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Google Assistant Revamps its Interface on Android Devices

The blog-post however, does not specify by when would the update be available for both, iOS and Android, globally

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Google has revamped its “Assistant” virtual helper with a new interface on Android devices that comes with bigger visuals, new control options and interactive messaging along with other new features.

“The new design combines the best of text and talk on your phone, giving you the relevant information right when you need it. Using ‘Assistant’ now you can interact with images, sliders and buttons to get the help you need in a fraction of the time,” Manuel Bronstein, Vice President of Product, Google Assistant, wrote in a blog-post on Wednesday.

The make-over gives developers and brands new tools to utilise touchscreen within “Assistant” itself.

Google Assistant
‘Google Assistant’ gets a new interface for phones. (IANS)

“Starbucks now has thumbnails to select from recommended items on their menus, Food Network has larger images of their recipes, and FitStar uses GIFs to give you a preview of your workout,” Bronstein added.

The blog-post however, does not specify by when would the update be available for both, iOS and Android, globally.

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“Google Assistant” was introduced by the search-engine giant two years ago to allow users to interact with their devices using voice, touch and now, even with the combination of the two. (IANS)

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Australia Proposes To Strengthen Regulations of Facebook, Google

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia -- 68 per cent of its population -- while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users - which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users

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Australia recommends strengthening regulation of Facebook, Google. Pixabay

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on Monday proposed measures to counter the dominant market positions of Google and Facebook and strengthen monitoring on their access to information, advertising and consumers personal data.

The regulatory body, which recommended 11 preliminary measures in the report, was directed to conduct a public inquiry into the impact of digital search engines, social media platforms and other digital content in 2017 by then treasurer and current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Acting as an intermediary between consumers and news outlets, platforms are inherently influential in shaping consumers’ choices of digital journalism,” said the report cited by Efe news.

This influential position and filtration of news items could place the consumer in a so-called filter bubble, increasing the risk of consumers being exposed to unreliable news, according to the report.

“The algorithms operated by each of Google and Facebook, as well as other policies, determine which content is surfaced and displayed to consumers in news feed and search results,” it said.

“The ACCC considers that the strong market position of digital platforms like Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight,” Chair Rod Sims said.

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Facebook, social media. Pixabay

The commission called for the creation of a regulatory authority with powers to monitor these digital platforms and recommended establishing an automatic mechanism to take down content that violates copyright.

The ACCC said consumers should be informed about the manner in which these platforms collect and use their data to create personalized advertising.

This would include a reform of privacy laws to require the user’s express consent to data collection and “enable consumers to require erasure of their personal information where they have withdrawn their consent”.

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ACCC said that it found that “competition may have been distorted in multiple sectors where consumer data is used”.

Facebook has 17 million monthly users in Australia — 68 per cent of its population — while Instagram, second most popular site in terms of users – which is owned by Facebook, has 11 million users.

In 2017, Google registered 90 per cent of search traffic originating from Australian desktops and 98 per cent from mobile phones. (IANS)