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Google Announces Retirement of Hangouts For its G Suite Users

Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by the company which includes messaging, video chat, SMS and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) features

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Google, Main One, russia
A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google has announced the timeline of the transition from classic Hangouts to Chat and Meet for its paying G Suite customers.

The tech giant said that Hangouts retirement will start in October 2019.

Starting April 16, Chat will become available on the web for G Suite domains that have classic Hangouts enabled, but it won’t replace Hangouts just yet. Between April and September 2019, several Hangouts features will come to Chat, ahead of the former’s shutdown in October, the VentureBeat reported late on Tuesday.

However, Google won’t kill off Hangouts for regular users until those G Suite customers are all comfortably using Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, according to The Verge.

Google
The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

The death of classic Hangouts wouldn’t come until 2020, and that seems pretty likely given this guidance, The Verge report added.

Hangouts was launched as a replacement for Gchat in 2013 by the tech titan but has been losing features in recent years as the company has stopped updating the app and has taken away SMS messaging.

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However, Hangouts still is a prominent chat option in Gmail on the web and the app also exists on the Google PlayStore.

Google Hangouts is a communication platform developed by the company which includes messaging, video chat, SMS and Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) features. (IANS)

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Many Security Flaws in Apple Safari Browser: Google

Google discovers security flaws in Apple Safari browser

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Google security researchers discovered several security flaws in a privacy software in Apple web browser Safari. Pixabay

Google security researchers discovered several security flaws in a privacy software in Apple web browser Safari that could have helped third-party vendors track users’ browsing habits.

According to a report in the Financial Times which cited a soon-to-be published paper from Google’s ‘Project Zero’ team, the vulnerabilities were found in an anti-tracking feature known as ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’.

Once disclosed by Google researchers to Apple in August last year, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker immediately patched the flaws.

Apple launched the ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’ tool in 2017 to, in fact, protect Safari users from being tracked around the web by advertisers and other third-party cookies.

According to Google researchers, the vulnerabilities left personal data of Safari users exposed. They also found a flaw that allowed hackers to “create a persistent fingerprint that will follow the user around the web”.

Google
This is the third time Google researchers have found flaws in the Apple ecosystem. Pixabay

Apple confirmed it patched the issues.

This is the third time Google researchers have found flaws in the Apple ecosystem.

In September, Apple slammed Google for creating a false impression about its iPhones being at hacking risk owing to security flaws that allegedly let several malicious websites break into its iOS operating system.

Researchers at ‘Project Zero’ team had discovered several hacked websites that allegedly used security flaws in iPhones to attack users who visited these websites — compromising their personal files, messages, and real-time location data.

In a statement, Apple said the so-called sophisticated attack was narrowly focused, not a broad-based exploit of iPhones “en masse” as described.

According to Google, the websites delivered their malware indiscriminately and were operational for years.

Apple said that it fixed the vulnerabilities in question — working extremely quickly to resolve the issue just 10 days after it learnt about it.

In July last year, the ‘Project Zero’ team found six critical flaws in Apple iMessage that can compromise the user’s phone without even interacting with them. These security vulnerabilities fell into the ‘interactionless’ category.

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Two members of ‘Project Zero’, Google’s elite bug-hunting team, published details and demo proof-of-concept code for five of six ‘interactionless’ security bugs that impact the iOS operating system and can be exploited via the iMessage client. All the six security bugs were patched with the iPhone maker’s iOS 12.4 release. (IANS)