Google Play Music for Android Crash Issue Fix Rolling Out; Reportedly Caused by Bluetooth

As we reported earlier, the version 7.9.4920 update of Google Play Music for Android brought along an issue that was causing the app to crash for several users. Now, the reason behind the crashes appears to have been found, and Google has already started rolling out the version 7.9.4921 bug-fixing update for the app, which carries along the fix for the problem.

In its testing, 9To5Google figured out that the Google Play Music app was crashing for users only when a Bluetooth device was already connected to the device. When the device was connected after launching the app, it seemed to work just fine, as per the report. While this fix seems simple, Googlehas already rolling out the version 7.9.4921 update, said to bring a fix for the issue.

Google Play Music for Android Crash Issue Fix Rolling Out; Reportedly Caused by BluetoothThe latest update to the Google Play Music app, which is already available on Google Play, started rolling out on Tuesday and appears to fixes the crashing issue that plagued the earlier version. While the issue should not have existed in the first place, the search giant should be commended for acting quickly and issuing the fix right away for the problem.

Last month, Google Play Music started offering a four-month free subscription for new subscribers, allowing them to scan up to 50,000 songs from their music library. While the streaming service offered free subscription period to new users earlier as well, it was limited to just three months.

UberEATS Expands to Delhi-NCR, Starting With Gurugram

Uber’s food delivery service UberEATS – which works like Swiggy in that orders are delivered to customers by UberEATS and not the restaurant “partners” – first launched in Mumbai at the start of May, has now expanded to its second city in India, launching in Delhi-NCR, the company announced on Wednesday. More accurately, it’s only available in Gurugram for now, with a little over 300 restaurants on board, although the company says that it plans to expand into the rest of Delhi in short order.

At the launch in Delhi, Bhavik Rathod, Head of UberEATS India, said that the growth in Mumbai has been very positive, and that after launching with just a handful of areas being covered in the city, the company has been able to scale up to cover most of Mumbai in “just eight weeks.”

UberEATS is run as a parallel business to Uber – the deliveries are not carried out by the taxis on its platform; instead, it has built up a parallel fleet of two wheelers that delivery “partners” use to pick up and deliver the food. Uber charges a commission from the restaurants that are handling the order, and pays a fixed pickup fee, and a delivery fee based on the time and distance required for the order, Rathod explained.

uber eats app uber

For customers, there are two ways to order food via Uber. Via the Uber app, Rathod explained that if you’re in a car and want to get food delivered by the time you get home, you can scroll through the cards on the Uber app, and you’ll see an UberEATS prompt. This will default to delivering to wherever you’re headed, and show options that can deliver at around the same time as your arrival, he explained, although you can of course change the location and timings and pick other restaurants.

Beyond that, there is also a standalone app for Android and iOS called UberEATS, which functions a lot like any other food delivery app. When you first launch the app, it’ll ask if you want the delivery right away, and take your location. The next page shows you the restaurants available. You can change this by tapping on the location, displayed at the top of the screen.

You’ll see lists such as restaurants that deliver in under 30 minutes, what’s popular around you, or you can search for restaurants with a variety of filters, as you’d expect from any app. Ordering is likewise straightforward and familiar to anyone who has used a food ordering app. Payments can only be done via Paytm, for now. Given the limits on wallets without KYC, this might prove to be a bit of a stumbling block.

The food delivery space has a few established players already, such as Zomato Order, Swiggy, FoodPanda, to name a few, and many restaurants are also preferring to build their own online presence, rather than relying on any aggregator. However, Rathod says that food delivery in India has the potential to be a huge market, and it’s just in its nascent stages, and thus Uber doesn’t see the existing players as a major concern, he says.

Yahoo Mail Gets a Visual Revamp and a New Ad-Free Service

After its acquisition by Verizon, Yahoo Mail has now received a complete visual revamp as the email client has now been updated with a cleaner and easier-to-use design. Apart from the introduction of new colour themes, Yahoo has also changed the layout within the mail client to provide easier access to photos and documents. Further, the company has replaced its Ad Free Mail service with a new service called Yahoo Mail Pro that offers ad-free service and priority customer support just like its predecessor.

Talking first about the aesthetics, in order to provide more personalisation option to its users, Yahoo Mail is now providing more colour options as well as layout choices to its users. Users can further choose to apply dark or light mode to the interface after choosing the colour theme of their preference. There is more spacing between the mail items to reduce the clutter and help users easily see the information. Moreover, users can use the new emoji set from Twitter’s open source offering to within Yahoo Mail.

Photos and documents that you have ever sent or received as attachments can now be easily seen within the client. Users can also use side-by-side preview for specific emails, which will allow them to see attachments and the email together. “Every part of the interface is faster and more reliable, particularly for slower connections. Yahoo Mail also behaves smarter in recognizing different screen sizes, no matter how small or how big your screen. The responsive design keeps the key elements of the interface in the right place,” the company said in its release.

As per a report by TechCrunch, with the new optimisations, Yahoo says that the JavaScript and CSS footprint has been reduced by 50 percent in comparison with the earlier desktop product, which effectively makes the app faster.

Yahoo Mail Gets a Visual Revamp and a New Ad-Free ServiceWith the latest update, Yahoo Mail has also improved the search functionality within the app. Now you’ll be able to view the search results page the same way you’ve specified in your “viewing email” settings. For example, if you use conversation mode, now the search results page will show results in conversation mode instead of in a flat message list,” the company said in its release.

With the help of Rich View feature, users can hover over the image icon to view the photos, documents that are attached in an email.

The new ad-free service – Yahoo Mail Pro – will be available to users at an annual rate of $34.99 per year, which is a price cut in comparison with the Ad Free Mail that was available for $49.99 per year. Users also get the option to get the service at $3.49 per month. The mobile-only version of the product for Android or iOS can be subscribed for $0.99 per month or $9.99 per year as well.

Apart from all this, the accessibility within the app has also been improved with the latest update. If you do not prefer the new look of the app, you can always choose to switch back to the classic view of the Yahoo Mail app by choosing the “switch to classic mail” option within the app.

The update is already available from company’s website and it will be interesting to see if Yahoo Mail will be able to lure customers into using its email client after introducing a host of changes to the app.

Telegram Agrees to Register in Russia, but Not to Share Private Data

Pavel Durov, founder of the Telegram messaging app, agreed on Wednesday for his firm to be registered in Russia after coming under pressure from the authorities to do so, but said it would not share confidential user data with anyone.

Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor had threatened to block the messaging app if it did not hand over information needed to put the app on an official government list of information distributors.

Telegram had refused to comply because it feared that it would undermine the privacy of its more than 6 million Russian users.

Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision Of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media said on Wednesday that Telegram had now presented all the required data.

“Thereby Telegram started working in the legal framework of the Russian Federation,” the Russian watchdog said.

Telegram Agrees to Register in Russia, but Not to Share Private DataDurov said later via social media that while he was happy for Telegram to be formally registered in Russia and to supply basic information about the company, he would not do anything to violate the app users’ privacy.

“We won’t comply with … laws that are incompatible with Telegram’s confidentiality policy or protecting people’s private lives,” Durov said.

After threatening to block Telegram, Russian authorities increased pressure on the company on Monday, saying that terrorists had used the Telegram app to carry out a deadly suicide bombing on Russian soil.

That suggested the authorities were serious about blocking Telegram on national security grounds unless it met their demands.

Durov responded that the app had blocked thousands of terrorism-related channels and that if Russia banned it, terrorists would just switch to a competing service.

Uber Says Never Told Self-Driving Car Exec to Take Waymo Files

Uber Technologies said it never told a self-driving car executive to download files from his former employer, Alphabet Inc’s Waymo unit, according to a court filing in a contentious trade secret lawsuit.

Alphabet’s Waymo claimed in a lawsuit earlier this year that Anthony Levandowski downloaded more than 14,000 confidential files before leaving to set up a self-driving truck company, which Uberacquired soon after.

Uber has fired Levandowski. He is not a defendant in the case, but his actions, and what Uber executives knew about them, are at the centre of Waymo’s lawsuit. Uber denies it used any of Waymo’s trade secrets. A trial is scheduled for October.

In a court filing on Wednesday, Uber said Levandowski’s downloads had nothing to do with his future employment at Uber.

“This is consistent with the complete lack of evidence that such files exist at, or have ever been used by, Uber,” the company said.

Instead, Uber said it believes Levandowski took the files to ensure an expected $120 million bonus payment from Waymo. Uber did not detail how it believes the downloads would have helped Levandowski accomplish that objective.

At one point while Uber was negotiating to buy Levandowski’s company, Levandowski told Uber executives including former CEO Travis Kalanick that he found five discs in his home that contained Google information.

Uber Says Never Told Self-Driving Car Exec to Take Waymo Files“Kalanick emphatically told Levandowski that Uber did not want any such information,” Uber said in the court filing, adding Levandowski said he destroyed the discs.

In a separate court filing, Waymo said the incident with the discs proved Uber executives knew he possessed Google information before he came to Uber.

“And even after finding out that he had Waymo materials in his possession…Uber never took any steps to prohibit Levandowski from using his ‘treasure trove of files’ in his work at Uber,” Waymo said.

Waymo also said it has not been able to review all the correspondence Levandowski had with Uber executives. For instance, Waymo said it could not find text messages from Kalanick to Levandowski even though it did find messages from Levandowski to Kalanick, “suggesting that the former were deleted.”

Uber had hoped Levandowski, one the most respected self-driving engineers in Silicon Valley, would help the ride services company catch up to rivals including Waymo, in the race for self-driving technology.

Ola, Uber Fare Plea to Be Heard by Delhi Court in July

A plea seeking prosecution of app-based cab service providers, including Ola and Uber, for allegedly not adhering to rules to raise fares would come up before a Delhi court on July 13.

Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra listed the matter for the next date to seek clarifications, after which it would reserve the order on the petition seeking summoning of the firms as accused.

The court had earlier treated “dismissed as withdrawn” an application filed by the same NGO seeking lodging of FIR against three app-based cab service providers, Ola, Uber and ‘TaxiforSure’, holding that the offences alleged in the plea under the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act were “non-cognisable”.

It had allowed complainant NGO Nyayabhoomi to lead evidence in support of the complaint under Section 200, CrPC, that these three cab companies were also allegedly violating permit conditions by running vehicles on diesel and providing point-to-point service in Delhi, violating Supreme Court orders.

The court has concluded recording pre-summoning evidence advanced by the complainant NGO, through its secretary Rakesh Agarwal, in support of the complaint.

Ola, Uber Fare Plea to Be Heard by Delhi Court in JulyThe NGO has sought recovery of a whopping Rs. 91,000 crores from these cab service providers for allegedly not adhering to rules relating to fares and not going by the meters.

It had sought lodging of FIR alleging that by providing taxi and autorickshaw services, they were violating the permit conditions which amounted to commission of offences under sections 66 and 192A of the MV Act.

The complaint was filed against ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd which runs Ola, Uber India Systems Pvt Ltd and the Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Ltd which runs ‘TaxiForSure’.

The NGO has also sought recovery of an additional penalty of Rs. 26,000 crores from the firms and jail term for them.

In September last year, it had also filed a case in the National Consumer Commission against Ola and Uber seeking refund of Rs. 9,239 crores to consumers which was collected through “illegal” surge pricing by these companies.

Apple Music My Chill Mix Launched, a Weekly Playlist Tailored to Your Taste

Apple Music is rolling out a new playlist called My Chill Mix, which contains a list of songs tailored to your taste. This playlist is created partly based on curation and partly on Apple Music algorithms. The music streaming service already has two similar playlists – My Favourites Mix and My New Music. The former collects your favourite songs while the latter recommends new music based on your taste. However, Apple Music’s My Chill Mix contains tracks the service thinks you might like.

My Chill Mix has 25 songs, which roughly equates to 90 minutes of music. We’ve been listening to a lot of classic rock recently and our My Chill Mix currently has 24 songs we hadn’t discovered and one that we’ve played quite often recently. This means that if you listen to a lot of Jazz, tracks from that genre will feature heavily in your My Chill Mix. If you’re feeling creative, you could think that these are the tracks you want to listen to when you chill out.

Apple Music My Chill Mix Launched, a Weekly Playlist Tailored to Your TasteTechCrunch claims that this playlist has currently been rolled out to a small group of test users and Apple Music will keep updating this playlist weekly for the test group. If you haven’t received this yet, you’ll have to wait until it’s rolled out to everyone. Until then, perhaps you could save some money on your Apple Music subscription by opting for an annual plan.

Curation and playlists are why people stay with any music streaming service. While Apple Music is still a distant second to Spotify in terms of number of users, it’s good to see the service adding cool playlists like this, especially since Spotify’s strongest feature are its playlists.

Needless to say, if you suddenly decide to change your taste in music, My Chill Mix will reflect that and recommend different songs. This playlist will show up at the top of the For You tab on the Music app on iOS or on iTunes, alongside My New Music and My Favourites Music.

Google Area 120 Incubator Gets an Early Access Program; Advr Unveiled for VR Advertising Sanket Vijayasarathy, 29 June 2017

Area 120 is a product incubator within Google that was started to allow employees to work on experimental projects, like the recently launched Uptime app. Now, Google is letting anyone sign up to its Early Access Program and try out these apps through a new central website, which also grants you early access to upcoming Area 120 experiments.

Alongside opening Area 120 to the public, the team also unveiled a new experiment, called Advr, which is a cube-like ad format that allows video ads to run in a virtual reality environment. Viewers can engage with the cube by tapping on it or staring at it for a few seconds, which then opens a video player where the user can watch the ad. The team behind the application explains that concept of mobile VR ad format came about from hearing developers who wanted ways “to make money to fund their VR applications.”

Google Area 120 Incubator Gets an Early Access Program; Advr Unveiled for VR AdvertisingThe team goes on to add that it wants VR ad formats to be easy for developers to implement, native to VR, easy to customise, and non-intrusive for users. It will further work on this with developers across VR products that include Google Cardboard, Daydream as well as Samsung VR. An early stage SDK for Advr is available for VR developers to play around with by filling out a form.

The Area 120 team earlier this week made its Uptime video sharing app available to all iOS users in the US. The app lets you share YouTube videos with your friends and comment and chat on them as well, and also lets you see the videos being watched by your friends and vice versa.

Google launched Area 120 back in 2016 in a bid to motivate its employees to start their own venture. The initiative was in part an incubator and part new take on the 20 percent time programme, which essentially allows employees to spend a day of the week, or 20 percent time, on working on side projects. Now that it is open to the public, one can sign up through the new website to have a look at projects like Uptime, Tailor, Grasshopper and more. TechCrunch notes that not all projects are public-facing, and that some are used internally with select testers or via invite-only basis.

Google Photos Shared Libraries, Suggested Sharing Features Now Rolling Out to All

Google at its annual I/O developers conference in May announced some smart new features coming to its Photos app, such as Suggested Sharing and Shared Libraries. The company has kept its promise and is now rolling out the new features to Google Photos across Android, iOS, and Web.

Suggested Sharing makes use of Google’s AI and machine learning technology to identify the people in your photos and suggests sharing them with those people in a single tap. After updating Google Photos to the latest version, you should now see a new Sharing tab on the bottom of the app next to Albums. On opening the tab, you see your personal suggestions on the top based on your sharing habits. You can also change the photo or suggested recipient before sharing, and you can also share it with people who don’t use Google Photos via email or phone number.

sharing tab motion sharing

Shared Libraries is another new feature that lets you share the photos you upload with one person. The person you select will get full access to your photo library or photos of certain people (based on facial recognition) or from a certain date. They can also save photos share with them. Once your sharing partner accepts the invitation, they can see all the photos you share with them, and newer photos will be shared automatically. You and your partner can either automatically save all the photos to your library or manually select the photos you want to save.

shared library google photos google

These new features aim to make sharing a whole lot easier, although it may not work flawlessly always. You may find some photos being accidentally shared automatically. Of course, the automatic sharing feature is optional and you can always disable it if you’re unsure about blindly sharing all your photos. Google says the new features are being rolled out this week and you should see the features show up soon enough.

WhatsApp for Android Beta Gets Emoji Search, Video Streaming Comes to iPhone

WhatsApp has added the option to search for emojis in the latest Android build, making it easier and faster for users to find emojis to spice up their conversations. This way WhatsApp users can find some of the emojis relevant to their searches, instead of the tedious side-ways scrolling. Additionally, the app has introduced video streaming on iPhones, a feature that it has already released on Android. Apart from this, the WhatsApp reportedly even published (briefly) an FAQ page to provide information of the long-rumoured message recall feature, suggesting its launch is imminent.

WhatsApp emoji search

Let’s start with emoji search, a much needed feature that is already available in third party keyboard apps like Google Gboard. This feature is available in beta for Android users, and should arrive on the stable version soon. Beta version 2.17.246 has emoji search activated. Tapping on the emoji icon will open up the emoji list, at the bottom of which is now a search icon. Clicking on the search icon will let you type for the required emoji, and WhatsApp will throw you suggestions based on the keyword you type. For example, typing ‘hand’ will throw all hand emoji suggestions in a new bar on top and you can select which one you want to use in your chats.

WhatsApp for Android Beta Gets Emoji Search, Video Streaming Comes to iPhoneWhatsApp video streaming on iPhone

The video streaming feature was first spotted in Android beta, and it appears WhatsApp has decided to roll out the stable version first to iPhone users. This feature allows its users to watch shared videos while they’re being downloaded in the background. It will use your Wi-Fi or cellular data to buffer a shared video, while it’s still in the downloading process in the background. Earlier, WhatsApp users had to wait until a video gets completely downloaded to watch it – depending upon WhatsApp auto-download setting.

If on iOS, you should start seeing a play icon instead of the regular download button. At the bottom of the video dialogue box, the size of the video will be written. As soon as you hit the play button, the video starts streaming depending upon your Internet connection speed. While streaming, the video plays inside WhatsApp, while the video downloads in the background. This feature has quietly arrived with version 2.17.31 released last week, but WaBetaInfo reports that the activation of this feature is very slow, so it might take a while before you see it.

Lastly, WaBetaInfo also reports that the WhatsApp FAQ page had been briefly refreshed to introduce the recall feature. However, the information was pulled back soon after it was found by the tipster. In any case, this hints at an imminent arrival of the feature in the stable version soon.