Android users can now erase the last few minutes of weird searches

vannvicente

Posts: 12   +0
Recap: Google has finally rolled out a "quick delete" setting that allows users to clear the last 15 minutes of history from its search app on Android. It announced the functionality about a year ago and released it to iPhones only a few months later.

In May 2021, during an I/O event, Google announced an array of features that would improve privacy controls for its ecosystem of apps. One of these was a setting that would allow users to delete the most recent 15 minutes of their search history from the Google Search app.

The option came out for iOS in mid-2021, but its release date on Google's own operating system was still up in the air for a long time. Nearly a year later, that function is finally rolling out on Android.

In a statement to The Verge, Google spokesman Ned Adriance confirmed it would launch across all Android devices.

"We're currently rolling this feature out on the Google app for Android and expect it to be available to everyone using the app in the next few weeks," said Adriance while hinting it may be coming to other operating systems. [We're] continuing to explore ways to bring this helpful feature to other surfaces."

Users can access this setting by navigating to the Google app, tapping on their user icon, and selecting "Delete the last 15 minutes." Doing so clears your recent search history on both the device and the My Activity page, which keeps a log of your activity on all Google products.

The feature can be helpful to those using unusual or potentially compromising search terms. As reported in March 2021, two-thirds of all Google queries are "zero-click searches," lookups where users don't navigate to another page listed in the query results. Zero-click searches are much more common on mobile devices than desktops, with 77.2% of mobile searches having no clicks.

Unfortunately, the feature does not work on Google's other apps, such as YouTube. Additionally, there is no confirmation about whether this setting will eventually roll out to Google's desktop search, so you might want to explore some Google search alternatives.

Image credit: Daniel Romero

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,308   +7,248
What we really need is a quick delete that uses the finger print scanner. We simply program a finger we’d never use for TouchID so that the phone automatically deletes all data.

Then, after the justice system realizes there’s no evidence on it, we can restore from backup.
 

erickmendes

Posts: 671   +300
"Don't use Google"... Ok, I got photos on Google Photo, I got all my important stuff on Google Calendar, Google Keep, Gmail, Google Chat... I got two little kids and a work to coordinate... The only way I can make everything work with a bare minimum level of organization is using these digital tools to keep track of everything... I even tried to use a paper physical agenda to keep track of important things to do, schedules and so on... Guess what, I kept forgeting where I put the damn thing, or simply forget to even USE it...

Really... Anyone who have an normal active life, how can you keep track of everything not using these digital tools? And if I don't use tools from Google, what are the options you have that keep your personnal data barely safe on the cloud, so I can have it all back if I loose my cellphone, which service wouldn't milk my personnal information? Google masters it, Microsoft begs for our information... Apple seems to do it as everybody else, Metabook...

I know I could go DIY and create a cloud enabled server using a Synology NAS our some free distro that would allow me to make my own home made cloud services erh... home server, but if this thing gets fire and goes belly's up, my digital assets that makes my real life work would go fubar, I can't remember even my mother's phone number without Google contacts.

So really how can you run away from the digital personnal information exploitation industry, without having to deal with a lot of hurdles? ...
I'm not ranting, I really would appreciate an answer for this...
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,537   +2,516
"Don't use Google"... Ok, I got photos on Google Photo, I got all my important stuff on Google Calendar, Google Keep, Gmail, Google Chat... I got two little kids and a work to coordinate... The only way I can make everything work with a bare minimum level of organization is using these digital tools to keep track of everything... I even tried to use a paper physical agenda to keep track of important things to do, schedules and so on... Guess what, I kept forgeting where I put the damn thing, or simply forget to even USE it...
I don't get where you're going with this.
And who told you not to use Google?
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,204   +1,129
Ironic, Google's feature first rolled out on Apple but not Google's own Android. Oxymoronic is more appropriate. But then again, it's Google - it never does (or omits) without reason, to suit it's own purpose.
 

Aaron Fox

Posts: 153   +90
Anyone who cares about privacy shouldn't use Google.
Nor the Internet (everything... including CPUs with black box spyware CPUs piggybacking, CPUs in peripherals, et cetera). Nor any cities (cameras everywhere). Nor any interstates (cameras everywhere). Nor any inhabited location within the UK (cameras everywhere).

Anyone who cares about privacy should see if Google will erase their home from the map. I heard the Cheneys are one of the families that were able to get that little perk.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,395   +2,015
"Don't use Google"... Ok, I got photos on Google Photo, I got all my important stuff on Google Calendar, Google Keep, Gmail, Google Chat... I got two little kids and a work to coordinate... The only way I can make everything work with a bare minimum level of organization is using these digital tools to keep track of everything... I even tried to use a paper physical agenda to keep track of important things to do, schedules and so on... Guess what, I kept forgeting where I put the damn thing, or simply forget to even USE it...

Really... Anyone who have an normal active life, how can you keep track of everything not using these digital tools? And if I don't use tools from Google, what are the options you have that keep your personnal data barely safe on the cloud, so I can have it all back if I loose my cellphone, which service wouldn't milk my personnal information? Google masters it, Microsoft begs for our information... Apple seems to do it as everybody else, Metabook...

I know I could go DIY and create a cloud enabled server using a Synology NAS our some free distro that would allow me to make my own home made cloud services erh... home server, but if this thing gets fire and goes belly's up, my digital assets that makes my real life work would go fubar, I can't remember even my mother's phone number without Google contacts.

So really how can you run away from the digital personnal information exploitation industry, without having to deal with a lot of hurdles? ...
I'm not ranting, I really would appreciate an answer for this...
By the sounds of it, by the time you realize you should have stopped using Google it's going to be too late for you; after a glitch deletes all your photos, perhaps, or after a social engineering hack sees your all your embarrasing or suspect emails published out of context on social media, or after an update to how the calendar works causes a domino effect that ultimately causes you to miss a critical deadline or appointment.

Getting off the platform of a monolith that is utterly indifferent to whether you live or die isn't just about privacy, it's insurance against their inevitable callousness. Re-learning the skills needed to manage your life outside their bubble is hard, step-by-step work but pays dividends when you're no longer a dependent slug caught in the web of their ecosystem. It's more comparable to exercising and eating healthy. You won't notice any difference a day, even a week from now, but months, years on, you will - positively or negatively.
 
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terzaerian

Posts: 1,395   +2,015
Nor the Internet (everything... including CPUs with black box spyware CPUs piggybacking, CPUs in peripherals, et cetera). Nor any cities (cameras everywhere). Nor any interstates (cameras everywhere). Nor any inhabited location within the UK (cameras everywhere).

Anyone who cares about privacy should see if Google will erase their home from the map. I heard the Cheneys are one of the families that were able to get that little perk.
I am so tired of this argument. Repeat after me: the point of a defense isn't to become invulnerable to attack, it's to make an attack too costly to mount to be worth the expense. The more people mount a defense - any defense - against invasions of their privacy, the greater the aggregate cost to mount the invasion becomes to Google.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,395   +2,015
The idea that the Silicon Valley titans are invincible and unstoppable is so stupid and so objectively wrong. Look at this:



It was 8 months between Facebook reaching the trillion dollar market cap and subsequently taking a loss of 500 billion, basically all down to their active monthly users dropping less than 1% and iOS users checking a box. Resisting makes them pay, and the more people do something, anything, to resist, the greater the effect. Trying to counter-signal that is a result of either deep, deep misinformation and demoralization or the intent to sow the same.
 
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Aaron Fox

Posts: 153   +90
The idea that the Silicon Valley titans are invincible and unstoppable is so stupid and so objectively wrong.
Hyperbole isn't helping, nor is claiming that a person's post is making an argument you want it to in order to rebut it.

There is value in having greater awareness of the big picture. Play around with screens those in power give you but don't neglect to learn about all of the other aspects of the game.

Humanity is very rapidly reaching the point of TIA. Total informational awareness. It's not total for the likes of us, though. Far from that.

Monoliths in Utah are not the only obstacle one faces but they're enough.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,395   +2,015
Hyperbole isn't helping, nor is claiming that a person's post is making an argument you want it to in order to rebut it.

There is value in having greater awareness of the big picture. Play around with screens those in power give you but don't neglect to learn about all of the other aspects of the game.

Humanity is very rapidly reaching the point of TIA. Total informational awareness. It's not total for the likes of us, though. Far from that.

Monoliths in Utah are not the only obstacle one faces but they're enough.
People like you and me that are aware of the challenges of taking back privacy shouting down at the people just starting to scramble up that hill that it's futile to attain total privacy is self-destructive.

I want more people using VPNs for example, even the "bad" ones, because the more people there are using one, the more online services in general can no longer take for granted that things like your IP map to your identity and the more they have to build their services to account for that in the future. The less they can rely on that, the more they have to rely on people voluntarily supplying the information they want to mine, or the more they have to waste on increasingly sophisticated (and expensive) mining efforts that will begin to incur greater costs on their bottom line.

Defense is a collective, long-term effort and making it more effective hinges on not demoralizing everyone around you.
 
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Aaron Fox

Posts: 153   +90
People like you and me that are aware of the challenges of taking back privacy shouting down at the people just starting to scramble up that hill that it's futile to attain total privacy is self-destructive.

I want more people using VPNs, even the "bad" ones, because the more people there are using one, the more online services in general can no longer take for granted that things like your IP map to your identity and the more they have to build their services to account for that in the future.

Defense is a collective, long-term effort and making it more effective hinges on not demoralizing everyone around you.
The truth is demoralizing. Individual humans will never have the agency of corporations. They don't sleep. They don't eat. They don't get sick. Et cetera.

Corporations are schemes to consolidate money, to exploit individuals so that a smaller percentage of people can have more enjoyable lives.

This is not new. The people who toiled to build the pyramids were operating in basically the same mode as we are today. The lack of privacy is also not new.

What is new, though, is the omnipresence of easy monitoring — in every respect. That includes the nifty biometric scanning that's being put into things.

We'll have to agree to disagree. My knowledge of the tech situation makes it totally clear to me that individuals such as myself have practically no power in terms of privacy and certainly won't going forward. If you prefer to disagree with that evaluation you may but don't imply that I'm a bad person for it.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,395   +2,015
The truth is demoralizing. Individual humans will never have the agency of corporations. They don't sleep. They don't eat. They don't get sick. Et cetera.

Corporations are schemes to consolidate money, to exploit individuals so that a smaller percentage of people can have more enjoyable lives.

This is not new. The people who toiled to build the pyramids were operating in basically the same mode as we are today. The lack of privacy is also not new.

What is new, though, is the omnipresence of easy monitoring — in every respect. That includes the nifty new biometric scanning that's being put into things.

We'll have to agree to disagree. My knowledge of the tech situation makes it totally clear to me that individuals such as myself have practically no power in terms of privacy and certainly won't going forward. If you prefer to disagree with that evaluation you may but don't imply that I'm a bad person for it.
If you want to be helpless, that's your choice. But I'm going to demand you stop telling other people they might as well be helpless too and I will judge you when you do. If you disagree with that assessment, we'll have to agree to disagree.