Users are reporting that Google has started slashing and burning old accounts in recent days, seemingly with no warning. The first sign something is wrong comes in the form of an alert sent to the user's backup email informing them their Google account has been deleted because of an unresolved terms of service violation. Whatever is going on, it's probably time to backup any unused accounts you have sitting around.
The Gmail support forums are packed with users reporting their old accounts have been nuked, and several Reddit threads have popped up in the last few days as well. Most affected users say the deleted accounts hadn't been used in a long time, possibly years. Read More
If you have opened a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation in a web browser on your mobile device in the past week, you may have noticed that Google is rolling out a new look.
The updated interface is simpler, and the changes are consistent across all three services. An action bar stretches across the top that lets you go back or start editing. The title of the document sits in the center. In most cases the bar is gray, but it turns dark when viewing slides.
Google is taking this time to phase out the ability to edit Docs files on the web. Read More
Do you like to frequent places when they're at their busiest or do you prefer to slip in when no one else is around? No matter. Google Search will now help you do both. When you search for certain establishments, Google will show you which times of the day are the most popular.
Just search for a place's name and click on its card in the search results. Underneath the address and phone number you might see a scrollable chart showing when folks tend to stop by.
Results will vary. I had success when trying Blue Bottle Williamsburg, the coffee shop in Google's example. Read More
After having been available to some users as a beta for over half a year, Google Contributor is now available to everyone in the US.
Great, now I can contribute to Google!
Eh, not quite. Google Contributor's purpose is to free you from ads. Not all of them, mind you, but some. Pay $2 - $10 a month to remove anywhere from 5 - 50% of those banners and animated squares you see on the web. This money then provides an alternate way to fund the sites you frequent.
Here's how things work in the background. Contributors become bidders on AdSense, and the ads they outbid are the ones they don't have to see. Read More
One of the nice things about sending traditional SMS messages is the option not to type them. Using the Google app (or an Android Wear device), you can just say "OK Google, send a text to Mom: Look Ma, no hands!" You can do the same through Hangouts and email. The feature is a life saver while driving, when messages would otherwise go unanswered.
Now you're able to use third-party messengers as well. Google has announced support for WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, Telegram, and NextPlus. Just say "send a Viber message" or "send a Telegram message" in place of text or email. Read More
So you might have heard about the Stagefright vulnerability that was published yesterday. While there's no evidence of a widely-used hack, the potential for malicious MMS attacks via Android's built-in media handling system (which could theoretically affect the majority of Android devices currently in operation) is certainly cause for concern. As reported on our original post, Google has known about the vulnerability since April and has been working on patches to fix the problem.
We've received a statement attributed to a Google spokesperson [emphasis ours]:
This vulnerability was identified in a laboratory setting on older Android devices, and as far as we know, no one has been affected.
HTC is feeling generous today so it's running a Hot Deals promotion on most of its flagship devices and all of its accessories. The discounts range anywhere from 25% on the HTC One M9 (on contract) to 50% on the Re Camera and any accessory you want on its US store. Let's break them down.
For Nexus lovers, the Nexus 9 tablet is being discounted 40% in both of its WiFi variants. The 16GB is down from $399 to $239.40, and the 32GB is down from $479 to $287.40. If you do the math, you can get the 32GB for more than $100 less than what you'd normally pay for the 16GB version. Read More
In a blog post published today by the researchers at Zimperium Mobile Security, the group divulged an extremely widespread security vulnerability that can be exploited with nothing more than a targeted MMS message. The hole exists in the part of the Android operating system called Stagefright, which handles the processing of certain types of multimedia.
How it works
If targeted, the hypothetical hacker needs only to send an MMS message, which in many cases doesn't even need to be read before the attacker gains access to the victim's microphone and camera. Read More
The latest release of Chrome Beta doesn't include many big, user-facing changes, but is instead mostly filled with incremental improvements to long-term development goals. The one goodie for end users that you may notice in normal use is the newly-added ability for websites to give you an Android notification with play and pause buttons to control audio.
For websites using up-to-date APIs, audio and video that is over 5 seconds long will result in a notification being displayed for easier control. I think of this somewhat similarly to the desktop version's indicator for noisy tabs. Read More