Google needs to pay Apple a small fortune to remain the default search engine on iOS


Apple and Google could be the biggest frenemies in tech. While they both compete like there’s no tomorrow, they also partner on some very specific deals. For instance, Google is paying a ton of money to remain the default search engine on iOS.

As CNBC first reported, according to a Bernstein analyst, Google could pay as much as $3 billion a year just to remain the default option in Safari.

Business Insider also obtained that Bernstein report and shared the thinking behind this number. Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi starts from a previous court document from 2014 that stated that Google had to pay $1 billion every year to remain the default search engine on iOS back in 2014.

But mobile traffic as well as iPhone sales have been growing steadily since then. If you look at…

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Prisma shifts focus to b2b with an API for AI-powered mobile effects


The startup behind the Prisma style transfer app is shifting focus onto the b2b space, building tools for developers that draw on its expertise using neural networks and deep learning technology to power visual effects on mobile devices.

It’s launched a new website, Prismalabs.ai, detailing this new offering.

Initially, say Prisma’s co-founders, they’ll be offering an SDK for developers wanting to add effects like style transfer and selfie lenses to their own apps — likely launching an API mid next week.

Then, in the “next month or so”, they also plan to offer another service for developers wanting help to port their code to mobile. This was, after all, how the co-founders originally came up with the idea for the Prisma app — having seen a style transfer effect working…

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New malware masquerades as a ride-sharing app


An update to the venerable Faketoken.q Android malware has made it easier for the program to steal your credit card information from ride-sharing apps. Faketoken attacks Russian ride-sharing apps by overlaying text boxes on the credit card information pages that can capture your credit number and other important information.

Kaspersky writes:

After getting onto a smartphone (judging by the malware icon, Faketoken infiltrates smartphones through bulk SMS messages with a prompt to download some picture) and installing the necessary modules, the Trojan hides its shortcut icon and starts background monitoring of everything that happens in the system.

The trojan masquerades as a photo app on your phone and is specially camouflaged for maximum sneakiness. It then watches all your apps…

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YouTube starts delivering ‘breaking news’ on its homepage across platforms


YouTube has started rolling out a “Breaking News” section in people’s feeds today across platforms as Alphabet continues to tailor custom content playlists to users logged into Google Accounts, Android Police reports.

For most, YouTube is a place to hop from one video to the next and descend down rabbit holes, but browsing anything like a feed has become less straightforward than other platforms, which makes the breaking news section an interesting addition.

As the video sharing site has grown older, the content has grown more produced with YouTube personalities mounting “celebrity” careers, while commentary-heavy videos grow in popularity over the raw video that is more common on Facebook and Twitter.

For YouTube’s part this has grown to be a very valuable…

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Google brings six-second video previews to mobile search

Google announced a major update to its mobile search results pages today. Whenever your query brings up a video, Google will now show you a silent six-second clip to help you decide if it’s actually a video you want to see.

This will work for the vast majority of videos on the web today — including, but not limited to, YouTube. Indeed, as Emily Moxley, Google’s director of product management for this project, told me, any video on the web is eligible for inclusion, though Google may not have a preview for some of the newest videos available yet because it takes the servers a bit of time to build the previews.

Even though video is getting more and more popular, it’s no secret that it’s not always the most convenient way to get information. A thumbnail isn’t going to give…

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How Facebook prioritizes privacy when you die


Should your parents be able to read your Facebook messages if you die? Facebook explained why it won’t let them in a post in its Hard Questions series today about social networking after death.

Facebook admits it doesn’t have all the answers, but has come up with some decent solutions to some issues with what it Memorialized Profiles and a “Legacy Contact”. When you pass away, once Facebook is informed, the word “Remembering” appears above your name on your profile and no one else can sign in to your account.

The Legacy Contact is a friend you select in your Manage Account Settings while you’re still alive, though they’re not informed until your profile is memorialized. They can pin a post atop your profile, change your profile pic, respond to friend requests, or…

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Google to livestream Android O launch event timed for total solar eclipse


Google is using a astronomical event to debut its newest Android operating system update: Android O is set to arrive on August 21, with a livestreamed unveiling event timed for 2:40 PM ET in NYC – which is roughly when the maximum solar eclipse is set to occur for New York.

Android O will get a full reveal at that time, which seems like kind of a weird time to do it since a lot of people will be watching the NASA eclipse livestream that Google is also promoting, or staring at the sky (with the caveat, hopefully, that they have procured proper glasses for safe viewing).

Google says that Android O will have some “super (sweet) new powers,” most of which we know all about thanks to pre-release builds and the Android O teaser Google provided at its annual I/O developer event this…

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Hands on with Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone

It’s a pretty captivating pitch: Andy Rubin, one of the guys who founded Android (and who lead the project within Google for eight years!) has a new company… and he’s building an Android phone. The “Essential Phone,” as it’s known.

I’ve been carrying around an Essential Phone for a few days now. Here’s what I think so far.

(I’m considering this a “hands-on” rather than a “review” because we, along with a handful of other outlets, have had the phone for a little over two days at this point. With something as key to our day-to-day lives as a smartphone — and one from a brand new company, no less — that’s just enough time to scratch the surface. We’ll have a more in-depth review in the coming weeks, once we feel like we know this thing inside and out…

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Instagram adds a new creative way to reply to a photo or story


Instagram inception, here we come. If somebody sends you a photo or video in a private conversation on Instagram, the app will now let you play around with the original photo so that you can reply in a creative way and keep the context of the conversation.

If you receive a photo or video, there’s now a reply button in the conversation thread. If you tap on this button, the original photo is instantly turned into a sticker in the top right corner. You can leave it there and reply with some context

But you can also move it around, tilt it and draw around it. If you’re replying to a video, it looks like Instagram only keeps a screenshot of the first frame.

If you tap on it, the original photo fills the top half of the screen. You can then take a selfie for the bottom half of the…

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