Technology, Top News

Google Updates: TItan keys for sale, Google Assistant displays and free heatwave apps

HAPPY FRIDAY from a ridiculously overheated London. As ever it’s time to trawl through the news stories from Carly’s spike of rejected gossip and shorter stories about Google and Alphabet from the week. If you want the longer stories, go here. Now, we’re doing this quickly coz there’s a round of turbo shandies getting warm in a nearby pub, so try and keep up.

First up, if you’ve been (inexplicably) trying to mine bitcoins from your phone, then Google has some news for you – cryptocurrency mining apps are banned from the Play Store, starting now.

As you may have heard us reference elsewhere, the first Google Assistant powered displays are trickling out (nearly a month later than billed). First up is the Lenovo offering. We’re trying to get our mitts on one but they are US only for now.

Google’s security keys are not coming from Yubico as we predicted. Instead, it is using Google-branded ones called Titan. They do more or less the same thing but we could see some customisation down the line.

Wear OS has been updated to make Google Pay work a bit faster. Sorry, lads and lasses but until you remove the ridiculous requirement to type a PIN for every transaction, you can whistle.

We’re still waiting for confirmation but it looks like Google Drive has hit a billion users. Its present? It gave Google Docs a very special gift – an AI bot to check your grammar. That won’t make you want to punch things at all, will it?

A rare cock-up earlier in the week as Google’s Knowledge Graph somehow got it into its pseudo-mind that US Senator Orrin Hatch was dead.

He’s not.

Finally, a word on that fine from the EU. Google says that it actually offered to make changes to Android last year to appease its critics, suggesting a secondary business plan to allow compliance. They were told it was “too little too late”. Ouch.

Right – apps time. It seems only appropriate to recommend some weather apps today, as we bask in these ridiculous temperatures for Blighty. So here’s three.

RainToday – Free

The trouble with weather forecasts is that they quite often go into way too much detail when all you really want to know is whether it’s about to rain or not. This app from Meteogroup who now supply data to the BBC does away with all the piffle to show you satellite images of rain as it travels, and can even send you alerts when there’s rain due in your area. So you can get your brolly out with confidence.

Netatmo – Free

Even if you don’t have your own Netatmo weather station, there’s a lot of joy to be had from the data it brings. Everyone with a set-up (Chris has got one, for example) contributes to a weather map which you can flit around and see the readings for each weather station. Netatmo also contributes data to Meteogroup’s forecasts so not only are you offering a microclimate report for your neighbours, but you’re contributing to the BBC Weather forecast!

Carrot – Free

If you find the weather a bit bland – try Carrot, now available for Android. The snarky responses in this app are a little less abusive than earlier attempts but certainly seem to show off a range of… well, vocab. In the first minute you’ll be called “meatbag” “punt human” and “sausage finger”. It sort of goes downhill from there. Very funny. Optional extras for coins include widgets and a time machine for weather rudeness for the past 70 years.

That’s it for this week. Please leave. μ 

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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