One of the most interesting items I noticed while digging around in Android 5.1 on my Google Nexus 6 by Motorola was a new system application called “Google Connectivity Services.” To find this app, just navigate to Settings > Apps > All , scroll down, and there it is: It is possible to launch this app, but it takes even more digging. You need to actually launch this activity: com.google.android.apps.gcs/com.google.android.apps.gcs.WifiAssistantOptInActivity To do so, I employed the app QuickShortcutMaker (everyone should have that app installed – seriously). Using QuickShortcutMaker, I placed a shortcut to Google Connectivity Services on my homescreen and launched the app from there. I was greeted with a screen that read, “To help protect you on open Wi-Fi networks, your data will be transmitted securely through a Google VPN.” Clicking the “Learn more” button takes you to this link, which currently redirects to a standard Google support page: https://support.google.com/mobile/?p=google_settings_VPN Clicking “Got it” takes you to the standard VPN connection request screen: Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to actually connect to any VPN, using an open WiFi network, a secured WiFi network, or LTE. It’s unclear when Google will launch this feature, whether it will be open to everyone or just certain types of users, or if Google might discontinue it, like it did with App Opps . It’s even possible that this could be something Google plans to launch with its upcoming wireless service . If Google intends to use Sprint, T-Mobile, and WiFi – and the rumors point to all three – then customers will need to know that their communications over open WiFi networks are secure. In any case, this is definitely something I’ll be keeping my eye on! About the Author John Freml is the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn’t stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others. Google+ | Twitter | More posts by John | Subscribe to John’s posts
Singapore’s upcoming licensing for dock-less bike-sharing services has claimed its first scalp after oBike — a Singapore-based company run by Chinese founders — announced that it would cease its service in the country ahead of the implementation of regulations. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is introducing measures to protect Singapore’s streets from a glut of bicycles left all over the place, as photo essays from China and beyond have cautioned can happen. oBike launched its service at the beginning of 2017, and it claims over one million registered users but still it will end its service today, June 25. oBike said it will continue to run operations in other markets, although it hasn’t said if/when it will refund Singapore-based users with the deposits that they paid upon registration. “oBike strongly believes and is committed to provide sic dock-less bicycle sharing service that would benefit users’ commuting and Singapore’s transportation system, however it is with regret that the new regulation measures do not favour this belief of ours,” the company said in a statement that posted to Facebook. This move comes weeks after oBike exited Melbourne in Australia following issues with regulation. oBike has directed its customers to the newly-launched bike service from ride-hailing giant Grab, which went live in March , although that service has temporarily paused new user sign-ups. Other alternatives in Singapore also include services from Chinese duo Ofo and Mobike. Grab is actually an investor in oBike, as TechCrunch reported last year , after taking part in its $45 million Series B round that was announced in August 2017.