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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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Google teams up with Rogers to bring Jibe RCS texting to Canada

Rich Communications Services, the next-gen upgrade to standard texting and MMS on conventional carriers, might just be the quietest, subtlest trend in 2016. It's being adopted by a ton of mobile-focused tech companies, including Google, in the somewhat nebulous hope that systems more than a decade old can be either replaced or augmented with more capable tech. To that end Google is partnering with Canadian carrier Rogers, the first company to join the Jibe standard in the country.

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Google's 'Brillo' Internet of Things platform is now 'Android Things,' developer preview available for download

Google dipped its toe in the waters of the ambiguously defined "Internet of Things" (IoT) at I/O 2015 when it announced the Brillo operating system. Today, Google has announced Android Things, the new name for Brillo, is ready for public testing. Developers can grab the images right now for several hardware platforms.

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Google acquires smartwatch company Cronologics to work on Android Wear

Google pushed back the release of Android Wear 2.0 a few months ago, which is currently expected to debut in early 2017. There's been a great deal of uncertainty about the future of the platform, but Google isn't giving up. In fact, it just acquired a company (founded by former Googlers) that created a smartwatch OS. It's called Cronologics—or rather it was. The company is being absorbed entirely by the Android Wear team.

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Android Pay officially expands to Japan

Google is slowly but surely expanding its Android Pay platform to more territories. Today Japan gets access - if you're in the country you should be able to download the app from the Play Store for the first time on Android 4.4 or later. Google's retail partners in Japan include McDonalds, Dominoes, Lawson, Mini-Stop, Apita, Family Mart, and Coca-Cola vending machines, along with a handful of Japan-exclusive retailers. 

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Gboard expands keyboard GIF support beyond Android 7.1

One of the few substantive changes in Android 7.1 was the addition of GIFs in the keyboard. When typing in a supported app, you can use the GIF button to drop in an image. This was only working on Android 7.1 previously, but the new Gboard keyboard update changes that.

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Project Fi offering $20 'Share the Fi Love' referral credit until January 11

Google's Project Fi has always been about saving money, as long as you don't consume a lot of data. Now Project Fi customers can "Share the Fi Love" with a new referral credit, accessible via the carrier's website. For each new Fi subscriber that uses the referral code, both the new subscriber and the original subscriber get a $20 Fi credit.

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