Android Police

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Google Assistant is able to troubleshoot problems on your phone (Pixel 2 only, for now)

The Google Assistant on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL is more powerful than ever before, and it can help you do a bunch of things with your phone like change settings or initiate a conversation with support. Thanks to a whimsical request from a reader, we now know about one more ability the Assistant has.

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Google Search is testing more local predictive search suggestions

In its never-ending quest to improve the way you search and speed up your way to more information, Google appears to be trying a new approach with its Search suggestions. As you can see in the screenshot above, at the bottom of the list after recent searches, there are 4 more locally relevant suggestions.

These are for movie timings nearby, the latest cricket scores, word translations, and the latest Bollywood movies. As you can guess, those suggestions are relevant to our tipster, and carry a grey icon next to them probably to denote that they're different from recent searches and other suggestions.

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Actions on Google open new languages (CA, IN, BR, IT, ES), better discovery, and more interactions for Assistant apps

Google Developers is rolling out a huge update to Actions on Google, the backbone through which developers can create those Assistant apps and integrations that are still a little hidden but can be very useful if you interact with your Home or phone a lot through voice. Both developers and users stand to benefit from these changes as there are a lot of improvements that will add up quickly for a better experience.

First, in terms of discovery, the Assistant's Explore tab / "app directory" will see two new sections for "What's new" and "What's trending." Now there's only a list of categories, which makes it impossible to spot popular services or new additions.

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[你好] Duolingo adds Chinese (Mandarin) to its list of languages

You don't have to be a genius to work out that China is going to be an increasingly significant nation in the coming years, culturally and economically. More than one billion people already speak Chinese, and that's sure to continue rising. It's been one of the most requested languages over at Duolingo, which is ready to launch Mandarin Chinese in its mobile apps and on the web.

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Google Maps is about to get a lot more colorful

The design of Google Maps doesn't get updated very often, so when it does, it's kind of a big deal. The latest tweaks are all about adding a bit more color to the interface and making things a little easier to pick out as a consequence. What you see will also be more relevant to the mode of transport you're using, too.

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Twitter's tweetstorm feature starts showing up in the Android app

When 280 characters aren't enough...

Back in September, a developer discovered a hidden feature in Android's Twitter app that would allow you to type out several tweets and queue them to send one by one, making it easier for anyone to launch a "tweetstorm" without having to type and send each tweet individually. Back then, the feature wasn't activated yet, but it now appears to be going live for some users.

Without the change, the compose screen shows your avatar on the top right and a blue Tweet button on the right side of the attachment bar, next to the character counter/circle.

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BlueBorne vulnerability affected Google Home and Amazon Echos, but both have been patched

Vulnerabilities. There's a new flavor of the week every few days and in this highly connected world, it's tough to keep up, whether it's for users who don't know which of their devices are vulnerable and have/haven't been patched or for companies who are scrambling to fix one bug only to see the next one around the corner.

The BlueBorne vulnerability affected Bluetooth devices and could be exploited by hackers to completely take over a device with Bluetooth just turned on, without pairing with it first. Android patched it in September, but it appears that Amazon Echo and Google Home devices were left vulnerable for a while.

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HTC starts rolling out Oreo to the U11 in Taiwan

Oreo's era is in full swing and the next device to get the chocolate and cream treat is HTC's U11. Back in August, when Oreo officially launched, HTC said it would be bringing the new software version to the U11, U Ultra, and HTC 10, and the first one appears to have won the race.

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[Deal Alert] Xperia XZ1 Compact is down to $449 on eBay with coupon code, or $499.99 with a $50 gift card at Best Buy ($150 off)

Remember when we all thought the Galaxy Nexus's 4.65" display was enormous? Those days are long gone, but thankfully, Sony will still sell you a flagship with a screen about that large. The Xperia XZ1 Compact, originally priced at $599.99, has dropped to just $449 on eBay with a coupon code. Alternatively, you can grab one from Best Buy for $499.99 and get a free $50 gift card included.

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Fossil Q Control smartwatch now on sale for $275

Fossil unveiled two new smartwatches back in September, the Q Venture and Q Explorist. Unlike the company's previous watches, they had a fully round display (no 'flat tire,' like the Moto 360). Now Fossil has released another model aimed at sports use, called the 'Q Control.'

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