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Google

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Google acknowledges data count bug with OnHub/Google WiFi mesh networks

Modern routers can do some cool things, especially if you're using the new Google WiFi mesh routers. They can cover your home in a healthy glow of electromagnetic waves, intelligently connect to devices, and keep track of your data usage. However, linking Google WiFi with an OnHub can result in some weird data usage stats. Google now says it's aware of the issue and is working on a fix.

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Google is rolling out a new feature called 'Instant Tethering' in Play Services 10.2 [Update: More details]

The mobile hotspot on your phone can be super-useful, but it's also a little tedious to get it set up when you need it. There's a new feature rolling out as part of Google Play Services 10.2 that makes it much easier. It's essentially automatic with a feature called Instant Tethering. Not everyone will have it right away, though.

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[Update: Started on January 10] Google will start ranking pages with intrusive ads lower on search results

Trying to browse the internet quickly, even on the fastest smartphones, has become much harder in recent years. Advertisements take up valuable screen real estate, and can cause your phone's browser to slow to a crawl. Even worse, some sites *coughWikiacough* have taken to using full-screen advertisements and other popups.

As Jean-Luc Picard once said, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!" Google has taken the offensive in the battle against intrusive mobile ads, using their influence as the most popular search engine as leverage.

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Amazon is price-gouging Pixel XL buyers to the tune of over $1,500

The Pixel is a great phone, and as such, a lot of people want it. Although, Google seems to be dropping the ball with regard to making that possible. The Google Store is constantly sold out of the Pixel XL (and sometimes even the regular one), and this has led to price inflation. It's not unusual to see Amazon marketplace sellers listing items for well over MSRP when they're hard to come by, but this is Amazon asking $1,500 for a Pixel XL.

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Google Calendar on the web receives smarter meeting scheduling

The G Suite team has made the first improvement to Google Calendar on the web for the year, which brings some smarter scheduling options for meetings. One of these made a debut in the Android and iOS versions of Calendar last year, but it's good to see the web version getting the same treatment.

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Vizio SmartCast devices now have Google Home compatibility

A little while after LG's announcement that it would add Google Home compatibility to its Music Flow line, Vizio steps up and makes a similar announcement for its SmartCast series of connected speakers, displays, and the like. This will add the strength of voice control to Chromecast-ready devices like the Crave 360 and Pro speakers.

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Google acquires Fabric, a popular mobile developer platform for performance tracking and crash reporting

Ask all of the mobile app developers to name the SDKs and third-party services they're using and the answer you're likely to hear more than any other is Fabric, or possibly Crashlytics (a component of Fabric). Many apps rely on Fabric for crash reporting, performance metrics, and other services that are hard to build in-house, but prove very useful when supporting an app and making business decisions. Fabric announced earlier today that it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Google, leaving behind its parent company Twitter.

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YouTube's new sharing feature is live in Canada, remains invite-only everywhere else

A built-in sharing feature for YouTube has been in various forms of testing for months, but it is now live for all Canadian YouTube users. You read that correctly - Canada actually received a feature first.

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Google is rolling out offline search to help counter spotty connections

The power of Google searches has always had an Achilles heel: terrible connections. Whether you have little to no mobile signal or less than stellar WiFi connectivity, you know the frustration when you're trying to look something up. There is nothing to counter this, but Google has officially rolled out an "offline search" feature which will deliver your searches to you when an adequate signal becomes available.

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Android One phones may be arriving in the United States in the coming months

Google started the Android One initiative back in 2014, with the goal of partnering with manufacturers to develop low-end Android phones that would receive updates directly from Google. All Android One devices have 18 months of promised updates (similar to past Nexus devices), including the monthly security updates, with a stock version of Android. The Information reports that Google will be bringing the Android One program to the United States in the coming months.

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