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NBC's app gets a pretty modern design overhaul, fewer commercials, and better Chromecast support

Of the thousands and thousands of apps on the Play Store, very few get updated to meet the latest design trends and guidelines. Some developers take their sweet time, others never bother, thinking that a functional app is all that's needed and design isn't too relevant.

NBC's Android app was neither here nor there. It followed more of a Holo aesthetic, with some more modern elements like the hamburger menu. Now, however, it's taking a leap forward with a major redesign. The Holo-like dark grey and blue tabs are still there, but they're much less flagrant now, the font is changed, and the iconography has been improved throughout.

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Google pushing Pixel pre-orders with popup on Google homepage

Google really, really wants you to pre-order a pixel, or at least to be aware that it exists. If you head to the Google homepage, you very well may see a popup encouraging you to pre-order the Pixel. Forget for a minute that most variants of the Pixel are sold out—Google is getting as much attention as possible for this phone.

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Google made some cute advertisements for Duo, seriously they're adorable

One trend I've noticed with Google over the years is that they don't usually advertise on TV. There's been some commercials for the Nexus devices over the years, and recently some ads for Google Photos, but not much else. Google just uploaded a series of ads for Google Duo, their new video chat application, and they're absolutely adorable. Check them out:

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Report: Verizon offered to pre-install bloatware apps for $1-2 per phone

It's 2016. Android is pretty great. We have access to software and hardware that were just pipe dreams a few years ago, and the mild whining that we as a community like to engage in is just that: mild. But bloated, unnecessary software from manufacturers and carriers, which restricts customer choice, adds to update delays, and sometimes even opens up vulnerabilities, remains a thorn in the side of the platform as a whole. How often have we seen otherwise interesting hardware brought down because someone thought it would be a good idea to pay for unverified mobile games with sandwiches?

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Google rolls out new ad settings tool to 'personalize' the ads you see

Google makes most of its money from showing ads, both on its own services and on third-party sites running Google's ad network. When you use Google products, you have to be okay with some of the things you do being used to inform the ads you see. Today, Google is making a new tool available to users that lets you see and control the information Google uses to show you ads, but it comes with an (optional) expansion of Google's advertising personalization.

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Google puts up "be together not the same" billboard for Pride with lots of colorful Nova Launcher screens

New York City's Pride March is scheduled to take place this Sunday the 26th, and Google is all ready to join in. Android's "be together not the same" slogan champions acceptance and celebrates difference, something that falls in line with the message of Pride. And with the Orlando shooting's black cloud looming over everyone, it's nice to see Google already excited and ready to grab its rainbow flag and stand proud.

At the corner of Christopher Street and 7th Avenue in NYC, there are two new billboards for Android filled to the brim with more than 80 different homescreen setups — some, if not all, of which have been made with Nova Launcher (which happens to be on sale now, happy coincidence!).

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Snapchat Will Soon Include Many More Ads As Company Tries To Wean Itself Off Venture Capital

Snapchat, not long ago an ad-free platform, is preparing to ramp up the promotional content. In a series of industry-targeted announcements, the company has detailed several initiatives that will inevitably result in users seeing ads more frequently than they do now.

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Podcast Company Stitcher Has Been Acquired For $4.5 Million

Google Play Music just added podcast support recently, but Stitcher has been successfully indexing and streaming podcasts for years. This has not gone unnoticed. Stitcher has been acquired from owner Deezer for $4.5 million. The buyer is E.W. Scripps, which probably isn't a name with which you're familiar. You may be familiar with what they do, though.

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InBrief
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Google Play Services v9.0 SDK Adds Video Recording API And Improves APIs For Nearby, Ads, And Player Stats

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Google Is Banning Payday Loan Ads From AdWords, And Payday Loan Shills Are Out In Full Force To Complain

If you've never heard of payday loans, consider yourself lucky. They're an absolutely vile form of lending with annual interest rates that often creep over 1000%. Until now, Google has allowed these companies to advertise their services on its AdWords platform. Effective July 13th, you won't see ads for these services from Google. Believe it or not, there are people who think publicly defending this industry is a good idea, and they're all over the comments on Google's post.

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