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[Impressive] Chrooma Keyboard 3.0 adds gestures, themes and adaptive colors, Google Now integration, an action bar, more

Whoa. It's not easy for me to be impressed by a keyboard. I have been a staunch Google Keyboard user on all of my devices from the day it was released as a standalone app on the Play Store many moons ago. Every other keyboard I have tried — and I've tried plenty — fails to even register within the usable spectrum for me: lags and/or lack of precision have killed many revered third-party options.

I confess, I'd never tried Chrooma before today, mainly because I'd given up on finding any third-party keyboard, regardless of how many cool options it has, that lets me type as efficiently and comfortably as Google Keyboard has.

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Google is rolling out a brand-new Now On Tap bar layout with nearby places and quick actions

Google Now On Tap has been, to put it gently, less than totally useful to most people. While the high-minded concepts behind Now On Tap were quite impressive, Google has had a harder time than I think many of us thought it would actually making it into a consistently helpful and intuitive product. It appears that in the last couple of days Google has been rolling out an all-new set of features to Now On Tap that honestly make it a bit more of a virtual assistant than a contextual search engine.

What you see in the hero image above are two new card streams, one for nearby places, the other for common tasks you might ask of your phone.

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Android Users Can Access Google Now On Tap Without Enabling Google Now Cards

One might assume that anyone who's enthusiastic enough to enable Google Now On Tap, the contextual search engine that uses screenshots and optical character recognition, would also want access to Google Now cards, which depend more on location, time, and search history. But you know what they say about making assumptions. Previously Now On Tap did indeed depend on the more vanilla Google Now, or at least was linked to it, but the latest version of the Google search app for Android seems to have reduced the interdependency of these two tools.

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Google Prepares For Summer Football Competitions With Now Cards

The summer of soccer football competitions is almost upon us, with both Copa América and Euro 2016 starting this month. Google's showing its support by asking users to select which teams they'd like to follow within Google Now.

Euro 2016 is mere days away, with the competition starting in France on June 10. Two cards, one above and one below, have been appearing in the last few days advertising the European championship. One is asking users which teams they would like to follow, listing them horizontally in alphabetical order with a plus in the top right for adding them to get updates. The card only seems to be appearing if a national football team is already followed in Now, although it may appear if a club football team is followed too.

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Google Now On Tap Is Rolling Out For The Portuguese Locale [Updated]

Dear international Android Police readers: thank you. Our staff is relatively small, so we can only be on the ground (so to speak) in a handful of countries... most of which are the US. So when a bunch of you from one particular place start telling us that something big is happening, we listen. The latest one is Google Now On Tap, the contextual screen-based search tool, which appears to be rolling out in Brazil right now. If you're in the country (and happen to be running Android M), give it a shot.

Update: Turns out Google Now on Tap is now enabled for the Portuguese locale rather than specific countries.

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PSA: It's Easy To Get Song Lyrics From Music Apps In Google Now On Tap

Google Now on Tap, the search engine's contextual tool for Android, hides some pretty neat tricks up its sleeve. But perhaps none is so handy to music lovers as this option, spotted by an Android Police reader: Now on Tap can serve up song lyrics directly from music apps with just a few on-screen taps. Google's Knowledge Graph system can already find lyrics fairly easily, but the way it's been integrated into the retrieval system for Android is fairly slick.

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In The Wake Of Terrorist Attacks And Violence, Google Makes Hangouts Calls Free To Belgium And Turkey, Adds Info To Now

In the wake of the tragic events in Brussels today and the recent violence and bombings in Turkey, Google has made calls to both countries free via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer, and Google Voice. Calls to people on Belgium's biggest carriers — Lycamobile, Mobistar, Proximus, and Telenet — are free, along with calls to all landlines in Turkey. Google's announcement follows earlier news of all major U.S. mobile carriers offering similar free calling and texting to Belgium (Turkey was not mentioned).

In addition, for the Brussels area, Google has been publishing Google Now cards with transit updates, keeping the public informed and up-to-date, plus a direct link to the Government Crisis Centre.

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Google Now Lets You Block Cards From Showing Specific News Sources, Not Just Previously Visited Sites

Google is on a roll with the app-less updates this week. After trialing a new homescreen weather shortcut for a small amount of users a few days ago, users have been noticing that there is a new feature in Google Now to block any site from showing up in the 'Stories to read' section. Therefore, if you see a card you'd rather not see, it can now be banished and will go back to whence it came.

Blocking sites in Now has been around for a while, but only for select cards; namely the ones that specifically show up for sites you've visited before. As of the update, likely to be a server-side rollout, the blocking ability has been upgraded to apply to any card.

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Google Now Will Show You A Refueling Options Card When It's Time To Return A Rental Car

Google Now's purpose is to give you useful information before you even think to ask, and additions continue to roll out that make the service better at its job.

A reader has reached out to us with a screenshot of a Refueling options card in Google Now. It shows the names of individual stations, how far away they are, and how long they're open. Interestingly, as mentioned at the bottom of the card, this information is appearing because the recipient has to return a rental car to the area. It's also worth noting that the reader was using Google to manage his travel itinerary.

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Google App v5.10 Adds Option To Open Links In Chrome Custom Tabs

The Google App's version 5.10 update rolled out to the beta channel yesterday with a new waiting animation, but one change that was lurking behind is the option to open links from search results and Now cards in Chrome Custom Tabs instead of redirecting to the full Chrome browser (or your other default browser).

The option was first discovered by Cody in the APK teardown of version 5.5, but it appears to have just been activated now in the app. But, as with all things Google, there are a few asterisks attached to when it does and doesn't work. I have a Nexus 5X (Marshmallow 6.0.1) and an LG G4 (Lollipop 5.1), both running the Google App 5.10.23 and an old version of Play Services 8.4.89.

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