Category Archives: Android Blog

News and notes from the Android team

Everything announced at the Google for Games Developer Summit

Every year, GDC is a moment to celebrate our successes and learn from one another. Although we won’t be gathering in person this year, we’re bringing you the latest updates at our Google for Games Developer Summit, where developers can watch the announcements and virtually attend sessions for free  at g.co/gamedevsummit.

We also realize this may have been a big sacrifice for your teams. For some, GDC is a major opportunity for annual business development and marketing strategies. That’s why we’ve partnered with WINGS andthe GDC Relief Fund to support teams in continuing to do what they do best: build world-class games.

Now more than ever, games are helping players around the globe feel more connected. To ensure you have access to the tools you need to deliver the best possible game experiences, our teams have been building solutions to help you tackle your biggest challenges and set you up for long-term success. You can check out the highlights below:

Build games and reach a wider audience with Android and Google Play

We’re making it easier for you to build and optimize games on Android. Learn about new tools to help your development process, provide greater insights into your game’s performance, and access a wider player base. Once you’re ready to publish, review our updated guidance to ensure your game is high-quality and leverages various features and services for a successful go-to-market with Google Play.

Grow your business with Google Ads and AdMob

The best game developers think about their players first—both when creating experiences people love and building sustainable businesses. Google Ads and AdMob are introducing new ways to analyze and utilize player insights to help you grow your games and earn the revenue you need to improve them over time.

Simply scale your global game with Google Cloud Game Servers 

Hosting and scaling a global game can be challenging and requires that you either build costly solutions, or turn to pre-packaged ones that limit choice and control. To offer you more choices and time to dedicate to core elements of producing games, the Google Cloud team is introducing a simplified, convenient way for managing game server clusters.

Build and publish the next generation of games with Stadia

New game platforms present new challenges and opportunities for game creators and Google is here to help. For developers of all sizes looking to bring their games to Stadia, the team is unveiling Stadia Makers, a new program to support the independent development community.

We’re excited to see this community continue to delight players around the world, and we look forward to building what’s next, together. From all of us, thank you for keeping this community thriving.

Source: Android


Bringing more people online and introducing Camera Go

There are more than 3.5 billion people who use smartphones, but that’s only 45 percent of the world’s population. We created Android (Go edition) to bring more affordable, high-quality smartphones to people around the world. Thanks to our partners who have made more than 1,600 device models available in 180+ countries, there are now more than 100 million active Android (Go edition) devices around the world. Here are some updates on Go edition’s progress and where we’re going next.

Powering universal access to information

In partnership with Safaricom, Kenya’s largest telecom provider, we brought more than 900,000 Android (Go edition) smartphones to people in Kenya—53 percent of whom were women—through their “Life is Digital” campaign. This is especially important because there is a significant gender gap in mobile internet usage in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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With the help of the suite of Google apps designed for Go edition, people are connecting with new   opportunities and making gains in their daily lives. For example, Google Go has helped connect millions of people to information by providing a lightweight search engine that works on unstable connections. And with Lens in Google Go, people can quickly translate, hear and search text they see in the real world using their phone camera—helping them understand words on street signs, medicine labels, documents, and more. 

Across the Google apps designed for Android (Go edition), we’ve introduced a number of user privacy features to protect the next billion people coming online for the first time. For example, a new mode within Google Go lets people search without their searches being saved to their account, and Gallery Go leverages on-device machine learning to help people organize photos without ever sending data to the cloud.

Bringing a beautiful, fast camera experience to affordable devices

Your phone’s camera gives you the power to capture memories that you’ll want to share with those around you. But on many smartphones, camera apps are often slow or complex to use, and your phone can quickly run out of storage.

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The new Camera Go app from Google helps you take beautiful photos without worrying about speed or storage. It has features like Portrait Mode to give your photos a professional look by focusing on your subject. It’s built for people using smartphones for the first time, so it has a clean and simple interface. And, most importantly, Camera Go tracks how much photo and video storage space you have left, and then it helps you clear up space so you never miss a shot.


Camera Go will be available on Nokia 1.3 and more Android (Go edition) devices soon.


Source: Android


8 things to learn from the Apps, Games, & Insights podcast

Our new Apps, Games & Insights podcast is for app and game enthusiasts—whether you play them or build them. We’ll talk to experts from across the industry about topics ranging from privacy and accessibility, to responsible growth and player engagement. Here are eight things you’ll learn from the series:

1. Diversity creates better games

In episode 1, we hear from Sarah Fuchs, VP, Covet Fashion and Judy Chen, Director of PM at Crowdstar on why it’s important for the diversity of their company to reflect their players. The team who designs one of their games, Covet Fashion, is 60 percent women. In their words, “If you want to create an environment that will attract women or attract probably more diversity, you need to create an environment and model the behavior that it's OK to have a life. And if you have a life and you enjoy your life, you will be better at your job.”

2. Mergers and acquisitions are like a marriage

Zynga has deployed more than $1 billion in mergers and acquisitions over the last 10 years, including the acquisitions of Gram Games and Small Giant Games. In episode 2, we’ll hear from Chris Petrovic, SVP at Zynga, who says that it’s about building a partnership that brings together the best of both businesses. 

3. Streaming sports wasn’t easy until now

When planning the launch of their service and mobile app, DAZN gave themselves just a year to get all the technology in place. This was challenging because it was unthinkable to miss the start of the football season. In episode 3, hear how DAZN brought together some of the best players in subscription management and payment solutions, and how they’ve grown the business.

4. Investors take sustainable businesses and products seriously

When venture capitalists look at a business, it’s not just about whether the business has a hot product or service, it’s as much about the founders, their team, and their business processes. Venture capitalists are always looking for a solid foundation on which to build—learn more in episode 4 of the podcast.

5. Privacy matters more than ever 

As more countries and territories introduce strict laws on consumer privacy, episode 5 explores why it’s increasingly important to ensure that apps and games are privacy-friendly for businesses and consumers. It’s not just about staying on the right side of the law—one security breach can easily destroy trust in your app, and winning back that trust isn’t easy. 

6. The best games put players first 

According to Jagex Games Studio, over 270 million people have played one of their RuneScape games. In episode 6, Ben Clarke, Senior Global Marketing Director at Jagex, talks about their approach to launching and testing, and keeping players engaged every day. For example, when adding a new feature, they open a polling booth within the game where players vote on the feature.

7. Accessibility debt is a real thing, and it matters

According to the World Bank, there are over 1 billion people worldwide with a disability. As a public broadcaster, a central part of the mission at the BBC is to be accessible and inclusive. This mission is as much a priority for their apps, such as iPlayer and Sounds, as it is within their traditional broadcast channels. In episode 7, find out how the BBC tracks this by what they call “accessibility debt,” and why it should be important to everyone.

8. Mobile games aren’t always on mobile

Many of your favorite Android games are now available on more devices than just your smartphone. Mobile game developers want you to have every opportunity to play your favorite game, regardless of the gaming platform. Gameloft has embraced a multi-platform approach. In episode 8, listen to Maximiliano Rodriguez, Platforms Operations Director at Gameloft, talk about how Gameloft considers games for ChromeOS and Android TV platforms as soon as they start developing a game for mobile.


Join us for all eight episodes to find out more about these topics and the apps and games industry. Listen to the latest episodes on your favorite podcast channel including Spotify, Apple, and Google Podcasts. 


Also, keep an eye out on @GooglePlayDev and @AndroidDev on Twitter where we will be announcing the launch of a new episode each week.

Source: Android


New music controls, emoji and more features dropping for Pixel

A few months ago, Pixel owners got a few new, helpful features in our first feature drop. Beginning today, even more updates and new experiences will begin rolling out to Pixel users. 

Help when you need it

You can already use Motion Sense to skip forward or go back to a previous song. Now, if you have a Pixel 4, you can also pause and resume music with a tapping gesture above the phone. So you can easily pause music when you're having a conversation, without even picking up your phone.

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When you need help the most, your Pixel will be there too. Last October we launched the Personal Safety app on Pixel 4 for US users, which uses the phones’ sensors to quickly detect if you’ve been in a severe car crash1, and checks with you to see if you need emergency services. For those who need 911, you can request help via a voice command or with a single tap. Now, the feature is rolling out to Pixel users in Australia (000) and the UK (999). If you’re unresponsive, your Pixel will share relevant details, like location info, with emergency responders.


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We’re also rolling out some helpful features to more Pixel devices. Now Live Caption, the technology that automatically captions media playing on your phone, will begin rolling out to Pixel 2 owners. 

More fun with photos and video 

New AR effects you can use live on your Duo video call with friends make chatting more visually stimulating. These effects change based on your facial expressions, and move with you around the screen. Duo calls now come with a whole new layer of fun. 

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Selfies on Pixel 4 are getting better, too. Your front-facing camera can now create images with depth, which improves Portrait Blur and color pop, and lets you create 3D photos for Facebook.

Emoji on Pixel will now be a more customizable and inclusive thanks to the emoji 12.1 update, with 169 new emoji to represent a wider variation of gender and skin tones, as well as more couple combinations to better reflect the world around us. 

New Inclusive Emoji 12.1 Update

A more powerful power button

Pixel is making it faster to pick the right card when using Google Pay. Just press and hold the power button to swipe through your debit and credit cards, event tickets, boarding passes or access anything else in Google Pay. This feature will be available to users in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Taiwan and Singapore. If you have Pixel 4, you can also quickly access emergency contacts and medical information. 

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Getting on a flight is also getting easier. Simply take a screenshot of a boarding pass barcode and tap on the notification to add it to Google Pay. You will receive real-time flight updates, and on the day of your flight, you can just press the power button to pull up your boarding pass.  This feature will be rolling out gradually in all countries with Google Pay during March on Pixel 3, 3a and 4.

Customize your Pixel’s look and feel

A number of system-level advancements will give Pixel users more control over the look and feel of their devices.

You may know that Dark theme looks great and helps save battery power. Starting today, Dark theme gets even more helpful and flexible in switching from light to dark background, with the ability to schedule Dark theme based on local sunrise and sunset times. 

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Have you forgotten to silence your phone when you get to work? Pixel gives you the ability to automatically enable certain rules based on WiFi network or physical location. You can now set up a rule to automatically silence your ringtone when you connect to your office WiFi, or go on Do Not Disturb when you walk in the front door of your house to focus on the people and things that matter most. 

Pixel 4 users are also getting some unique updates to the way they engage with the content on their phone. Improved long press options in Pixel’s launcher will get more and faster help from your apps. There’s also an update to Adaptive brightness, which now temporarily increases screen brightness to make reading content easier when in extremely bright ambient lighting, like direct sunlight. Check out more options for customizing your screen options.

Here’s to better selfies, more emoji and a quick pause when you need it! Check out our support page for more information on the new features, and look out for more helpful features dropping for Pixel users soon. 

 1 Not available in all languages or countries. Car crash detection may not detect all accidents. High-impact activities may trigger calls to emergency services. This feature is dependent upon network connectivity and other factors and may not be reliable for emergency communications or available in all areas. For country and language availability and more information see g.co/pixel/carcrashdetection

Source: Android


#IMakeApps: One developer’s life on the road

Sterling Udell and his wife Teresa always loved to travel and the opportunity to hit the road full-time was a dream for them. At some point, they realized that software development was a remote-friendly job, and decided not to put off traveling any longer. Check out more #IMakeApps stories on g.co/play/imakeapps.

What kickstarted your nomadic lifestyle? 

I’ve always loved travel, and my wife and I used to dream about someday making it work as a lifestyle. Then, a serious health issue brought home that there might not be a “someday.” I was already working remotely as a programmer, and we realized that it would be possible to kit out an RV to support doing so on the road. So we took the plunge!

How do you juggle your lifestyle with your work as a developer? 

Being an independent developer gives me lots of flexibility in how I work, and we’re pretty flexible in our travel as well, so it’s not too difficult to fit the two together. Our preferred mode of travel is to park up for a few days in one location, where I’ll tend to work on apps most days, with some time off for getting to know the area as well. Then we’ll pack up and move on to somewhere else⁠—seeing the sights along the way⁠—and start the cycle over. 

Does your lifestyle inspire or influence the types of apps you create? 

Absolutely. We spend a lot of time outdoors, and that makes you very aware of the natural passage of time: day into night, summer into winter, then back around again. Not to mention, if you’re spending time outdoors, there’s a practical side to knowing what time the sun will rise, or when the daylight will fade. This was the basis of TerraTime, an app that displays the natural flow of sunlight, clouds, seasons and beyond, accessible in the palm of your hand. And Lunescope works  similarly, but for the phases of the moon. Both apps are focused on showcasing the world’s  natural rhythm.

What app are you working on at the moment?  

I’m currently working on a major update to TerraTime Pro, adding a feature that many folks have requested. The focus of the app has always been to help people connect with the world we live in, linking our human understanding of time with the natural cycles that underpin it. Without giving too much away, the new feature should further that goal⁠—on a global scale⁠—as well as making the app more useful day-to-day.

What has been your experience creating apps on Android and distributing them through Google Play? 

I was drawn to developing for Android specifically by unique platform features, like widgets and live wallpapers, that I wanted to include in my early apps. As my portfolio has grown, I’ve continued to leverage such features into apps that wouldn’t be possible anywhere except Android. I think that’s what’s kept me on the platform for the last 10 years: the unique possibilities that it offers. 

Source: Android


Reflections and resolutions for a healthier 2020

The beginning of the new year is a great time to reflect on what’s most important to you. Taking better care of yourself is a common New Year's resolution, but let’s be real—making resolutions is often easier than keeping them. One thing we know: New habits that are repeatable and achievable are the ones that end up sticking. 

At Google, we believe that great technology should improve life, not distract from it, and we’ve heard from people that their health can be impacted by their phone use. That’s why we’ve built digital wellbeing tools and features into our products to help you unplug, minimize digital distractions and focus better when using technology. In 2019, we talked to more than 100,000 people to understand their priorities. Most people told us they need free time for themselves, quality time with others and focused time for work or school. 

This year, we encourage you to reflect on the role that technology plays in your life and set resolutions for how and when you use your phone. Everyone has a unique definition of what balanced tech use looks like, so no matter what your goals are, here are some of the steps you can take to bring digital wellbeing into your life in 2020.  

Woman walking around her home, texting and using phone, getting ready for bed, turning on focus mode and grayscale features.

Free up time for yourself

  • To stop using your phone before bed (or in bed), set a bedtime schedule with Android’s Wind Down, which automatically turns on Do Not Disturb and fades the screen to Grayscale at your chosen bedtime. (Check out this video to see how it works.)

  • Double down on your sleep goals by setting up your personal routine with Google Assistant. Simply say “hey Google, bedtime,” and it can automatically put your phone on silent, adjust lights, set an alarm and tell you about your schedule for the next day. 

  • Silence your notifications on YouTube during your preferred quiet hours.

  • Schedule internet breaks on specific devices or manage screen time by pausing Wi-Fi during bedtime or dinnertime with Google WiFi. Or just ask your Google Assistant to pause the internet connection. 

Spend quality time with your VIPs 

  • To quickly silence all notifications, including phone calls, turn on Do Not Disturb. You can choose to allow calls from the people you have “starred” in your contacts list in case close family and friends need to reach you. Or, if you use the Pixel 2, 3, or 4, simply Flip to Shhh by turning your phone face down on the table to automatically enable Do Not Disturb.  

  • Set digital ground rules and screen time limits for everyone in the household (and monitor their use) with Google Family Link. You can lock a device at bedtime, or simply when you think your child needs a break. Starting with Android 10, Family Link is standard in every Android phone. 

Find focus for work or school

  • With the new Focus mode on Android, you can switch off distractions by silencing the apps that most often require your attention—like email, social media, or the news—so you can get more done in less time. Set up a recurring schedule to make it a habit. 

  • If you have a goal to reduce the time you spend on your device, try using Google Assistant. With just your voice, you can quickly send messages, ask about traffic, organize your tasks and remind yourself to call your parents.

  • To limit the number of email alerts you receive from Gmail, you can turn on high-priority notifications and only get notified when it’s important. Turn on Priority Inbox to automatically organize your emails into categories so you can quickly see the most important ones first.

  • Spend less time writing and responding to emails by using Smart Compose on Gmail. It lets you quickly draft an email by suggesting words and phrases as you write, and Smart Reply saves you time by suggesting quick responses to your messages. 

We know that digital wellbeing is extremely personal and that it doesn’t come with a one-size-fits-all solution, but hopefully these tools can help you achieve your specific goals. To learn more, visit wellbeing.google

Source: Android


Creating stargazing apps and the perfect loaf

Editor’s note: Maurizio Leo is a software engineer-turned baker, and co-founder and developer of SkyView, a stargazing app that uses your camera to identify objects in the sky. As a part of our I Make Apps series, we talk to him about developing his app, as well as his baking side hustle. 

1. Tell us about SkyView. How is it useful to people? 

SkyView is an augmented reality app we created to educate and inspire others to explore the universe no matter their location, night and day. There's a magical and exciting universe out there to explore, and SkyView's aim has always been to make exploring the sky as effortless and approachable as possible. Just point your device up to the sky and discover a new star, find a new planet, or spot the International Space Station streaking across the sky.

2. How did you get into baking?  

I grew up in an Italian household that always emphasized food made by hand. And while I went into computer science because of my curiosity surrounding computers and software, I think cooking and baking has always been a big part of my life. About ten years ago, when I was given a book on baking sourdough as a gift, I was immediately taken by the marriage of craft and science needed to bake a loaf of bread. The precision behind baking bread spoke to me, and the science behind fermentation piqued my logical side. After creating my first sourdough starter from scratch and baking my first loaf, I became obsessed.

3. How do you juggle baking and making apps in your daily life as a developer?

Working from my home office on our app SkyView allows me time between writing lines of code to hop into the kitchen and weigh, mix, or shape a batch of bread dough. It gives me an opportunity to relax my mind for a few moments or perhaps explore a possible solution, much like taking a walk would offer. Sometimes some of my best code breakthroughs were achieved when I was in the kitchen with my hands covered in flour and water! In the end, being an app developer who works at home has allowed me to simultaneously work on software I'm passionate about and explore my dedication to the craft of baking bread.

4. What are the similarities and differences between baking bread and making apps? 

At first glance, writing apps and baking sourdough bread seem a world apart—but they have more in common than one might initially think. Both pursuits benefit from a sound plan, precision, adjustment to changing inputs, and iterative improvement. Software certainly is a more analytical and tactical pursuit, while working with something tangible like bread dough satisfies more of my artistic side. For me, these two offer a delicate balance, where software lets me build imaginative structures and baking bread fulfills my desire to slow down and work with my hands. With naturally leavened bread, time is the best ingredient.

5. What has been your experience creating apps on Android & distributing them through Google Play?

We've been working with Android since the beginning (that's over ten years!), and it has always provided us with the right set of tools to help bring our ideas to reality. With modern language constructs, good editing, debugging and reporting tools, and a thoughtful testing framework, we've been able to update and release SkyView with more functionality to delight our users. And, Google Play allows us to quickly deploy our app, reaching millions of people, and keep with our mission to get as many excited about space as we are.

Source: Android


Attention holiday shoppers: Black Friday help from Google

Midnight turkey sandwiches, leftover pie for breakfast, a leisurely walk around the block—these are the ideal moments in my day after Thanksgiving. But if you’re like me and the millions of Americans who participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday every year, chances are you’re also looking out for deals ahead of the holiday season. In fact, I hear that online shopping sales are expected to growup to 18 percent this year, and smartphone use for holiday shopping is rising—increasing by 11 percent since 2017.

Good news: Google has you covered across your holiday shopping needs, from making your list, checking it twice, finding out the best deals, and keeping an eye on each package arrivals. 

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Find the best prices and places to buy

With the recently redesigned Google Shopping, you can track prices for that espresso machine you’ve been keeping your eye on (and much more). Simply find the product you want, toggle “track price,” and you’ll receive a notification by phone or email when the price of that item drops. Plus, when you buy directly on Google we’ll offset the carbon emissions created from shipping your order.

If you’re committed to shopping local or worried about the shipping deadline, Google Shopping also lets you filter for nearby products, so you can find local stores that carry what you need and see whether they have it in stock. 

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Some of our Made by Google products have Black Friday deals this year

Check out the deals on the latest tech from Google

How about some shiny new tech for your Secret Santa? Check out the Google Store for these deals (also at select U.S. retailers):

  • Say it with a (very) smart phone: From November 24th through December 2nd, get $200 off an unlocked Pixel 4 and 4XL on the Google Store.
  • Give the gift of better Wi-Fi: From November 28th through December 4th, save $40 on Nest Wifi, our newest Wi-Fi router and point which comes in three chic colors ($229).
  • Help the new homeowner, parent, or caretaker in your life: From November 28th through December 4th, get $40 off Nest Cam Indoor, Nest Cam Outdoor, and $80 off Nest Hello.
  • Bring the party with whole-home audio: From November 28th through December 4th, save $20 on Nest Mini.
  • Stay organized, connected, and inspired in the kitchen: Save $30 on Nest Hub Max—and enjoy this exclusive bread pudding recipe from Ayesha Curry on Google Assistant displays.
  • Stuff all of the stockings: From November 28th through December 4th, get $10 off Chromecast and $20 off Chromecast Ultra.

Keep track of your deliveries (and spread cheer!)

When you’re expecting more packages than usual, keeping track of each delivery can prove to be stressful. Should you stay and wait for it? What happens if you miss it? With a Nest Aware subscription Nest Hello can alert you when a package arrives, so if it’s an important item you can enlist some help from a neighbor (or, for parents, intercept it before your child discovers an early gift from Santa). 

And starting today you can get a festive Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s, or wintry ringtone for your Nest Hello. Whenever someone's at your door, they’ll hear some holiday cheer—including the person delivering your packages.

Stay zen through the shopping frenzy

Remain calm, cool and collected throughout the midnight madness on Black Friday with help from the Digital Wellbeing features on your Pixel devices. 

  • Set a time limit on specific apps and sites so your day isn’t consumed by online shopping. When the timer runs out, the app or website is paused for the rest of the day. 

  • Snooze alerts that are distracting and focus on the important ones. If you use an app to track discounts and sales, you can prioritize those notifications so you don’t spend extra time wading through notifications and hunting for the deals you want. 

  • A nighttime shopping habit can interfere with your sleep. Set Wind Down mode to silence notifications from shopping apps or social media, put your screen into grayscale to signal it’s time for bed, and avoid a night of insomnia.

  • And when it is time to wake up for those midnight deals or early morning lines, try the Sunrise Alarm feature on Pixel and Pixel Stand so even in the dead of winter, you can wake up more easily with “sunshine.” 

We wish you great deals, easy shopping, and minimal stress this holiday season.

Source: Android


Top tips for keeping data safe and secure on Android

Keeping data safe and private is a key priority for Android—and we’ve built a number of features to keep your device secure and give you control. As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, here are a few of these features, and our top tips for staying safe on your phone.


Warding off sneaky phishing attacks


Video explaining phishing attacks

Phishing is when a bad actor (we’re talking criminal here, not someone with low-rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes) tricks you into giving them your private information. Phishing can come in the form of a convincing email that looks like it’s from a company or co-worker you know, spam phone calls, and even text messages. 

Typically, these bad actors want to steal credit card numbers, social security numbers, or account login information (usually for financial gain or identity theft), but there may be other pieces of data they’re looking to steal.

Thankfully, you have three important features on your Android device that protect them from phishing:

  • Caller ID & Spam Protection: This shows you when a call you’re receiving may be coming from a suspected spammer.
  • Safe Browsing: This Chrome feature lets you know if you stumble across a website we know to be bad, and will help you quickly get to safety.
  • Phone-as-a-Security-Key: While other forms of on-device two-factor authentication, such as SMS one-time codes and push notifications, can be phished by a remote attacker, Android's built-in security key gives you the strongest form of Google account protection. 

Privacy controls you can depend on

Video explaining Android permissions and privacy controls.

How to protect your privacy with Android

On mobile devices, apps can access a lot of pertinent information such as contacts, web histories, location, photos, and more. This makes apps more useful—for example, helping you navigate to a desired destination in Maps—but you still want to make sure that you control who sees what. 

You can choose how their data is shared with apps and services through a number of different means:

  • Permissions: Apps have to ask you for permission to access certain types of data, like your photos or contacts. To grant or revoke permission, head to Settings > Privacy, if you are using Android 10. For Android Pie and below, head to Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > App Permissions.  
  • Location permissions: You can tell an app that it may only access your location when you’re actually using that app, as opposed to “all the time” or “never.”
  • Incognito mode in Google Maps: When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your Maps activity on that device, like the places you search for, won’t be saved to your Google Account and won’t be used to personalize your Maps experience.

Keeping bad apps off your device


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Bad actors also use potentially harmful applications to steal information. Google Play Protect makes sure these applications stay off your device by automatically scanning your apps to make sure everything is safe. If you do encounter one of these bad apps, Google Play Protect will quickly alert you and instruct you on how to remove the app from your device. 

You can access Google Play Protect by going to the security section of your settings. If you ever want to run a scan manually, you can prompt it to do so there. When it comes to security and privacy on Android, you’re never alone. You have both the underlying, automatic protections and the personalized control you need to keep your information safe and private. Want to learn more? Visit our Security Center today. 

Source: Android


Boxing coach uses Live Transcribe to connect with at-risk youth

Editor’s note: Anya Karir is a Toronto-based youth boxing coach who uses Google’s accessibility tools to communicate with those around her.

Isolated and alienated. That’s how I’d describe the moment I realized I was deaf. That transition, from just a kid to a deaf person, is so clear in my memory—I was three years old, standing on my balcony on a warm New Delhi evening, watching people go by, and not hearing a sound. I wondered if I was the only deaf person on Earth. I had never met anyone like me.  

My parents sent me to a deaf school where the teachers only spoke Hindi. I noticed adults using large gestures to communicate with me, and in those early years we built a unique language to communicate to one another. When they would say "water" or "milk," they would make a closed fist with a thumb out (like giving a thumbs down), but in this case the thumbs down would be toward your mouth. 

When it was time to enroll into school, there was no sign language at the time, which made it difficult for me to connect or engage with the other students. That was my “deaf” moment—the moment that all those with accessibility challenges can relate to, where you realize that you are fundamentally different. 

We ended up moving to Canada where I learned American Sign Language. The ability to communicate more freely helped those feelings of isolation slowly fade away. And, today, I’m part of a strong community of deaf people that has helped me to learn, grow and shed the feeling of loneliness. 

While I’ve become more comfortable straddling the communities of both the deaf and those who can hear, there’s still friction when it comes to engaging with those who can’t sign, relying on my cochlear implant (a surgically-implanted device that provides a sense of sound with electric signals,) lip reading or cumbersome note taking. Thankfully, technology is helping to change that. A few months ago, I started to use Google’s accessibility app “Live Transcribe,” which basically provides real time captions when someone is speaking to you. I think of it as a super accurate and personalized note taker in your phone. 

Anya boxing.jpg

Anya at the boxing gym

I’m a boxing coach for at-risk youth. Imagine you’re in a loud gym: thud, smack, laughter, doors opening and closing. It’s just you and a teenager, learning to communicate with each other: “Move your feet,” “improve your jab,” “take a quick break.” It would be tough enough to give and receive detailed instructions if you could hear, but bring in the loud noises interrupting conversation and it’s nearly impossible at times. In my case, Live Transcribe helps me listen to the kids in a noisy environment; it also detects ambient noises which gives me important situational context. Success in boxing is measured by one’s ability to give and receive punches and technology like this helps me truly engage in the ring so I can help these kids roll with the punches and rise to the top, inside and outside of the gym.

I look forward to seeing how technology will continue to build inclusion and nurture our community. It’s something my three-year-old self would have wanted, and something I’m excited that three year old’s of this generation will experience. 

Source: Android