When it comes to smartphones, we all wish updates arrived faster and for more extended periods of time. As performance continues to improve with each passing year, upgrading to a new phone every two or three years can start to feel like an unnecessary expense. It's also an environmental concern, as many try to reduce waste created from constantly replacing gadgets. To that end, the German government has proposed a new policy that would extend the lifespan — and repairability — of your device for years to come.
As noted by several users on social media and verified by our own Manuel Vonau in Germany, Facebook is temporarily disabling some features for Messenger and Instagram users who are based in the European region. The development has been revealed via in-app alerts which attribute "new rules for messaging services" as the cause for the change.
The EU is often at the forefront of consumer protection when it comes to privacy laws like the GDPR. But now it looks like the Council of the European Union might undermine all of this with a move to cancel secure end-to-end encryption as we know it, the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) reports.
Google set out to acquire fitness company Fitbit in November of last year, but the deal hasn't gone through all the required regulatory approvals yet. There have been concerns that the acquisition could lead to reduced competition and Google extending its apparatus of data-collecting for targeted advertisements, and now advocacy groups around the world are urging governments to closely investigate the deal.
Just when you think the post-Brexit situation can't get any worse for us poor sods in the UK, another depressing tidbit rears its ugly head. This time, it's news that Google users in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland will no longer be protected by GDPR and will instead be at the mercy of the privacy regulations of the United States.
The European Union will soon hold a vote to decide if it will enforce a mandatory, universal charging connector for all smartphones and other similar, small electronic devices. Arguments in favor of the new legislation include a reduction of e-waste and easy, interoperable charging for end-users. The introduction of USB Type-C has energized standardization talks as it incorporates many of the advantages (reversibility of connection, data transmission rates, and charging speeds) used to justify the existence of proprietary charging connectors.
According to a report by Reuters, the European Union Commission is considering a ban on facial recognition technology in public areas for up to five years. The measure is intended to curb privacy violations, give lawmakers time to protect citizens from being cataloged illegally, and oppose the recent push by companies to enhance and improve-upon recognition tech.
If there's one aspect of Android that could use improvement, it's the software updates. As OEMs and carriers set their sights on rolling out Android 10, there are still plenty of older devices haven't even tasted a slice of Android 9 Pie. That's why this week's scheduled release of Pie for Verizon and European Union users rocking the LG G6 from 2017 is something of a minor miracle. That LG Software Upgrade Center is finally coming through!
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.
Google just can't catch a break in Europe. The US company has been fined $7.6 billion in the last few years over Android and Search practices, and now the EU is preparing a new penalty regarding what it views as anticompetitive AdSense contracts.