Tuesday October 15, 2019
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Google Rolls Out New Feature For Pixel Smartphones

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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 started rolling out a feature for its Pixel smartphones that lets users make use of the Google Assistant to see who is calling and why before they answer a call.

The feature allows users to see a real-time transcript of how the caller responds so that they can then decide whether to pick up, respond by tapping a quick reply (for example, “I’ll call you back later”), or mark the call as spam and dismiss.

“Call Screen is only available to English speakers in the United States who have Pixel 2, 2 XL, 3, or 3XL devices. If you don’t see Call Screen in the Phone app’s settings, it’s not available yet,” Google said.

Call Screen, which can help users save the time spent on picking up unimportant calls from unknown numbers, does not use Wi-Fi or mobile data of the user.

Google storing location data has strong potential for abuse: Experts
Google starts rolling out ‘Call Screen’ feature for Pixel smartphones. Pixabay

This feature does not work with third-party call recording and screen recording apps as these apps may interfere with how the feature works. It is better to turn off these apps before using Call Screen, according to Google.

“Sometimes Call Screen may not understand the caller. To ask the caller to repeat themselves, the user needs to tap “I can’t understand” and the caller will hear, “It’s difficult to understand you at the moment. Could you repeat what you just said?”

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The phones in which the feature is available do not currently store the transcripts of the call, but in the future, they may see the transcripts in call history, Google said, without mentioning anything about the global roll out of the feature. (IANS)

Next Story

Apple Refutes Report of Sharing Safari Data with Tencent or Google

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he believes privacy is "ingrained in the Constitution," but that he's worried about how third-party companies have worked to collect information on us

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Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

After media reports surfaced that Apple is sending iOS users’ data via its Safari browser to Google and the Chinese tech company Tencent, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker refuted such reports, saying it safeguards people’s information in its own systems and never shares it with third-party players.

A report in reclaimthenet.org stated that “Apple, which often positions itself as a champion of privacy and human rights, may be sending some IP addresses from users of its Safari browser on iOS to Chinese conglomerate Tencent — a company with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party”.

The report focused on Apple’s “fraudulent website warning” system which is built into Apple’s Safari web browser to warn people when they visit sites that are harmful and can trick users into sharing login passwords for banks, email and social media.

“Before visiting a website, Safari may send information calculated from the website address to Google Safe Browsing and Tencent Safe Browsing to check if the website is fraudulent. These browsing providers may also log your IP address,’ read the information on Apple’s “Safari & Privacy” section.

It’s unclear when Apple started allowing Tencent and Google to log some user IP addresses, but one Twitter user reported the change in Safari happened as early as the iOS 12.2 beta in February 2019, said the report.

Google on an Android device. Pixabay

In a statement, the company said it actually doesn’t send information to Google or Tencent.

“Instead, it receives a list of bad websites from both companies and then uses it to protect people as they surf the web. Apple sometimes obscures the information about the website people visit if it requests more information to check if a questionable website is malicious,” CNET reported on Monday, citing Apple’s statement.

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For people concerned about their privacy, the service can be turned off in Safari preferences on the iPhone or Mac.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he believes privacy is “ingrained in the Constitution,” but that he’s worried about how third-party companies have worked to collect information on us. (IANS)