Now you can get Google Fi VPN on iPhone

It’s always a good idea to add another layer of protection on your internet connection no matter how much you trust it. And an easy way to do that is to have a trusted virtual private network (VPN) app on your devices like smartphone or tablets,… Especially when you want to use any of your devices to connect to free Wi-Fi hotspots. VPN services will help prevent snooping and anonymize your internet traffic. Make sure that the VPN you choose should also come from a trusted source. And it so happens that Google is running its own VPN service through some of its products. That includes the Fi cellular network and premium Google One cloud subscriptions. The good news is that Google Fi VPN is finally available on iPhones running on Google’s network.

We’ve heard back in February that Google Fi VPN is heading to the iPhone. Google said at the time the service would be available in spring, without offering any release dates. The Fi VPN service was available on Android devices on the Fi network.

Google started rolling its Fi VPN service to iPhone users in mid-June, but it’s only now that the service is widely available, per 9to5Google.

How to enable Google Fi VPN on iPhone
First, you have to enable the Fi VPN on your iPhone is to switch to Google’s MVNO cellular service. That’s what Fi is, and you can’t use Fi VPN without it. The VPN service is totally free, so you won’t have to pay extra to secure your internet traffic.

To anyone who has ever used a VPN service on an iOS device, enabling the Fi VPN should be straightforward. You have to enable the Fi VPN from the main app as with other VPN apps. Then you will have to ensure that you allow the Fi VPN profile to install on your device.

Google already has a support document in place that lists all the steps involved in enabling the Fi VPN on your iPhone. So what you have to do?

1. Open the Google Fi app.
2. Scroll to Phone settings.
3. Tap Privacy & security.
4. Turn on or off Protect your online activity.
5. In the pop-up, tap Got it and then Allow.
6. Enter your device passcode or fingerprint.
7. When the status bar shows VPN, you’re connected.
Then, you will have added Google Fi to your VPN configurations and allowed it to use its VPN for all the internet connections on your device. You can always disable it and move between different VPN providers if you have more VPN profiles installed.

Google’s Fi VPN appears to be a trusted source in VPN service. Google says in the same support document that it won’t tie your VPN internet activity to your Google profile and that all the data is protected in transit. And Google should be trusted over shadier VPN services out there.


Google Chrome updates: get speed, design and music control

Have you ever close tabs accidentally while browsing multiple tabs?
And you a can restore the tabs with a “reopen closed tabs” button in Chrome. And now, Google Chrome have confirmed that this feature is getting faster later this year.

It’s all part of Google’s efforts to improve the browser’s built-in caching system. Google has been working on “back-forward cache”, as we reported recently, to improve overall browsing performance by keeping a page alive after you navigate away from it. It will load almost instantly, thanks to the caching if you attempt to open the closed tab again

The back-forward cache first debuted on Android in Chrome 87 and it’s slowly rolling out to users in the stable channel of the desktop client. Using the tech behind back-forward caching, Google is now working on a new feature called “Closed Tab Cache”.

This will allow you to reopen closed tabs almost instantly as the whole page except for some JavaScript elements like ads is kept entirely in memory. In a post on Chromium Gerrit, Google confirmed that they have added a Chrome flag for “ClosedTabCache” to help devs and users test the feature.

“Add a chrome://flag for ClosedTabCache. This patch adds a flag to enable closed tab cache on the desktop to make it easier for testing,” Google noted.

At the moment, if you close a tab and reopen it using the “Reopen closed tab” option, the page is loaded again. Google Chrome is planning to make the closed tabs button almost instant with caching support. As part of the update, Chrome will freeze the page’s assets and store them in the memory for a short time.

On the other hand, Chrome’s “BackForwardCache” will load your pages instantly when you use Chrome’s Back and Forward buttons.

Chrome design improvements

Google is also working on a new modern design for Chrome.

Chrome will be getting various UI changes as part of the design refresh. The redesigned settings page are quite a few noticeable changes but it looks familiar. For instance, Google has replaced the material blue colours with a proper dark or solid white background.

Rounded corners and Chrome icon are now front and center on the settings page.

As you can see in the above screenshot, the design changes are more visible in a light mode where the material blue colour has been replaced with white. Overall, the old and new UI look largely the same and you’ll notice some differences only if you carefully compare the two versions.

Media playback controls

Chrome received the new media playback controls last year and it’s slowly getting new features and improvements. In the latest Chrome Canary build, Google has added a mute button to the global media playback controls.

You can mute the audio from any tab of the browser.

Google will also release a modern interface for media controls hidden to everyone later this year.

Google to revamp Play Store app ratings: What you need to know

An app’s rating for you on the Google Play Store may different from your friends in other countries.

Currently, apps and games on the Play Store have aggregated review scores. Google added up all the scores from users around the world and averaged them to create the final score. This is reflected by the star rating on Google Play.

Google to revamp Play Store app ratings

However, that system will change this year. In November 2021, Play Store ratings will be localized around the world. Google will aggregate scores from users in a country and generate a localized score. As a result, an app’s rating in Brazil may be very different from its rating in Korea.

Google explained this upcoming change in a blog post. The reasons for this change are:

  • Ratings from one region unfairly impact another. For example, when a bug affects only one country but negatively affects the app’s ratings everywhere else.
  • Cultural issues can also affect Play Store ratings. For example, a game designed to cater to people who speak Japanese and understand Japanese culture may not be well received by users from other countries. But that game’s rating was lowered by negative reviews from users from other countries.

In the future, Google will have even bigger changes. Specifically, next year, form factor will affect Play Store ratings.

Localized ranking will start happening this year. Around next year, Google will incorporate at least one more variable: the form factor. This means that app reviews from tablet users will aggregate differently than reviews from phone users.

But as of now, Google has not given a firm rollout date for the introduction of form factor variables for Play Store ratings.


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To be Default iOS Search Engine, How Much Do Google Have To Pay Apple?

A lucrative deal between Apple and Google is in the United States Justice Department’s target. The deal itself is as part of one of the U.S. Government’s largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. Claiming that the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to maintain an unlawful monopoly.

In a 2017 agreement, Apple updated on its devices to keep Google’s search engine as the preselected option. The New York Times reports that Google pays Apple estimated 8 to 12 billion dollars per year in exchange for making its search engine as default on Apple devices and services. This might be the single Google’s biggest payment that it makes to anyone. And to Apple, it accounts for 14 to 21 percent of itss annual profits.


Apple and Google

The deal from Apple and Google is claimed that is representative of illegal tactics used to protect Google’s monopoly and stifle competition. According to the Justice Department, the traffic comes from Apple devices takes almost one half of Google’s search traffic; and the prospect of losing the agreement has been described as “terrifying” and a “code red” scenario within the company. Due to Google’s system of ads, search traffic is integral to its business model.

Apple is likewise coming under fire for facilitating anticompetitive behavior by acquiescing to the deal and extracting more money with regular renegotiations. Although the two companies are competitors in Silicon Valley; the agreement is to be part of “an unlikely union of rivals.”

The legal intervention poses a damage to a significant chunk of Apple’s revenue. But for Google, it is a bigger danger. Google seemingly have no way to replace the traffic it would lose. And may be, Apple will acquire or build its own search engine, which could in turn pose an even greater threat to Google.

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Hum To Search: Google feature can figure out the song stuck in your head

Sometimes you get frustrated thinking about a song, especially when you don’t know the name of that song. Google will help you with new feature. ‘Hum To Search’ lets you search for songs just by humming them.

Do you know the song that goes “la laa laa la la la la la”? We all know how annoying it is when you can’t remember the title of the song or any words but the melody is in your head. No artist name, lyrics or perfect pitch required. Google can help you figure that song out.

Google announced a new “hum to search” feature that allows users to hum or whistle a tune to find out the name and artist of a song. This feature will let you hum, whistle, or sing the nasty song that’s stuck in your head, then use machine learning techniques to try to identify that song.

The “hum to search” feature only available on mobile devices in the Google app on both iOS and Android, or in Google Assistant.

Hum To Search feature can figure out the song stuck in your head


You just tap the newly added “search a song” button or ask Google “What’s the song”. And then hum, whistle or sing your song’s melody for 10-15 seconds before Google registers results.Google uses a machine learning algorithm to identify potential song matches and show you results. And then, you just tap results to listen to it.

Google using its machine learning models to “transform the audio into a number-based sequence representing the song’s melody,”. Then, it can compare to existing songs. They says that it trains these models on “a variety of sources, including humming, whistling, humans singing or studio recordings” removing things like vocal quality or the instruments to focus just on that numeric sequence. Consequently, the hum to search feature should work whether you’re tone-deaf or have perfect pitch.

The new hum to search feature is available today in English on iOS and in more than 20 languages on Android, with plans to add more in the future.

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