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Google

  • Here are the coolest new emoji coming to Android Pie

    With Google’s recent launch of Android 9 comes Emoji 11.0 and a bunch of new, expressive and politically correct, emojis for users. Though the entire list is 157 new characters long, here are some of our honourable mentions. The Hot Face This emoji looks like it just ran a marathon it didn’t train for, and is so relatable to everyday life. I can imagine it being used to describe anything from a terribly hot day, to disappointing food and even just the general fatigue of daily life we all suffer from. The Pleading Face Admittedly the so called pleading face looks more like the face...

  • Google Maps now shows the Earth as a globe

    Google has likely offended scores of flatearthers this past week after the company added a new update to Maps that displays planet Earth as a globe. Previously the app displayed the planet much like a massive map on its Maps interface. Now, when users zoom out, they'll be greeted by a bulbous ball in space. Why the change? For Google, it believes that it's a better way to represent relative sizes of countries and continents. While Greenland may look the same size as Africa on a flat map, on a globe, its much smaller. Thank you for showing the real size of Africa....

  • Google Assistant’s latest change adds Now-like information cards

    Google Assistant is this week receiving a new lick of paint from one of Google's older services. "This week, we’re rolling out a new visual overview of your day when you open the Google Assistant app on your phone, with proactive suggestions and personalized information to help you stay on top of your day," the company's Deniz Binay writes in a release. Notably, the tweak to the virtual voice assistant has hints of the original Google Now app -- the company's now defunct dashboard that displayed information snapshots. "The new visual snapshot provides curated, helpful information based on the time of day,...

  • 5 interesting Google Search blips after the World Cup semi-finals

    So... my World Cup predictions are out the window. France will play Croatia in the final after the teams beat Belgium and England respectively. The latter was quite the cracker, with Croatia scoring just a few minutes into the second half of extra time. England simply had no reply. But what the win also gave Croatia is the largest search spike on Google than any of the other semi-final teams this past week. We look at this, and more search anomalies, in the below piece. Croatia sees biggest search spike after England triumph Within the week of the semi-finals, Croatia saw the largest global...

  • Here’s what we love and hate about Google Podcasts app on Android

    After Google announced plans to sprinkle its Play Music offering into YouTube's video cauldron to create YouTube Music, you'd think the company would continue the trend of rolling similar apps into singular entities. But you'd be mistaken. On Tuesday the company announced Google Podcasts, its app for Android phones and lovers of pods. It's a standalone app but uses the Google app's host of permissions. So if you're already letting Google Assistant do your bidding on a daily basis, you only need allow the app access to "Storage" to download episodes. Notably, you can also request Assistant to continue an episode you started...

  • Google One lets families share up to 30TB of cloud storage

    If you pay for Google Drive storage, take note. The company this week announced "a simple plan for expanded storage that includes extra benefits" dubbed Google One. Coming to all paying customers of Google's cloud storage service, Google One sees an upgraded offering from 100GB to 30TB if you really, really have a lot of cat pictures to store. This however plays into Google's new family sharing scheme, allowing up to five members to use the wad of storage under a single account. And said family members will also be given a private slice of that storage pie too. Google One will...

  • The Google Assistant tweaks and new features you have to know about [I/O 2018]

    Google Assistant, the company's rival to Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa, is being crammed into almost every Google product this year. The company announced big plans for Assistant at its I/O developers conference this week, and we're here to summarise it all for you into 11 tweetable bylines. Are you ready? Have at it. Google Assistant will be available in six new voices from today, with John Legend lending his rasp to the digital butler later this year too. "Continued Conversations" will allow users to converse with Assistant more fluently, negating the need for "Hey Google" to be uttered before every...

  • Google Play Music dies in 2019, according to YouTube Remix rumour

    While you were transfixed on Google's swanky new Gmail redesign, news emerged that it may pull the plug on another service. According to Droid Life's "reliable source", Google Play Music -- the company's music streaming service competing against the likes of Apple Music and Spotify -- will be canned, in favour of a service dubbed YouTube Remix. Users currently on Play Music will also be herded onto Remix as early as 2019. It's not a new rumour though. There's been plenty of talk about Google's plans to mash its Play Music offering with YouTube. In December 2017, the company was reportedly set...

  • Gmail’s spewing out spam, and nobody seems to know why

    All the hype surrounding Gmail may be thanks to its first redesign in some seven years, but not all is well with Google's mail service. According to a number of reports, Gmail users on Sunday found a number of spam messages sent from their accounts. "My email account has sent out 3 spam emails in the past hour to a list of about 10 addresses that I don’t recongnize," wrote one user on Google's Product forum. Changing passwords didn't help this particular user either, nor did marking the mails as spam. "Please help, what else can I do to ensure my account...

  • Chrome 66 kills audible autoplaying content by default

    Chrome 66 now blocks autoplaying content with sound by default. The new version of Google's web browser was granted stable status this morning and brings a host of changes and tweaks for developers and users alike. But the autoplay filter addition, initially scheduled for Chrome 64's release in January, is the most relevant for casual netizens. According to Google Chrome's autoplay policies, muted content will automatically load and play, but content with sound will not, unless certain conditions are met. "As announced earlier autoplay is now allowed only when either the media won't play sound, after the user clicks or taps on the site, or (on desktop)...

  • Google Go now available in South Africa

    If the standard Google app is proving too bloated for your device, the company has today made its lightweight Google Go app available in South Africa, and other African territories. Google's Go apps -- much like Facebook Lite and Twitter Lite -- require less storage space on device and can function more efficiently on slower networks. Although Google Go has been available on Android Go devices for a while across the world, from today anyone can download the app for standard Android versions newer than 4.3 Jelly Bean. "Users come to us to experience the web and access accurate information quickly. Unfortunately...

  • Google Photo’s Lens can now recognise the breed of your furry friend

    In the most important tech news of the year, Google has announced that Lens can now identify the breed of your dog and cat. Google Lens was recently made available across all Android devices, but its usefulness was limited. Users could scan business cards to add them to their phone books, or take photos of famous paintings to get more information on them. But now, "when you take a photo of an animal -- like a cute cat or dog -- you can use Lens to help identify its breed and get more information," the company writes in an update. A number...

  • Google Chrome extensions will no longer mine crypto using your PC

    In case you had no idea, before April Fools Day, Google allowed developers of Chrome browser extensions to mine cryptocurrency using your computer's resources. The company deemed it acceptable provided users of said extensions (read: you) were made "adequately" aware of the behaviour, and that the extension was not bundled with "unrelated functionality" like email notifiers or additional downloadable files. But the big G has now completely changed its stance. Citing the abuse of its lenient guidelines, Google will will now cull Chrome extensions that mine cryptocurrency in any capacity. "Existing extensions that mine cryptocurrency will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store...

  • Google now owns GIF platform and search engine Tenor

    Here at Memeburn, we love a good GIF. And it seems Google does too. The company on Tuesday announced its purchase of GIF platform Tenor -- the service that doles out moving images to users on Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google's GBoard keyboard app, and others. Google's reason behind the purchase -- of which the sum remains undisclosed -- seems entrenched in improving Google Images, especially as "mobile devices changed the way people search." "Most people now use Google Images to find more information about a topic, and to help them communicate and express themselves -- case in point, we see millions...

  • Google Maps is now available in isiZulu, Afrikaans and Swahili

    Mountain View internet tech Google has added 39 more languages to its Google Maps product "spoken by an estimated 1.25-billion people worldwide." For Africans who rely on the service daily, it's a massive update. Afrikaans, isiZulu and Swahili have been included in the refresh, alongside a slew of Eastern European and Southeast Asian dialects. Users can now switch to one of these languages within Google Maps on the web or the iOS and Android apps. The interface and place names will then be translated accordingly. The addition of new languages to Maps comes after the company improved the service's UX for wheelchair users....