what Chrome does have in common with Gmail is an avaricious and out of step approach to data harvesting.

Google took its time adding privacy labels, with a gap between app updates of some three months after the labels became mandatory. But now we can see the detail for Chrome, just as we did for Gmail. As I commented on Gmail, protecting user privacy is a binary philosophy, “you either believe it’s the right thing to do, or you don’t.” And these new labels have made Google’s (and Facebook’s) privacy claims sound hollow.

Just as with Gmail, Chrome collects your user ID and device ID in too many categories. Unlike Safari, Edge and Firefox, Chrome says it links all harvested data to devices and individuals. Safari collects but doesn’t link browsing history, usage data and locations to users. Neither Firefox nor Edge link usage data. But Chrome says it collects all those data fields and links all of them to user identities.

This isn’t complicated. The fact is that Chrome collects more data than any of the other browsers, yet is the only one that doesn’t appear to collect any data that isn’t linked to user identities. This is a much more shocking illustration of the different philosophies at play. Chrome hasn’t even attempted to protect its users’ privacy in this way. This isn’t about specific data fields, this is about an overarching attitude to privacy.

“You don’t become a multi-billion-dollar company without grabbing as much data as you can then monetize,” says Cyjax CISO Ian Thornton-Trump. “It’s like there’s some sort of crossroads well maybe a three-way intersection. Collect all the data you can, collect all the data you need or collect the bare minimum of data. The companies in the bare minimum category are few and far between.”

“Why does a web browser need my financial data?” asks security researcher Sean Wright. “I think that says it all really. I really struggle to think of a suitable justification for that.” Google will argue that you can elect to provide your financial data when you choose to transact. But it’s yet more data collected under the guise of convenience.

Google didn’t offer any comments in response to this story, but did insist that the justification for its data collection is to provide features and functions—for example tailoring searches to a user’s location. Again, this misses the stark difference between an in-session function and collecting linked user data, as suggested by its privacy label.

Google’s viewpoint, that it only collects the data needed to provide its service, is the same rationale WhatsApp gave me for collecting its own treasure trove of data. The issue with that reasoning, though, is that competing apps that collect significantly less data offer similar features and levels of performance and security.

Clearly, not every user will provide every data field on the privacy label to Google—they’re intended as a worst case, this is the data that could be collected. This is why comparisons are so critical—no privacy label should be taken in isolation. It’s also wrong to only compare mainstream apps with privacy-first specialists. Chrome versus DuckDuckGo, or WhatsApp versus Signal, for example.

Comparing Google, Apple and Microsoft makes more sense. Looking across both emails apps and browsers for the three tech giants does not paint a pretty picture for Google—bear this in mind before you install its apps on your phone.

On the surface, Google does appear to be making privacy-related changes. Google told me it will “no longer use the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA)… on iOS for personalized advertisements and ad-related measurement in the near future.” Google has also committed to ending cross-site tracking cookies. But the devil’s in the detail, as seen in the news this week that Google killing these cookies might be anticompetitive.

Google makes its money selling ads tailored to you as an individual, contextualized by your search or activity. Most of those ads are geared around search queries. And so, Google’s plan to replace cookies with so-called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), a clever way to say the “anonymization” of individual users into groups of individuals with common characteristics, is the kind of cleverness you’d expect from an ad giant.

The shift to FLoC has been criticized as putting too much control and, ultimately, monetization in Google’s hands. And, because this approach is handled by the browser you use, that control is enabled by Chrome’s dominance of the browser market, with a greater than 60% market share. “Users and advocates must reject FLoC,” says EFF, “and other misguided attempts to reinvent behavioral targeting. We implore Google to abandon FLoC and redirect its effort towards building a truly user-friendly Web.”

You might decide that you don’t like your browser analyzing searches and collecting your data to target you with ads. You might assume that a browser alleged to have tracked users even when those users enabled its “incognito” mode isn’t a privacy-first kind of platform. You might also ask if Safari and Edge deliver a degraded service absent that data harvesting. Remember, you can use Google without Chrome.

MORE FROM FORBESStop Using WhatsApp Until You Change This Critical Setting

This new Chrome warning is especially relevant for iPhone and iPad users, given they can now change their device’s default browser away from Safari. You certainly don’t want switch this to Chrome—ever. Why would you open yourself up to additional data harvesting when it does not add to your online experience?

Whether it’s mail or browsers, the pattern is clear. And before people email me to tell me they see some of the missing data types in other browsers or email apps, remember the difference between data fields being used and actually being linked to your identity. There’s a world of difference between the two.

Andy Yen, the founder and CEO of ProtonMail, was heavily critical of Google’s data collection from Gmail. He sees the same pattern here, telling me that “a picture paints a thousand words. The only legitimate reason for a product to collect data is to make sure it has the information it needs to function. This necessity will vary from product to product, but as the chart shows, a browser clearly doesn’t need to collect any information on its users to do its job. The biggest players have profiteered off users’ trust for too long and it’s time for alternatives.”

The best browser for privacy is DuckDuckGo, albeit it’s likely too much of a departure for most users. But in whichever browser you use, turn off cross-site tracking where you can and consider using private browsing modes, albeit you’ll miss the convenience in accessing previous sites and being remembered when you do.

DuckDuckGo says it is now seeing a surge in downloads. “Looking at app store rankings,” a spokesperson told me, “our mobile browser has been the second most downloaded mobile browser in the U.S. after Chrome.” It also says, unsurprisingly, that it supports Apple’s mandatory privacy labels, which have highlighted its benefits, “and we hope other app marketplaces will follow suit.”

This is the crux, though. Apple does not monetize data in the same way as Google, its business model is to sell devices and services within its ecosystem, and privacy does genuinely appear to be in its DNA. The same cannot be said for Google. Google is not going to crack down on data collection in the same way. What it will do, though, is to adopt some of Apple’s initiatives, ensuring that it doesn’t fall too far behind.

The last decade has seen a steady erosion of your privacy. Free to use apps and platforms have monetized you and your data. You have traded away your privacy for that convenience. But when two of the world’s largest tech companies, Google and Facebook, generate most of their revenues from advertising, and when that advertising is driven by your data and interactions with their services, the balance is very wrong.

“Facebook said that ‘privacy is a thing of the past’,” recalls security expert Mike Thompson, referring to Mark Zuckerberg’s comments a decade ago, before he began to advocate more private interactions. “So why would Google not take the same stance? If Google took my privacy seriously, I wouldn’t see repetitive ads all over my social media,” Thompson says, referring to ads that link back to activity on his phone.

But privacy is now on the agenda more than ever before. You have the opportunity to restore some of what has been lost. But only if you take initiatives like privacy labels seriously, if you show some correlation between the apps you use and the data they collect. If you look at the relative privacy labels and chose Chrome over Safari, or Chrome over Edge, then you send a message that its data harvesting is fine by you.

As I’ve said before, what happens next is down to all of us—all of you.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Zak is a widely recognized expert on surveillance and cyber, as well as the security and privacy issues associated with big tech, social media and communication platforms, as well as IoT and smartphone security. He is frequently cited in the international media and is a regular commentator on broadcast news, with appearances on BBC, Sky, NPR, NBC, Channel 4, TF1, ITV and Fox, as well as various cybersecurity and surveillance documentaries.

Zak has twenty years experience in real-world cybersecurity and surveillance, most recently as the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers, which develops advanced surveillance technologies for frontline security and defence agencies as well as commercial organizations in the US, Europe and Asia. The company is at the forefront of AI-based surveillance and works closely with flagship government agencies around the world on the appropriate and proportionate use of such technologies.

Zak can be reached at zakd@me.com.

Source: Why You Suddenly Need To Stop Using Google Chrome

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Important Google Photos Change Will Impact Millions Of Users

Google Photos users often struggle with Google’s frequent unexpected interface changes, but a new tweak is now rolling out that’s sure to make image sharing much easier for everyone.

The change, as spotted by Reddit users last week, brings in an improved sharing menu that makes it easier to find and select the apps and contacts you want to use to share your photos.

The improvement makes a small, but significant change to how sharing destinations are selected. Thankfully, it’s so intuitive that you may have already been using the new interface without even realizing.

If you have the new interface, sharing an image now presents you with two rows of icons much like before. The top row is for sharing directly to groups or individual contacts and the bottom row is for sharing via any other appropriate apps you have installed. The key change is that selecting an app for sharing no-longer requires scrolling through a potentially very long list of apps to find the one you’re looking for.

Instead, you are presented with a selection of just three recently-used options followed by a new button marked ‘more’. Tapping on ‘more’ then brings up an app drawer which you can swipe upwards to expand it into a vertically-scrolling full screen format.

Google Photos now uses a new app sharing menu

Here you’ll find some favorite sharing destinations at the top, followed by a complete list of compatible apps. Furthermore, the apps are presented here in alphabetically rather than the seemingly random order found in the previous horizontal app selector.

Many users have the new interface already, so if you don’t have it yet you should expect to receive it soon. If you want a reminder of the old sharing interface, try sharing from the Google Maps app which still uses the old horizontal scroller.

Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram

Paul Monckton

Paul Monckton

I’ve been working as a technology journalist since the early nineties. My passion is photography and the ever-changing hardware and software that we use to create it, be it traditional cameras and Photoshop or smartphones and tablets with their numerous apps. I have also worked extensively on computing titles such as PC Magazine and Personal Computer World and managed the PCW hardware testing labs. This has seen me testing and reviewing all manner of technologies in print and on line. I take on both written and photographic assignments and you can get in touch with questions, tips or pitches via email. Find me on Instagram @paul_monckton.

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Google Photos users often struggle with Google’s frequent unexpected interface changes, but a new tweak is now rolling out that’s sure to make image sharing much easier for everyone. The change, as spotted by Reddit users last week, brings in an improved sharing menu that makes it easier to find and select the apps and contacts you want to use to share your photos. The improvement makes a small, but significant change to how sharing destinations are selected. Thankfully, it’s so intuitive that you may have already been using the new interface without even realising.

If you have the new interface, sharing an image now presents you with two rows of icons much like before. The top row is for sharing directly to groups or individual contacts and the bottom row is for sharing via any other appropriate apps you have installed. The key change is that selecting an app for sharing no-longer requires scrolling through a potentially very long list of apps to find the one you’re looking for.

Instead, you are presented with a selection of just three recently-used options followed by a new button marked ‘more’. Tapping on ‘more’ then brings up an app drawer which you can swipe upwards to expand it into a vertically-scrolling full screen format. Here you’ll find some favorite sharing destinations at the top, followed by a complete list of compatible apps. Furthermore, the apps are presented here in alphabetically rather than the seemingly random order found in the previous horizontal app selector.

Many users have the new interface already, so if you don’t have it yet you should expect to receive it soon. If you want a reminder of the old sharing interface, try sharing from the Google Maps app which still uses the old horizontal scroller. Follow @paul_monckton on Instagram All data is taken from the source: http://forbes.com Article Link: https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulmonc…#sharing#newsdaily#newsworldabc#bbcnewstoday#newstodaydonaldtrump#newstodayworld #

4 Free Tips to Get Your Business to Show Up on Google Maps

Google is still the King, Queen and court jester of online search. Sure, Facebook and Amazon are trying to carve out their own slice of the search pie, but as of July 2019, Google dominated over 90 percent of all search queries. When someone does a Google search for a product or service, they are demonstrating intent and motivation. The beauty of searches based on intent is that this traffic can be free.

Paid keyword advertising works, but it isn’t the only way to get clicks and customers. Ever notice how some businesses and entrepreneurs are always just below the paid ads on Google Maps, while others don’t ever show up? Those that get displayed do four things to their business profile better than everyone else.

Before we get into the four specific tasks, it’s important to know that your business will not appear on Google Maps unless you establish a Google My Business (GMB) profile for each and every location. Google the phrase “Google My Business” to find a direct link to set up your GMB profile. It is connected to your Google account.

Related: Want to Rank Higher on Google? Learn SEO Strategies From an Expert.

If you are establishing a brand new location, you are going to choose between a service location and a physical location. A physical location is an actual office or retail space people go to, like a doctor’s or lawyer’s office. Clients come to you. A service location is one where you service a neighborhood or town but do not have an office or retail space. Examples include a plumber, realtor or HVAC service technician. You go to the client. In both cases, you need a mailing address so Google can mail you a postcard verification. You “claim” your listings and start to take charge of your online presence.

With that baseline set, let’s go over these four quick and easy ways to get your business to show up on Google Maps when people are searching for a local (fill in the blank) like yours. 

1. Photos, photos and more photos

Ever look at a business profile and wonder if the place is still even in business? You can tell when a business profile looks deserted. The first dead giveaway is when the only photo for that business profile is the Google Maps street view.

You have to upload relevant photos. This cannot be emphasized enough. People eat and buy with their eyes. You don’t have to hire a professional photographer. The cameras on most smartphones will suffice.

Take as many photos of your workplace as possible. Make sure to rename each photo to include the business name and what’s in the photo. By doing this, you are correctly labeling the photo per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, which is a courtesy in itself, plus you are helping Google easily understand what the photo is about thereby making it easier for the algorithm to deliver more accurate results.

Other ideas for photos include clients, customers, products, food and before and afters. Remember, you can’t have too many photos so long as they are relevant to your business.

Related: Most Search Traffic is Organic. This Tool Helps Improve Your SEO Rankings.

2. Embed your Google Maps profile 

Google loves it when you use their tools. One of the quickest and easiest ways to send signals to Google that your GMB profile is getting traffic is by taking advantage of your website’s existing traffic. Embed the small Google map on your site. Every time someone visits your site they are inadvertently viewing the embedded Google property. Google picks up on this even if they don’t click on the map.

Search for your business on Google Maps. When you find it, click on the “share” option and select “embed map.” Copy that code and place it on your site in the same manner you’d embed a YouTube video.

3. Reviews

The more clicks your profile gets, the higher and more often Google delivers it as a search engine result on Google Maps. The more reviews you have, the more likely people will click on your profile. This is known as social proof.

You have to get good at requesting reviews from your customers, clients, patrons, friends and family. Getting reviews is an art form. You will get better at the more you do it. Don’t be surprised or even offended when you have to ask someone for a review or testimonial more than once. Studies show that you are more likely to get a review after a customer experiences a “high.” This typically happens after a purchase or a good meal. It’s at those moments you and your team should be requesting a review.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Related: 6 Tips for Acquiring More Google Reviews (and Why They Matter)

4. Accurate information

Make sure your business phone number, website and hours of operation are up-to-date. Use a guest browser and test out the links to the phone and website. Are they accurate? Do they work as intended? Is the phone ringing to the correct person? Does the website link to the homepage or correct product or service? These are all things you should be testing. It’s all about the customer experience and the longer you keep the customer on your GMB profile, the more valuable you are in the eyes of Google.

Google wants to deliver the best and most relevant search results to the consumer. They have a universe of tools and online signals that help them determine which search engine results to provide. The more competitive your business space is, the more complete and professional your GMB profile has to be. If your business profile isn’t complete, has inaccurate information and doesn’t have any photos of your business or photos of you at work, you probably won’t show up.

By: Paul Argueta / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

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