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Google Accidentally Breaks Important Google Photos Feature

Image result for Google Photos Feature"

Users of Google Photos are reporting that one of the app’s most frequently-used features is currently broken. The bug comes into play when selecting multiple photos at once, but fortunately, it looks like there’s a workaround for anyone affected.

When sharing pictures it’s common to want to select multiple images to send together in one go. Thankfully, the Google Photos app makes this very easy: simply hold your finger down on the first thumbnail image and then drag your finger along the gallery until you get to the last one you want to share. This will select all of the images between the first and last, marking them with a tick.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

However, as picked up by Android Police, some users on Reddit have reported that this feature has now disappeared since updating their apps, leaving them forced to select each image individually. This is a minor inconvenience when selecting just a few pictures but quickly becomes a chore when larger numbers are involved.

Today In: Innovation

The bug seems to affect a wide range of Android smartphones from various manufacturers, but only for a certain group of users and it turns out that a seemingly unrelated Android system setting is the trigger. As luck would have it, one eagle-eyed reader of the Android Police post discovered that the problem is related to an unexpected interaction with Android’s accessibility settings.

I can confirm that enabling Android Accessibility features on the Amazon Shopping app caused the Google Photos multi-select problem to appear on my handset while disabling the feature enabled Google Photos to work as normal once again.

For now, it seems the workaround to the problem is to disable Android Accessibility on any applications which may be using it.

To do this, go into your Android settings menu and search for ‘accessibility’ then scroll down to locate the relevant options. The actual layout will vary from phone to phone, but sections to look out for are ‘Downloaded Services’ where apps such as Amazon Shopping are likely to appear, and ‘Screen Readers’ where you may find functions such as ‘Select to Speak’ or ‘Talkback’ available.

Tapping on any of these will enable you to turn off its accessibility service. Turning them all off should then cause Google Photos to work correctly once again.

Obviously, the downside to doing this is that you’ll lose any accessibility functions you may have been relying on until Google comes up with a fix.

Method two

Alternatively, you may be able to restore the multi-select function by reverting to an older version of Google Photos. You can download previous versions of the app from sites such as apkmirror.com and sideload them onto your device, although I’d recommend waiting for an official update instead.

With any luck, a forthcoming fix from Google will then enable us to revert our Accessibility settings back to the way we want them.

I’ve been working as a technology journalist since the early nineties. My passion is photography and the ever-changing hardware and software that creates 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 Breaks Important Google Photos Feature

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Google Photos was designed to make it easier for people to organize a lifetime of memories. The recently announced API now lets you harness the best of Google Photos in your own product. In this session, you’ll see how you can create experiences that eliminate the friction associated with finding, transferring, and sharing photos. Rate this session by signing-in on the I/O website here → https://goo.gl/Cuv8ta See all the sessions from Google I/O ’18 → https://goo.gl/q1Tr8x Watch more Android sessions from I/O ’18 → https://goo.gl/R9L42F Watch more Chrome sessions from I/O ’18 → https://goo.gl/5fgXhX Watch more Firebase sessions from I/O ’18 → https://goo.gl/TQEeBQ Watch more Google Cloud Platform from I/O ’18 → https://goo.gl/qw2mR1 Watch more TensorFlow sessions from I/O ’18 → https://goo.gl/GaAnBR Subscribe to the Google Developers channel → http://goo.gl/mQyv5L #io18

 

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How Google’s Work With Motorbike Riders In India Demonstrates Its Plan For Emerging Markets

India is the world’s largest market for motorbikes, with two-wheelers making up 70% of all vehicles registered by its 1.3 billion residents. It’s these motorbike drivers, more so than car owners, that Google needs to please as it competes for mindshare in this emerging market. So when user research showed that motorbikers in India didn’t find Maps useful, a team in Google’s Seattle office was tasked with figuring out how to change it.

A dive into the data revealed that motorbike drivers would only open the app for about 30 seconds and then close it. The team of product experts hypothesized that drivers needed more guidance on their route, so they spun up a prototype that would provide more in-ride prompts. But when they tested it with users in Jaipur, the largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, the prototype flopped.

The trials and errors to make Maps work better in India were a wake-up call, says Lauren Celenza, lead designer on Google’s two-wheeler project. As Google aims to reach more users in emerging markets like India, South East Asia, Africa and Latin America, the company needed to better integrate user research with product design.

“Opening up of the process beyond the walls of our offices is a playbook that we’re looking to for future projects,” Celenza says.

After actually spending time in India talking to people, the product team realized that the exact opposite of their initial assumption was true: Motorbike drivers didn’t want to look at or listen to their phones at all as they navigated the crowded and often chaotic roads. Instead, they wanted clearer guidance before starting out.

That initial design process highlights the too common tech industry hubris wherein companies launch tools for people far away without proper preparation or understanding of regional wants, needs or cultural differences. At its most anodyne, this approach leads to unpopular products. But it can also fuel real-world crises, like fake news and hate-speech going viral in Myanmar because Facebook didn’t have enough Burmese-speaking moderators.

The Google Maps team on the project ended up building a “two-wheeler mode” with customized routes for motorbikes that simplifies the maps and highlights landmarks to make it easier for drivers to understand and memorize the way before starting out. Since that product launched about a year and a half ago, its usage has grown from one million daily users to 5 million, and Google has launched the feature in more than a dozen new markets.

Two-wheeler mode falls under the domain of what Google calls its “Next Billion Users” initiative to reach users in emerging markets, either by launching new products or adapting old ones. For example, Google launched data-light and offline versions of Search, YouTube and Maps, and created an India-specific payments service called Tez.

At Google’s I/O developers conference last week, the company announced several other features geared at emerging markets. For example, it will start allowing people to pay for Android apps using cash and demoed an automatic text-to-speech service that will initially launch in Google’s Go app for entry-level devices.

“We need to do a lot more work to make sure our technologies and our services actually work really well for these users, including designing the right products for their unique needs,” Caesar Sengupta, vice president of Google’s Next Billion Users group, tells Forbes. “The amount of work we have left to do is still huge.”

In the past year, Google has faced a handful of controversies about how it cooperates with foreign governments. In August, the Intercept reported that the company was working on a version of its search engine in China that would comply with the country’s strict censorship laws. U.S. politicians, human rights activists and Google employees criticized the project, describing it as a tool for oppression and a slap in the face of Internet freedom. Google eventually told Congress in December that it has “no plans” to launch a search engine in China.

This spring, Google (and Apple) received widespread criticism for offering a Saudi Arabian smartphone app that allows husbands to track their wives. The country’s “male guardianship system,” which requires women to obtain male approval for certain actions, makes tracking legal, and Google said it would not remove the app.

Sengupta, who reportedly had a leadership role in the Dragonfly project, said that the company is “really engaged” in debates about the services it provides.

“The world is evolving fast,” he said. “We need to be constantly looking at what we’re doing and what are the right ways to be doing something.”

Contact this reporter at jdonfro [at] forbes.com. Have a more sensitive tip? Reach Jillian via encrypted messaging app Signal at 978.660.6302 using a non-work phone or contact Forbes anonymously via SecureDrop (instructions here: https://www.forbes.com/tips/#6ebc8a4f226a).

I’m a San Francisco-based staff writer for Forbes reporting on Google and the rest of the Alphabet universe, as well as artificial intelligence more broadly.

Source: How Google’s Work With Motorbike Riders In India Demonstrates Its Plan For Emerging Markets

Important Highlights Of Google io18 Which You Don’t Wanna Miss

 

No one on the planet has access to data as Google does. They are literally everywhere now, in our laptops, mobiles and some of them are in our wrists too. Google io18 just proved how it can make use of all these data in creating a smart (really smart) artificial intelligence. From its recent updates, I can see Google is putting together some of its small, small application to make something great.

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For example; the Google sound, that app is been there on my mobile since I bought it in 2015. When we fast forward to 2017 this feature is given in the Pixel 2 to identify the name of the song. Like this application, Google has put many small services, which we rarely use and big projects to create a smarter Artificial Intelligence in the Google iO18. A lot happened in the event, including the launch of Android P beta; here are some of the highlights of Google iO18.

AI Powered Camera

Google lens is quite a useful feature available for the Pixel users alone, and now the lens is coming to Android P as a built-in option. Just like the Huawei P20pro, you can access the Google lens feature right inside your default camera application itself. Unfortunately not all Android OEM manufacturers support this feature as of now, but Google has given us a list of manufactures in which you will get this update. Samsung lover,s you will get the same features in Bixby version in the next year.

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I have a small hunch that Google will use its machine learning to set camera settings automatically based on the subject you are taking, just like the Huawei P20 pro and the latest LG G7 ThinQ devices. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.

AI Powered Google Photo

Google has moved a step further than the Huawei P20 pro by adding AI to its gallery application. We all know how quick the Google photo can identify faces and the location, with the latest updates it becomes, even more, smarter and also gives us some useful editing options.

Colorpop

Most of the photographers and graphic designers might be familiar with this term. In this effect, particular color or object alone is highlighted by changing rest of the images to grayscale. To make this effect, before we used Photoshop or other photo editing tool, but now just a tap will do in the Google Photo.

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Colorize

Colorize converts your old black and white photos to colorful images in a tap. All these are done intelligently by the Google AI.

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Text Identifier

Actually, text identifier can be used in both the Google lens and also in Google Photos application. In Google lens, you can do live translate before, but now you can copy the texts right away, pretty dope. On the other hand in the Google photo, say you have taken a picture of a page, now you can convert this image into a PDF right away.

New Voices To Google Assistant

Google Assistant now get six new voices. Still, it is not clear how can we choose the voice model we want, once I get my hands on Android P will let you guys know. You might have heard this by now, John Legend voice is also coming to Google Assistant. But it is coming only later part of this year, maybe with the Pixel 3. From the marketers perspective, Google will be using John Legend’s voice for promoting Pixel 3 and for commercial ads.

Google Duplex

At the beginning of the post, I told you guys about Google putting together pieces to create smarter AI. Google Duplex is the ultimate example. Google has put together its knowledge from text to speech, Deep learning, and all other projects related to natural language understanding to create this damn smart intelligent Assistant. The “mm-hmm”, “umm” and the pauses given by the Google Assistant is so real, the person on the other side can’t even feel they are talking to an AI actually.

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There is a lot of ethical issues already going on this matter. Dieter from Verge has already tweeted about it and lot other tech people who are into making a safe future, arguing about it. Let’s wait and see when we can use Duplex in the real world.

New Android P Features

Artificial intelligence is going to be a part of Android P. With the help of Deepmind, Google engineers have made the Android P intelligently manage the battery performance. Based on your application usage and pattern, Android P will be managing battery intelligently in the background.

As I have mentioned in my previous Pixel 3 post, Android P will be getting swipe up gesture just like in the iPhone X. The first swipe up gives you the overview section of your apps and the second swipe up gets you to the app draw. When you are in an application you can hit the home button to reach the home page.

android-p-new-interface

In the app draw also the Google AI gets in. At the top, you have app recommendations based on your application usage. If you are an HTC user, you might be familiar with the Sense Home widget which shows your most used application based on your location. The same thing is happening here in the Android P app draw but in a more clever way.

Android wellbeing is a dashboard which helps the user to see how they spend their time on their smartphone. You can control the time you spend on an application from the dashboard to help you to be more productive.

android-p-wellbeing-dashboard

Shush is the new actual do not disturb option. In this mode your phone never bothers you, all the notifications and calls are blocked. To activate it you can simply face down your smartphone on the table and the shush mode will activate.

AR In Google Maps

Google now uses your smartphone camera to navigate easily. When you are walking all you have to do is to hold your phone higher and the virtual elements will guide you, just like in a game. Even Google has introduced virtual characters to make your search easier and fun filled.

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If you have ever seen the Nokia N8 commercial ad, to demonstrate the map they have used virtual elements hanging out on the real world objects. This thing is becoming real now, while you navigate with the new camera feature, it automatically shows the shop, restaurants, and any other places around you.

Google I/O 18 gave us so many jaw-dropping moments. It clearly shows that the future solely depends on the AI. Hereafter the quality of the smartphone and smart devices won’t be calculated with the hardware alone. Software and the AI features will also be considered to evaluate the quality of the product. As Apple WWDC 18 is just a few weeks away from now, am eagerly waiting to see what APPLE is going to do. To stay updated please subscribe if you haven’t already, the link is below. See you soon.

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