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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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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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[Deal Alert] Get $15 off Google's new Holiday Sweater Live Cases today with coupon code [Update: Works on all Live Cases]

It is apparently Ugly Sweater Day (the third Friday in December), and Google is getting in the holiday spirit by offering up some new holiday Live Cases with a nice little discount. The Holiday Sweater cases can be had for $15 off. That's $25 instead of the usual $40.

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New 'Land Lines' Chrome experiment turns gestures into Google Earth imagery

Sometimes Google makes useful apps and services, and sometimes it just shows off. Chrome Experiments are mostly about showing off. They're excuses for Google to demo the cutting edge technologies it is working on behind the scenes. The latest Chrome experiment is Land Lines, which takes your doodles and matches them up with real locations from Google Earth.

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Google just added a ton of new services to Google Home, most of which you won't care about

Google has been rolling out new features to Home since its release a few weeks back, not all of which have been hugely useful. Today, over two dozen new services have been added to Home—not that you'd ever know unless you went digging around in the settings. Most of them are not very impressive.

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[Update: Email/SMS via labels too] Google Contacts 1.6 adds new Suggestions screen, updated icon, pull-to-refresh, and more [APK Download]

The Android application for Google Contacts has mostly been neglected over the years, but back in August, the 1.5 update introduced an updated interface and new abilities. Contacts 1.6 is now available from the Play Store and APKMirror, with a new icon and a few important changes.

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Netflix and Google Photos integration with Google Home is now official—here's how to enable it

Google Home launched with the ability to cast YouTube videos to your Chromecast devices, but other types of media were off limits. That's changing today with the official launch of Netflix and Google Photos support on Home. You'll need the latest versions of some apps, but Home itself is ready to go as soon as you are.

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Project Fi vending machine at San José International Airport offers free travel goodies to subscribers

There's a new vending machine in the San José International Airport, which is not usually something we would have any reason to care about. However, this is a Google Project Fi vending machine, and it gives away free stuff. Not to everyone, though. It's only for Project Fi subscribers.

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CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies arrive for the Galaxy S III carrier variants, Moto E 2nd gen LTE, Moto X Play, and more

Got an old phone that the manufacturer or carrier has stopped pushing updates to? Chances are, there's a CyanogenMod ROM that will breathe life back into it. This week, CM maintainers have brought CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, to the AT&T and T-Mobile versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III, the LTE model of the second-generation Moto E, the Moto X Play, and more.

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Google spins off its self-driving car division into a new company, Waymo

We've been hearing about Google's self-driving car ambitions for years, but lately the company seems to have slowed a bit, while would-be competitors like Tesla and NVIDIA are nipping at its heels. To give its efforts a boost (or possibly just make the expense and organization more manageable), the formerly Google-branded self-driving car project is being spun off into a separate company under the Alphabet parent company. The new venture is called Waymo, as in "a new way forward in mobility."

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