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Tech Giant Google Releases Android Q Beta on Pixel Phones

Newer features of Android Q are most likely be revealed at the Google IO 2019 event in May

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

Google has released the first beta version of Android’s next major update “Q” on Pixel phones with developer-focused tools as well as compatibility features for foldable phones.

“In Android Q, we’ve made more enhancements to protect our users. The operating system (OS) would give users more control over when apps could get location. Users would also be able to control apps’ access to the Photos, Videos and Audio collections via new run-time permissions,” Dave Burke, Vice President of Engineering at Google, wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

Google has added several sharing shortcuts to Android Q to facilitate easy and one-tap content sharing.

“When a user wants to share content like a photo with someone in another app Android Q will make it quicker and easier with Sharing Shortcuts, which let users jump directly into another app to share content,” Burke said.

The first beta of Android Q also comes with improvements in the Settings panel, peer-to-peer and Internet connectivity along with better permissions, privacy and security features.

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

Additionally, the search engine giant also seems to have focused on camera, media and graphic advancements in Android Q.

“Starting in Android Q, apps can request a Dynamic Depth image which consists of a Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) metadata, making it possible for you to offer specialised blurs and bokeh options in your app. You can even use the data to create 3D images or support Augmented Reality (AR)- photography use-cases in the future,” Bruke added.

Also Read- Swedish Music Streaming Giant Spotify Files Complaint Against Apple’s App Store Rules

Google is also making Dynamic Depth an open format for the ecosystem and working with device maker partners to make it available across devices running Android Q and later, the post noted.

Newer features of Android Q are most likely be revealed at the Google IO 2019 event in May. (IANS)

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EU Fines Google $1.7 bn for Unfair Online Ad Rules

This meant that publishers were prohibited from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

The European Union’s antitrust regulators on Wednesday fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.

Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.

“Today the Commission has fined Google 1.49 billion euros for illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market for the brokering of online search adverts,” EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

It is the third EU fine for Google in just two years.

“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” Vestager said.

The Commission said the fine which is equivalent to 1.29 per cent of Google’s turnover in 2018 takes account of the duration and gravity of the infringement.

“The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate – and consumers the benefits of competition,” Vestager said.

Websites such as newspaper websites, blogs or travel sites aggregators often have a search function embedded.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

When a user searches using this search function, the website delivers both search results and search adverts, which appear alongside the search result.

Through AdSense for Search, Google provides these search adverts to owners of “publisher” websites.

Google is an intermediary, like an advertising broker, between advertisers and website owners that want to profit from the space around their search results pages.

Therefore, AdSense for Search works as an online search advertising intermediation platform.

Also Read- Samsung to Launch its First 5G Smartphone in Market in April

Google was by far the strongest player in online search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area (EEA), with a market share above 70 per cent from 2006 to 2016.

Google’s provision of online search advertising intermediation services to the most commercially important publishers took place via agreements that were individually negotiated.

The Commission reviewed hundreds of such agreements in the course of its investigation and found that starting in 2006, Google included exclusivity clauses in its contracts.

This meant that publishers were prohibited from placing any search adverts from competitors on their search results pages, the European Commission said. (IANS)