Google’s lifesaving Undo Send feature comes to Gmail for Android

Google’s Undo Send feature has been saving people from embarrassing typos, mistakes, and other email taboos for years on the web version of Gmail. Now, the feature is being carried over to the official mobile version of Google’s email app, starting with a release on the official Android version of Gmail, according to Android Police. The feature should arrive with Gmail version 8.7.

The feature started as a Google Labs experiment you had to toggle on before graduating to the official Gmail feature list in 2015. It works by implementing a time delay on sent emails to let you rescind them within 10 seconds if you happened to impulsively fire it out with an error in plain sight. It exists already on mobile within Google’s Inbox app on both iOS and Android. But for those who use the official Gmail mobile client, it’s been mysteriously absent.

Android Police notes that this may be a server-side update, so it may not be showing up properly in update notes for all devices and may require a restart of Gmail even if the app is already running version 8.7.

Google Goggles is dead; long live Google Lens

Google Goggles was launched in 2009, an early example of Google’s ambition to make the visual world as searchable as the internet. Times have changed though, and with the unveiling this year of the faster, slicker, deep learning-powered Google Lens, it’s time to take the goggles off for good.

As spotted by Android Police, Google Goggles got its first update since 2014 this week: a death note. If you load the app, you’re now directed to a landing page that instructs you to download either Google Lens (if you’ve got a compatible handset) or Google Photos (where some of the same image recognition features are also available).

The note telling users to download Google Lens instead.
Image: AndroidPolice

It’s been a long time coming. According to a Wired report from earlier this year, development on Goggles had “more or less shut down” by 2012 after users lost interest. But advances in artificial intelligence since then have vastly improved our ability to recognize objects in photos (the original Goggles app only recognized famous art, landmarks, and a few consumer items), and Lens is definitely a more satisfying user experience.

Whether it’ll hold interest in the long run remains to be seen. Visual search is certainly useful when it works, but can still be hit and miss. It might also be a better fit integrated into other services, rather than occupying its own app on your phone. Who knows, perhaps in four years’ time we’ll be writing: “Google Lens is dead; long live Google Vision.”

YouTube is paying top creators to promote its new Twitch-style features

YouTube, facing increasing pressure from competing platforms, is trying to help new monetization features get off the ground — and it’s even willing to pay creators to promote them. According to a report from Bloomberg, the Google-owned platform is offering creators up to hundreds of thousands of dollars if they agree to use new donation and paid memberships features introduced earlier this year. The move could keep these influencers from leaving the site for rival streaming sites like Twitch and monetization platforms like Patreon.

Super Chat, introduced back in January, allows viewers to “tip” a YouTube creator during a live stream and, as a result, have their comment stay on-screen, with the length determined by the size of the donation. It’s similar in ways to donations and “bits” on Twitch, which viewers can award streamers with in addition to a monthly subscription fee.

While this feature does let creators better monetize their live streams, it hasn’t been too popular with every YouTube star. Thirty percent of every Super Chat donation goes into YouTube’s pockets, meaning that, for many creators, the best way for them to monetize on the platform is still to sell sponsored content and rely on advertising cuts.

To offset this, YouTube is paying these same influencers to promote this feature. It’s also paying creators to promote its new monthly Sponsorships subscription service, which is similar to Twitch’s channel subscription service and was expanded beyond gaming channels back in June.

The company hopes that by incentivizing creators to use these new Twitch-style features, it can keep them around for longer and build more reliable revenue streams for YouTubers. These deals don’t restrict creators to YouTube, but Bloomberg reports that the terms require creators to post content to YouTube prior to posting on other platforms.

Google bans cryptocurrency mining apps from the Play Store

Google has updated its Play Store developer policies to ban several more categories of apps, including cryptocurrency mining ones and apps with disruptive ads, as reported by Android Police.

When it comes to cryptocurrency apps, Google says mining apps are now prohibited, but apps that “remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency” are still permitted. Apple recently banned apps that mine cryptocurrency, stating that, “the only cryptocurrency mining apps allowed are those that mine outside of the device, like cloud-based mining.”

Repetitive apps are now prohibited in the Google Play store. These are apps that mimic or provide the same experience as apps that already exist on the platform. Apps can be removed if they copy content from another app without adding anything new or unique, or if a developer makes multiple apps that have similar content and user experiences. Additionally, “apps that are created by an automated tool, wizard service, or based on templates and submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons are not allowed,” the company explains.

Next, there are new restrictions on apps that deal with firearms and firearms accessories. Apps that “facilitate the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain firearms accessories” are now banned, in similar fashion to how YouTube expanded restrictions dealing with these subjects earlier in the year.

The Google Play store defines restricted firearms accessories as items that enable a firearm to “simulate automatic fire or convert a firearm to automatic fire (e.g. bump stocks, gatling triggers, drop-in auto sears, conversion kits), and magazines or belts carrying more than 30 rounds.” Apps that provide instructions on manufacturing explosives, firearms, ammunition, and other weapons are also banned.

Also included in the new restrictions are apps that “appeal to children but contain adult themes,” apps that impersonate people or organizations or conceal their primary purpose, and apps that force users to click ads or submit personal information for ads before full use of the app is granted.