Android Police

Europe

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Google Maps adds support for transit directions in Bulgaria

Google is more and more integrated into our daily lives: Many of us use the company's email, calendar, and Assistant services, which work seamlessly with each other. They can be particularly handy when you receive an email for an event, which is then automatically recognized as a calendar appointment and added to your schedule. The day of the event, Assistant can remind you of this meeting and even tell you how long you'll need to get there. However, in order for all of this to work, Google's services need to be available where you need them, which is unfortunately not always the case.

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UK government adds '12,000 pieces of information' to Google Assistant and Alexa

Smart speakers are great for answering basic questions, like "what's the weather tomorrow" or "what's the population of Brazil" (it's 209.3 million, in case you were wondering). However, since the answers to many of these questions come from Google's ability to scrape the content of webpages, they can sometimes be inaccurate or purposely manipulated. Answers to questions about the UK government should now be fairly accurate, as the country has added "more than 12,000 pieces of information" to both Google Assistant and Alexa.

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New EU rules demand more transparency, fairness in online marketplaces from Google, Amazon, and others

As a result of new European Commission rules around the transparency of online platforms, Google already outlined planned improvements to its developer relations and communication about Play Store policy compliance. However, there are wider implications for Google, Amazon, Facebook, and others as the rules governing digital practices were approved on Wednesday.

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Google introduces Android search and browser app choices for users in Europe

In the wake of the $5 billion antitrust fine it received from the European Commission last year, Google laid out plans to prompt Android users in Europe to choose a different default search or browser app. In a new blog post, Product Management Director Paul Gennai introduces the changes that will come as part of an imminent Google Play Store update.

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[Update: Pre-orders live in Germany too] Assistant on Smart Displays speaks French and German, as Lenovo launches its display in France

Assistant-enabled smart displays came out about a year ago, but they could exclusively speak English until they learned Canadian French recently. Because of this dialect limitation, the devices have only been available for sale in the US, UK, and Australia. However, newly added support for French and German means they are coming to Europe as well.

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The European Parliament votes in favor of new copyright law potentially taking away our memes

The European Parliament voted in favor of reforming the (admittedly due to be adjusted) copyright law in Europe. By itself, the new law isn't that controversial and will actually help creators and journalists get their fair share of income from big online players like YouTube and Google News. But don't put your torchlights and pitchforks down just yet. The directive might lead big platforms to implement upload filters to catch copyright infringement before content is published — which could possibly kill GIFs and memes.

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Google will ask European Android users to choose preferred browsers and search engines following EU concerns

The EU has been pushing Google to become less monopolistic and more friendly towards competitors for a long time. After a heavy fine, the US company agreed to rework Android licensing in Europe by splitting Chrome and Search from the OS, followed by changes to Google Shopping. With another looming penalty against AdSense, Google and the European Commission now worked out a deal to prompt EU Android users to choose their default browsers and search engines.

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