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Google Issues Warning to Location-Sharing Apps

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Google has issued a warning to app developers, advising them to be transparent with their users about the information they share with Huq, a British company that sells location data.

Apps that do not comply with Google’s data policy may be removed from the Play store, according to the company.

It comes after Huq told the News Media that at least two of his app partners had failed to obtain the necessary user permissions.

Huq stated that the company took data security “extremely seriously” and that all partners were now in compliance.

Regulators and policymakers throughout the world are increasingly scrutinizing app collaborations and data sharing with third parties.

Huq collaborates with a number of apps, including a Muslim prayer app, a flight tracker, and a weather app.

Huq provides app developers with lines of code that give back location data, which Huq then collates. Clients, including a number of UK councils, are then sold this information.

However, a Vice story published in October cast questions on whether users were aware that their data was being shared when they utilized these apps.

Huq later confessed to the News Media that at least two apps shared data with the company without getting users’ permission.

Google announced a new user data policy in October, requiring apps to be transparent about how any data they gather is handled.

“As part of our review, we’ve issued a warning to any app developers who we found to be in breach of Google Play regulations,” Google added.

However, it refused to reveal how many app developers had been warned.

“We continue to take the topic of data privacy and consent very seriously and actively support any initiative aiming to make changes in this area,” Huq CEO Conrad Poulson stated.

“It’s critical for us to continue to collaborate with our partners to ensure that privacy best practices are introduced and maintained.”

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How to Enable Dark Mode on Google Search? [Step-by-Step Guide]

Google Search Dark Mode

Google continues to add new features and upgrades in order to make life easier for its users. In September 2021, the tech giant launched the Dark Mode style for its search engine, also known as look settings.

Dark Mode is a type of dark theme that turns the device’s screen black when it is activated. In addition, the text displayed on it begins to appear in white or grey. It relieves the strain on the eyes. It also reduces battery usage.

If you’ve set your system’s theme to dark, your Google search will immediately switch to dark mode. This upgrade will enable us to convert brighter pages to grayscale, reducing the strain on our eyes.

Google’s main page, search result page, search settings, and other related web pages all have appearance settings. The device’s default setting is configured to match the device’s color scheme. The Dark setting displays light text on a dark backdrop, whereas the Light setting displays light text on a light background. On Google Search, you’ll be able to adjust the appearance settings as well.

To vote in other categories, go to this page.

In September 2021, a Google Support post unveiled the appearance setting for Google Search. Device default, Dark, and Light are the three major options available in the settings.

You can enable dark mode on Google search by following these simple instructions:

STEP 1: Go to Google.com and type in a search term.

STEP 2: On the Google search homepage, tap Settings in the lower right corner.

STEP 3: Select Appearance.

STEP 4: If it isn’t available under Settings, go to Search Settings and look for it.

STEP5: From the left side of the newly opened page, select Appearance.

STEP6: Click Save at the bottom of the page after selecting any Device Default, Dark, or Light.

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Google Maps’ New Feature Warn You about Crowded Places

Google Map

On Wednesday, November 17, Google launched a new feature on Google Maps that provides users with information on congested areas. You can use the tool to see if the area you want to visit is packed or not.

The internet giant’s latest function is expected to aid holiday shoppers. Area Busyness and Directories are included. Users can use Area Busyness, a new feature that combines live busyness trends to assist users easily recognise when a neighbourhood or region of town is approaching or at its busiest, according to Google.

“To help you stay safe, maximise your time with loved ones, and pick that perfect holiday brunch place,” Google wrote in a blog post.

Furthermore, Google is expanding its Directory tab for all airports, malls, and transport stations across the world for Android and iOS. This will allow users from all over the world to quickly navigate enormous structures.

“Now that we have this data, you can instantly identify what types of stores are in a building (such toy stores or jewellery boutiques), airport lounges, car rentals, parking lots, and more,” according to the startup. Also check out:

“And you can view a list of relevant businesses within each category, as well as helpful information like if it’s open, its rating, and what level it’s on,” it added.

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Google will Spend A$1 Billion ($736 million) in Australia

Google

Google announced on Tuesday that it will invest A$1 billion ($736 million) in Australia over the next five years, just months after threatening to withdraw its services due to increased government regulation.

Alphabet Inc’s primary operational company announced plans to develop cloud infrastructure, establish a research centre with Australian researchers and engineers, and collaborate with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Mel Silva, the managing director of Google Australia, who threatened to block Google’s search engine earlier this year, claimed the spending plan will bring major technology resources and investment to the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who attended the funding announcement in Sydney, described it as a “A$1 billion vote of confidence” in Australia’s digital economy strategy, which seeks to place the country among the top 10 digital economies in the world by 2030.

“As we engage with the economic recovery ahead of us, Google’s decision has huge benefits for Australian firms,” Morrison said. He said, “It will bring more STEM jobs to our shores… spanning engineering, computing science, and AI.” STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Silva threatened to stop Google’s search engine during hearings in Australia’s parliament in January to avoid regulations requiring the business and social media operator Facebook Inc to pay news publishers for content posted on their websites.

However, the bill was passed, and Google withdrew its threat. Instead, Google and Facebook reached licencing agreements with the majority of Australia’s major media businesses.

In March, the federal government will begin a study of the law’s effectiveness.

Australia has also stated that it intends to hold huge internet companies liable for defamation and misinformation spread on their platforms, a move that has been heavily opposed by the technology sector.

“We must make an equal effort to ensure that the digital environment is safe, secure, and trustworthy,” Morrison said.

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Russia has Fined Google 2 Million Roubles, Everything You Need to Know

Russia Fined Google

A Moscow court fined Google 2 million roubles ($28,085) on Monday for failing to delete content that Russia considers illegal, as part of a larger dispute between Moscow and the U.S. internet giant.
In Moscow’s boldest measure yet to rein in international tech corporations, Russia has threatened to pay Google a percentage of its annual Russian turnover for repeatedly failing to remove banned information from its search engine and YouTube.
Google confirmed the penalties on Monday but declined to disclose further. Last month, Google and a Russian lawmaker announced that the firm had paid earlier fines totaling more than 32 million roubles.

Telegram, a messaging app, was also fined 4 million roubles by Russia. A request for comment from Telegram was not immediately returned.

Two other administrative proceedings against Google were postponed until Nov. 29 to provide a Google official more time to review the case files, according to the court.

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Google Auto-Enable 2-Step Verification for Millions of Accounts

Google 2-Step Verification

From November 9, Google will require users to activate the 2-step verification (2SV) feature. Last month, the business announced plans to automatically deploy this security feature for millions of users. 2SV is one of the most dependable techniques to prevent unauthorised access to accounts and networks, according to the business.

In a blog post last month, the company stated, “By the end of 2021, we plan to auto-enroll an additional 150 million Google users in 2SV and require 2 million YouTube creators to turn it on.”
If you have not yet enabled 2-step verification on your account, you will receive an email or message from the company about 7 days before the security feature is automatically enabled for you. You can currently turn off 2SV after it has been switched on automatically, however doing so makes your account significantly less safe.

What is 2-step verification?

In the event that your password is stolen, 2-Step Verification (also known as two-factor authentication) adds an extra layer of security to your account. After you’ve set up 2SV, you’ll log in with your password and your phone in two steps. You’ll need to input a code that will be provided to your phone through text, voice call, or mobile app once you’ve entered your password as usual.

How to turn on 2-step verification?

To enable 2SV, log into your Google account > click Security from the navigation panel > under ‘Signing in to Google,’ select 2-Step Verification and then Get started. Then, as directed on the screen, follow the steps.

Aside from that, Google is releasing a feature in the Google app that will allow you to access all of the passwords you’ve saved in Google Password Manager directly from the Google app menu.

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Google Maps Reaches 10 Billion Play Store Downloads

Google Maps
Photo Credit: Google

Google Maps, the world’s most popular navigation tool, has now surpassed the 10 billion download mark on the Google Play Store. According to 9To5Google, there are very few “free” mapping applications that can equal Google Maps’ accuracy and feature set, thus it’s a must-download no matter what mobile OS you use.

According to Android Police, it has joined a very small and exclusive club of apps that have reached the 10 billion download milestone, which includes Google Play Services and YouTube.

Google Mobile Services has Maps pre-installed, but that doesn’t account for all of the downloads on the Play Store.

According to the research, even as the “default” mapping service on Android, 10 billion downloads or installs is still a huge number.

Google does offer “Maps Go,” which is effectively a Progressive Web App that is an instance of the Chrome browser that is up to 100 times smaller than the full-fat Maps app, for users with Android Go-powered handsets or low-end hardware.

This streamlined version of Google Maps has only recently surpassed 500 million downloads.

Live AR navigation, a dedicated dark theme, real-time public transit data, and recently added eco-friendly routing options are just a few of the modifications and options that Google Maps has added in the last few years to help you travel from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

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