Google admits Hangouts doesn’t use end-to-end encryption, conversations can be wiretapped

hangouts

Following a Reddit AMA on government surveillance, Google has admitted that while it does encrypt Hangouts conversations, it does not use end-to-end encryption, meaning the company itself can tap into those sessions when it receives a government court order requiring it to do so. This contrasts with the end-to-end encryption used by some services, like Apple’s FaceTime, which cannot be tapped even by the company offering the service.

Motherboard noted that Google has always been vague about the level of encryption offered for Google Hangouts, and that when pressed by principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union Christopher Soghoian, the company would say only that messages were encrypted “in transit” …  Read more

comScore releases U.S. smartphone subscriber market share for March 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 1.08.51 PM

comScore today released a new U.S. smartphone manufacturer and platform market share report for the three month period ending in March. The data suggests that while the continued strength of iPhone 6 adoption has resulted in market share gains for Apple, Android is still the most popular smartphone platform in the United States.

During the measured period, comScore reports that 187.5 million people in the United States owned smartphones, which equates to 77 percent of the total population. Of that, Apple was the most popular OEM (original equipment manufacturer) with 42.6 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers (up 1% from December), followed by Samsung with 28.3 percent market share (down 1% from December), and LG taking third place with 8.4 percent (up 0.4% from December).

Read more

Report: Funds stored in Google Wallet are now FDIC insured

google-wallet

Most of the money transfer services that have popped up in Silicon Valley over the last several years don’t directly offer any federal-level insurance, and Google Wallet—until today—was a pretty good example. But now, according to a report from Yahoo Finance, Google is adding FDIC insurance to the money you keep in your Wallet Balance by storing your funds in various FDIC-insured banking institutions… Read more

Google Drive for Work and Apps for Education getting plethora of new security features

Google Drive for Work: Secure sharing - YouTube 2015-03-31 12-28-58

Google has today announced that it’s bringing new sharing controls, alerts and “audit events” to both Google Drive for Work and Google for Education over the coming weeks. Security is one of the biggest concerns that companies have about moving their data to the cloud, and Google hopes these new features will help make the transition just a little bit easier…

Read more

Widespread Google service disruptions reported including Gmail, Hangouts, & Play Store (Updated)

Europe Antitrust Google

Update: Everything seems to be returning to normal as of 12:30 ET.

According to a number of reports on Twitter, several Google services are having issues this morning. User tweets show that Hangouts, the Play Store, Gmail, Play Music, OAuth, and other services are having unusual performance issues. Some users are receiving authentication errors on their Android devices and unable to do anything that requires a Google log-in…

Read more

Google’s Android and Chrome lead comments on Apple relationship, China, Google Play ads

Sundar Pichai

Google’s Sundar Pichai recently sat down with Forbes to talk about the Mountain View company’s ambitions in China, its relationship with Apple, and what its overall vision looks like. Some interesting quotes from Google’s Android and Chrome head have surfaced as a result, and among other comments, Pichai took a moment to respond to constant criticism from Apple that Google is in the business of monetizing its users. Pichai also touched on Google’s aspirations in China as well as the sponsored ad program it is testing in Google Play…

Read more

Google ups free song storage limit to 50,000 songs on Google Play

unnamed

If you’re a user of Google Play Music, you probably know that you can store your own music on Google’s servers for streaming from your various devices, but now Google has announced that the amount of songs that you can store for free has been increased, up to 50,000 songs from 20,000. While many of Google’s competitors charge for this kind of service, Google has long offered the ability to store several thousand songs for free—and now they’re upping the limit.

Read more

Google testing new direct-to-business chat platform powered by Hangouts

Matt Gibstein on Twitter: %22Super interesting: @Google search now offering the ability to chat with local businesses (a la @Path Talk). http:::t.co:eksoBhZ6wk%22 2015-02-24 16-08-49

Google is testing an interesting new feature in search, as spotted by one Matt Gibstein on Twitter. As you can see in the above screenshot, there’s a small “Chat” icon next to the phone number of a business called “Dizengoff” in Philadelphia—and it looks like clicking it will launch you into a chat session directly with that business via Hangouts.  Read more

Google ‘Helpouts’ is shutting down on April 20

Helpouts by Google 2015-02-13 11-21-16

Google has announced today that its ‘Helpouts’ service for sharing and seeking advice on everyday challenges is shutting down on April 20th, 2015. We told you earlier today that the Helpouts mobile apps for iOS and Android were pulled from their respective stores, and it looks like Helpouts as a whole is now getting the boot as well. Read more

OS X 10.10.3 makes it easier to login to Google accounts with two-factor authentication

OS X 10.10.3 Google 2-step

Upcoming changes to OS X will soon make setting up Google accounts that use 2-step verification with the Mac much simpler. Added in the developer beta of OS X 10.10.3 released yesterday, setting up a Google account in the Internet Accounts section of the System Preferences app now supports 2-step verification just like the web. Read more