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Google Rolls out ‘Morse code’ Support on Gboard for iOS

Gboard for Android lets you hook external switches to the device, so a person with limited mobility could operate the device

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The Morse code keyboard on Gboard allows people to use Morse code (dots and dashes) to enter text, instead of the regular (QWERTY) keyboard. Pixabay
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To help people with disabilities connect better, Google has rolled out “Morse code” functionalities on Gboard for iOS and improvements to “Morse code” on Gboard for Android.

Earlier this year, Google partnered with developer Tania Finlayson, an expert in Morse code assistive technology, to make Morse code more accessible.

“To help you learn how to type in Morse code, we’ve created a game (on Android, iOS, and desktop) that can help you learn it in less than an hour,” Google said in a blog post late on Wednesday.

“Morse code” is a method of sending text messages by keying in a series of electronic pulses, usually represented as a short pulse (called a “dot”) and a long pulse (a “dash”).

Representational image.
Google on a smartphone device, Pixabay

“Most technology today is designed for the mass market. Unfortunately, this can mean that people with disabilities can be left behind. Developing communication tools like this is important, because for many people, it simply makes life livable,” she said.

Born with cerebral palsy, Finlayson’s experience with the Morse code communicator led her to a partnership with Google on bringing Morse code to Gboard.

Also Read: Google Bring Peer-to-Peer Payments Service to ‘Google Play’

Working closely with the team, she helped design the keyboard layout, added Morse sequences to the auto-suggestion strip above the keyboard, and developed settings that allow people to customise the keyboard to their unique needs.

The Morse code keyboard on Gboard allows people to use Morse code (dots and dashes) to enter text, instead of the regular (QWERTY) keyboard.

“Gboard for Android lets you hook external switches to the device, so a person with limited mobility could operate the device,” Finlayson added. (IANS)

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EU Prepares to hit Google with Record Fine in Android Monopoly Case

As well as the fine, Google is set to be ordered to break its agreements with phone manufacturers

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Opponents claim that this constitutes abuse of Android's 74 per cent share of the European smartphone market and harms rival search engines and browsers.
Opponents claim that this constitutes abuse of Android's 74 per cent share of the European smartphone market and harms rival search engines and browsers. Pixabay

Google will be hit with a record European Union (EU) fine for using its Android smartphone system to fortify its search empire.

The fine — likely to be handed down on Tuesday or Wednesday — is expected to eclipse the 2.1 bn pound monopoly abuse penalty Google paid last year over its internet shopping business, and escalates the war between Silicon Valley and Brussels, The Telegraph reported on Saturday.

The European Commission’s competition chief Margrethe Vestager has been investigating Google for three years over complaints the company illegally forces smartphone manufacturers to install its apps.

It gives its Android software to phone manufacturers for free, but binds them to “exclusivity agreements” that force them to install Google’s web browser and search engine if they use the Google Play app store, the report said.

The commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 per cent of its parent company Alphabet's annual turnover, or 9.5 bn euro (8.4 bn pound)
The commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 per cent of its parent company Alphabet’s annual turnover, or 9.5 bn euro (8.4 bn pound). Pixabay

Opponents claim that this constitutes abuse of Android’s 74 per cent share of the European smartphone market and harms rival search engines and browsers.

Meanwhile, Google insists the agreements allow Android to remain free to manufacturers and help them compete against Apple.

The commission has the power to fine Google up to 10 per cent of its parent company Alphabet’s annual turnover, or 9.5 bn euro (8.4 bn pound).

Also Read: Google Rolls Out ‘Morse Code’ Support on Gboard for iOS

Although it is not expected to use the full extent of its powers, the fine is likely to be higher than the 2.4 bn euros Google was ordered to pay in June last year over claims it stuffed search results with its own shopping adverts, squeezing out price comparison services.

As well as the fine, Google is set to be ordered to break its agreements with phone manufacturers. This could mean more Android phones being sold without Google software installed, potentially boosting rival search engines and web browsers such as Microsoft’s Bing or Firefox. (IANS)