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Youtube Mobile App Now Lets You Search With Your Voice While Casting

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YouTube has rolled out a number of updates and features to its mobile apps for TV screens, game consoles, and other streaming devices. As the official blog explains, you can now use voice search on mobile devices when casting to your smart TV. The Google-owned platform has announced the feature, which works on both iOS and Android devices, along with the revelation that it’s now possible to watch YouTube in HDR on the PS4 and the PS4 Pro.

YouTube’s post also talked about the other capabilities it rolled out over the past year. Those include “Who’s Watching,” a feature that lets you switch between the profiles linked to the device you’re watching on, as well as YouTube’s debut on Amazon Fire TV devices.

According to the company, YouTube also rolled out a new Who’s Watching feature this year that allows users to switch between different YouTube profiles linked to the device for a personalised experience. YouTube updated the navigation menu that displays on the left-hand side of the screen. Users can find which account they are signed in from in the top-left corner, above the menu.

The platform has more cast-related features in the works, as well. German site SmartDroid (via Android Community) has spotted what seems to an experimental feature rolling out to select Android users, which turns the mobile YouTube app into more of a bona fide remote control while you’re casting.

At the moment, you can only pretty much use the app to pause, play and adjust the volume while you’re casting to a TV. The updated controls, however, show a directional pad that makes it easier to browse videos and includes quicker access to captions and playback quality settings. You’ll be able to access those new elements through the volume panel that pops up when you tap on the cast button — that is, so long as you’re one of the users lucky enough to get the feature.

YouTube also launched the official YouTube app on Amazon Fire TV devices. The app also works with Alexa.

Separately, YouTube announced earlier this month that it will remove videos that insult people based on “protected attributes” such as race, gender expression, or sexual orientation. The company is also broadening its anti-harassment policies to include “veiled or implied threats. The move came as TouTube was frequently coming under fire for lax enforcement of racist content.

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Google removes alleged spying app ToTok from the Play Store for a second time

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Google has removed the chat app ToTok, which is allegedly an espionage tool for the United Arab Emirates, from the Play Store for a second time. ToTok was allegedly used by the country to track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound, and image of those who install it on their phones, 9to5Google reported on Friday. The app was previously pulled from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store in December, shortly before The New York Times published a report about it. Google quietly reinstated the app in January. The app appears to have remained unavailable on the App Store.

ToTok is a messaging app that promised “fast, free, and secure” messages and calls and was downloaded by millions in the UAE and elsewhere in the Middle East. Shortly before its removal from the Play Store and App Store in December, the app was one of the most-downloaded social apps in the US. But the NYT’s investigation found that the app allowed the UAE government to spy on users.

ToTok denied the “vicious rumors” in a statement published in December, saying that “[n]ot only do we respect privacy and ensure security, our users also have the complete control over what data they want to share at their own discretion.”

An investigation by NYT found that the firm behind ToTok is known as Breej Holding which is a front firm affiliated with DarkMatter, an Abu Dhabi-based cyberintelligence and hacking firm.

DarkMatter is already under an FBI investigation for possible cybercrimes.

Earlier, the probe also linked ToTok to Pax AI, an Abu Dhabi-based data-mining firm that appears to be tied to DarkMatter.

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Ola Launches AI (Artificial Intelligence) -Enabled Real-Time Ride Monitoring System ‘Guardian’ in India

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Ride-hailing major Ola on Monday announced to expand its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based safety feature called ‘Guardian’ across several cities in the country.

‘Guardian’ uses real-time data from rides to automatically detect irregular trip activity, including prolonged stops and unexpected route deviations. After running a pilot project, the feature is now live in 16 Indian cities as well as in Perth, Australia and Ola aims to take ‘Guardian’ to more cities in the coming quarter.

“We are focused on developing innovations that place customer safety at the heart of platform experience. Guardian brings together the precision of artificial intelligence with the assurance of human intervention, enabling a uniform and safe mobility experience across the markets we operate in,” Arun Srinivas, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Ola, said in a statement.

The alerts from ‘Guardian’ are flagged off in real-time to the firm’s dedicated 24×7 “Safety Response Team” that reaches out to customers and drivers to confirm if they’re safe and offer on-the-call assistance until ride completion.

According to the ride-hailing firm, the feature is built on machine learning (ML) capabilities which enables it to learn and evolve from millions of data points every day to improve risk signalling and instant resolution.

Ola first rolled out ‘Guardian’ as a pilot in Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune in September 2018.

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