Google unveils a new way to search

Google announced on Thursday two new AI tools that it says will make searching for things online “radically more helpful.”

Mobile users accessing Google on some Android phones will soon be able to circle or highlight items that appear on their smartphone screens to populate more information, and ask complicated or nuanced questions about an image or text.

The company said it’s been quietly testing the tools to see how generative AI, the technology that underpins viral chatbots including ChatGPT, can make Search more personalized and intuitive since last year.

The features were first teased during Samsung’s Unpacked event earlier this week and will come to the Galaxy S24 smartphone lineup launching later this month. It will also launch on a handful of other high-end Android smartphones, including the Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro, starting January 3.

The first feature, called Circle to Search, allows Android users to circle, tap, highlight or scribble on pictures, videos or text to learn more about what they see, such as a landmark in the back of someone’s social media page.

In addition, starting Thursday, people will be able to point their mobile camera (or upload a photo or screenshot) and ask a question via the Google app to get information. Google gave the example of coming across an unfamiliar board game at a yard sale, and asking the tool about how the game is played.

Over the years, Google has made changes to Search such as enabling search-by-voice or its Lens tool, which uses image recognition technology through a smartphone’s cameras to learn more about the world around them.

Google’s AI play highlights a greater push across the tech industry as big tech companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, Meta and others, race to deploy

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Google unveils its plans for Android 14’s advanced cellular security features

Last updated: August 11th, 2023 at 10:37 UTC+02:00

Google has been continuously working to improve the security features of its Android OS since its initial versions to protect users from increasing malware attacks. Now, while we are on the verge of the release of Android 14 OS, Google has revealed a ‘first-of-a-kind’ cellular connectivity security feature.

The company already introduced the option to turn off insecure 2G connections two years ago with Android 12. Now with Android 14, they wish to take the cellular security features to another level and combat poor connectivity and encryption standards for phone calls and messages.

In an official blog post, Google announced that with the arrival of Android 14, users would get a new toggle called  ‘Require Encryption.’ As per the currently available draft, the description of this toggle reads, “Encryption is more secure, but you might not be able to connect in some locations. For emergency calls, encryption is never required.” Google has added this toggle because users cannot tell whether their calls and SMS are adequately encrypted.

Android 14 will offer the option to turn off unused 2G connectivity

Many carriers use null ciphers, opening gates for foreign actors to intercept SMS and call over the air. While these null ciphers are there for testing and debugging purposes, the report clarifies that many networks always use these misconfigured null ciphers. Thanks to the new Android 14 advanced cellular security toggle called ‘Require Encryption,’ the phone will reject null cipher connections, making it harder to intercept your calls and SMS. Also, it will turn off unused or less used 2G connectivity.

There is no clarity on whether this new feature will come on the already-sold devices in the market because it requires a tweak to the underlying hardware, the Hardware

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