Stephen Shankland, reporting for CNET:

The teams behind the Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge browsers have banded together to improve extensions, the add-ons you can download to customize the software. That should mean your extensions will work better and come with a better security foundation to protect you from malware.

On Friday, the teams unveiled a discussion and development forum at the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, dedicated to developing standards for extensions. The forum, the WebExtensions Community Group, gives engineers a place to build a unified and more secure core foundation for extensions.

At WWDC 2020, Apple introduced the WebExtension API for Safari on macOS Big Sur — an effort to enable cross-platform browser extensions. However, I’m yet to see a change in the Safari extensions ecosystem because of that. Here’s hoping this new WebExtensions Community Group brings about a change.

Manish Singh, writing for Techcrunch:

The company, which recently announced plans to invest $10 billion in India, said it had partnered with the government of the western state of Maharashtra that will see 23 million students and teachers access Google’s education offering at no charge.

I recently learned from my cousin sister living in the small village of Matheran that their tiny school was now conducting online classes via Google Meet and how she had to keep convincing her dad to add mobile data plans to their single smartphone in the house.

Google deserves all the shit it gets for their privacy-invasive practices, but no other technology company has come close to localization and grassroots efforts in India. Google’s products are universal.

Over the official Spark Email blog, I’ve just published this detailed guide to decluttering and organizing your Gmail inbox.

In this article, I’ll tell you the tips and tricks to organize your Gmail inbox and also explain some hidden or lesser-known features that help you organize your emails in Gmail. And for those of you who have thousands of unread emails in your Gmail inbox, I’ll help you bring some sanity to your inbox.

Gmail is arguably the most common email provider today and thus, it is very common to see Gmail inboxes that are just left unattended. I’ve outlined some pretty simple steps that can help you clean up your Gmail inbox in minutes.

Google has announced today that it will be increasing the prices of its G Suite offering.

Over the last ten years, G Suite has grown to provide more tools, functionality and value to help businesses transform the way they work. The one thing that hasn’t changed over this time, is price. Today, we are announcing two incremental list price updates to reflect this value. Starting on April 2, 2019, G Suite Basic Edition will increase by $1 (from $5 to $6 per user/month) and G Suite Business Edition will increase by $2 (from $10 to $12 per user/month), or the local currency equivalent where applicable. These increases will apply globally with local market adjustments for certain regions. Pricing for G Suite Enterprise Edition customers will not change.

I think the price increase is fair, but I do wish Google had a ‘Lite’ plan, smaller than the Basic edition, that only offered Gmail + Drive for $3/user/month.

To be fair, Google does offer lower pricing for G Suite in India, starting at ₹150/user/month for the Basic edition, but I bet that’s rising to ₹200 very soon.

Diana Layfield, VP, Payments & Commerce, Next Billion Users at Google, writes on the Official Google India Blog:

We’ll start with support for more than 80 billers, including national and state electricity providers, gas and water, and DTH recharge. These include billers like Reliance Energy, BSES and DishTV, and in total will cover all states and major metros in India. Tez also supports Bharat BillPay system, which lets you fetch the latest bill from your providers.

Competition is always good.

Emily Schechter, Chrome Security Product Manager writing on the Chromium Blog:

For the past several years, we’ve moved toward a more secure web by strongly advocating that sites adopt HTTPS encryption. And within the last year, we’ve also helped users understand that HTTP sites are not secure by gradually marking a larger subset of HTTP pages as “not secure”. Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.

This is fantastic, and I whole-heartedly welcome this move.

If you have a website, there’s no real reason why you’re still not using https. Services like Let’s Encrypt make it super easy to do so, and if your host doesn’t support them (or any alternative) yet, it’s time to move.

At the very least, go sign up for CloudFlare and start using the Free SSL option.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a fine of ₹135.86 Crores (or about 21 Million USD) on Google in India.

In a 190-page order, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said Google abused its dominant position on three counts that largely relate to search, while no foul play was seen in case of advertising.

The fine imposed is 5% of the average revenue generated by the company in India over three years, which Google has to pay within 60 days.

Google Introduces Voice Calls from Hangouts in India

Google has announced a new feature that will be available via the Hangouts app available for iOS and Android devices. Users will now be able to make international voice calls to phone numbers outside of India.

Using the Hangouts app for iOS (App Store Link) and Android (Google Play Link) as well as the web, users will now be able to make free calls to phone numbers in the US and Canada as well as to any other Hangouts users. Calls to any other regions are charged, but at really low rates.

This feature will be welcomed by millions of people in the country who most likely have a family member, friend or a relative currently living in US or Canada. Additionally, with the launch of Android One handsets in the country, Google is already pushing Android to the masses.