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[Update: Google Lens actions are live] Google app v7.17 beta brings visual changes and Voice Match branding, hints at Android P, new Google Lens suggestions, and search filters [APK Teardown]

A bunch of new updates are rolling out as Google developers prepare to take a long holiday break. One of the big updates for the week is to the Google app itself. Version 7.17 began rolling out to the beta channel yesterday with some visual tweaks and the addition of something called Voice Match, Google's branding for its voice detection features. A teardown also reveals a curious reference to the next version of Android, new features for Google Lens, and in-app searches may finally get filters like the web interface.

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Google research project uses AI to detect someone spying on your messages

Google is constantly working on projects with interesting potential, but we rarely get to hear about them at such an early stage in development as this latest one. Google researchers Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff have been developing software on a Pixel phone that uses the front-facing camera to spot someone looking over your shoulder at the screen.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: DP2 corrects hamburger emoji, puts cheese above the patty

Despite having served burgers with cheese below the patty at the Googleplex a few weeks ago, the company has just now fixed the hamburger emoji in Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2. A few other emojis have received mild overhauls as well.

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Latest Gmail and Maps versions have white/inverted nav bars on Android 8.1

White navigation bars are nothing new, with LG phones having had them as options for many years and Samsung recently making them the default to reduce burn-in on its Galaxy phones. Now they're becoming abundant in Google phones with the introduction of Android 8.1 Oreo, both for aesthetic effect and in an attempt to minimize burn-in. Their latest appearances on 8.1 are in Gmail and Maps, where they've found new homes.

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Google says a fix has been identified for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL random reboots, will be rolling out 'in the coming weeks'

Quite a few people have been experiencing random reboots on their Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, and they've all been left to helplessly wait for the problem to be resolved. However, Google is saying that it's now identified a fix, though specifics weren't discussed.

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Lens in Google Assistant is rolling out widely on Pixel phones today

Google announced a few weeks ago that Lens was coming to Google Assistant, but the deployment would take some time. It's showed up sporadically for users since then, but it appears to be rolling out widely on Pixel phones today (in select markets). Open Assistant, and you may very well have the Lens button down at the bottom.

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[Update: OTAs going out] Android 8.1 Developer Preview 2 is now available for Pixel and Nexus devices

Google dropped the first developer preview for Android 8.1 last month, and now it's time for an update. The second dev preview build is now available for download via system images on the developer site. This is your chance to be on the bleeding edge of Android, but as usual, running beta software comes with some risks.

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uBreakiFix is Google's exclusive after-sales support partner for Pixelbooks in US and Canada

The Pixelbook is a good-looking laptop, but it's also an expensive one - not just for a Chromebook, but for a laptop in general. With prices maxing out at $1649, it'd really suck to have to try and find a repair outlet for this niche device. But just as it did for the Pixel and Pixel 2, Google has teamed up with repair chain uBreakiFix to offer exclusive after-sales support in the US and Canada.

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YouTube Go is now out of beta

Earlier this year, Google released 'YouTube Go,' a super-lightweight version of the YouTube app tailored for developing countries. You can download videos in varying qualities, and then send the local copies to nearby friends over Bluetooth. In areas where a working (let alone fast) data connection can be hard to come by, these are welcome features.

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Here are 30 temporarily free and 37 on-sale apps for your Cyber Monday

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone. While you're out shopping for the best deals on the internet, I hope you'll take a few minutes to look through the apps that have gone on sale over the weekend. It's a much shorter list than we saw last week, but it's still substantial. Enjoy.

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