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.

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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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6 new Android 11 features: Did you know about them?

In the lastest mobile operating system, Google caught up to some iPhone features and even past others. Have a look at six of the most interesting and useful updates coming to Android 11 phones in 2020.

1. Third-party apps now can work with Google Assistant

For years, working with Google Assistant was limited to Android apps and services. But on Apple’s device, Siri has been able to control third-party apps for a while now.

But Google recently announced partnerships with 30 third-party apps, including Walmart, Mint, Spotify, Etsy, and Discord, and expects to add more in the coming weeks and months.

Now Android 11 users will be able to accomplish tasks on specific apps by saying things like:

“Hey, Google, search scarf on Etsy”
“Hey, Google, play Cardi B’s album on Spotify.”

Android 11

2. Verified Calls lets you know who’s calling

You want to know who’s calling and why when your a call is coming? The Android app that making and receiving calls has updated. It should help you figure out, even when you don’t recognize the number.

Besides ilencing calls from numbers Google has identified as potentially fraudulent, Google has also introduced its Verified Calls feature, which authorizes certain businesses and shows you the company name, logo, reason for calling and a verification symbol.

There’s a similar program called Verified SMS for text messages.

3. Android 11 can turn noises into push notifications

Sounds from microwaves, fire alarms or door bell are to alert you.
But if you have hearing loss or sometime you might not catch them all. Android’s new Sound Notifications feature will listen for all the sound around you, then push notification on your phone to alert you.

Sound Notifications can listen for 10 different types of sounds. It can reconizes baby noises, running water, smoke and fire alarms, appliances beeping and door knocking. Apple also has a similar feature called Sound Recognition on iOS 14.

4. Google TV comes to Android 11

Google TV is rolling out to Android devices with a host of new and old features that sync across devices, including your library, recommendations and watchlist. This brings it up to par with Apple TV ($180 at Best Buy) devices and apps.

Specially, Google TV ability search across multiple providers like Netflix, Hulu and even live TV.

5. Google Duo adds screen sharing, video voicemails

New ways to connect on Google Duo’s mobile-only video calling, through screen sharing and video voicemails with captions. These are two features that Apple’s FaceTime still lacks.

During a video call, you can share your screen by taping the three dots in the bottom right corner, then tap Screen Share. You will be asked if you want to share sensitive information on the call. Tap Start Now to accept.

If the call to go unanswered for 60 seconds, you can leave a video message to the receiver. You also can press Leave a video message while it’s still ringing to leave a video message.

6. Action Blocks app turns pictures into speech

The new Action Blocks app can convey short phrases by using pictures and symbols. It can be calles as an “artificial voice for people with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, aphasia, and other speech related disabilities.”

To try Action Blocks, download it from the Google Play app store.


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Indian Startups Want To Build National Alternative To Google Play Store

Indian startups have banded together to challenge Google’s monopoly over the Android app ecosystem by Google Play. And build an Indian app store.

Indian businesses want to build a national altenative to Google Play.

They was prompted by Google’s recent annoucement to force app developers on its store to use its payments system. That takes a 30% cut on transactions including in-app purchases. Founders Paytm, MakeMyTrip and PolicyBazaar discussed Google’s policy and the concerns on dependence on Google.

Executives of startup and firm in India attended the call on september 29. They agreed that a Google’s 30% cut was “simply unfeasible”. And it will hurt Indian businesses. It said the meeting discussed Google’s “monopolistic” hold on India. And what the executives alleged Google were unfair and inconsistent enforcement of Play Store guidelines in India.

google play store

Indian businesses took the hit from Google’s allegedly opaque policy enforcement.

Google reiterated Play Store’s gambling policy. And even they pulled Paytm’s app from the store for some time in the last month. Google is a direct competitor to Paytm in the mobile payments market. They also sent notices to OTT platform Hotstar and food delivery startups Swiggy and Zomato.

Paytm app was pulled for adding a fantasy cricket tournament that the company recently included in the app. The app was back in Play store after a few hours. But the ban sent shock waves through the Indian startup ecosystem.

Doosra has also been took the hit from Google’s allegedly opaque policy enforcement. It was pulled from the Play store just a week after its launch Sept. 15. It took Doosra team 48 hours to convince the Google Play store team to bring back the app.

The move of Indian startups came a day after a group of apps including Epic Games, Deezer, Spotify and Tile, banded together to form the ‘Coalition for App Fairness’. This group claims to fight against Apple’s control over its app store and in a minor way, Google as well.


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The Google Pixel 5s, explained

The 2020 Pixel story took an interesting turn earlier this week, with the emergence of an apparent “Pixel 5s” variant. An apparently turbocharged version of what could be one of the year’s best Android phones. The images, leaked on Twitter, show an EVT Google phone resembling a Pixel 4a with dual cameras and slimmer bezels. EVT means this is a very early device intended to iron out bugs in the Pixel’s hardware before moving onto the later stages of development. A sticker on the back of the device points to a manufacturing date of April 8. We can also tell it’s an older unit because it’s running a pre-beta version of Android 11, which in the photos is still calling itself “Android R.”

*EVT: Engineering Validation Test

Google Pixel 5s
Source: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

We’ve seen this kind of pre-production Pixel leaked before, with the Google “G” logo on the back twisted into something from an alien alphabet, and other identifying marks to thwart leakers.

The conventional wisdom when this “Google Pixel 5s” first leaked was that it could be a higher-end version of the Pixel 5, possibly with millimeter-wave 5G tech built-in. But the fact that this is an old unit, clearly running old firmware, gives us clues as to its true origins.

Another clue came to Android Central recently, as news of the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G’s arrival broke. Our sources revealed that, in fact, the names of Google’s 2020 Pixels had changed throughout 2020, as the company grappled with delays to the Pixel 4a’s rollout caused by COVID-19.

Google’s fall 2020 phones started out as Pixel 5 and Pixel 5s.

The original plan, we’re reliably informed, was for the Pixel 4a 5G (codenamed Bramble) to arrive as the Pixel 5; while the second, more premium Pixel (codenamed Redfin) would carry another name to signify its higher status. Based on the timeframe for Redfin entering the EVT stage. And the fact that this device is running old firmware, I’m pretty confident we’ve solved the riddle of the Pixel 5s. At some point the plan was for Redfin to ship as Pixel 5s — a smaller and more premium version of the base model Pixel 5 (Bramble, the phone we now know as Pixel 4a 5G).

We’re told the names for Bramble and Redfin changed multiple times throughout the phones’ development. Indeed, XDA’s Mishaal Rahman found evidence that Bramble at one point was called Pixel 4a XL.

So the timelines for both devices might’ve looked something like this:

Bramble:
Pixel 5 -> Pixel 4a XL -> Pixel 4a 5G

Redfin:
Google Pixel 5s -> Pixel 5

The original naming convention — Pixel 5 and Google Pixel 5s — makes more sense in the alternate-universe good timeline of 2020, where there’s no COVID and the Pixel 4a launched on-time at a jam-packed Google I/O. The 4a could enjoy a solid four months of sales before the premium Pixels arrived. But in our current, bad 2020 timeline, Pixel 4a phones are just now making their way out to customers, only three weeks before the expected arrival of the two new models.

It’s a weird year for Pixels in general, as Google hits the reset switch.

Google, understandably, might have felt that launching two phones with “5” in their name so soon after the Pixel 4a would make the latter seem unnecessarily dated.

What’s more, it’s just a weird year for Pixel hardware in general. As Google hits the reset switch on the traditional “small” plus “XL” dynamic used in every previous Pixel release cycle; and eschews a Snapdragon 800-series chip in its higher-end models. Bramble and Redfin defy Google’s usual Pixel naming conventions.

Although all three 2020 Pixels share design similarities; the internal hardware of Bramble and Redfin are close enough to basically make them two variants of the same phone — we’re expecting both to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G chipset, for instance.

But with its plastic body, 60Hz refresh rate and larger screen borders, Bramble also has quite a lot in common with the Pixel 4a. The naming was always going to be awkward, with Bramble straddling both Pixel 4a and Pixel 5 territory. Hence the slightly clumsy compromise name we ultimately ended up with: Pixel 4a 5G. (And as such, the Pixel 5s reverts back to just plain old Pixel 5.)

As for the Google Pixel 5s name, this week’s leak shows us that Google was, until recently; still grappling with how its new and very different lineup of phones should be presented to the world.