Android Police

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How to customize Chrome's terrible New Tab page

Back in Chrome 54, Google replaced Chrome for Android's New Tab page with a new design that prominently featured suggested content - much like Google Now's feed. To quote Douglas Adams, "This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." Switching to the old design was possible by disabling a few Chrome flags, but the recent Chrome 58 update removes this ability.

If you're not a fan of Chrome's cluttered New Tab page, there are a few workarounds you can try to make it a bit more usable. You can even mix and match features to create a more personalized design.

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Replying to messages in Android Auto is broken if Hangouts isn't installed, Google is on the case

According to several frustrated posters on Google's product forums, the hands-free reply function built into Android Auto is broken. The feature enables users of various different messaging apps to reply to incoming messages while keeping their hands on the wheel. There is a bizarre workaround, though — make sure you have Hangouts enabled and up-to-date.

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Google is looking into longstanding issues with Smart Lock's Trusted Places feature

This particular issue seems to have been plaguing users for quite a while now. Trusted Places, a method of unlocking your Android device more easily in certain locations, has been either working intermittently, inaccurately, or not at all for some folks. As of yesterday it looks like Google is reaching out to affected users for bug reports. Hopefully those with the issue can see it fixed soon.

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Samsung Pay launches in Sweden and UAE, enters early access in Hong Kong and Switzerland

Samsung has been slowly but steadily adding new markets to Samsung Pay, which is now supported in more than a dozen countries. That includes a few new ones today. Residents of Sweden (previously in beta) and the UAE can start making payments today. There's also early access (i.e. a beta) for Samsung Pay in Hong Kong and Switzerland.

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Now anyone can create a Google Classroom

Last month it was announced that Google Classroom would be opened up to anyone with a Google account — the collaboration tool for education was limited to those with a G Suite account, previously. That change meant that normal users could join classrooms, but now Google is expanding the functionality and allowing anyone to create and manage classrooms, too.

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Facebook is testing a floating button for suggested videos

It seems like every week there's something new popping up in Facebook's Android app. I've lost track and count, but I'm fairly sure we've never seen them mess with floating action buttons (FAB) in this way before. Two tipsters have reported seeing a new FAB in Facebook for suggested videos... and really, that's about it.

Tapping the FAB opens a new page that shows a list of videos suggested for you to watch. Because Facebook needs you to watch more videos, obviously, and a FAB is one of the best ways to attract a user's attention and/or elicit accidental taps.

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[Deal Alert] Bose QuietComfort 25 down 25% to $225 on Amazon and eBay

Bose's wired QuietComfort 25 (no Bluetooth) is one of the most loved and well-reviewed noise cancellation over-ear headphones of the last few years. I don't have a pair, but I did review the QC 35, which is its more expensive wireless sister, and I came away impressed by its portability, superb comfort, excellent noise cancelation, and balanced sound profile. The QC 25 looks and feels just the same as the QC 35, but requires a wired connection to your device.

Normally, these headphones cost $299 and the cheapest we've ever seen them at is $269: when you have a product this popular, you can ride the high MSRP price for years and never worry about dropping demand.

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TCL announces the launch date for the BlackBerry KEYone, physical keyboard and all

We first saw the BlackBerry KEYone back at MWC in all of its QWERTY candybar glory. Running Nougat, it hearkens back to the heyday of Research in Motion, the Canadian firm behind the iconic phones. TCL is actually the manufacturer behind this somewhat anachronistic device. And if you're one of those people who judges phones based solely on the spec sheet, then you may not be impressed with this one.

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[Update: More Details on Select to Speak] Google TalkBack 5.2 is out of beta with speech verbosity settings, Select to Speak, and more [APK Download]

It might not matter how high the DPI on a screen gets cranked by each new model if you have trouble seeing it. Thankfully we have Google's TalkBack, Android's accessibility service for the blind and disabled. It reads what's on your screen, but it also provides feedback for actions allowing users to fully interact with their device. Now the latest update has left beta after a few months of testing, bringing with it even more features, like verbosity (an adjustment for how much or little content it reads, based on your preferences), character counts for password fields, and a new Select to Speak service that allows you to tap content to hear it spoken, and more.

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Google Photos v2.14 is preparing personalized experiences and sharing suggestions based around facial recognition [APK Teardown]

When the Photos app launched in 2015, Google had already been working on computer vision for many years. It was no surprise that object recognition was a major draw for the app, and automatic sorting of pictures by person with the use of facial recognition became a must-have feature. Google is now looking to leverage this technology to make the Photos app a bit more social. A teardown of the latest Photos update reveals the service will soon offer additional features based around facial recognition, and even encourage users to share pictures with the people detected in them.

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