Pope Francis arranges unique Vatican meeting with Google’s Eric Schmidt

missiobot pope francis
Philip Chidell / Shutterstock.com
Pope Francis is set to meet Eric Schmidt, the billionaire philanthropist and executive chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, at the Vatican in Rome.

The reportedly “rare” meeting, first mentioned by Vatican expert Iacopo Scaramuzzi, will last 15 minutes and is due to take place on January 15. Other sources close to the Vatican have added that the private gathering will also include Jared Cohen, head of Google Ideas, reports the Guardian. Google for its part has not commented on the matter.

Followers of Pope Francis are already aware that the current pontiff believes in the unifying power of technology, labeling it a “gift from God.” Yet, the proposed encounter with Schmidt is still a unique one. Pope Francis has rarely met with American business personalities, which some claim is a reflection of his critical views on wealth inequality.

Schmidt, who previously served as Google CEO, is worth an estimated $10.6 billion. As the executive chairman of Alphabet — Google’s recently formed parent company that oversees its disparate services such as Android, YouTube, and its search business — Schmidt is viewed as the “global ambassador” of a $500 billion empire.

However, Schmidt and Pope Francis do share some common interests, specifically environmentalism and sustainability. Perhaps that will be on the agenda at the meeting, along with ways that the Catholic Church can revolutionize its approach to tech. The Pope already has a Twitter account and has held Google Hangouts in the past; maybe he’ll ask Schmidt for advice on launching an Android app or YouTube channel.

Mobile

Google Maps adds a new tab showing restaurants’ most popular dishes

Google Maps is testing a new Popular tab for restaurants to make it easier to order a tasty-looking dish you've spotted on the app. Some users are seeing it under the Menu tab, which already includes meal information for diners.
Movies & TV

Skip the flowers and sunshine this spring and watch the best shows on Hulu

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Social Media

Facebook F8 Developer Conference: Complete Coverage

When developers want to know what Facebook is working on, they head to F8. The annual two-day conference highlights the company’s latest technologies in development and is an opportunity to meet Facebook engineers. It’s also where CEO…
Social Media

Twitter: Now you can jazz up your retweets with GIFs, photos, and videos

Twitter for Android, iOS, and its mobile site now lets you add GIFs, photos, and videos to retweets. The feature, which the company said people have been asking for, can be enabled in a few quick taps.
Social Media

Tinder Lite will soon launch to bring the dating game into emerging markets

Tinder Lite, a lightweight version of the dating app, will soon launch in emerging markets where access to data may be limited. The app will look to bring more people into the dating game, as Tinder looks to maintain its growth.
Social Media

Update WhatsApp! Sophisticated attack installs spyware with just a call

A WhatsApp vulnerability left Android and iOS devices open to attack from sophisticated surveillance software that could be installed simply by calling the targeted person through the app.
Social Media

Twitter sorry for mistakenly storing and sharing some users’ location data

Twitter has revealed that a bug led to it accidentally storing and sharing location data for a number of iOS users. The issue, which has now been fixed, affected those operating more than one Twitter account from the app.
Social Media

Save me: How to download Instagram photos from any device

Browsing photos in Instagram is one thing, but saving them is another. Until recently, it wasn't easy to get your pics and data off the 'gram and saved elsewhere, but now you can download Instagram photos with just a few clicks.
Photography

Photographer sues Ariana Grande after she posts his images of her on Instagram

A professional photographer is suing Ariana Grande after she posted photos on Instagram that he'd taken of her. Grande used the post to promote one of her albums, but the photographer says she used the photos without permission.
Social Media

Instagram ditches plans for stand-alone Direct messaging app

Instagram is shuttering it's stand-alone messaging app, Direct, after testing it since 2017. While the messaging features remain intact inside Instagram, the separate app will be discontinued in the next few weeks.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.