Google

Use Android 10 & Google Assistant for Voice Dictation

Many modern Android 10 phones have a voice recording dictation system that transcribes audio as one talks. For stroke victims or elderly folk who may need voice-to-text technology, this comes in handy for sending messages. Chromebooks can bring up Google Assistant, and users can dictate with that. Afterward, a user or friend can take a look at the text and edit out any inaccuracies.

Will My Chromebook Be Safe After End of Support by Google?

Chromebooks

Episode 1659

Lex from Richmond, VA

Lex hears that "end of life" support is coming for some Chromebooks. How safe will a Chromebook be after those dates? Leo says that new devices will have six and a half years of auto-updates, while much older generation Chromebooks have already been phased out of support. But Chromebooks are still incredibly secure. It'll be fine to continue to use.  Will a VPN help? Leo says not really. 

How Can I Recover My Gmail Account?

Gmail

Episode 1652

Thomas from Riverside, CA

Tom moved to another state and his Gmail account has been locked out. How can he get back control of it? Google says he has to go back to the old location to recover it. This is why you use an alternate address for recovery. But if that doesn't work, you may be out of luck since there's no support. Leo says before anything happens, to do the security checkup. Turn on 2-factor authentication, and set up a secondary email that isn't Gmail for recovering it. Also, periodically, back up your email through Google Takeout.

Google Buys FitBit for $2.1 Billion

FitBit

Episode 1640

With everyone pretty much owning a smartphone now, Rich says the next great mobile frontier is accessories for mobile devices. Google knows this and they have bought fitness tracker FitBit for $2.1 Billion. More than they paid for YouTube. Rich also says that Google needs this because its Google WearOS Devices haven't really taken off as they should. And while Google says that they will never share your personal health data, he believes that Google will erode that promise over time. Information is what Google is into.

 

Google Announces Pixel 4 Mobile Phone

Google Pixel 4

Episode 1636

Google announced the Pixel 4 this week. Leo says that of all the features, the camera is the one that everyone is looking at. Leo also said that Apple was waiting for what Google announced before releasing the upcoming iOS 13.2 update to improve image quality. Leo also says that computational photography has reached a point where your mobile phone's camera is as good as a real camera, so there's no real need to own a separate one now. The phone will also use machine learning to teach the camera what different parts of the image look like, so it'll adjust the image accordingly.

Why Do Some Sites Block My VPN?

BBC

Episode 1632

Dan from Orange County, CA

Dan signed up for a VPN recently, and he can't use it with his banking, Netflix or other apps. Leo says that the bank is probably blocking it. VPNs can break IP-based authentication. BBC iPlayer, for instance, blocks VPNs, because you're not paying for the TV license fee. Netflix does it because it doesn't want another region to be watching content that isn't available for licensing reasons. Banking activity is encrypted, so you don't really need a VPN for it. Google has also been pushing for HTTPS encryption with every site, so if every site is encrypted, there's no real need for VPNs.

Will Restoring My Phone Fix My Problems?

moto g4 plus

Episode 1628

Terry from Los Angeles, CA

Terry is having an issue on his moto g4 plus phone that won't let him remove an app, and now his camera is crashing.  He's leaving in a week for Japan. Leo says that it's time to get a new phone because his phone is older. He recommends going with Google Fi because it's a great international travel phone. But if he wants to keep the phone, then Leo recommends backing up the phone on Google, and then reset it. Then, when restored, Google will restore all apps. Or, he can go into the Google store and see what he has downloaded and restore them manually.