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 has been attacked over reported plans to launch a "censored" search engine in China. Amnest International has launched a petition against the plans, arguing that the apparently launch should be cancelled. Human rights campaigners claim developing a specifically censored search engine would be in conflict with the company's values and that it will limit freedom of expression. They also point out that Google's own staff appear to disagree with the plans. There are a lot of Easter Eggs hidden in Chrome, and more and more are discovered each year.
Google has pushed forward the shutdown of its failed Google social network following the discovery of a major data breach that exposed personal data of 52.2 million users. Details of the latest breach come just two months after Google announced that a bug put the data of 500,000 Google users at risk. The bug prompted Google to announce that Google would officially shut down in August 2019, however this has now been expedited to April. The company said there was no evidence of user data being misused in either instance. Google's vice president of product management David Thacker explained in a blog post how the latest bug was discovered after testing a software update introduced in November.
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 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.