Jennifer Levin

Jennifer Levin

The South Korean Giant has taken another stride and has released its Internet browser application for mobiles on the Google Play Store. This is the first time that a browser from Samsung is made available for smartphones from other brands. According to the company, the Internet browser app will work on all the Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus Phones which run on Android 5.0 Lollipop or more but it isn’t available for all the countries yet.

The application is still in beta version, but it includes many new features like the support for 360 videos which will allow its user to enjoy 360-degree videos without using the Gear VR headset. Samsung also announced that those whose who install Samsung’s browser would receive the newest features that are added by the developers. Moreover, there is a picture-in-picture mode along with Amazon Shopping Assistant which will be letting its users compare prices on Amazon for different products.

Other features like web payments and DuckDuckGo search engine support is also included for better use of the services. There is also the inclusion of Content Blockers which allows 3rd party apps to provide filters for Content blocking and let its users browse clutter free without unnecessary content. There is also a Video assistant that lets the user switch between various video viewing modes, and the Pop-up player allows its user browse even while watching a video.

The browser also provides high-level security as the user’s needs to verify their identity before they get access to the browser. The user can either use a fingerprint sensor or a password, and there is also secret mode provided for the users. We are not sure when Samsung will be rolling out this app across the globe, but it is expected to happen soon. 

Source : phoneradar.com

cientists have discovered a surprisingly powerful aid in the never-ending quest for a better night's sleep—the smartphone.

Staring at the device won't help you sleep, but phones did enable researchers to gather a mountain of real-world sleep data from thousands of volunteers around the world. The study explores the daily tug-of-war between our bodies' natural rhythms and those of our social calendars.

Two years ago, mathematicians Daniel Forger and Olivia Walch of the University of Michigan designed a free phone app, called ENTRAIN, that helps travelers overcome jet lag by creating optimized personal lighting schedules. The app is driven by a mathematical model that works effectively only when users accurately input such information as their location, sleep hours and daily exposure to light. The scientists, seeing potential in such data, asked users to anonymously volunteer the information collected by the app. Some 10,000 people from 100 countries did just that.

“It's pretty amazing that for almost no cost we ended up with, I think, one of the richest and most interesting datasets on human sleep ever collected,” Forger says. “The unsung heroes in this are all the people who agreed to send us their data.”

What they shared revealed some notable patterns, Forger and Walch, along with UM colleague Amy Cochran, report today in Science Advances. Some nations, for example, are home to night owls while others have citizens who enjoy more beauty sleep. Residents of Singapore and Japan clocked in at the low end, averaging only 7 hours 24 minutes of sleep per night. The Netherlands, in contrast, topped out at 8 hours and 12 minutes of sleep on average each night.

Women most everywhere seem to schedule about half an hour more sleep per night than men. “That's huge,” Forger says. “Half an hour actually makes a huge difference in terms of your overall performance.” Middle-aged men get the least sleep, on average, and often sleep less than the recommended 7 to 8 hours.

As people get older, though, their sleeping schedules look much more alike. “When we looked at the sleep habits of different age groups in our population, we noticed that the distributions of bedtime and wake time were getting narrower as age increased,” Walch notes. This may be real-world support for the results of past studies, she adds, that found that older people had narrower windows of time in which to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Paul Kelley, who researches sleep and circadian neuroscience at the University of Oxford, said it was encouraging to see technology and mathematical models applied to sleep science. “Inventive new methods and new outcomes may offer additional ways to understand our biological timing systems,” he notes, while cautioning that such research remains a work in progress.

Many people don't get enough shuteye. A recent CDC study found that one in three U.S. adults doesn't get the recommended seven minimum hours on a regular basis. And people in other nations around the world are similarly exhausted. That creates problems far more serious than grumpy breakfast conversations and coffee cravings. Sleep deprivation can boost one's chances of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, stress and other ailments. And fatigue makes people perform all kinds of mental and physical tasks poorly, which is why sleep scientists keep suggesting that school days should start later.

A primary cause of all this missed sleep is the daily tug-of-war between our bodies' natural inclinations to rest and a host of competing factors created by human society.

Natural sleep patterns are guided by circadian rhythms that are set and reset by the natural cycle of day and night, adjusted by input from our eyes. Forger and Walch had used existing data from other studies to create their mathematical model that simulates these natural circadian rhythms.

This model also enabled them to explore the patterns that appeared during analysis of the ENTRAIN sleep data. For example, they found that people who spend time outdoors in natural light tend to go to bed earlier, and get more sleep, than those who spend most of their day in artificial light. But those data don't reveal if the light itself is causing more sleep, Walch says. For example, these people may report sleeping more because they have physical jobs, which keep them outdoors and tire them out. The model provided a way to test the impacts of outdoor light alone, and its results suggest that natural light does make people sleep more regardless of what they do while outside.

The results also led Forger to suggest an interesting hypothesis about how the battle between social influence and circadian rhythms plays out each day: “We noticed that when people wake up was not a good predictor of whether people in a certain country would sleep more or less, but when they go to bed really was,” he says. “So the reason why people are getting less sleep in certain countries is that they are going to bed later, rather than waking up earlier than people in other countries.”

That finding suggests to Forger that bedtime may be pushed back by social influences, such as working late or going out with others, but that wake time remains strongly guided by biological factors.

“I'd assumed wake time would really be a function of societal effects like alarm clocks,” he says. “But our data support the hypothesis that our biological clocks are governing when we wake up. For instance, we found that people in countries that have a later sunrise sleep in more.” The timing of sunset, meanwhile, may affect the total amount of sleep a person gets.

That hypothesis, however, is at odds with the results of other studies. “All our data and that of other people speak against this, and 85 percent of alarm clock users also demonstrate the opposite,” says Till Roenneberg, a professor at the University of Munich’s Institute of Medical Psychology. Roenneberg's work, in fact, suggests that your alarm clock may be hazardous to your health.

“There are, in my view, no easy answers to scheduling our 24/7 existence, [but] it is painfully clear we are currently damaging the lives of most people at the moment, and more immediate actions are required,” Kelley says. “The fundamental point is that there is wide variation in our individual [biological] timings over 24 hours. [It's] not a one size fits all phenomena.”

Source : smithsonianmag.com

 

The thing that is usually good about April Fool’s Day is that it is just one day. But 2017 has taken even that from us. Because the hoax-filled “holiday” falls on a Saturday this year, a number of this year’s jokes have rolled out early. Some pranks launched on Friday, while others went live even earlier in the week.

As we have in years past, The Intersect is keeping a running tab on all the pranks we can find (or, more often, jokes that are pitched to us by brands). We’ve begun our tracking of this hoax wasteland a day early to account for all the stuff that crept into March.

Below is our list, so far, of all the April Fools’ pranks on the Internet this year, broken up into a few categories.

Whether you’ve come here to fact check something you read online that seems a bit off, or because you just like to watch the world burn, we hope this list will be helpful over the next couple of days.

And may God have mercy on our souls.

Tech and Web:

Google

Politics! 

Miscellaneous Brands: 

Animal jokes 

(Photo via Prysm)

Fake wearables, “smart” items, and AI jokes:

Intersect newsletterThe corner of the Internet and interesting. 

Fake “news” and history 

Messing with children: 

source : washingtonpost.com

ANDROID and iOS smartphones are neck and neck in almost every aspect – camera, speed, battery life, apps, design – except one. And it's an important one.

Google this month published its Android Security Year in Review – an update on the company's ongoing push to get third-party phone manufacturers to adopt security updates as fast as possible.

Unfortunately, while there is undoubtedly more hardware variety and choice within the Android ecosystem, a worrying number of these manufacturers are slow to adopt operating system updates and critical security patches.

 is well aware of the problem, and has desperately been looking for a solution for years.The California-based company even considered a plan to publicly name and shame mobile carriers and device makers that drag their feet with important updates.

Sadly, despite its impassioned efforts, progress has been slow for .

Android 7.0 Nougat - Seven of the best features in Google's new operating system

Android Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data..

Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data
Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data
Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data
Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data
Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data
Nougat boasts a number of new features, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side, better battery life and improved encryption for personal data
Android security team member Adrian Ludwig recently told TechCrunch that as of the end of 2016 some 78 per cent of all flagship smartphones in North America were up-to-date with security patches.

That's not bad.

Unfortunately, when you move beyond high-end flagship devices in North America – that progress quickly dissipates.

"About half of devices in use at the end of 2016 had not received a platform security update in the previous year" Mr Ludwig admitted in a Google blog post.

Yes, that's right. "About half" of all Android devices did not get a single security update in the last year.

The Android Security Year in Review highlights a number of improvements in the Android ecosystem

The Android Security Year in Review highlights a number of improvements in the Android ecosystem

That's pretty alarming – especially given some of the sophisticated new hacks that are circulating.

By comparison, a little over five months after iOS 10 was released to the public – the new mobile operating system accounts for some 79% of active iOS devices, according to the latest adoption data shared by 

That means those iOS users are well protected against the latest security threats.

Thanks to its tight control of both hardware and software, Apple is capable of pushing device owners to the latest software updates.

The technology firm also persistently notifies iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners to update to the latest iOS version, including offering the option to have the software update install overnight while the device is plugged in.

Google is working on new fixes that should make it easier and faster for its hardware partners to issue updates, like Apple does with its iOS devices.

Apple iPhone 8 - Leaked photos, concept images, and renders

Sun, January 1, 2017

iPhone 8 is shaping up to be one of the most impressive Apple smartphones to date, with glass panels on the front and rear of the device, a curved borderless OLED display and no Home Button

Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display and no physical Home Button

Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display and no physical Home Button

Apple iPhone 8 will debut a brand-new all-glass look, with a curved OLED display

, Mr Ludwig confirms: "We're working to increase device security updates by streamlining our security update program to make it easier for manufacturers to deploy security patches and releasing A/B updates to make it easier for users to apply those patches."

However even if manufacturers manage to streamline the roll-out of their security patches – Android smartphone owners will still be at the mercy of mobile carriers.

The most reliable way to ensure your Android device is up-to-date and protected against the latest security threats is to use a Nexus or Pixel phone, since these are overseen by Google itself.

Source : express.co.uk

Leak suggests CIA malware systems have targeted iPhones, Android systems, Microsoft software and Samsung smart TVs.

The CIA can turn your TV into a listening device, bypass popular encryption apps, and possibly control your car, according to thousands of documents published by WikiLeaks, an anti-surveillance group.

The group posted nearly 9,000 documents on Tuesday it said were leaked from the Central Intelligence Agency, in what it described as the largest-ever publication of secret intelligence materials.

It said the trove of documents "appears to have been circulated among former US government hackers and contractors in an unauthorised manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive".

Jonathan Liu, a spokesman for the CIA, said: "We do not comment on the authenticity or content of purported intelligence documents."

Experts who have started to sift through the material said that it appeared legitimate.

The leak, named "Vault 7" by WikiLeaks, claims the CIA developed a malware to infect mobile phones to allow easier surveillance - but lost control of the technology. If the CIA really lost control of the technology, hackers worldwide could use the tools to steal data.

Edward McAndrew, a lawyer with a speciality in cyber security, said the security breach is a major concern for the CIA because its technology could already be in the wrong hands

"What we're hearing from WikiLeaks and others is that pieces of the toolkit are now outside of Langley [the CIA's Virginia headquarters]," he told Al Jazeera.

"If that's true, once these tools are introduced into the wild of the internet, they cannot be reclaimed. We'll then see a race between those who would use these tools to exploit others and those trying to close all these vulnerabilities that have now come to light." 

The actual hacking tools were not part of the WikiLeaks trove.

WikiLeaks said it planned to avoid distributing tools "until a consensus emerges" on the political nature of the CIA's programme and how such software could be analysed, disarmed and published.

Malware systems

WikiLeaks said the documents show the CIA has produced more than 1,000 malware systems - viruses, trojans, and other software that can infiltrate and take control of target electronics.

These hacking tools have targeted iPhones, Android systems such as the kind of personal phone reportedly still used by President Donald Trump, popular Microsoft software and Samsung smart TVs, which can be transformed into covert microphones, according to WikiLeaks.

The agency has also examined hacking into the electronic control systems on cars and trucks, potentially enabling it to control them.

By infecting smartphones, WikiLeaks said, the CIA can get around the encryption technologies of popular apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Weibo, and Confide by collecting communications before they are encrypted.

Matthew Green, professor of computer science, told Al Jazeera that "ordinary people" should not have to worry about the revelations.

"What I would perhaps worry about is that some of this might get into the hands of very sophisticated criminal organisations or foreign governments and be used in a very targeted way against activists or human rights workers," he said.

Source : aljazeera.com

 

Internet access is so fundamental that it is starting to be considered a basic human right. However, access to the internet remains uneven. As more devices connect to the internet, more bandwidth is eaten up. Li-Fi is a new route to connectivity that will provide more bandwidth and speed once the technology is completely developed — and it’s very close.

WHAT IS LI-FI?

Li-Fi uses an LED bulb’s modulated light signal instead of a modulated radio signal to send data and connect to the internet. The LiFi-X system from PureLiFi transmits data using waves in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that an LED bulb with a microchip generates. The LED light fixture and a dongle for a USB port comprise the LiFi-X system which delivers speeds of up to 42Mbps, up and down. The system is already in use as its parent company, PureLiFi, has been collaborating with tech companies around the world to trial and improve the technology.

A Li-Fi system offers a business many advantages, including improved security. Sending and receiving data through light means that access can be limited much more easily than with Wi-Fi because light does not penetrate walls. On the other hand, this also presents a challenge in terms of making Li-Fi as convenient as Wi-Fi. Smart architecture will be required to increase Li-Fi’s range, and dim LEDs will make it possible to have Li-Fi access that follows users and works even in the dark.

Li-Fi can also be applied in settings that are impossible for Wi-Fi. For example, Li-Fi is ideal for in-flight internet access and high security installations like petrochemical plants in which risk of sparks makes radio antennas too dangerous to be used.

The equipment for Li-Fi is too big to be used in mobile devices — but perhaps only for the moment. Miniaturizing the technology is one of the biggest goals for PureLiFi and, according to Digital Trends, a newly redesigned LiFi-X with a much smaller dongle is coming later this year to use for laptops. This version is still too large to fit into a smartphone, but since “LiFiCapability” language was found in iOS code for a future iPhone model, it seems likely that the smartphone version is coming.

BETTER BANDWIDTH VIA LI-FI

Consumer demand for wireless data is pressuring existing Wi-Fi technology more every day. The ongoing, exponentially growing number of mobile devices in particular is expected to reach 11.6 billion by 2021 — exceeding the projected population of the planet at that time (7.8 billion). This translates into a monthly information level of about 35 quintillion (1018) bytes — a level that will be unsustainable with current wireless infrastructure and technology.

Li-Fi can relieve this pressure because the visible light frequencies it uses are relatively underutilized. PureLifi and other companies working to develop the technology are already partnering with businesses in the lighting industry to grow the lighting ecosystem now so that, hopefully, by the time Li-Fi tech is ready to go online at scale the infrastructure it needs will be ready.

In February 2016, Li-Fi technology sent data at up to 1GB per second in trials, which is 100 times faster than currently available Wi-Fi technology. These trial runs were obviously slower than the lab tests, but they demonstrated that Li-Fi connections should be able to transmit up to 224 gigabits per second. By August, researchers were sending data 20 times faster than they did in February. Speeds are expected to continue to improve.

New smartphone and computer designs could incorporate this technology, perhaps in doubly innovative ways. For example, Li-Fi connectivity cells might also provide an opportunity for solar charging capabilities in smart devices. And, while it is unlikely that Li-Fi will entirely replace Wi-Fi, it will almost surely become the exclusive source of data transmission in high security areas, on planes, or in older buildings that disrupt Wi-Fi signals.

Source : malaysiandigest.com

In the middle of the day, have you ever felt like you were just ready for a nap? Or, at work, have you ever felt that one whole hour felt like a full eight hours? For times like these, our go-to solutions include drinking coffee or grabbing an energy drink to get a dose of caffeine to boost our energy. But, the good news is, it is not only caffeine that can boost our energy and make us feel more productive and motivated. Follow the tricks below for a much more productive day:

Stay near natural light sources.

As much as you can, do not lose sight of natural light. Try to sit beside a window, or go outside for walks during your breaks. Doing this will make you feel more energetic because it will make you feel more awake.

The explanation for this is that the hypothalamus in our brain, which regulates energy and sleep levels, signals for our body to ramp up or down the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, when it senses a change in light. That also explains why, when we use our cellphone in bed in the middle of the night, we find it hard to get back to sleep.If for any reason you are not able to see natural light during the day, you can use alternatives such as a mood lamp or a sunlight LED light.

Do not forget to exercise.

Exercising is not only good for the heart. Exercising also helps you sleep well. A research study[1] concluded that people who exercise for 60 minutes on 5 days a week get more sleep than those who do not. Have you ever gone to work after a sleepless night?Obviously, a sleepless night will not give you a very productive day because you will feel very tired and sleepy. So, do not forget to exercise if you want to sleep soundly. Make an extra effort to get good sleep using strategies other than exercise, such as avoiding caffeine in the afternoons and evenings, using comfortable bedding, turning off the light, and keeping the sounds down. If you sleep well, you will definitely feel much more energized the next morning when you wake up.

Learn to manage stress.

Someone who is stressed will not feel motivated or productive. In a research study, 40%[2] of Americans said that stress makes them feel tired and fatigued. Fatigue definitely will make you less productive and motivated during your day.To counter that, you should learn to combat stress. There are a variety of ways to counter stress such as:

Yoga – Yoga clears your mind and slows down[3] the breathing and heart rate.

Exercise – Exercise reduces[4] stress and fatigue. It improves your overall cognitive function, alertness and concentration.

Meditation – A study[5] has found that mindfulness meditation can help ease stresses like depression, pain and anxiety.

Eating a healthy diet – Eating high-fat food can make you feel lethargic and leave you without much energy to deal with stress. A healthy diet that combats stress is composed of high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich and low-fat meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods do not sap energy and boost the immune system.

Keeping a positive outlook – When stress and negative thoughts come in, it is important to shove those negative thoughts away and to replace them with positive ones. That way, you will not dwell on negativity, which causes stress and depression.Whether we feel motivated and productive can be up to us. If we take extra steps, such as those suggested above, to make sure that we are motivated and productive, the results will definitely show in our work day and will be a reflection of how we take care of ourselves.

Author : Nina Bonander

Source : lifehack.org

Black holes are the big bullies of space. They're so massive that their gravity doesn't let any light escape. The biggest black holes, called “supermassive”, weigh as much as a billion suns. Looming at the centre of seemingly every galaxy, including the Milky Way, they control the formation of stars and can deform the fabric of space-time itself. It takes a lot to push a black hole around.

But eight billion light-years from Earth, in a galaxy called 3C 186, astronomers have discovered a supermassive black hole that got kicked off its throne. Now it's rocketing through space at a speed of almost 5 million miles an hour.

There's one thing that could unseat a supermassive black hole in this manner, the researchers say: gravitational waves.

First predicted by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago, gravitational waves are ripples in space-time caused by the universe’s most cataclysmic events – just as concentric circles form on the surface of a pond after you toss in a heavy rock. Last year, researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) showed that this phenomenon exists when they detected gravitational waves produced by the merger of two black holes.

In a paper that will publish next week in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, Marco Chiaberge and his colleagues say that the weird behaviour of the black hole in galaxy 3C 186 is likely the result of gravitational waves from another pair of colliding black holes.

The roving black hole was detected in an image taken by Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope. The fuzzy splotch that was galaxy 3C 186 contained an incredibly bright spot, a quasar. This wasn't unusual: a quasar is the nucleus of a galaxy, and it's bright because of the disk of gas that surrounds the black hole at its centre.

What caught Chiaberge's eye was the quasar's location, 35,000 light-years from the centre of its galaxy.

“I thought we were seeing something very peculiar,” he said in a Nasa news release.

Screenshot 1NasA to announce 'discovery outside our solar system'

Mr Chiaberge, who works at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University, asked fellow astronomers for their observations from a range of other instruments, including the Chandra space observatory and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's telescope in New Mexico. The former measures X-rays, the latter specialises in detecting redshift, the stretching of light that is detected as something travels through space.

Their observations confirmed the Hubble finding. They also helped pin down the black hole's mass (equal to that of a billion suns) and the speed at which the gas around it was travelling (4.7 million mph).

Meanwhile, the Hubble image offered a clue about what dislodged the black hole from its galaxy's centre. The host galaxy bore faint, arc-shaped features called tidal tales, which are produced by the gravitational tug-of-war that takes place when two galaxies collide. This suggested that galaxy 3C 186 had recently merged with another system, and perhaps their black holes merged too.

What happened next, scientists can only theorise. Chiaberge and his colleagues suggest that as the galaxies collided, their black holes began to circle each other, flinging out gravity waves “like water from a lawn sprinkler”, as Nasa described it. If the black holes had unequal masses and spin rates, they might have sent more gravitational waves in one direction than the other. When the collision was complete, the newly merged black hole would have then recoiled from the strongest gravitational waves, shooting off in the opposite direction.

“This asymmetry depends on properties such as the mass and the relative orientation of the back holes' rotation axes before the merger,” Colin Norman of STScI and Johns Hopkins University, a co-author on the paper, said in the Nasa news release. “That's why these objects are so rare.”

There is an alternative explanation for the roving black hole, the researchers noted. It's possible that the quasar only appears to be located in galaxy 3C 186, but is actually just behind it – explaining why galaxy's nucleus seems to be off-centre.

But if that's the case, the scientists say, researchers should have detected the quasar's actual host galaxy – and they haven't yet. If Chiaberge’s interpretation is correct, it can help astronomers understand what happens in a black hole merger.

Even without knowing the source of the behaviour, the scientists have drawn some pretty incredible conclusions about it. They estimate that the energy required to jettison a black hole like the one in 3C 186 would be equivalent to 100 million supernovas. Now the black hole is moving so fast it could cover the distance between the Earth and the Moon in a mere three minutes. In about 20 million years, the astronomers predict, it will escape its galaxy and roam alone through the universe forever.

Whatever is going on with this bizarre black hole, it's certainly had a wild ride.

Source  : independent.co.uk

Aside from this, many smartphone users aren't keen on constantly jumping from one site to another, especially when many sites still haven't been optimized for mobile devices. And even jumping from app to app can feel inconvenient. All of this gives apps like Google Search and Facebook's (FB)  core app, which act as core utilities for hundreds of millions of smartphone users, an incentive to integrate basic content that users typically rely on other apps and sites to get.

Facebook's attempts to go in this direction have included launching its Sports Stadium, trending topics features and weather report features, as well as a service (Instant Articles) that lets users view full articles from select publishers within Facebook's app. Google's efforts, in addition to the company's aforementioned moves, include its support for "Instant Apps" that at least partly load from search result pages without any need for installation. There's also its AMP initiative to enable mobile web pages that load almost instantly when accessed via Google Search and News.

The top-line incentives for Google/Facebook to further hook smartphone users on the well-monetized Google Search and Facebook apps are of course pretty big. But there's also another incentive for Google: The company has to give Apple  (AAPL) a large revenue cut when iOS users click on search ads seen on Apple's Mobile Safari browser. It doesn't have to do this if they click on such ads via the Google Search app, or through the iOS Chrome browser. Google said last August it's getting about 60% of its searches via mobile devices.

In tandem with its mobile search page changes, Google unveiled a developer preview for the next version of Android, which is codenamed O. Though not containing any earth-shaking new features (at least for now), the OS delivers several useful nuts-and-bolts improvements.

Battery life, that universal headache, is improved by placing restrictions on what apps can do while running in the background. And those Android users who feel swamped by mobile notifications (that's a lot of them) will be pleased to know an app's notifications can be grouped and collapsed into "channels," with users able to control how the content from individual channels is shown. In addition, users can snooze notifications for 15, 30 or 60 minutes (they could already silence them indefinitely), and are promised "new visuals and grouping to notifications that make it easier for users to see what's going on when they have an incoming message or are glancing at the notification shade."

Google is also creating an autofill programming interface (API) meant to spare users the trouble of repeatedly entering the same personal info by letting them select an autofill app that can do it for them. Other Android O features include support for picture-in-picture video viewing and notification "badges" that can be attached to home screen icons (iOS says hello), and a streamlined Settings interface with a much shorter home page.

None of these features are going to make the average Android user leap for joy. But collectively, they show Google has been paying close attention to what frustrates many consumers about their current smartphone experiences, and what kind of improvements would lower that frustration. Just as its mobile search app/site enhancements show that it grasps how differently many consumers prefer to access information content on smartphones, and as some of the changes recently made to YouTube's features and ad formats point to an understanding of how different mobile viewing habits are.

The impact of some of these moves on Google's bottom line is much more indirect than it is for others. Regardless, with Google either on its way to getting over half its revenue via mobile devices or already there, investors certainly can't complain.

Get an email alert each time I write an article for Real Money. Click the "+Follow" next to my byline to this article.
Author : ERIC JHONSA

WHAT’S the weirdest thing you’ve ever Google searched?

While many of us have a potentially cringeworthy Google search history, our strange ponderings likely have nothing on this bizarre collection.

Here are 18 of the most weird, wonderful and just plain made search suggestions that have ever appeared on Google.

Wee-ly?

Someone call a vet…

Pikachu… the perfect date for some folk?

Some very good questions…

Who skipped biology class?

Don’t you just hate when these happen…

Poor kitty

A new breakfast delicacy?

Mind, blown.

Maybe because you’re having to Google search the answer…

A heavenly snack

Darn those pesky strawberries…

The ultimate online dating

MENSA via chicken?

Good question…

All sorts of images are running through our heads

Being a carrot is more fun anyway

Author : NATALIE KEEGAN

Source : https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/2453035/18-of-the-weirdest-google-searches-from-2016/

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