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Google

  • Google Arts & Culture app hides its cool features in new ‘camera’ tab

    Google's Arts & Culture app has moved a number of features into its new "camera tab", including its new "Art Projector" and "Art Selfie". According to a release on its blog, Google noted that the former allows you to "place your favourite masterpieces in your kitchen, office or backyard". It's joined by Art Selfie, which lets users find their art doppelgangers (albeit, not very effectively) and two additional features: Colour Palette and Pocket Gallery. "Color Palette finds multiple artworks from around the world that exactly match the color in the photo you just snapped," explained Google, while Pocket Gallery creates...

  • Here’s what will happen to your Google+ profile before April 2019

    Last year Google revealed that it would be shutting down the consumer version of Google+ due the platform's waning popularity. In a statement on Thursday, it detailed what will happen to current users' profiles, and how best to adjust to the death of its social network. Google will officially shut down Google+ on 2 April 2019, when all user activity, profiles, and uploads will be removed. While users can still back up their content until then, by 4 February, the company will disable the creation of profiles, communities, and pages. This will also affect sign in buttons on some sites, and comments...

  • Gmail’s mobile app is getting a big Material Design UI refresh

    Google is finally refreshing Gmail's dated appearance on mobile, bringing its aesthetic in line with the service's web version, and other Material Design-themed G Suite apps. The new look includes more rounded labels and icons, lack of solid lines between each email, and the red header at the top of the screen which makes for a cleaner appearance. Additional tweaks under the hood are also present. "As part of the new design, you can quickly view attachments -- like photo -- without opening or scrolling through the conversation, " the company further noted. The app will also send users alerts for suspicious looking...

  • Google Maps is rolling out new speed limit features

    Google Maps will soon display speed limits while navigating maps to help users drive more safely. According to Android Police thanks to tips from its community, some versions of Google's navigation app now feature speed limit notifications along with speed trap and crash alerts for both Android and iOS. This means that Google Maps will now indicate the speed limit along your route, and alert you if you're exceeding it, or if there have been crashes and speed traps set up on your route. These features are similarly available on Waze, a popular navigation app which Google bought in 2013. It's not clear...

  • Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters tops US Google Search after Tebow engagement

    On Thursday former NFL player Tim Tebow announced his engagement to South Africa's former Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Tebow broke the news on Instagram in a series of snaps that have since racked up more than 430 000 likes. But it seems that Nel-Peters is stealing the limelight from Tebow on Google Search. According to the search giant's Trends portal, which monitors and charts patterns in global search habits, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has received more than 500 000 search queries on Thursday in the US. The number's also likely to climb as the Western hemisphere wakes from its slumber. Surprisingly, Tim Tebow is among the...

  • New activity cards feature groups and remembers your Google searches

    A new Google Search feature will let you save your search history in categories for you to revisit at a later date. "To help you with these ongoing search journeys, we’re launching new activity cards to help you pick up where you left off," Google revealed on its blog. The activity card appears at the top of your search results when you search while logged in on mobile, and basically groups together your searches according to topics. "You’ll find links to pages you’ve visited in the past along with searches you’ve done. From there, you can easily click back to that recipe...

  • Google Chrome will start blocking harmful ads globally from July

    Google Chrome will block harmful ads worldwide from July 2019, following the new standards determined by the Coalition for Better Ads. "Today, the Coalition for Better Ads announced that it is expanding their initial Better Ads Standards beyond North America and Europe to cover all countries, worldwide," explained Google on its blog. This means that Chrome will block all advertisements "on sites in any country that repeatedly display these disruptive ads". In December last year, Google Chrome began blocking abusive content on websites within the US and Europe that "violate industry standards and continue to show intrusive, annoying ads to people that...

  • Google Assistant: flight check-ins, ‘interpreter mode’ and more incoming

    Alongside its announcement of new products that will sport Google Assistant in 2019, the company also announced changes to Assistant itself at CES. "By bringing the best of Google services and AI to the Assistant, we're focused on building the most helpful digital assistant when you’re at home, in your car or on the go," the company said on its website. Google Maps You can now use Assistant from within Google Maps for both Android and iOS, allowing users to share Maps info with others, or control the app using voice commands. "With just your voice, you'll be able to share your ETA...

  • Google brings Home Alone back to life with new ad

    Google has released an ad for its Google Assistant titled Home Alone Again, featuring the original star of the classic Christmas movie Home Alone. Macaulay Culkin returns as the adult version of Kevin McCallister, who is alone at home with only his Google Assistant for company. "The video features a modern-day Kevin, who shows us what happens when he finds that he has the house to himself, and the Google Assistant on his side," explains Google on its website. The video shows Kevin mirroring his younger self as he enjoys his alone time, while also using the Google Assistant to his advantage. "He...

  • Tips and tricks to make you Google account even more secure

    I bet we all like to believe that your Google account is super secure, especially since we use such detailed and complicated passwords. But in 2018, complicated passwords just aren't enough. There are a slew of other measures you should think about putting in place before you can sleep soundly at night. We scrape the surface below. For the love of... activate 2FA Two-factor authentication (2FA) is the first thing you should activate when creating a new account on the internet. When it's enabled, you'll be asked for your password in addition to a special code sent to you or created by...

  • South Africa searched for the strangest things this year on Google

    Google has released its 2018's Year in Search report, a look at the most searched for terms, queries, and trends that took place around the world in the past 365 days. "As each year closes, Google Trends data reflects not only these everyday queries, but also the moments, people, ideas, and questions that made that trip around the sun so unique, " said Google on its news blog. Global search trends saw the world delving into things like politics, celebrity deaths and all things royalty related.  But South Africans on the other hand had their sights set in a somewhat different direction....

  • Google Maps’ For You tab is now live in South Africa

    Google Maps' For You tab is rolling out to a select number of iOS users, and almost all Android users around the world. “Today, the For You tab is making its way over to Google Maps in over 40 countries on iOS and 130+ new countries on Android,” the company explained on its blog. The tab in a new addition to Google Maps that helps users find things to do, based on their searches and visits. If you follow a particular establishment, its details will now be visible in the For You tab too. “The For You tab is designed to be a...

  • Security bug brings Google+’s death forward by four months

    Google+, the company's social network, will be killed off sooner than initially planned, after a security-threatening bug reared its ugly head last month. “We’ve recently determined that some users were impacted by a software update introduced in November that contained a bug affecting a Google+ API,” the company confirmed in an announcement. “No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way,” it claimed. Due to this issue, the social network for consumers will be shuttered in April 2019,...

  • Google Allo will shut down in March 2019

    Google has announced that it will be shutting down its smart-messaging service Allo which it launched just over two years ago. The decision comes after the company “paused investment in Allo” earlier this year, and brought its features to Messages -- Google’s SMS-based messaging service for Android. “Given Messages' continued momentum, we’ve decided to stop supporting Allo to focus on Messages,” the company explained in the announcement. Features such as desktop support, GIFs and Smart Reply have already moved from Allo to Messages. “We've learned a lot from Allo, particularly what’s possible when you incorporate machine learning features, like the Google Assistant, into...

  • Google’s Santa’s Village features Santa tracker, Elf Maker

    Google’s educational “holiday hub” called Santa’s Village is back in swing for the 15th year and you can play more interactive games, learn about different regional Christmas traditions, and track Santa’s whereabouts. One of the hub’s new features comes in the form of Elf Maker, a tool where you can make your very own elf to play with. “Choose an outfit, accessories, hairstyle, and even facial hair to add some flair to your little friend,” Google says on its blog. The Santa Tracker is also back, which you can access via Maps or the Android app. “In the days leading up to Christmas,...