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Google Announces Custom 'Live Cases' For Nexus 6, 5X, And 6P—Previously Leaked As Google Workshop

You might vaguely recall an exclusive post on AP a few years back about "Google Workshop." It was to be an online tool for creating custom cases for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013). Oh, those were the days. Well, it turns out Google Workshop is real, but they're called Live Cases now. You can pick up your very own custom Live Case for the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, or Nexus 6P with a photo or stylized Maps screenshot for $35.

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Google+ Adds Stronger Community Content Filters And Anti-Spam Controls

Spam is the bane of our lives, even moreso now that we're all online and bots can be programmed to abuse any system that allows people to generate content and where other users read and consume said content. So is the case with Google+ communities. If you're starting your own community and you expect it to be popular, you're probably dreading the amount of spam that you'll have to deal with just to keep things rolling like they should.

Now Google+ has its own content control system on the web, Android, and iOS that checks posts for questionable content and flags them for the moderator to manually accept/reject them.

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Chrome Safe Browsing Now Warns Against Fake 'Download' Buttons And Other Deceptive Ads

You know those fake "download" buttons you see when you're searching for old Super NES ROMs completely legitimate open-source software? The kind that advertising networks sometimes spit out even on otherwise above-board sites? Yeah, they're awful, and they often link directly to copycat or malicious files. Google hates them as much as you do, and is taking steps to make them less effective. Starting today, Chrome browsers on all platforms will warn visitors to sites with potentially misleading or fake "download" ads.

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Google Announces Voice Access Beta—Control Your Phone Completely By Voice

It was almost a year ago that Google posted the session list for I/O 2015 with an interesting "voice access" talk. That was eventually removed from the schedule and we didn't hear anything about it in Android M. Now, Google has announced Voice Actions as a beta in the Play Store (Android 5.0 and higher). Once you join up, you can install the app and literally control your entire phone by voice. It's incredibly cool.

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Google Photos Web Update Brings Uploading Improvements And Keyboard Shortcuts

It sometimes may feel like the Google Photos web app gets a little left behind in the wake of its Android brethren, but today is the day: a post on Google+ from the Photos team has detailed the latest update, which brings improvements in the upload procedure and all-new keyboard shortcuts.

Photos can now be uploaded directly to an album, instead of having to upload photos and then add them to an album after they've uploaded. This should make it much easier to upload large batches of photos from a DSLR or other camera which doesn't connect to Google Photos. The keyboard shortcuts, meanwhile, will hopefully make navigation through the web interface more efficient, making it easier to move through photos or perform actions on an individual photo, such as editing or deleting.

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Chrome Dev Revamps The Bookmarks Widget With Material Design

We already know at least one improvement with the latest Chrome Dev build (v51): the complete removal of the 'Merge Tabs and Apps' option. Well, here's the second improvement: a brand new widget. Or rather, a revamped version of an older widget.

The bookmarks widget, formerly with big, largely useless thumbnails, has been re-designed to use a list item style instead of a grid, and material design navigation. The result is a much cleaner-looking widget, with better, easier to understand navigation to boot. It has shown me how disorganised my bookmarks are, though.

Of course, the widget won't make your bookmarks any more organised - we can only hope that feature will come to Google Now in the future - but maybe it will encourage you to organise them into folders and such.

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[Update: Changes Were Reverted By Server-Side Switch] Google+ v7.6 Brings A Bunch Of Improvements To The Notifications Screen [APK Download]

Who doesn't love a good update? That's a rhetorical question, of course. A few app updates rolled out today, including one for Google+ on Android. A look through it shows that this update was pretty well dedicated to polishing things up on the Notification screen. A previously announced feature is finally locked in, and some of the top requests from users have been addressed. As usual, we've got a link at the bottom if you're eager to get this one downloaded, or just keep reading to find out what's new.

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Google Removes Merged Tabs Entirely In The Latest Chrome Dev

Google made a lot of changes to the Android UI in Lollipop, many of them successful. Chrome merged tabs was not one of those features. After first making the old style tab management the default again several weeks back, the latest Chrome Dev build removes the merged tabs option entirely.

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Google Finally Launching Reminders For Calendar On The Web

Google added reminder support to Google calendar late last year, but the feature felt oddly incomplete without full support for reminders on the web. That's a thing now, so you can create and manage reminders in Google Calendar on the web. It's not showing up for me just yet, but everyone should see reminders on the web soon.

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[What Does The Fox Say?] Google Search Can Teach You Animal Sounds, If That's Your Jam

Google Search can do many wondrous things: set up a reminder item, imitate a metronome, show (reasonably) accurate weather predictions...or play animal sounds. That's right, the newest feature to come to the platform is a function to play a requested animal sound, which may make you feel like you're in a zoo, but might come in handy one day.

So what animals are there to choose from? Well, there're cats and dogs, alongside a range of 'farmyard' animals, such as pigs, cows, horses, turkeys, and roosters. Then there's the 'wildlife' contingency of the animal kingdom - tigers, zebras, lions, apes, raccoons, and elephants.

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