Android Police

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Changing Google's domain will no longer give results from another country

Until today, if you wanted to use Google Search in another locale or language, all you had to do was type Google into the address bar with a different country code top level domain (ccTLD for short) and you'd be good to go. This might be useful if you lived abroad but preferred to have your search results more tailored towards your home country, or if you lived in a smaller country and simply liked the results from google.com better.

In a blog post today, Google has announced that it will be changing the way it labels country services in Search, so that search results will be customized to a user's location, independent of whichever domain is in use.

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Facebook releases Halloween effects and mini-game for Facebook and Messenger apps

More than carving pumpkins or gobbling down candy or dressing up in costumes, Halloween is a great excuse to set free your inner dad and go all out on bad puns and cheesy jokes. Facebook is obviously no stranger to a well-placed corny joke, so it's announcing a bunch of "spook-tacular" new effects for the Facebook and Messenger apps that'll help users get into the Halloween spirit.

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[Update: Google testing fix] Some Pixel 2 and 2 XL units are having audio issues when recording video

Pixel 2 problems seem to be compounding on one another in recent days. Next up to the bug-bat is audio. Specifically, it appears that the Pixel 2 XL's sound quality when recording a video leaves a whole lot to be desired. Our own Artem put together a stunning example that demonstrates the issue with the sound of running water, and it's a screeching mess. 

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Ambient Display now has the date and an upcoming alarm

Google made some big changes to Ambient Display in 8.0, not all of which made people happy. It was a very minimal interface, rather than being a monochrome version of the lock screen. In Android 8.1, Google is adding a few new elements to Ambient Display, but it's still keeping the minimal vibe.

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One man's Verizon Pixel 2 came with packaging and literature meant for included Pixel Buds-style wired earphones

Like many flagship phones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL aren't cheap. But while companies like Samsung and Apple try to make you feel a little better about your $700-1000 purchase by including a pair of earphones in the box, Google doesn't. However, some seemingly preproduction packaging that one guy got inside his Verizon Pixel 2's box indicates that Google had at least been seriously considering it.

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Google Home game lets you talk to the Upside Down in Stranger Things

If you're a fan of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things and you own a Google Home speaker, then Google has got a fun little surprise in store for you. In celebration of today's release of the show's second season, Google has partnered up with Netflix to create a game fans can play with their Google Home and communicate directly with the Upside Down.

To begin playing, all you have to do is say, "Ok Google, talk to Dustin from Stranger Things," and your Google Home or Google Home Mini will turn into a walkie-talkie with a direct connection to the show's alternate dimension.

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Portrait mode is failing randomly for some Pixel 2 XLs when used in succession with burst mode

Portrait mode is one of the things I'm most looking forward to trying on my Panda Pixel 2 XL — at least, when it finally ships sometime around Christmas. But it would appear that it might be bugging out in some circumstances. For some, photos taken in portrait mode are inexplicably registering as burst photos without any of the portrait mode magic being applied to them. 

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Amazon's new 4K Fire TV is now shipping, but early reviews aren't all positive

Last month, Amazon announced a ton of new products, including a new Fire TV. While the new design and 4K capabilities are the main selling points, there are a few software improvements as well. Now the device is shipping to customers, and you can buy it for $69.99 from Amazon.

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Samsung fires shots at Google with new 'Screen Reviews' commercial

It's not often we see tech companies throw shade at each other, at least outside of the usual cell network advertisements. The Pixel 2 XL has been receiving some negative publicity lately regarding its display issues, and Samsung has taken up the opportunity to subtly make fun of it in a new commercial.

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Instagram adds new 'Superzoom' mode and Halloween face filters

Instagram has added quite a few new features in the past few months. Just three days ago, the company added the ability to livestream with a friend. Now the app has a new recording mode, called 'Superzoom,' as well as some Halloween-themed filters and stickers.

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