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Google Dashboard update brings better support for touchscreens and privacy control integrations

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Google is rolling out a refreshed privacy and account data dashboard, “redesigned from the ground up” with a specific focus on touchscreen devices.

To recap, the Google Dashboard was born in 2009, serving as a central repository that displays data from all the Google products you use, including Gmail — for example how many emails you’ve sent and received — Google Docs, search history, YouTube views, location history, and more.

Since 2009, much has changed not only in Google’s service offering but also the broader technological landscape — Android and iOS were mere infants in the grand scheme of things back then, with desktop-based internet usage still very much the order of the day. In 2017, smartphones rule the roost, and this was a key driving force behind the latest update.

As you can see from the before (left) and after (right) snapshots, the new interface is far less cluttered and looks more at home on a smartphone screen.

Above: Google Dashboard: Then and now

“The most important change was to improve usability on touchscreens, ensuring Dashboard works well on any device,” noted Google product manager Greg Fair, in a blog post. “We also worked to make it easier to see an overview of the Google products you use and your data in each of them.”

The company said that Google Dashboard will now make it easier for users to download their data, too, a feature the company first enabled back in 2011 via Google Takeout — since rebranded as “download your data” — allowing users to export and back up all or their data from your contacts, photo albums, your profile, Google Voice, and more. You can can currently move your data to OneDrive and Dropbox, but Fair added that it will soon allow export directly to Box as well.

Google has launched a bunch of other privacy, security, and account-related features over the years, and this too was part of the genesis for Dashboard’s refresh. Back in 2015, Google introduced My Account to make it easier for users to control the settings related to their privacy and data, while last June it launched My Activity which is pretty much a timeline of your various activities on Google’s services across the web and mobile apps. Google’s ultimate goal with the Dashboard update is to make its various account control and management tools work better together.

“As we built new tools like My Account and My Activity, it became clear that we needed to better integrate Dashboard into our other privacy controls,” added Fair. “It should always be easy for you to make meaningful decisions about your data — and we decided we could do better.”

The new Google Dashboard will be landing “everywhere” from the beginning of next week.

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