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Google uploads its Device Health Services system app to the Play Store

One of Android 8.0 Oreo's new features is the new actionable battery menu, which gives you far more details and options than the previous design. But behind the scenes, the company has been tweaking 'Device Health Services,' the app that calculates your remaining battery percentage based on your usage. Now it looks like Google has uploaded the app to the Play Store.

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Google's predictive search suggestions could be getting a makeover, with new thumbnail images and descriptions

When you search with Google on your device, either with the home screen search box/pill, in the Google feed pane, or directly in the Google app, you'll often see predictive search suggestions as you type your query. These come not only from the web, but from your contacts, songs in your Play Music account, and so on. The web suggestions are usually indicated simply by a magnifying glass icon, but this could be about to change.

According to a tip we received on Google+, it appears that Google is trialing additional information for search predictions. As you can see from the screenshots below, thumbnail images and descriptions of each item are showing for our tipster.

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Google is permanently nerfing all Home Minis because mine spied on everything I said 24/7 [Update x2]

When the first home assistants were announced, I was excited. A device I could wake up with a simple hotword that would answer my questions, set reminders, turn on the TV, and dim the lights, all without me having to get off the couch, sounded fantastic. Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot, Google's Home, and a myriad others, most recently the Home Mini, have invaded our kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms. Heck, I put one in the bathroom.

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Moto X4 for Project Fi delayed until later this month

Google and Motorola announced a big step for Project Fi a few weeks ago. The new Moto X4 will be the first "Android One" device in the US, as well as the first non-Google device on Project Fi. It's just not either of those things quite yet. The phone was supposed to be shipping around now, but customers are being notified of a delay of several weeks.

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AirPods can activate Google Assistant on your Android device with this app

There are only a handful of truely wireless earbuds on the market that are actually worth using, and perhaps the most popular at the moment is Apple's AirPods. But unlike most Apple products, they actually work pretty well with non-Apple devices, including Android phones. If you're looking for tighter integration between AirPods and your Android phone, DotArrow's latest app will come in handy.

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New Android Wear 2.0 features can now be delivered through the Play Store, no OTA required

Android Wear is entering a potentially critical time. Wear 2.0 hasn't been received nearly as well as might have been expected, with many observers understandably worrying for its future. Watches were conspicuously absent from Google's big hardware event last week, and the Google Store site refresh has removed all non-Google products, including LG's recently released Android Wear watches.

Wear fans could use some more good news to add to the recent announcement of the Oreo beta program for the LG Watch Sport, and it looks as though we have exactly that. Googler Hoi Lam took to Google+ yesterday to share some new information about future updates to Android Wear 2.0.

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Welcome the new week with 41 temporarily free and 31 on-sale apps

It's Monday once again, meaning that we're due for another app sales post. Today's list is quite the long 'un, so get ready. Despite the large selection, there was nothing I found that I could personally recommend, but who knows: you may find something that you enjoy. Have fun.

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Google Image Search on mobile is getting an updated UI

Google doesn't tend to rest on its laurels when it comes to the design of its search interface, be it in the Google app or in browser, and it's always testing new ways to make search results easier for users to navigate and in turn generate those all-important clickthroughs. A couple of months ago badges were added to make it easier to find recipes and products, and now further changes have been made that make the image search UI a little clearer.

It's when you tap on a result that things change. The new design includes an "X" in the top left corner to go back to the image search results, the same as would happen if you hit the back button.

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Google Assistant now sounds more natural thanks to DeepMind's WaveNet technology

When Google acquired British artificial intelligence startup DeepMind back in 2014 nobody was really sure why. It was a secretive company without any consumer-facing products, but it clearly had some technology of interest in Mountain View. DeepMind is now part of the wider Alphabet structure, and now a little bit more is known about what goes on there, including the work it does for Google.

One of the latest projects to come out of DeepMind is called WaveNet, a deep neural network for generating more natural artificial speech recordings, and its use case at Google is obvious. Google Assistant should sound much more human now that WaveNet has been incorporated into it.

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[#JustGoogleThings] Google broke setting reminders in Search yet again

At this point, I'm pretty certain that there's a switch somewhere in Google's code for its Search algorithm that someone keeps flipping on and off inadvertently... or maybe they like toying with people's workflows and feelings.

Two months ago, we reported that setting reminders in Search on a desktop was not working anymore. The feature had been introduced in 2015 and worked by simply typing, "remind me to something" in Google Search on a desktop. It was quite handy since it blended in with your workflow while on your desk, not requiring you shout at your phone or manually type it in.

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