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Google acquires AR eye wearable startup North – CanIndia News

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San Francisco, July 1 (IANS) Google which gave up on its consumer eye wearable dream has acquired Augmented Reality (AR) smart glass startup called North for an undisclosed sum.

Canada-based North that is backed by Amazon and Intel launched the Focals 1.0 AR glasses in January last year.

These glasses connect to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth and display key notifications like directions or calling an Uber directly in the wearer’s field of view.

Google said North’s technical expertise “will help as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts and ambient computing future”.

North will join the Google team based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada.

North, a pioneer in human computer interfaces and smart glasses, has built a strong technology foundation.

After failing to impress people with the consumer edition of its $1500 Glass, Google last year brought the second edition of its eye-wearable device – Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, with improved camera, USB-C type port and safety frames.

The first Google Glass was introduced with much fanfare in 2014.

At $1,500, it promised a new, bold era for information.

People, however, realised the device was not yet ready to be part of their lives. There were safety and health concerns. The built-in camera raised privacy and piracy issues too.

–IANS

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Google Translate is testing a much-needed redesign that could launch on the Pixel 6 – XDA Developers

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Google Translate is one of the most useful Google apps, allowing you to seamlessly translate text, bilingual conversations, webpages, and more between so many languages. Although the app has continued to gain new tricks such as letting you transcribe real-time speech, it hasn’t seen a major UI refresh in a long while. But that might be changing soon as Google appears to be working on a big redesign for the Android app.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

Google Translate 6.21 rolled out over the weekend, and it contains a new Activity titled “NewTranslateActivity” that, when launched, brings up an entirely new UI for the app. It’s still a work in progress at this point as when launching the activity directly, lots of things aren’t functional, including the “camera” button, “more” button, star button in the top left, and the account button in the top right. But this nonetheless gives us a sneak peek at the new design that Google is working on regardless.

As you can see in the screenshots below, the new UI puts a clear emphasis on one-handed usability, with the camera, mic, and language switcher buttons all now appearing at the bottom for easier access. The new UI also gets rid of the hamburger menu that currently gives access to Phrasebook, Saved transcripts, Offline translation, and Settings. It appears these options would reside under the “More” tab located in the bottom left corner.

Interestingly, the Manifest entry for this new Activity suggests this redesign is tied to the Pixel 6 series, Google’s upcoming smartphone lineup rumored to launch in October. The label for the Activity refers to a string named “app_name_p21”, where “p21” likely refers to the 2021 Pixel phones. The actual value for the “app_name_p21” string is “P21 Translate”, so it seems this new design may launch on the Pixel 6 running Android 12. The Manifest entry also suggests this design is the “Material You” redesign for the Translate app, with the style labeled as “Translate_MaterialNext” — Material Next is the internal code-name for Material You.

The new UI being exclusive to Pixel phones wouldn’t all be that surprising, as we have seen Google done that on multiple occasions. In any case, the new UI hasn’t rolled out to any existing Pixel phone. We’ll continue to dig into the APK for more info and let you know if we find anything worth sharing.

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WhatsApp tips: Read messages, but dupe the sender! Just do it this way – HT Tech

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WhatsApp tips: When life was normal, before coronavirus came rampaging along, ignoring people or avoiding them, required a bit of physical effort. Now, that most things have moved online, mostly to messenger apps like WhatsApp, the situation has become a little trickier. Consider this: You may have received a message and you want to read it, but don’t want the sender to know that you did. Well, while tech has made possible to tell the sender that you have received and seen the message, it has also, at the same time, given freedom to the receiver to hide that fact too. Yes, we will tell you how to read a WhatsApp message without actually letting the sender know. Sneaky, yes, but in certain situations this may well become the best solution for all concerned.

So, how do you dupe the sender into thinking that you have not read the WhatsApp message she or he sent? Well, all you need to do is go to the Read Receipts tab on your WhatsApp app and simply turn it off. However, it may require a bit more action. Read receipts are what control the blue ticks that appear against every message sent that indicate the receiver has seen the message. However, there are also present the grey tick marks. Two grey tick marks indicate the message has been delivered in the receiver’s WhatsApp inbox. One grey tick mark means message has been sent but not delivered yet. But till both don’t turn blue, the message has not been read.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? Check Mobile Finder here.

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So, how to ensure those two tick marks don’t turn blue? Head to the Settings menu, then Account and then Privacy tabs. There you need to locate and switch off the Read Receipts feature. However, do know that it works both ways and you too will not be able to tell whether the other person has read any message of yours.

To make doubly sure that you are not found out, you may have to also hide your online status to ensure that remains hidden too. It also involves a simple trick and that includes just switching off your Internet connection. You can go offline by triggering the Airplane mode or simply switching off data.

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Google Chrome Android App Now Being Used for 2-Step Verification for Signing In to a New Device: Report – Gadgets 360

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Google Chrome Android app is now reportedly being used as a 2-Step Verification (2SV) or 2-factor authentication (2FA) method for signing in to a new device. Till now, Google offered a few ways to verify a user, which included Google prompts, voice or text messages, backup codes, and an authenticator app. Google Chrome now seems to be the latest addition to the list. It is a bit different from the regular Google prompt notification method as it mentions a “nearby device” which means it is using GPS to locate the user and the device.

According to a report by 9to5Google, Chrome on Android is now being used in 2SV to verify a user’s identity. The publication notes that when logging in to a laptop with your Google credentials, the user will receive a prompt on their phone asking if they are trying to sign in — as is the case with the regular Google prompts — but the next step where the verification process takes a bit to verify the user is actually using Chrome instead of Google Play Services.

It seems like Google is using GPS to locate the user and the device they are trying to sign in to as the prompt now shows “Someone is trying to sign in to your account from a nearby device” — ‘nearby device’ being the differentiating factor between this and the regular Google prompts. The report adds that Google is using caBLE (cloud-assisted Bluetooth Low Energy) as well as requiring a user to be signed in through the same account and have Chrome Sync enabled.

This feature has not rolled out to a wider base just yet and 9to5Google claimed to have tested it out on Chrome 93 beta on Android and Chrome version 92 for macOS.

2SV or 2FA adds another layer of security that goes beyond just entering your password. It can protect your account in case someone else gets access to your password by requiring an additional step to verify who is actually trying to log in.


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Vineet Washington writes about gaming, smartphones, audio devices, and new technologies for Gadgets 360, out of Delhi. Vineet is a Senior Sub-editor for Gadgets 360, and has frequently written about gaming on all platforms and new developments in the world of smartphones. In his free time, Vineet likes to play video games, make clay models, play the guitar, watch sketch-comedy, and anime. Vineet is available on vineetw@ndtv.com, so please send in your leads and tips.
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