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Android rolls out Google Assistant to Lollipop phones

Okay, Google, say hi to Lollipop

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It’s no secret that Google got the shorter end of the stick when it comes to voice-activated assistants. Apple has Siri, and Windows has Cortana. A late move, however, aims to push Google Assistant to more phones.

When Google Assistant was launched, it rolled out to only Android 6.0 Marshmallow phones and above. New Android phone users are already familiar with the term “Okay, Google.” Older phone users, who still compose a good portion of the user base, sadly lack the hands-free capabilities of the newer models.

Years after its launch for the original Google Pixel, Google Assistant is now available for those older phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop. Google will not set the app as a default, but as an option that older phones can toggle.

Similarly, Android tablets set to English will also get the new update. Previously, only Google tablets like the Pixel C enjoyed the convenience of Google Assistant.

Besides providing quick and easy access to Google’s apps, the Google Assistant allows users to fiddle around with their phone in hands-free situations, such as while driving.

The virtual assistant is still a few steps away from its counterparts in Siri and Cortana. However, the move will increase its availability in more Android phones. Only time will tell if the move will make it popular with more users.

The rollout mimics Google’s previous moves in making their OS accessible to more people. As a part of its “Next Billion Users” initiative, the new update hopes to fulfill Google’s dream of spreading the purest Android experience over a huger chunk of the world.

SEE ALSO: Android Oreo distribution nearly doubles but still ain’t widely available

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How to hide from Instragram’s new Activity Status feature

It’s on by default!

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Instagram silently rolled out a new feature of its app. If you don’t like your friends to know that you’re online (and also protect your privacy), you might want to take action. Why? Because it’s automatically turned on.

If you have the latest app, you probably noticed something new inside the Direct Messages section. This new feature dubbed “Activity Status” lets your Instagram buddies know if you’re online. If you happen to be scrolling through your timeline moments ago, the status will show that you’ve been available earlier.

This is switched on by default but the data is only shared with users that you follow and those you message privately. There’s no need to panic if you think a stalker will know that you’re online — unless you follow them, too.

How to turn it off?

You can easily switch it off inside the app. Just go to your profile page and tap the top-right icon for Options.

Next, scroll down until you see “Show Activity Status” and switch the toggle button beside.

That’s it! Now that it’s off on your end, your status will not show up to your buddies. Although, you won’t be able to see the status of other accounts as well.

Since the new feature was smoothly included in the recent updates from the Play Store or App Store, it’s not clear when Instagram introduced the function. Some might not have it yet, which could mean it’s still an experimental approach with a limited number of users.

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Pokémon Go will drop old iPhones that don’t support iOS 11

You must upgrade to play!

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Bad news for Pokémon Go trainers out there with an old iPhone. If the “battery-gate” fiasco is not enough to make you upgrade, this announcement might force you if you want to keep on playing.

Niantic announced its plans to drop support for iOS devices that can’t be updated to iOS 11. Primarily, these are iPhones and even iPads released in or before 2013. They are the following:

  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad (3rd generation)
  • iPad mini (1st generation)
  • iPad 2

The anticipated update will take effect starting February 28, 2018. After that date, Trainers using Apple devices that can’t be updated to iOS 11 will no longer be able to log in, catch Pokémon, and use their PokéCoins or other items. They must switch to a supported device to continue playing.

Niantic stated that the change is a result of improvements to Pokémon Go which push the game ahead of the capabilities of old iPhones and iPads.

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6 free VPN apps for Android and iOS

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If you’re connecting to a public Wi-Fi, it’s best to use a virtual private network or VPN to mask your IP address and avoid security risks. A VPN creates a secure, encrypted “tunnel” over the internet between your device and any website or app you are trying to access.

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