Google is alerting app developers to some big coding changes ahead of the planned expansion of Android's permission auto-reset policy. This means more users will have permissions they've granted to apps automatically revoked starting in December. Here's what you need to know as a consumer.
Yesterday, when Android 12 Beta 5 rolled out, we spotted an apparent rebranding for Google's old Device Personalization Services, picking up the new Private Compute Core name. The stuff actually in that section of Settings remained the same, though, and Google told us the name would be a thing back when it announced Beta 2. Now the company is sharing more about its plans and what, precisely, a "Private Compute Core" means.
Most modern messaging clients make it easy to see when your friends were last online. It's a helpful clue, letting you know if you should expect a quick response. Not everyone needs to know you were up until 4 AM the previous night, though. WhatsApp is about to make it a lot easier to manage who can and can't see your profile information, including the last time you logged on.
Payment apps like Venmo have improved many group dinners out at restaurants — no more fighting over the bill when you can transfer money right at the table. Of course, it's far from a perfect service. Although the social feed makes it easy to find your contacts in Venmo, it also features a global feed broadcasting every public transaction made in the app. With an upcoming redesign, you can say goodbye to that worldwide channel.
Instagram might ask you for your birth date the next time you open the app. Instagram, which I'll remind you, is owned by Facebook, one of the most prolific collectors and resellers of personal data on the planet.
C'mon, Instagram. You know my birthday. You know the birthdays of all my friends and family, and all their friends and family until we hit Kevin Bacon a hundred times over. You know my dog's birthday.
Google Maps has become an essential tool in our lives, be it for getting around or just knowing places. The navigation features, including turn-to-turn navigation, allow us to drive to places and not get lost in the process, and have come extremely handy ever since I've started using a car since I always seem to make wrong turns and end up getting lost.
WhatsApp might not be the most feature-rich messaging app on the block, but it's by far one of the most popular, with an install base in the billions. Recently, a disappearing messages feature was introduced, where you could set a specific chat to self-destruct every so often. Right now, if enabled, the app will delete messages after 7 days, and more recently, WhatsApp started working on an option for doing so every 24 hours. But if you think even 7 days is too little time, no problem: WhatsApp is now also working on adding a 90-day option.
Last month Google revised its target timeframe for FLoC, the new privacy-focused replacement technology for advertising and other tracking cookies, into 2023. Now the company has a more precise timeline of events for its multi-staged plan to implement the Federated Learning of Cohorts tool for Chrome, which is now in the early stages of testing.
It turns out that reinventing one of the cornerstones of the modern web is, um, hard. Google initially promised that it would stop using cookies to track users for advertising purposes in Chrome by early 2022 as part of the Privacy Sandbox initiative. So yeah, that's not happening: Google is now updating its target to "late 2023."