With so many announcements and updates, it’s nearly impossible to stay up to date with Google. Recently, the tech giant has been releasing numerous alterations to existing products and services, so let’s get caught up and take a look at some of the exciting changes.
The first and perhaps most major is the full redesign of Google Fit. According to a blog post by Margaret Hollendoner, Google Fit’s Head of Product, the company worked with the American Health Association and the World Health Organization to gain more accurate fitness and health knowledge, which is reflected in the app.
The redesign is based on the tracking of two goals – moving and activities that increase your heart rate, which are incentivized by “Move Minutes” and “Heart Points,” respectively. You will receive a point for each minute of moderate activity, while activities that increase heart rate earn double the points. Google Fit will track your movement through the sensors on your phone or through your smart watch to determine your activity levels. The new Google Fit redesign will be available for Android and Wear OS users.
The Undo Send feature on Gmail is undoubtedly a lifesaver. However, up until now, Gmail users were only able to unsend emails on desktop and Google’s inbox app. According to The Verge, the feature will be coming soon on the official Android version of Gmail. As Android Authority reported, within 10 seconds of sending an email users will be able to “cancel” it, but if that isn’t enough time you will receive the notification that says “sent” with an option to “undo”. Although the recipient will be able to see that there is a message in their inbox if you press “undo”, the good news is they won’t be able to open it – phew!
Lastly, Google is aiming to bring a little joy to our lives, by informing us on the good things going on in the world. As Google’ Creative Producer of the Creative Lab, Ryan Burke, stated in the official blog post, we are consuming an incredible amount of news, but we often forget to look at the good news and the issues that are being resolved. Hence why Google has stepped in. Starting today, Assistant users in the United States can ask their Google device to tell them something “good” and receive an update regarding the good going on in the world.
Check out the video to learn more:
As consumers become increasingly concerned and aware of the drawbacks from digital technologies, tech giants have had to adjust and commit to a greater role in promoting “digital wellness”. Google is one of the many companies that have announced their efforts in creating platforms with greater transparency for consumers.
In May, The Verge reported that Google would be launching wellness features along with the release of Android 9 Pie, which was launched just yesterday. The Digital Wellbeing features are not yet available on the new OS update; however, individuals with Google Pixel devices running on Android 9 Pie are able to sign up for the “Android Digital Wellbeing Data” by clicking here. According to Digital Trends, the wellness update will be widely released sometime in the fall.
Google has made their commitment to Digital Wellbeing known and in turn, the company is offering quite a variety of tools for Android users to better gauge how much time they’re truly spending on their phone. Google has created an analytical dashboard that encourages individuals to reflect upon their phone and technology usage. As Google stated, the dashboard provides Android users with generic information regarding phone usage, including the number of times the phone has been unlocked, the amount of notifications received and a breakdown of time spent on each app.
In addition to the dashboard, other features include personalizing updates, snoozing alerts, Do Not Disturb mode, Smart Reply and App Timers that limit the amount of time spent on each app.
Similar updates have also been integrated into Apple’s iOS 12 update. The updates provide consumers with the opportunity to better understand how they are affected by their phone and then make the changes they deem necessary and applicable to their daily routine.
Despite following important steps to secure passwords, many organizations and individuals are victims of security breaches. As this issue becomes more prominent, many companies are acting to prevent data and credentials from being compromised.
The Google Cloud Next ’18 three-day conference not only discusses the magnitude of cloud-based technologies, but has highlighted Google’s future plans and current projects.
One new service that is particularly interesting is, context-aware access, a program that provides additional security and privacy for individuals and organizations. The Google Cloud Product Management Director, Jennifer Lim, provided a list of security improvements and illustrated the importance of context-aware access on their blog.
The context-aware access program enables G-Suite Administrators to provide information that assists in identifying whether it’s really you or a hacker logging into an account. Lim stated that parameters will be based on, “user’s identity, location, and the context of their request”. Google’s program simply provides an extra security measure and greater control for organizations with remote workers.
The availability for context-aware access is currently limited to certain users. Google reported that access to the program is for those utilizing VPC Service Controls and then will be later released to users of Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM), Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP), and Cloud Identity.
Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook, 4 of the world’s largest tech companies, have teamed up to create the Data Transfer Project (DTP). The tech group published a white paper outlining the purpose for the DTP, which is to provide an open-source platform for individuals to easily transfer their information across various platforms.
Not only will the DTP enable users to download their data, but the project will make it easier for users to transfer their data to other applications, which will be beneficial to many individuals, as apps will become more cohesive and related.
According to The Verge, the system currently allows transfer for photos, mail, contacts, calendars, and tasks transfer by using existing APIs and authorization tools to access data.
There are many uses for this service and the white paper highlights quite a few, including transferring playlists between music platforms and transferring social media photos to other accounts. As more companies join the project, it will become increasingly more useful and hopefully enable users’ to have even greater control over their personal data and app activity.
DCP is currently in development, if user’s would like to test it out there is a way so long as they have API keys from the platforms they would like to transfer data between. Click here to check out more info on testing.