Brian X. Chen, writing for the NY Times »
For years, Google has kept a record of our internet searches by default. The company hoards that data so it can build detailed profiles on us, which helps it make personalized recommendations for content but also lets marketers better target us with ads. While there have been tools we can use to manually purge our Google search histories, few of us remember to do so.
So I’m recommending that we all try Google’s new privacy tools. In May, the company introduced an option that lets us automatically delete data related to our Google searches, requests made with its virtual assistant and our location history.
On Wednesday, Google followed up by expanding the auto-delete ability to YouTube. In the coming weeks, it will begin rolling out a new private mode for when you’re navigating to a destination with its Google Maps app, which could come in handy if you’re going somewhere you want to keep secret, like a therapist’s office.
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More » The Keyword, TechCrunch, Digital Trends, SlashGear, ExtremeTech, Android Central
Updated Oct 4th
» Google will now allow you to set your data history to self-destruct » Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
Brad Sams at Thurrott.com writes »
While Google Assistant isn’t natively being installed on the Xbox, Microsoft has released a new plugin for Google’s virtual helper that will allow you to control your Xbox. You can tell the Google Assistant to launch a specific game, turn the Xbox on or off, launch apps, take screenshots, and a few other controls.
Read more at Thurrott.com »
More » The Keyword, The Verge, TechSpot
I’m interested to see how many other companies will use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in this and similar ways.
Ben Schoon at 9to5Google writes »
“Apply Thru” helps people take the first step in applying to work at the massive fast-food chain. In the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and the U.K., users can simply say “Hey Google, talk to McDonald’s Apply Thru.” Over time, the company says that “Hey Google, help me get a job at McDonald’s” will also work.
Once the app has been opened, it will ask the applicant for a few basic bits of information such as their name, job preferences, a phone number, and also their location to find the nearest restaurant. Once those steps have been completed, a text message will be sent to finish the application.
McDonald’s “Apply Thru” is available on Google Assistant via your smartphone, a Google Home speaker or smart display, and also the iOS app.
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More » ABC News, Engadget, The Telegraph, The Verge, FastCompany
For many Indians, searching by voice rather than text is their first choice. Two years ago, we introduced voice search in nine Indian languages on Google Assistant. Hindi is now the second-most used Assistant language globally after English. And from today, you can simply say, “Hey Google, talk to me in Hindi” (or the Indian language of your choice) to start using the Assistant, without needing to dig around in settings.
» Read more at the Google Blog…
To help the hundreds of millions of people in India who have access to a phone, but limited or no internet access, Google Assistant is now a phone call away.
We also announced an initiative to help the hundreds of millions of Indians who use 2G phones get the information they need, without requiring data or an internet connection. The Vodafone-Idea Phone Line—supported by the Google Assistant—enables Vodafone-Idea users to call a single number (000 0800 9191000) free of charge at any time, and ask for everything from sports scores, traffic conditions and weather forecasts to help with homework. The service will be available across India in English and Hindi.
Google estimates that 460 million people in India’s use the internet. India has a population of 1.3 billion people.
» Read more on Google’s Blog…
Also » 9to5Google, Ars Technica