Android Police

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Less headache for Creators: YouTube channels will no longer have two types of URLs

For the few of you who have a YouTube channel, there was one headache-inducing issue that everyone kept running into: channel URLs could take one of two formats: youtube.com/ChannelName or youtube.com/c/ChannelName (the latter being based on Google+). While this seems like an innocuous annoyance, it used to cause plenty of confusion for viewers who weren't aware of the difference and tried to reach a channel but didn't find it there. Silly.

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PSA: Gmail can now preview Docs, Sheets, and Slides even if the corresponding app isn't installed

One thing I have often found annoying was how Google Drive could at least preview Docs, Sheets, and Slides, even if the corresponding app wasn't installed, but Gmail couldn't. Gmail used to try routing these links to the different apps if they were installed, but in case they weren't, it would open the file in the browser.

That's changed in the latest versions of Gmail. I tested it on v 6.11.6.14 and compared with v 6.9.25.13 on another device.

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Google Search is testing new Recent tab, Offline and Lite search modes

Google is on a testing spree with server-side changes in the main Search app. Based on feedback from several readers, it looks like there might be changes afoot to the side menu, introducing a new feature and improving on ones we've seen before but that haven't been widely implemented yet.

Recent search tab

Whenever you perform a search within the Google app or widget, you have a couple of ways to access it again: you either remember the exact words you used and try the same search, or you access your Google activity dashboard, or you use the trick of tapping the Google icon to open a consequent search as a separate page to leave the previous one lurking.

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Google Contributor is being discontinued in favor of a newer iteration due in early 2017

Google Contributor was a very interesting proposition for those of us in the web publishing industry. It allowed sites like Android Police to offer readers an option to pay a little bit of money per month to remove some ads and thus have a better experience reading us while also helping us stay in business. It was launched in August of 2015 and has thus far stayed limited to users in the US. Today though, Contributor is being discontinued.

Users are receiving an email that explains that there's a new and improved version of Contributor that will launch "early next year" and that, in the meantime, the current Contributor will be discontinued.

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[Deal Alert] Anki Overdrive Starter Kit is down to $99.99 on Amazon ($50 off)

The definition of a toy nowadays is a lot more complicated and advanced than when I was still a kid. A small toy car, a plush bear, heck even a new eraser or pencil sharpener counted. Now, toys have to use batteries, be smart, connect to your phone in some form or another, and be expandable to suck you further in their franchise.

But as far as these kinds of toys go, Anki's Overdrive is kinda cool. It's a racing track with the obvious phone connection, where you can upgrade your cars and their capabilities, build the track as you want with the different elements, and even expand on it with more cars, track parts, and players. The kit includes 2 cars, 6 curved and 4 straight track pieces, 2 riser pieces, 1 charging system, and 1 tire cleaner.

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[Update: Official] Google Keyboard is now Gboard with v6.0 update—includes integrated search, dedicated number row, multiple active languages, and more [APK Download]

Google released a keyboard app for the iPhone some months back called Gboard, and everyone was wondering if it would come to Android. Well, now it has as the v6.0 update to Google Keyboard. It's not only a name change, though. There are a few important new features, including a search shortcut and true multi-language support.

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Most Wanted: Android Police's five favorite accessories from 2016

We mobile tech nerds love our accessories, and manufacturers love to sell them to us. Between wearables, VR headsets, and voice-controlled home automation, accessories for smartphones have never been more varied. We've covered and reviewed quite a few this year on Android Police, and here are our picks for the top five.

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Google+ v9.3 reveals plan to move Location Sharing to Google Maps and make a more useful cropping tool [APK Teardown]

This week has been busy with updates, but many are just checking bugs off the list before everybody takes off a couple of weeks for the holidays. The web interface was given adjustments for how frequently Recommended and Trending posts are shown, and there are now better recommendations and a new horizontally scrollable view on the mobile site, but only the improved recommendations made it over to the app (so far). The interesting part of the apk update is in the teardown, which confirms plans to relocate the location sharing feature to Google Maps. There is also evidence of a new improved image cropping tool in the works.

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Facebook announces global rollout of new 'native camera' for Messenger

Users of Facebook Messenger have been seeing a new camera tool pop up in recent weeks, but it wasn't consistent or widely available. Now, Facebook is rolling this feature out to everyone in Messenger. The so-called native camera is easier to access and it has a ton of effects and filters. I'm told by some young people that it's much more like Snapchat now.

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Lenovo's funky Yoga Book laptop will get a Chrome OS option next year

The Yoga Book is definitely one of the most interesting and divisive laptop designs to come out in a while - users either love or hate its touchscreen/keyboard deck hook. To a digital artist its integrated "Create Pad" is a godsend, but a mechanical keyboard fan probably sees its integrated haptic key layout as sacrilege. Either way, you'll soon have more options if you want to check out that unique hardware: a Lenovo executive told a Tom's guide reporter that the Yoga Book would be sold in a Chrome OS model in 2017.

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