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Google Discontinues GPay App and P2P Payment Services in the US

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In the end, Google shuts down the GPay app and P2P payments in the US after a serious alert period. It was already announced back in February that “GPay” is no longer available in the US. 

Back in 2020, Google announced the redesigned Google Pay to enhance the experience by making money simple, secure, and convenient, with plans for a mobile-first bank account that never came to fruition. Since June 4th onwards, the GPay app running on Android phones in the US has automatically signed out all users. 

Users who try to log back into GPay after June 4th will receive a message alerting them that the app is no longer available in the US. Noticeably, users can still use contactless payments with Google Wallet. Apart from this, Google also no longer offers peer-to-peer payments in the US. Users can use the Google Play website to check the detailed metrics and transfer the balance they have received or rewards to a bank account after June. 

The reason behind this appears to be that the focus is now on Google Wallet and digitizing everything in their physical wallet. The brand decided to redesign to make the app revolve around your interaction with others. For instance, now you could track your bank accounts and credit cards straight forward within the Insights tab, and the app would prominently showcase deals and cashback offers. 

Back in November 2022, at the announcement, co-branded checking and saving “Plex Accounts” were also previewed. Google collaborated with banks and credit unions, most notably Citi. There would have been a physical card. Savings and the option to create customizable goals were the other big tentpoles. There’s one option that would have been to “round up transfers” on all purchases to help meet the goal. 

Initially, Plex was scheduled to debut in 2021, but later Google announced that in October the project was canceled. This was despite a waitlist of 400,000 people. Reportedly, Google was shifting to “delivering digital enablement for banks and other financial services providers rather than us serving as the provider of these services.”

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Hello, I'm Raghav a part-time writer of Samlover. Curiosity coursing through my veins, I'm a knowledge junkie with a knack for explaining the complex in ways that make sense (even if it takes a few extra words). Don't be fooled by the big headphones and ebook reader facade - I might disappear into worlds of words and ideas, but Doubt, my ever-vigilant canine companion, keeps me grounded. He's the furry alarm clock that drags me to the park twice a day, reminding me that the real world exists beyond the pages and podcasts. So, forgive the occasional long-winded post – consider it a side effect of an insatiable mind fueled by a love for learning and a loyal mutt who ensures I never get lost in the labyrinth of knowledge.

Apps & Services

Samsung Galaxy Devices to Receive Circle to Search Audio Upgrade

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Samsung introduced an AI-powered handy tool called Circle to Search with Google on the Galaxy S24 series. Now, with the latest update, this convenient feature will get a new audio upgrade. 

Samsung Galaxy users, if you have Circle to Search on your devices, then get ready for the new upgrade, since soon this feature will become more intuitive with potential audio search capabilities on the horizon. At the moment, this feature is only capable of searching for any image or text on the display. With the latest update, it will have the new capability of audio searching. 

Google’s Assistant and Gemini also offer similar functions, such as identifying songs or language translations, making Google services even more versatile. While Circle to Search is quite similar to Lens or reverse image search in a browser, the feature is expected to adopt multimodal input similar to Gemini and assist with audio input as well. 

A tipster on @AssembleDebug shared a post on X that pointed out a new audio input button appearing beside the search button in beta version 15.24.28.29 of the app. However, the button doesn’t appear by default, but the researcher found a way to activate an audio search function in the Cirlce to Search feature. At the moment, it is not clear yet exactly what the button will do when pressed. But it seems that the hidden audio search button might permit multimodal input (Circle to Search). This means you could combine voice and on-screen interaction for a more precise search, similar to what’s already possible with Lens.

This could also facilitate a voice search, like Assistant, to let you find the songs playing in your vicinity or perform a simple voice search. It will be interesting to see exactly how this new novelty will function. 

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WhatsApp Update Ends Low-Resolution Media Sharing

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Meta-owned WhatsApp is finally taking steps to upgrade image and video quality for shared files by releasing a new update. With this latest update, there will be no more sacrificing resolution for speed. 

WhatsApp is dedicated to releasing an update that improves the resolution of shared files without even resorting to further steps. It is looking forward to improving the file-sharing process. Previously, it boosted the maximum file size to 2 GB per file, and last year, WhatsApp introduced the option to share images and videos in “HD.” 

A couple of months ago, it introduced the option to share high-quality images and videos in “HD” to avoid losing the quality of the content. While this doesn’t mean completely uncompressed files, it was a beneficial way to enhance quality sharing. A recent beta version of the app with version number 2.24.13.10 introduced the ability to turn media quality on and off. This function already exists on several devices. 

Now you can check this by just following the steps mentioned here: Open the app and go to Settings >> Storage & Data >> Media Upload Quality. 

After taking these steps, a window appears that permits you to select the quality of the photos and videos to send in the chats. You will be able to choose between Standard Quality, which will allow you to send faster and smaller files, and HD Quality, which will be slower to send and can be six times larger. WhatsApp will offer this new functionality in the beta version before a wider release, and it might also extend HD sharing to status updates in the future.

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Wear OS: Samsung Internet Browser Adds New Functionality

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Samsung has created a well-connected ecosystem for its devices, where most of its useful applications are available on smartphones and smartwatches. One of those applications is the Samsung Internet Browser, which allows users to use several tools to explore the content available on the Internet. Now the smartwatch-based application is getting a new useful back-and-forward feature with the latest update.

Samsung Internet Browser update (WearOS)

Samsung is rolling out a new update for the wearOS-based Samsung internet browser with version number 3.2.00.8. With the latest update, the company has introduced a new feature that will enable users to easily navigate web pages to forward or backward directions on all the WearOS smartwatches.

It is worth noticing that the Galaxy smartwatches previously supported the ability to navigate to previous web pages, and they will also have forward options, which will level up the browsing experience. It is worth noting that the Samsung Internet Browser is available for every WearOS watch, so the latest feature will be available for all those watches.

However, it is not clear yet if the update will give some dedicated buttons to navigate pages forward and backward, if it will work with simply swiping right and left gestures, or if it will work with the physical button on the smartwatches.

To update the Samsung Internet Browser on your watch, go to the Google Play Store, then swipe from the menu at the bottom of the screen and select My Apps. If you see a new update available, then hit the update button.

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