It looks like Android 13 might include an important Apple AirTag safety feature

Google might be working on its own Bluetooth tracker detection software for Android smartphones, according to the latest reports.

Bluetooth trackers like the Tile Mate and Apple AirTag have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, by using Bluetooth connections, and an army of phones hooked up to the Tile or Apple’s Find My network, these tags can help users find lost objects at home and out in the wider world.

Unfortunately, plenty of bad actors use these same devices to stalk unsuspecting individuals.

Tile and Apple have introduced various safety measures to reduce the risk their devices pose, but there are still issues with the current system. The main problem is that, for Android phone users, the free Tile and Apple Tracer Detect apps don’t offer automatic detection – you have to manually initiate searches on each individual app.

Now it looks like Google is taking matters into its own hands according to a 9To5Google report. The site details lines of code it found in a Google APK that was recently uploaded to the Play Store that references tag detection for devices named Tile tag and ATag (likely referencing AirTags).

The code is still fairly bare-bones right now, but it strongly suggests that Google is working on in-built tracker detection for Android. 

It’s not clear if this detection can be set to run automatically – though this should absolutely be an option – but this feature would at least give Android device users a pre-installed one-stop-shop to check if they're being stalked by unknown trackers.

We don't know when this feature will be available, but it could drop fairly soon. There’s a chance that this tracker detection will be available later this year when Android 13 launches, and it might even launch as part of the next Android 13 beta. We’ll have to wait and see what Google announces. 

Even though there are early signs that the feature is being developed, there’s no guarantee that it will ever see the light of day.

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It looks like Android 13 might include an important Apple AirTag safety feature

Google might be working on its own Bluetooth tracker detection software for Android smartphones, according to the latest reports.

Bluetooth trackers like the Tile Mate and Apple AirTag have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, by using Bluetooth connections, and an army of phones hooked up to the Tile or Apple’s Find My network, these tags can help users find lost objects at home and out in the wider world.

Unfortunately, plenty of bad actors use these same devices to stalk unsuspecting individuals.

Tile and Apple have introduced various safety measures to reduce the risk their devices pose, but there are still issues with the current system. The main problem is that, for Android phone users, the free Tile and Apple Tracer Detect apps don’t offer automatic detection – you have to manually initiate searches on each individual app.

Now it looks like Google is taking matters into its own hands according to a 9To5Google report. The site details lines of code it found in a Google APK that was recently uploaded to the Play Store that references tag detection for devices named Tile tag and ATag (likely referencing AirTags).

The code is still fairly bare-bones right now, but it strongly suggests that Google is working on in-built tracker detection for Android. 

It’s not clear if this detection can be set to run automatically – though this should absolutely be an option – but this feature would at least give Android device users a pre-installed one-stop-shop to check if they're being stalked by unknown trackers.

We don't know when this feature will be available, but it could drop fairly soon. There’s a chance that this tracker detection will be available later this year when Android 13 launches, and it might even launch as part of the next Android 13 beta. We’ll have to wait and see what Google announces. 

Even though there are early signs that the feature is being developed, there’s no guarantee that it will ever see the light of day.

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“It’s important to give people choice”: Instagram explains why it brought back chronological feeds

Instagram has finally confirmed that the option to use a chronological feed is rolling out to all users on iOS and Android from today, March 23.

The rolling feed of images and video had changed in 2016 to one that was instead judged by algorithms. Instagram thought that users would prefer to be shown what they might like, rather than showing the latest images, with no ability to switch between modes.

However, users have been clamoring to scroll through a feed from newest to oldest, and Instagram has finally relented. Eventually, you will be given two options on your feed – Following and Favorites, which can then be set to show your posts chronologically.

TechRadar spoke to the company to find out why this change has occurred now, and whether this applies to Instagram's other features.

A logical choice, at last

This is an update that won't require you to go to the App Store or Google Play Store to update – it should appear on your feed soon.

It's a welcome change, and many had been wishing for the company to revert back to a chronological feed since it changed back in 2016. So much so, Instagram commented on this at the end of 2021 through a series of tweets.

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In the meantime, we asked an Instagram spokesperson as to why it decided to make the change. “For some time now, we’ve been working on different ways to give people more control over their experience. This is one of the many things we’re doing to give people more choice,” the spokesperson explains. “We moved away from a full chronological feed because we learned that many people were missing posts. That said, we think it’s important to give people choice – so we’re providing them with more options in Feed to tailor their experience.”

There is a small caveat to the return of the chronological feed; you can't currently set it as the default option, compared to what you can do with Twitter's two feeds. We asked if this was something that the company would consider in the future. “We’re giving new options within your Feed to give people more control and choice,” Instagram's spokesperson clarifies. “The Home Feed will remain a mix of content that you see today, including ranked content from people you follow, recommended content you may like, and more.”

Instagram Desktop creation on the web

(Image credit: Instagram)

Six years is a long time in technology, especially when it comes to social media. Since then, we've seen Instagram Stories and Reels arrive, alongside being able to access the platform on the web. We asked whether the chronological feed would also apply here as well, with some bad news, confirming just two platforms again to us. “This feature is currently only available on iOS and Android.”

Finally, with Reels attempting to take on TikTok in its rolling video, we wondered whether this would also reap the benefit of an organized feed. “Currently, Favourites only applies to posts that appear in Feed.”

For now at least, the first steps of a chronological feed have arrived. And while you can't make it the default view for your feed, alongside being able to apply it to your Reels or hashtag feeds, it's a start.

But with more users accessing the platform through iPads and web browsers on their Windows PCs, it's now a matter of when, not if, the chronological feed will also appear there as well.

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“It’s important to give people choice”: Instagram explains why it brought back chronological feeds

Instagram has finally confirmed that the option to use a chronological feed is rolling out to all users on iOS and Android from today, March 23.

The rolling feed of images and video had changed in 2016 to one that was instead judged by algorithms. Instagram thought that users would prefer to be shown what they might like, rather than showing the latest images, with no ability to switch between modes.

However, users have been clamoring to scroll through a feed from newest to oldest, and Instagram has finally relented. Eventually, you will be given two options on your feed – Following and Favorites, which can then be set to show your posts chronologically.

TechRadar spoke to the company to find out why this change has occurred now, and whether this applies to Instagram's other features.

A logical choice, at last

This is an update that won't require you to go to the App Store or Google Play Store to update – it should appear on your feed soon.

It's a welcome change, and many had been wishing for the company to revert back to a chronological feed since it changed back in 2016. So much so, Instagram commented on this at the end of 2021 through a series of tweets.

See more

In the meantime, we asked an Instagram spokesperson as to why it decided to make the change. “For some time now, we’ve been working on different ways to give people more control over their experience. This is one of the many things we’re doing to give people more choice,” the spokesperson explains. “We moved away from a full chronological feed because we learned that many people were missing posts. That said, we think it’s important to give people choice – so we’re providing them with more options in Feed to tailor their experience.”

There is a small caveat to the return of the chronological feed; you can't currently set it as the default option, compared to what you can do with Twitter's two feeds. We asked if this was something that the company would consider in the future. “We’re giving new options within your Feed to give people more control and choice,” Instagram's spokesperson clarifies. “The Home Feed will remain a mix of content that you see today, including ranked content from people you follow, recommended content you may like, and more.”

Instagram Desktop creation on the web

(Image credit: Instagram)

Six years is a long time in technology, especially when it comes to social media. Since then, we've seen Instagram Stories and Reels arrive, alongside being able to access the platform on the web. We asked whether the chronological feed would also apply here as well, with some bad news, confirming just two platforms again to us. “This feature is currently only available on iOS and Android.”

Finally, with Reels attempting to take on TikTok in its rolling video, we wondered whether this would also reap the benefit of an organized feed. “Currently, Favourites only applies to posts that appear in Feed.”

For now at least, the first steps of a chronological feed have arrived. And while you can't make it the default view for your feed, alongside being able to apply it to your Reels or hashtag feeds, it's a start.

But with more users accessing the platform through iPads and web browsers on their Windows PCs, it's now a matter of when, not if, the chronological feed will also appear there as well.

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Google takes aim at Microsoft 365 with small but important update

Google is taking the fight to Microsoft with an update for Workspace that introduces new synergies between its productivity and collaboration apps.

As detailed in a new blog post, Google Workspace users will soon be able to launch into various applications easily from within messaging platform Chat.

“While you’re having a conversation in Google Chat, you can now more easily take actions in other Google Workspace products. The options vary by context, and can include Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Photos and Calendar,” explained Google.

“This will make it easier to take action across Google Workspace and enable a faster and more seamless workflow.”

The update will begin to take effect for Android and desktop users over the next couple of weeks, but won’t land on iOS until the new year.

Google Workspace update

Since the birth of G Suite in 2006, Google has competed directly with Microsoft in the office software space, going up against the famous Microsoft 365 suite, which houses the likes of Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc.

One of the defining features of Microsoft’s offering is tight integration between apps and services, extending all the way out to the Windows operating system on which most business devices run. And although Google stole the march on Microsoft when it came to the cloud-based model, individual G Suite apps have historically felt much more isolated.

When Google rebranded its productivity suite as Workspace last year, however, the company announced it would make a concerted effort to create a more “deeply integrated user experience”, by improving the level of interoperability between its various productivity apps.

The latest Workspace update takes steps towards achieving this goal, but is just one of a number of improvements Google has made in recent months where interoperability is concerned.

In June, for example, the company announced an integration between Chat and Calendar, which helps users connect quickly with co-workers ahead of or after an upcoming meeting. This was later followed by a separate integration that allows users to share documents and messages with meeting attendees from within the calendar marker.

At its annual Cloud Next event, meanwhile, Google announced it will invest heavily in the Workspace Marketplace, the third-party app library that services its product suite. The goal is to create ways to expand the functionality of its services and cut the number of apps workers are required to juggle at once.

While these updates might appear insignificant in isolation, each contributes to the goal of stitching together Google Workspace in a way that will make the user experience feel less disjointed and more coherent.

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Microsoft 365 is seriously late to the party with this important hybrid working feature

Avoiding embarrassing meeting snafus could soon be a lot easier thanks to a long-awaited new update from Microsoft 365.

The software suite has revealed that users will finally be able to specify where and how they will be attending meetings using its Outlook email service.

Going forward, Outlook users will now be able to specify whether they will attend a meeting in-person or online.

Outlook RSVP

Microsoft says this feature will be useful not just for the workers, but also for those planning meetings, who can best prepare by booking a room with video conferencing resources or bringing an external speaker.

The update was first revealed back in September 2021 as part of a larger hybrid working push by Microsoft, but the company has now said the tool is finally set to begin rolling out soon. It is marked as general availability, meaning all Outlook and Exchange users should be able to access it upon release.

The update comes a number of weeks after Google announced an identical feature for Gmail, as Google Calendar users are now able to specify whether they will be attending a meeting either virtually or in-person in their email RSVP.

The function had initially been added to Google Calendar back in July 2021 during the initial hybrid working peak, with Google noting this would, “help meeting attendees know what to expect when joining a meeting, and prepare accordingly.”

Ironically given today's news, Google's RSVP options are not shared with contacts on other platforms, such as Microsoft Outlook.

Google Calendar also recently launched a “Focus time” feature that allows users to block out periods of time where they can avoid meetings and get their heads down for actual work.

Setting such a marker in your Google Calendar will also allow users to automatically decline meetings, meaning no last-minute rush to finish off work.

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