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How to install Google Photos on Android TV (and why you shouldn't) – Android Police

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Google Photos isn’t available on Android TV, and for good reason. As long as you can cast any photo or video from your phone to your TV, you don’t really need the full app to be installed on the latter. However, there are a few reasons why you might want to get the proper Photos app installed and for that, we have this tutorial. It’s a very convoluted process, especially if you own a Chromecast with Google TV (but much less so if you own an NVIDIA Shield), and you’re better off not wasting your time with it unless you really need it.

Why get the Google Photos app

I could talk about how more convenient it is to browse your gallery directly on the TV instead of looking down at the phone then up at the big screen, but really that’s a tiny nitpick. As far as I’m concerned, there are only two valid reasons to get Google Photos running on your Android TV.

The first one is to set up automatic backups and sync your screenshots to other devices. This is clearly something only tech writers, gamers, app developers, or tutorial writers would find useful. For most other people who don’t need the automatic backup to kick in each time they take a screenshot, there’s always a slower manual way to send screenshots to other devices — uploading from Solid Explorer to Google Drive, or using Send Files to TV are two methods I’ve often used.

The second reason is to allow someone who doesn’t have a smartphone to browse your gallery on the big screen. It could be younger kids or elderly people, or anyone else who doesn’t have a phone or tablet, and you want them to be able to access the gallery and check some pics or videos when you’re not around to cast the content to the TV.

Missing features, plenty of inconveniences

For those of you who feel like rebels and think they’d still want to access Photos on the TV, let me take a moment to deflate your enthusiasm. Even when you get it running, the experience is nothing like you’re used to. This is the same Photos app but the interface isn’t optimized for Android TV, so a lot of the features just aren’t available.

For one, the bottom tabs we’re used to seeing on our phones aren’t visible on TVs, so you can’t go to the search tab (people, places, things) or access your library (albums, favorites, archive). That means you can only browse shared albums — through the conversation bubble on the top left — but even then, only the first two rows of pics are accessible, and not the entire album. For some reason, it’s impossible to scroll past them.

And we haven’t even gotten to the biggest downside of the experience: You can’t press next (right) or previous (left) on your remote’s D-pad to move between fullscreen media. Instead, you have to open each image or video one by one, then go back and choose another.

All the icons here aren’t accessible with a TV remote’s D-pad.

That only leaves some limited functionality. Besides browsing one by one, you can tap and hold to select items then share, delete, archive, or add them to an album. You can also set up automatic backups for specific folders.

Using a USB or Bluetooth mouse might improve the situation a bit, but still, a lot of the features remain inaccessible due to the way the app is presented on Android TV. Overall, what’s here isn’t worth the hassle for most people.

Step 1: Install Google Photos on Android TV

If, after all of these warnings, you’re still excited to get Google Photos to run on the TV, brace yourself. The process isn’t for the unexperienced or the faint of heart. If any terms I use below seem confusing, you’re better off skipping this whole bidness altogether.

Download the latest Google Photos APK

Since browsers on Android TV are mostly crap, it’s better if you kick this off on you phone. You need to start by grabbing an installation file for Photos that’s compatible with your TV.

Of course, we recommend going to our sister site APK Mirror and getting the latest version. Your best bet is to get a full APK, i.e. skip the ones that have a “bundle” notice next to them. The variant to grab will depend on the TV you have. For example, you need the v7a processor variant for the Chromecast with Google TV, and the v8a one for the Nvidia Shield.

Sideload it

The next steps are to send this APK over to your TV and install it there. I won’t go over these two steps in detail here because we’ve already written separate tutorials for them:

Step 2: Find, launch, and browse Google Photos

Photos being an unsanctioned app on Android TV, it doesn’t show up in the app launcher, so there’s no way for you to quickly launch it.

You’ll need to go to the Android TV’s Settings > Apps > See all apps, then scroll down to get to Photos and select Open on the right panel.

If you find yourself opening Photos frequently enough that these steps become annoying, or if you want to simplify it for a kid or someone else, you can set up a Button Mapper shortcut for it. Basically this remaps almost any button on the TV’s remote to Photos.

Another solution would be to use a third-party launcher like Sideload Launcher or Home Screen Launcher to show your sideloaded apps and open them quickly.

Whatever the method you decide to access Photos with, the first time you open the app, it’ll ask you for the permission to see your photos and media. You have to agree to that, then Photos’ almost-familiar interface springs up.

The top bar lets you access your shared photos and conversations, as well as the various settings (more on that later). Below that, you’ll find your memories followed by your gallery. As I mentioned earlier, the functionality here is very limited, so don’t expect anything like Photos on your phone.

Step 3: Set up automatic screenshot backups

I already explained how to take a screenshot on Android TV in my remote remapping tutorial. Owners of the Nvidia Shield need not go through that, though. Holding down the Home button on the Shield’s remote surfaces a menu for taking a screenshot.

Turn on automatic backups

When you first sign in with Google Photos, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to turn on backup & sync. If you plan to use the Photos app to sync your screenshots, you need to turn that on, but it’s not enough.

Most Android TV devices don’t save screenshots inside the DCIM folder, so they won’t be automatically part of the backup. You need to toggle sync for the standalone screenshot folder, but it isn’t as easy as tapping on your avatar and going to settings to turn it on.

You’ll quickly notice that D-pad scrolling in the menu isn’t possible in Photos on Android TV, so you can’t go down to settings or click on anything. What you need is a mouse or mouse-like functionality to do that.

Get a USB/BT mouse or a third-party app

Three scenarios present themselves in the case of the missing mouse function.

➡️ If you have a USB or Bluetooth mouse ready, just connect it to your Android TV unit. It’s the easiest way to proceed.

➡️ If you have a Shield TV, you can download the official remote app from the Play Store and switch to the mousepad mode in it. You’ll get a hovering mouse on your TV that you can move around and click on items with. Easy peasy.

➡️ And finally, if you have any other Android TV, you’re left in the cold because the official remote app has a trackpad and a swipepad, but no mouse. I tried plenty of apps, but only one worked well on my Chromecast with Google TV: Zank Remote. I had to install it on both my phone and my TV to enable the cursor mode. The app requires accessibility access and the permission to display over other apps (it’s putting a cursor on top of your screen). I also noticed that it kept asking for USB debugging and the permission to access media, but I got it to work without those.

Honestly, I’m not very comfortable recommending this because the app asks for more access than it needs. But if you don’t have a Shield or a mouse, then it’s the only thing that works. You can always revoke the permissions — and even uninstall the app — once you’re done setting things up in Photos.

Enable screenshot backups (finally)

Whew, we’re almost there.

Regardless of the way you got a cursor to show up on your TV, it’s time to enable that screenshot folder backup. Go to your avatar on the top right of Google Photos. Now select Photos settings > Back up & sync > Back up device folders and toggle Screenshots on. All of the steps are outlined in the screenshots below.

And with that done, you can simply go back, disable the mouse and continue living your life normally. Each time you take a screenshot, it’ll be automatically backed up to Google Photos, and it’ll become accessible from all your devices. It works in the background too, just like Photos on any other Android device, but it may not be as instantaneous. Give it a few seconds if you don’t see the images pop up on your phone.

I told you before we got started that this wasn’t a simple process and I hope you realize why it’s not worth it, given all the limitations you still end up facing once the app is installed. But if you often take screenshots on your TV and want to get them wirelessly over to your other devices, there’s nothing as quick and reliable as Photos backups.

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Apple says it will begin scanning iCloud Photos for child abuse images – TechCrunch

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Later this year, Apple will roll out a technology that will allow the company to detect and report known child sexual abuse material to law enforcement in a way it says will preserve user privacy.

Apple told TechCrunch that the detection of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is one of several new features aimed at better protecting the children who use its services from online harm, including filters to block potentially sexually explicit photos sent and received through a child’s iMessage account. Another feature will intervene when a user tries to search for CSAM-related terms through Siri and Search.

Most cloud services — Dropbox, Google, and Microsoft to name a few — already scan user files for content that might violate their terms of service or be potentially illegal, like CSAM. But Apple has long resisted scanning users’ files in the cloud by giving users the option to encrypt their data before it ever reaches Apple’s iCloud servers.

Apple said its new CSAM detection technology — NeuralHash — instead works on a user’s device, and can identify if a user uploads known child abuse imagery to iCloud without decrypting the images until a threshold is met and a sequence of checks to verify the content are cleared.

News of Apple’s effort leaked Wednesday when Matthew Green, a cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins University, revealed the existence of the new technology in a series of tweets. The news was met with some resistance from some security experts and privacy advocates, but also users who are accustomed to Apple’s approach to security and privacy that most other companies don’t have.

Apple is trying to calm fears by baking in privacy through multiple layers of encryption, fashioned in a way that requires multiple steps before it ever makes it into the hands of Apple’s final manual review.

NeuralHash will land in iOS 15 and macOS Monterey, slated to be released in the next month or two, and works by converting the photos on a user’s iPhone or Mac into a unique string of letters and numbers, known as a hash. Any time you modify an image slightly, it changes the hash and can prevent matching. Apple says NeuralHash tries to ensure that identical and visually similar images — such as cropped or edited images — result in the same hash.

Before an image is uploaded to iCloud Photos, those hashes are matched on the device against a database of known hashes of child abuse imagery, provided by child protection organizations like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and others. NeuralHash uses a cryptographic technique called private set intersection to detect a hash match without revealing what the image is or alerting the user.

The results are uploaded to Apple but cannot be read on their own. Apple uses another cryptographic principle called threshold secret sharing that allows it only to decrypt the contents if a user crosses a threshold of known child abuse imagery in their iCloud Photos. Apple would not say what that threshold was, but said — for example — that if a secret is split into a thousand pieces and the threshold is ten images of child abuse content, the secret can be reconstructed from any of those ten images.

Read more on TechCrunch

It’s at that point Apple can decrypt the matching images, manually verify the contents, disable a user’s account and report the imagery to NCMEC, which is then passed to law enforcement. Apple says this process is more privacy mindful than scanning files in the cloud as NeuralHash only searches for known and not new child abuse imagery. Apple said that there is a one in one trillion chance of a false positive, but there is an appeals process in place in the event an account is mistakenly flagged.

Apple has published technical details on its website about how NeuralHash works, which was reviewed by cryptography experts.

But despite the wide support of efforts to combat child sexual abuse, there is still a component of surveillance that many would feel uncomfortable handing over to an algorithm, and some security experts are calling for more public discussion before Apple rolls the technology out to users.

A big question is why now and not sooner. Apple said its privacy-preserving CSAM detection did not exist until now. But companies like Apple have also faced considerable pressure from the U.S. government and its allies to weaken or backdoor the encryption used to protect their users’ data to allow law enforcement to investigate serious crime.

Tech giants have refused efforts to backdoor their systems, but have faced resistance against efforts to further shut out government access. Although data stored in iCloud is encrypted in a way that even Apple cannot access it, Reuters reported last year that Apple dropped a plan for encrypting users’ full phone backups to iCloud after the FBI complained that it would harm investigations.

The news about Apple’s new CSAM detection tool, without public discussion, also sparked concerns that the technology could be abused to flood victims with child abuse imagery that could result in their account getting flagged and shuttered, but Apple downplayed the concerns and said a manual review would review the evidence for possible misuse.

Apple said NeuralHash will roll out in the U.S. at first, but would not say if, or when, it would be rolled out internationally. Until recently, companies like Facebook were forced to switch off its child abuse detection tools across the bloc after the practice was inadvertently banned. Apple said the feature is technically optional in that you don’t have to use iCloud Photos, but will be a requirement if users do. After all, your device belongs to you but Apple’s cloud does not.

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Fullbright Co-Founder Steps Down Following Toxic Workplace Allegations – TechRaptor

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Steve Gaynor, Fullbright’s co-founder, has stepped down as the studio’s manager and creative lead following a series of allegations surrounding a toxic culture within the studio. Gaynor transitioned from his creative lead to a role as a writer as of March of this year according to a Fullbright representative, who spoke to Polygon

Open Roads‘ official Twitter account raised alarm bells when it posted a statement regarding the workplace culture and how the company was going to move forward, citing the importance of a “healthy and collaborative environment”. According to the statement, the decision was made for the health of the entire company, relinquishing daily responsibilities to the remaining staff. 

Open Roads, the studio’s current in-development project has sustained major setbacks as 15 former employees have left the company since development on the game began in 2019, leaving only six staff members. Of the 15 that have left, 12 did so directly because of Gaynor’s behavior toward women. At least 10 of those that left because of his behavior were women, which lines up with multiple anonymous reports concerning what it’s like to work underneath Gaynor. 

The anonymous reports haven’t cited issues such as sexual misconduct or outright sexism. The toxic work environment is reportedly “controlling”, with female employees bearing the brunt of Gaynor’s dismissive and condescending attitude. Gaynor was beyond difficult to work with, cited as making jokes at the expense of his employees in front of others. He’d repeatedly laugh at and embarrass women in front of coworkers while micromanaging women in leadership roles to the point that they felt their creativity, as well as their ability to work, was stifled. 

The studio had attempted a mediator between Gaynor and his team as a means of de-escalating the situation, but it only served as a temporary solution. The team didn’t feel respected enough under Gaynor’s leadership, leading to him stepping down to a remote writing role, relinquishing his prior duties to others in leadership. 

Under the current state of affairs, Gaynor is working on his writing role separately from the core staff. Instead of continuing to work within the same offices, Open Roads’ publisher, Annapurna Interactive, is communicating between the two parties to avoid further friction. Under this set of circumstances, Gaynor no longer has daily collaboration with Fullbright. 

After the story broke out from Polygon, Gaynor released his own statement through a Twitter thread on his own account. According to him, these working conditions have given him the “space and perspective” to reconsider how he approaches leadership. 

“Hi all. I have a statement to share about my role at Fullbright.

Earlier this year, I stepped back from my role as creative lead on Open Roads. My leadership style was hurtful to people that worked at Fullbright, and for that I truly apologize.

Stepping back has given me space and perspective to see how my role needs to change and how I need to learn and improve as part of a team, including working with an expert management consultant, and rethinking my relationship to the work at Fullbright.

I care deeply about Open Roads and the Fullbright team. I’m sad to have stepped back from day-to-day development of Open Roads, but it’s been the right thing to do. The Open Roads team has my full fiath and support as they bring the game to completion.”

Given how many people have left because of Gaynor, some might be wondering why he hasn’t been fired. As the studio’s co-founder, being fired isn’t such a simple thing to do. He wasn’t a person that stepped into a leadership role divorced from the studio’s creation. His own personal Twitter account served as the official Fullbright handle for over a decade. The team created @FullbrightGames,  created May 2021, around when Gaynor stepped down, as the studio’s Twitter handle moving forward. 

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Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro official wallpapers revealed; display resolutions deciphered – Notebookcheck.net

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9to5Google has also deduced the resolutions of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, based on the size of the punch holes in their respective backgrounds. Supposedly, the Pixel 6 has a 2,400 x 1,080-pixel display, 60 pixels taller than the 1080p panel of the Pixel 5. If this is the case, then the Pixel 6’s 6.4-inch display has a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 411 DPI.

Meanwhile, 9to5Google claims that the Pixel 6 Pro will operate natively at 3,120 x 1,440 pixels, making it 80 pixels taller than the Pixel 4 XL, Google’s last 1440p smartphone. The Pixel 4 XL may have a more pixel-dense display though, albeit only marginally. Based on 9to5Google’s findings, the Pixel 6 Pro has a 513 DPI display, compared to the 537 PPI that the Pixel 4 XL offers. Nonetheless, the Pixel 6 Pro supports 120 Hz, which is beyond the Pixel 4 XL’s capabilities.

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