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Gmail can now be set as the default iOS 14 email app

27th November 2020
"Google by default"

Google just released the official update to Gmail, allowing it to be set as the default email application for iOS 14 devices.

iOS 14 — which was released by Apple last week — added the option for users to set third-party email applications as the default for iPhone and iPad devices running the latest version of Apple’s operating system. But it still fell to developers to actually add support for the feature, which the latest Gmail update does.

Once you’ve installed the latest update, simply head to the Settings app on iOS, select the “Gmail” menu, and find the newly added “Default Mail App” menu. Google also says that the Gmail app should prompt users with instructions once they’ve updated.

It’s important to note that iOS appears to have a bug that automatically switches third-party browser and email applications back to Apple’s default Mail and Safari after a restart; Apple has yet to comment on the issue or announce when (or if) it’ll be addressed.

Google has fully embraced Apple’s new options for default apps, with the company already adding support for Chrome to be set as the default browser on iOS 14 ahead of the final release of Apple’s software.

Source: TheVerge

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Google’s Android TV dongle could cost just $50, according to this leak

26th November 2020
"Google launched an Android TV dongle with its own remote control"

Google’s Chromecast is a fantastic way to fling streaming video from phone to TV — but these days, you can often get a Roku Streaming Stick or Amazon Fire Stick with dedicated remote control for the same money. But what if Google launched an Android TV dongle with its own remote control for the same $50 you’d pay for a high-end Roku or Firestick?

That’s exactly what 9to5Google seems to have discovered, thanks to a new Home Depot leak. The home improvement story briefly listed a Google “Sabrina” for $49.99, and 9to5Google’s sources were able to provide pictures of that price tag in the Home Depot’s internal systems as well.

Sabrina, of course, would be that Android TV dongle that leaked in June, only to seemingly appear again at the FCC just last week, ahead of a rumored “summer” launch alongside the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G. Mind you, summer is now “fall” since Google already said that’s when the phones will actually come out. We can’t be 100 percent sure that Sabrina will ever truly arrive, of course, and this price could be a placeholder, but personally I’d be surprised if we go another month without the formal announcement.

source:theverge

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Progressive Democrats urge action on tech as potential Google lawsuit looms

26th November 2020
"legal action against tech giants who break the law"

With expectations of a U.S. government lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google within weeks, two progressive Democrats tweeted support for legal action against tech giants who break the law, in a rare instance of agreement with the Republican administration amid a polarized political environment.

The tweets come as the Justice Department, which has been conducting an antitrust investigation of Google and others, plans to bring a lawsuit against the search and advertising giant as soon as this month, according to sources who said that the probe focused on search and advertising.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, long a critic of Big Tech, tweeted late Thursday that Googleuses its size to bully competitors.”

In her tweets, she reiterated concerns from more than a year ago when she called for antitrust enforcers to force Big Tech firms like Amazon and Facebook to unwind some mergers. Google, she said then, should be forced to sell mapping subsidiary Waze, connected home products company Nest and ad management tool DoubleClick.

For the good of our country, we must demand our regulators do their jobs & take swift, aggressive action – not kick the can down the road,” she said on Thursday.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Rohit Chopra, a Democratic commissioner, tweeted support on Friday for the investigations into “tech titans,” but did not name Google.

No company, no matter how big, can be above our laws. It’s time for regulators to take action against any companies that broke them,” he tweeted on Friday.

Google had no immediate comment on the tweets.

source: Reuters

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Apple envisioned its fitness service long before work-from-home

26th November 2020
"Long-planned extension of the watch’s fitness features"

Apple Inc’s new paid online fitness class service, designed to work with its Apple Watch, was a long-planned extension of the watch’s fitness features rather than a quick reaction to a pandemic that has closed many gyms, executives said in an interview.

The Fitness+ service is Apple’s first subscription geared to make money directly from the sensor-packed device it has been selling since 2014.

The service, which Apple said will be available by the end of the year, has new workouts each week filmed by a team of trainers in a purpose-built studio in Los Angles and focuses on exercises that require little or no gym equipment, using Apple Watch sensors to track progress.

Many analysts viewed the service, which was announced on Tuesday, as well timed for a work-from-home world. But Apple Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said in an interview on Wednesday that work on the service started “quite a while ago.” He described it as “a natural extension of the goal of Apple Watch, which is to help people live a better day.”

At least pre-Covid, if you could write one prescription for the world from physicians, it would have been to be more active. It’s so powerful,” Williams said in a press briefing. “So anything we do in that realm that helps people be more active is something we’re excited about.”

Once gyms do reopen, the Fitness+ service will also work with compatible gym equipment such as smart treadmills. The service will cost $10 per month or $80 per year.

Jay Blahnik, senior director of fitness technologies at Apple, said the service’s goal is to reach as broad an audience as possible and that Apple aimed to assemble a diverse lineup of instructors.

We have trainers in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and even their 60s. Showcasing that kind of diversity was really important to us because how we move and how we train is different as we age, Blahnik said.

Source: Reuters

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