Google Confirms that Google+ is Shutting Down April 2, 2019

Google+

Google has confirmed that Google+ will officially be shutting down to the public on April 2, 2019. The Mountain View tech giant had already indicated that their social network was going to shut down this year after two significant data leaks were discovered. Those leaks exposed over 50 million users data and the company, rather … Read moreGoogle Confirms that Google+ is Shutting Down April 2, 2019

Austria Set to Impose a “Tech Tax” on Apple and Others

Austria Flag

Austria has announced that they, like France, are planning to develop their own “tech tax” for companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz made the announcement, as the country joins an increasingly vocal European Union over the amount of tax – or lack there of – from large tech companies. “It is only … Read moreAustria Set to Impose a “Tech Tax” on Apple and Others

Apple Voices Opposition to Australian Encryption Law

Apple Logo

Apple, Google, and Microsoft are among several tech companies that today voiced their concern and opposition to the new Australian Encryption law.  That law was passed last week and could force companies to allow access to encrypted devices or face heavy fines.  The law past last week and all three of the companies call it … Read moreApple Voices Opposition to Australian Encryption Law

Apple Music to Gain Native Android Tablet Support in Next Release

Apple Music Icon

Good news this morning for those who use Apple Music on Android devices.  The next update to the app, which is currently in beta, will bring native Android tablet support.  The new version is version 2.7 for those keeping score at home.

Right now, if you use Apple Music on your Android tablet, you essentially get a scaled up version of the app for phones.  It works, but it isn’t the greatest user experience.  It is analogous to iPad users using iPhone apps on their tablets.  That will change when version 2.7 is released as it will have a more natural tablet interface.

Read moreApple Music to Gain Native Android Tablet Support in Next Release

Google Maps and Apple Maps Now Both Show EV Charging Stations

Google Maps EV Charging Stations

A new update to Google Maps is rolling out that allows you to find your nearest Electrical Vehicle (EV) charging station.  The update is a cloud-side update so as long as you have the latest version of Google Maps running on your iPhone or Android phone, you will be able to search for “EV Charging Station” or “EV Charging” and find your nearest charging point.

Globally, you will be able to find out where Tesla and ChargePoint EV Charging stations are located.  Here in the US, you will also find information for SemaConnect, EVgo and Blink stations.

Read moreGoogle Maps and Apple Maps Now Both Show EV Charging Stations

The App Store Continues to Dominate Worldwide Mobile App Store Revenue

Apple App Store Logo

In the latest report from SensorTower, released yesterday, Apple had a dominant 66% of mobile app revenue in Q3 of this year, up over 23% from the same period last year.  It means that Apple has roughly $12 billion in revenue from the App Store, nearly 93% more than the Google Play Store for the same quarter.

For its part, the Google Play Store saw an increase as well, up 21.5% in revenue and jumped up to $6.2 billion in revenue during the quarter.  Sensor Tower states that this is the widest revenue disparity since at least 2014 between the two platforms.

Read moreThe App Store Continues to Dominate Worldwide Mobile App Store Revenue

Google to Shutdown Google+ Next Year for Consumers after Project Strobe Results

Google+

As part of Project Strobe, Google’s internal program to investigate APIs and security controls due to privacy concerns, the Mountain View company has announced that they will be shutting down Google+ for consumers.  The shutdown will be done over the course of the next 10 months but the service will remain for Enterprise customers.

The news comes on the heals of a data breach that was reported by the Wall Street Journal in which hundreds of thousands of G+ users’ data was exposed. The issue was resolved back in March but had been kept under wraps.

The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers’ expectations. Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+.

It will bring an end to the latest of Google’s attempts to break into the social networking world, something they have continually been trying to unlock for years.  But, it is not the only issue that Google will have to address coming out of their internal Project Strobe findings.

Read moreGoogle to Shutdown Google+ Next Year for Consumers after Project Strobe Results

Google Paying an Estimated $9 Billion to be The Default iPhone Search Engine

Google Search on iPhone

By default, your iPhone uses Google Search as your default search engine in Safari and in Siri.  Google pays for that privledge and, according to Goldman Sachs’ Rod Hall, that could be to the tune of a cool $9 billion to Apple.

Hall told a group of investors today that, based on the fact that Google pays a per search fee on searches generated from Safari and Siri, that the Mountain View company is paying a hefty pay-to-play fee to Cupertino-based Apple.

We believe this revenue is charged ratably based on the number of searches that users on Apple’s platform originate from Siri or within the Safari browser

Indeed, Hall expects this to go up next year.

Read moreGoogle Paying an Estimated $9 Billion to be The Default iPhone Search Engine

Chrome 69 Released for iOS and MacOS and Available Now

Chrome 69 for iOS

Google has released the latest version of the Chrome browser for both iOS and MacOS today.  Chrome 69 brings a significantly refreshed user experience on both platforms with a new bottom navigation look for the iPhone and iPad version of the app.

If you have the browser installed on your MacBook, you can type chrome://help in the omnibar and then click the “Check for update” button to install the new build.  If you don’t have it installed, you can go to chrome.google.com to download it and install it.

Read moreChrome 69 Released for iOS and MacOS and Available Now

Five Eyes Governments Issue Statement to Urge Companies to Build Encryption Backdoors

Five Eyes Flag

The so called Five Eyes government consortium, of which the United States is a part of, has published a statement urging tech companies like Apple, WhatsApp, and Google to build backdoors to their encryption for government and police use.  The statement was published by the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs with all five of the participating governments – United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – endorsing it.

The statement starts with a clear message that the consortium of governments understands that security and privacy are critical to the digital economy but that encryption services create havens for criminal activities to happen without these governments, or even the tech company who makes the device or service, able to get beyond that encryption.

Read moreFive Eyes Governments Issue Statement to Urge Companies to Build Encryption Backdoors