Google One VPN for iPhone Now Available to Use

iPhone owners can now starting using the Google One VPN if they pay for 2TB or more for Google One storage.

Privacy and security are always core to everything we make. Our systems have advanced security built in to help ensure no one uses the VPN to tie your online activity to your identity. Our client libraries are also open sourced, and our end-to-end systems have been independently audited. Our VPN has the full certification from the Internet of Secure Things Alliance (ioXt) and passed all eight of ioXt’s security principles.

Update: According to MacRumors, the Google One app is no longer available through the App Store.

Google Topics Will Categorize Your Browsing for Advertising

Google Topics will track your browsing and divvy it up into 300 categories for advertising. It replaces Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC).

When you hit upon a site that supports the Topics API for ad purposes, the browser will share three topics you are interested in — one for each of the three last weeks — selected randomly from your top five topics of each week. The site can then share this with its advertising partners to decide which ads to show you. Ideally, this would make for a more private method of deciding which ad to show you — and Google notes that it also provides users with far greater control and transparency than what’s currently the standard. Users will be able to review and remove topics from their lists — and turn off the entire Topics API, too.


Google's Project Zero Deep Dives into NSO Group 'FORCEDENTRY' Exploit

Google’s Project Zero security team published a deep dive into FORCEDENTRY, a zero-click exploit in iMessage used by NSO Group. Apple’s Security Engineering and Architecture (SEAR) group collaborated on the analysis.

Based on our research and findings, we assess this to be one of the most technically sophisticated exploits we’ve ever seen, further demonstrating that the capabilities NSO provides rival those previously thought to be accessible to only a handful of nation states.

The vulnerability discussed in this blog post was fixed on September 13, 2021 in iOS 14.8 as CVE-2021-30860.

Google Sets Out Plan For News Content to French Antitrust Regulator

Google has set out a plan for paying news agencies and publishers to French antitrust regulators. The proposals will now be put to public consultation, with responses required by January 31, 2022, Reuters reported. Google’s influence on the news business is obviously far more significant than Apple’s, although I imagine Cupertino will be keeping a keen eye on how this plays out.

News organizations, which have been losing ad revenue to online aggregators such as Google and Facebook (FB.O), have complained for years about tech companies using stories in search results or other features without copyright payment. As part of its proposals, Google commits to negotiate “in good faith” with news agencies and publishers the amount it would pay for using their protected content. It also commits to making a payment offer within three months from the start of the negotiation. If a deal cannot be reached, it would be possible to go to an arbitration court that would decide on the amount to pay.

YouTube Moves to Hide Dislike Count From User Interface

YouTube announced on Wednesday that it will begin hiding the number of dislikes videos have on its platform.

And earlier this year, we experimented with the dislike button to see whether or not changes could help better protect our creators from harassment, and reduce dislike attacks — where people work to drive up the number of dislikes on a creator’s videos.

YouTube is only making it harder to spot crappy videos at a distance. Now you’ll have to click on each video to be sure, or read the comments. More views = more money for Google.

Google Follows Apple And Slashes Play Store Fees

Google is reducing the fees it takes from developers in the Play Store, CNBC reported. It is dropping the cut it takes from subscriptions from 30 percent to 15 from day one. The move from Google follows similar ones made by Apple.

Google also said on Thursday that it was introducing a program to allow e-books, music streaming services, and other apps that pay for content to access fees as low as 10%. Apple doesn’t make exceptions for those kind of apps and doesn’t offer a 10% fee to developers in its app store. Apple, which has received more regulator attention over its app store than Google, over the past two years cut its take from 30% to 15% in many cases, including for apps making less than $1 million per year, news apps, and certain premium video streamers that participate in an Apple program. But Apple still charges 30% for the first year of a subscription, meaning that Google’s app store may be more competitive for subscription-based apps.


Google Introduces New Safety Features for Kids and Teens

Google on Tuesday announced new safety features for minors across YouTube, Google Search, Google Play Store, and more.

In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce a new policy that enables anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google Image results. Of course, removing an image from Search doesn’t remove it from the web, but we believe this change will help give young people more control of their images online.

Google Adds Tool to Quickly Delete Your Last 15 Minutes of Searches

Google is adding new protections for your search history like quick deletion, requiring verification to access the My Activity section, and more.

You can also try out a new way to quickly delete your last 15 minutes of saved Search history with the single tap of a button. This feature is available in the Google app for iOS, and is coming to the Android Google app later this year.

You could also just turn disable your search history altogether, too.

Google Unifies Two Desktop Apps Into a Single ‘Drive’ App

Google is merging its Google Drive sync clients on the desktop: Backup and Sync with Drive File Stream. The new app will be Drive for Desktop on macOS and Windows. The company shares a timeline with other details in its blog post.

Drive for desktop is a unified sync client that provides a consistent experience for anyone who uses Drive, whether for business, education or personal purposes. It enables you to quickly sync and access content directly from Mac or PC, which can save you time by helping you access files and folders in a familiar location.

AdGuard’s Shortcut Can Help Block YouTube Ads

AdGuard, creator of a popular adblocker of the same name, started getting complaints from users that YouTube ads were slipping through. It turns out Google deployed a new algorithm for showing ads to logged in users (Read more here). AdGuard was able to create a shortcut that can block these new ads while they build similar functionality to block them with the AdGuard app. You don’t need to have the AdGuard app installed to run the shortcut. Download Shortcut

YouTube TV Added Direct to App as Roku Row Escalates

Google and Roku are still rowing over how to get YouTube TV back on the streaming platform. It seems like Google has taken things into its own hands, as The Verge reported that YouTube TV is now in the main YouTube app.

YouTube users will start seeing a “Go to YouTube TV” option in the main YouTube app over the next few days. When they select that, they’ll then be switched over to the standard YouTube TV user experience. This option is coming to Roku devices first — where it’s currently most needed — but will also come to YouTube on other platforms as well. In essence, Google has basically stuffed the YouTube TV app into YouTube itself, a solution that seems unlikely to make Roku very happy. Google says it’s “still working to come to an agreement with Roku to ensure continued access to YouTube TV for our mutual customers,” and it notes the YouTube TV app remains usable for those who already have it installed

Spotify, Match, Tile Exec to Appear as Witnesses at Apple, Google Antitrust Hearing

Executives from Spotify, Match, and Tile will appear as witnesses at Wednesday’s Senate antitrust hearing into Apple and Google, Bloomberg News reported. All the firms have clashed with Apple in the past.

Google Senior Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy Wilson White will be the search giant’s representative, joining Apple Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer in the spotlight. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust and Consumer Rights, which is holding the hearing, also plans to call Horacio Gutierrez, Kirsten Daru, and Jared Sine, top legal executives from Spotify, Tile and Match Group, respectively. Mark Cooper, director of research for the Consumer Federation of America, will also be called. Spotify, Tile and Match have all been embroiled in antitrust fights with Apple recently, with Spotify and Match filing complaints about Apple’s App Store rules and fees. Tile believes Apple’s Find My app will give the company’s rumored AirTags accessory for finding physical objects a leg up over third-party rivals.

Supreme Court Sides With Google in Legal Battle Over APIs

Google and Oracle have been fighting for a decade over the copyright status of APIs, or application programming interfaces. But Google just won [PDF].

The high court punted on whether APIs can be copyrighted in the first place. But the court’s fair use reasoning was broad enough that it should provide a strong defense for most API copying, making the question of API copyrights much less important.