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Android phones are about to completely change as Google plans to charge for apps

The Independent - Tech

The world's most popular mobile operating system may soon look very different after Google announced that smartphone manufacturers will no longer have free access to popular apps on Android. The licensing fee charge for the Play Store and other Google apps follows a $5 billion fine handed to the technology giant by the European Commission for antitrust violations earlier this year. Until now, Android phones and tablets have all come pre-installed with Google's search engine and Chrome browser, a move that European lawmakers deemed illegal. From 29 October, all new Android devices launched in Europe will be subject to the new licensing charges. There are a lot of Easter Eggs hidden in Chrome, and more and more are discovered each year.

Google's algorithm explained: CEO Sundar Pichai reveals how search results work โ€“ and why they sometimes look so bad for Trump

The Independent - Tech

Google's boss has explained how the site's curious search result algorithm works โ€“ and why it sometimes has a tendency to show such embarrassing photos, especially for Donald Trump. How the Google algorithm works remains largely mysterious even to the vast number of people who use it each day, finding out information on which they make the most important decisions. And into that mystery has rushed a whole host of theories, many of them seeming to suggest that Google is intentionally choosing or even manipulating results to further their political and personal aims. Those were one of the many questions that Google boss Sundar Pichai was asked about during a US Congress hearing in which he was quizzed about his company, privacy and a whole host of other questions. During that hearing, representative Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat, mentioned that searching for the word "idiot" on Google Images show a whole host of pictures of Donald Trump.

Google Chrome transforms the way tabs look

The Independent - Tech

Google is changing the way that its Chrome browser works by giving users more controls over their tabs with a feature called "Tab Groups". Currently in Google Chrome's beta version, but expected to roll out to the main product next week, users can group tabs together and label them with a custom name or colour. Once that's done, users are able to move and reorder them around together. "Through our own usage and early user research, we've found that some people like to group their Chrome tabs by topic. For instance, it helps if you're working on several projects, or looking through multiple shopping and review sites" Google said in its blog post announcing the upcoming feature.

Google Chrome's private incognito mode leaks way more personal data than you might think

The Independent - Tech

Google could continue to collect personal data from users, even if they use the incognito mode in the Chrome web browser, a study has found. A researcher from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, discovered that Google could retroactively link a person's private browsing to the usernames and account information they use online. "While such data is collected with user-anonymous identifiers, Google has the ability to connect this collected information with a user's personal credentials stored in their Google Account," the study states. The study, commissioned by the trade organisation Digital Content Next, explained that a person's web activity on sites that run ads from Google's online ad marketplace can be connected through the anonymized cookies to their YouTube, Gmail or other Google account. There are a lot of Easter Eggs hidden in Chrome, and more and more are discovered each year.

Google Chrome needs to be updated right now, says security boss

The Independent - Tech

Google Chrome needs to be updated as soon as possible, its security boss has warned. A critical security flaw inside of the browser is being used by hackers and could allow them to break into people's computers. The bug is already under attack, Google said when it announced it, meaning that cyber criminals are already trying to break into people's computers using it. The issue has been fixed in the latest version of Chrome, Google has said. But that has not necessarily downloaded onto your computer, meaning people may still be in danger.