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AI-Packed Android 9 PIE Released by Google

Android 9 also has features to improve your privacy and security of sensitive data like credit card information, according to Google.

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'Doodle 4 Google' can get you Rs 5 lakh scholars
'Doodle 4 Google' can get you Rs 5 lakh scholarship.VOA
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Google has released its latest version of Android Operating System — Android 9 Pie, which harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict how users would like to experience their devices while offering a smoother navigation system and an easier way to track and limit usage of apps.

It comes with features like Adaptive Battery, which learns the apps you use most and prioritises battery for them, Google said in a statement on Monday.

Another interesting feature that Android 9 Pie brings is Adaptive Brightness, which learns how you like to set the brightness in different settings, and does it for you.

“Android 9 aims to make your phone even smarter by learning from you and adapting to your usage patterns,” said Sameer Samat, Vice President of Product Management, Android and Google Play.

“It also helps you get things done faster, like predicting what you will want to do next based on your context and displaying that action right on your phone,” Samat said, adding that the company was working to add key capabilities right into Android to help people achieve the balance with technology they are looking for.

At Google developers conference in May, Google previewed digital wellbeing features for Android including a new Dashboard that shows time spent on the device; an App Timer that lets users set time limits on apps and greys out the icon on the home screen when the time is up.

Android 9 Released, wikimedia commons
Android 9 Released, Wikimedia Commons

Google said “Digital Wellbeing” is now available in beta for Pixel phones running Android 9, and will be officially available in the next few months.

It will be coming to Android One and other devices later in 2018, the tech giant added.

Android 9 features a new system navigation featuring a single, clean home button. Users can swipe up to see a newly designed “Overview”, the place where you have at-a-glance full-screen previews of your last used apps.

The “Smart Text Selection” feature is designed to make switching between apps easier.

Google said Android P also brings a redesigned Quick Settings that offers among other things a better way to take and edit screenshots, simplified volume controls, and an easier way to manage notifications.

“With Android 9 we have made software more secure from Code-reuse attacks, and installed features which add a layer of security to biometrics,” Google said.

Android 9 also has features to improve your privacy and security of sensitive data like credit card information, according to Google.

Also Read: Android Development and Data Analysis- Bloodlines of The Internet Industry

“Starting today, an over-the-air update to Android 9 will begin rolling out to Pixel phones,” Google said on Monday.

Devices that participated in the Beta programme from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, and Essential Phones, as well as all qualifying Android One devices, will receive this update by the end of 2018, it added. (IANS)

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Experts Say That Google Storing Location Data Can Be Easily Absued

According to Jesse Victors, Software Security Consultant at Synopsys, when Google builds a control into Android and then does not honour it, there is a strong potential for abuse.

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Google storing location data has strong potential for abuse: Experts
Google storing location data has strong potential for abuse: Experts. Pixabay

 A day after reports surfaced that certain Google apps track your whereabouts even when you turn off location data, experts on Tuesday expressed concerns about the practice, stressing that location and identity data can be used for both good and bad.

The Associated Press on Monday ran a story saying an investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store users’ location data even if the users explicitly used a privacy setting forbidding that.

Researchers from Princeton University confirmed the findings.

According to Tim Mackey, Technical Evangelist at the US-based tech company Synopsys, it has been widely understood for some time that tech giants like Google use data supplied through the use of their services as part of their efforts to personalize the experience.

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Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in.Pixabay

“There is a basic saying when it comes to most technology — ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should’. For practical purposes, this supply of personal data has been part of the virtual fees we pay to companies in exchange for ‘free’ access to the services provided,” Mackey told IANS.

“With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU now in effect and regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) on the horizon, companies collecting personal data need to reassess their use of personal data,” he noted.

In a statement given to IANS, Google said that “Location History is a Google product that is entirely opt in, and users have the controls to edit, delete or turn it off at any time.

“As the (AP) story notes, we make sure Location History users know that when they disable the product, we continue to use location to improve the Google experience when they do things like perform a Google search or use Google for driving directions,” said Google.

just turning off Location History doesn't solve the purpose. In Google Settings, pausing "Web and App Activity" may do the trick.
just turning off Location History doesn’t solve the purpose. In Google Settings, pausing “Web and App Activity” may do the trick.

But just turning off Location History doesn’t solve the purpose. In Google Settings, pausing “Web and App Activity” may do the trick.

However, according to the information on Google’s Activity Control page, “Even when this setting is paused, Google may temporarily use information from recent searches in order to improve the quality of the active search session”.

According to Mackey, since we’re talking about consumer-level services, the expectation of the consumer for an “off switch” is what matters most.

“Users wishing their location be kept private indicate this preference through the ‘Location history’ setting. If vendors placed themselves in the shoes of a consumer and respected the setting, managing consent under regulations like GDPR would be simpler and the user’s expectations would be met,” Mackey emphasised.

Also Read: Microsoft’s Android Launcher Now Lets You Track Your Kid’s Location and App Usage

According to Jesse Victors, Software Security Consultant at Synopsys, when Google builds a control into Android and then does not honour it, there is a strong potential for abuse.

“It is sometimes extremely important to keep one’s location history private. Other times, you may simply wish to opt out of data collection. It’s disingenuous and misleading to have a toggle switch that does not completely work,” Victors said. (IANS)