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Google Voice is finally getting an update with the addition of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), honoring the company’s commitment made in 2017 to make improvements to the application. Social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram have already been using VoIP carried over Wi-Fi or mobile data for voice calls in private or group messages, enabling communications between users through voice messages and video calls. Google Voice has been functioning as a phone call relay system, forwarding calls through another number. However, the app has never used VoIP for carrying traffic, and has been constrained to providing traditional phone connections. There is another Google messaging app, Hangouts, that facilitates audio chat between mobile devices over WiFi. However, this app is intended more for personal use rather than for professional engagements, and a Hangouts Dialer plug-in is required to be able to place calls within Hangouts app. Scott…

The National Data Protection Commission (CNIL), France’s data protection office, has imposed a fine of €50 million against Google LLC for breaching the European Union online data privacy rules. This is the first major case where a fine is being imposed under the EU’s stringent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force last year. The French watchdog found the US search engine giant guilty of “lack of transparency, inadequate information, and lack of valid consent regarding ad personalisation.” This case stems from concerns that were raised over Google’s applied methods of collecting data, and the lack of clear options provided for the users to consent to personalised ads. “The general structure of the information chosen by the company does not enable [it] to comply with the Regulation,” read a CNIL statement. “Essential information, such as the data processing purposes, the data storage periods or the categories…

In compliance with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force earlier this year, Google is updating its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. The company has started to notify European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss users about the changes coming into effect on January 22, 2019. Google Ireland Limited, based in Dublin, will become the center responsible for consumer services, such as Search, Gmail, and Maps. The alterations to Google’s general Terms of Service are due to the replacement of the current service provider, Google LLC, based in the US. Similar changes are also being made in separate terms for Drive, Play, YouTube, and YouTube Paid Service. Furthermore, the Irish subsidiary will take over the responsibility for data control, and assume the legal liability for the information of EEA and Swiss users. “Google Ireland Limited becomes responsible for responding to requests for its user data, including from EU law…

Google has officially announced that its next ‘Made by Google’ event will take place on October 3rd in New York City. While the company remains very secretive about the hardware that will be launched at the event, the key devices expected to be unveiled are the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL smartphones. Thus far, the corporate giant has not yet made their major competitors Samsung and Apple tremble with envy nor fear with its previous versions of the Pixel phone, but the highly-leaked Pixel 3 devices might change that situation. If the rumors are true, the Pixel 3 XL device will have a controversially large notch, while both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL should sport dual front-facing cameras, an Android 9 Pie operating system and glass backs for wireless charging. Along with the new smartphones, the Google PixelBook 2, a new version of Pixel Buds,…

According to a recent report from The Intercept, Google is planning to relaunch its search engine in China, meeting all the Chinese government’s censorship requirements. Back in 2010, the Internet giant withdrew its services from China due to strict censorship. Now Google is clawing its way back into the world’s largest Internet market, with a censored version of their search engine under the codename “Dragonfly”. The first platform to be developed is an Android app that is expected to be finalized in the upcoming six to nine months, claims The Intercept. The appeal of 750 million Internet users would be quite tempting to anyone, yet this news about Google has been met with some negativity, and may be considered as showing support for the totalitarian regime in China. “This has very serious implications not just for China, but for all of us, for freedom of information and Internet freedom. It…

Singapore has long been known as the south-east Asian center for network expansion, due to its booming data center industry. The technology giant Google has revealed plans to expand their network in the region by building a 3rd data center in Jurong West, thereby increasing their long-term investment in Singapore’s data centers to $850 million. Google’s first data center was built in Singapore in 2011, followed by the second in 2015, while the 3rd building is expected to be ready by 2020. “In the three years since our last update, more than 70 million people in Southeast Asia have gotten online for the first time, bringing the region’s total to more than 330 million–that’s more than the population of the United States,” commented the vice president of Data Centers at Google, Joe Kava. The newest facility will be built nearby the previous two, and will continue Google’s environmentally friendly approach…

The Russian News Agency TASS reported that Apple and Google have been asked by the Russian authorities to remove Telegram Messenger from their stores. The request has been made in April 17th after a court ordered four days earlier that Telegram be taken off, has the company issuing the app refused to comply with the FSB’s request. The FSB asked Telegram to share its data, a demand the company refused to accept. The Russian telecom watchdog sent a notification to users concerning the use of Telegram and issued a statement saying: “In order to anticipate Roskomnadzor’s likely response to the violations regarding the operation of the aforesaid Apple, Inc. services we are asking you to notify us within the tightest deadlines of the company’s further actions regarding the solution of these issues.”

To compete with Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp as well as Apple’s iMessages, Google is looking for bold new ideas. They have had a number of failures in this area, having tried Talk, Hangouts and Allo! But for an American company, there’s no such thing as failure – there’s just the gaining of experience. Looking forward, Google will focus on delivering their new calling and messaging system called “Chat.” Chat aims to replace SMS, and uses the RCS protocol (Rich Communication Service) to achieve its goals. With Chat, users no longer need to download an application and keep that application updated, and the open-source nature of the RCS protocol will make this platform accessible to developers. According to The Verge media publication, more than 60 companies all over the world, including developers and operators such as Orange, Samsung and Asus have already committed to supporting Chat. For its part, Google promises…

Viber has launched the latest revision of its mobile messaging application on iOS and Android – version 10, featuring an updated User Interface (UI) together with several other improvements. This is the first major update to the app in four years. The company stated that Viber Messenger 10 comes with a new look, has enhanced connectivity options, and includes additional privacy measures. Viber services have been improved with the ability to send messages twice as fast as before, and voice and video calls have been given “a quality boost to become crystal clear”. There is a new, bright header across the app, and the main chat list is displayed with convenient access to all private and group chats, communities and favourite public content. The update includes a new “Calls” screen containing recent calls and phone contacts, with the Viber Out balance and subscriptions shown at the top of…

Verizon Media Group has announced the launch of a new Yahoo app, available for iOS and Android. This multi-purpose app serves as a daily guide, providing breaking news, weather forecasts, the latest sport updates and much more. It creates a personalized information hub for the user, and is an effective amalgamation of the company’s other products, such as Mail, Search, Newsroom, Finance. One can watch the latest and most popular videos from across the Yahoo network in the Watch tab, where Yahoo editors provide daily content. The app includes a flexible sign-in with a Yahoo Mail account or a non-Yahoo email address, including Gmail, Outlook and AOL. If the user location data is enabled on the mobile device, it is possible to take advantage of coupons for local retail outlets, cafes and restaurants. There’s also a “Deal of the Day” from partners such as eBay, as well as the ability…