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Google

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Google adds a recipe carousel UI to your culinary search results

I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of football, but I have been to some Super Bowl parties that were actually fun. As I am sure most will agree, good food is crucial to the success of most any gathering. Being the host comes with a series of challenges, one of the largest being what to cook. Google has people like you in mind, and it is rolling out an update to Search that brings a carousel of culinary suggestions and full recipes.

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Google is shutting down the Hands Free pilot test on February 8

Ever since March of last year, Google has been testing a new payment method called Hands Free. The premise was that you could pay for goods with your smartphone without ever having to remove it from your pocket. The pilot was limited to the Bay Area and to only a few businesses. But now, the experiment has hit its end of life for the time being.

As of February 8, Hands Free will shut down.

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Snapseed updated to v2.15 with new curves tool, improved multi-line text, and more [APK Download]

Snapseed is one of the apps Google has actually been keeping up after acquiring it, and good thing too. Adobe's mobile apps aren't great, and Snapseed is excellent for simple image edits. In the first update of 2017, Snapseed has a new curves editing tool, and there are changes to the way text and face detection work.

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RCS support in Messenger going live for some T-Mobile users

RCS, short for Rich Communication Services, has been aiming to replace SMS for years. But unlike the universal SMS standard, there are multiple RCS implementations that don't work with each other. Google has been trying to solve this, by adding RCS support to Google Messenger and working with carriers to implement Jibe's 'Universal RCS Profile.'

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[Update: Better shots] Google's LG-built Android Wear 2.0 watches appear to have leaked in low-res form

We're just a few weeks away from the release of Android Wear 2.0, and along with that we expect Google's new watches to arrive. Google has confirmed it's working on these devices, but little else. Following a spec-heavy report last week from VentureBeat, there's now a new piece of the puzzle. An image has leaked that purports to show the two watches, and they look very much like we'd expect them to look.

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Google Opinion Rewards update adds a hamburger menu and notification sounds

Google Opinion Rewards has been around for a while, allowing Android users to answer various surveys to receive Play Store credit. Now Google has updated the Opinion Rewards app to version '20170119,' adding a hamburger menu and new notification options.

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[Hands-On] Google Contacts web rolls out a better looking Material Design interface to everyone

Google started testing a Preview redesign of Google Contacts' web interface back in March of 2015. At the time, you could access it by going to contacts.google.com/preview and it looked nicer than the old Gmail-like Contacts page. As time passed, Material Design evolved even further and that redesign itself was getting stale. A slightly updated version was rolled out to G Suite users in March of 2016, but the biggest redesign is happening now and it's affecting everyone.

If you head over to contacts.google.com, no /preview at the end, you will see a brand new Contacts interface that takes the Material redesign to a new level.

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Google Docs update adds image resizing and moving, drag and drop text, and more [APK Download]

Most people associate editing documents and presentations on mobile with being a pain, but Google constantly aims to change that by adding new features to its Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps on Android. Case in point: the latest update for Google Docs features several helpful additions, including header and footer insertion, drag and drop text, as well as better control of images.

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Facebook helped make Chrome's page refreshing up to 28% faster

Back in Chrome 54, Google introduced changes to the way pages are reloaded. The change was partially thanks to Facebook, who has been working with various browser vendors to improve browser caching. While the change isn't brand new, Google and Facebook are eager to share how well it has been working.

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[Update: Survey closed] Google wants experienced developers to go to Mountain View and give feedback on Android

The vast majority of companies use some form of market research to communicate with their customers and ask them what they want. Google is no different, but this latest attempt is pretty cool: the company is asking for Android developers to fill in a form describing their experience with the operating system. Google will then choose a few select applicants to go to Mountain View to discuss their thoughts on Android development.

The form asks interested devs to list their apps and what categories said apps are in, if they develop for Android for a living, and how long they been 'with Android.' Google says "Your participation will directly impact our product roadmap and plans for 2017," so the chosen few may be pretty influential on Android development and everything that encompasses.

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