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Google

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Google Photos rolling out faster photo sharing and 'Movie Concepts' [APK Download]

Google Photos remains one of my favorite Google products. Unlimited free photo uploads (at a capped resolution), easy organization, automatic tagging, the list of features goes on and on. Google Photos is rolling out two new features today that improve sharing and automatic video creation.

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Google Play Books adds Discover mode with customized book news, reviews, and suggestions [APK Download]

Google is rolling out an update to the Google Play Books app today, and for the first time in ages there's a notable new feature. It's called Discovery, and it helps you discover new stuff to read. As is the case with a great many Google features, this one is available in the US only at first.

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Google Slides now supports using Android Wear to control presentations [APK Download]

It's a bit difficult to get excited over updates to presentation software. But the latest Google Slides update brings a new feature that should have been implemented ages ago - remote control with Android Wear devices. Google Slides has supported streaming presentations to Chromecasts for a while now, but you have always had to control the show from your phone (or your laptop, if using the web version).

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The latest Google Slides update installs a companion app on your Android Wear device. When you start casting a presentation, a notification appears on your watch that opens the Wear app. The top of the UI shows the time you have spent on the current slide, the orange bar indicates how far along you are in the presentation, and the bottom shows a preview of the next slide.

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Google Allo may launch this week, according to Evan Blass [Update: Maybe 9/21]

Google Duo and Allo, the company's latest messaging applications, were announced back at Google I/O this year. Only Duo has been released to the public, and as I'm sure you all know, Google has been silent about the release date for Allo apart from a summer release. With the first day of fall coming on September 22, time is running out to meet the deadline.

Evan Blass, more famously known as @evleaks on Twitter, posted a tweet saying only "Hello, Allo (launches this week)." That's it.

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[Not Allo] Google starts advertising Duo on the Google.com homepage

Google rarely advertises anything on the Google.com homepage. Most of the time the ads consist of single-line text banners about a new Nexus device or donating to disaster relief. They were the subject of much criticism in 2012 when they used an animated advertisement (for the Nexus 7) on the homepage for the first time.

Google is once again using its influence as the homepage for millions of users - this time to promote Duo. If you visit the Google homepage at the time of writing, you can see a text banner that reads, "Face-to-face with just a tap. Try Duo, simple video calling for Android and iOS."

Google appears to be making a large marketing push for Duo, just recently they published a series of advertisements on their YouTube channel.

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Google is testing the option to queue Play Store downloads for when WiFi is available

Ever since capped mobile data became the norm, we have been faced with a conundrum—download things on mobile data for instant gratification or wait until there's WiFi that won't put a dent in our data plan. The Play Store has long had an option that would prevent large downloads from starting without your express permission on mobile data, but now Google is testing a system that lets you queue these downloads for the next time you're on WiFi.

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Chrome Dev 55 adds gamepad features and better Android Pay support [APK Download]

Yesterday, I wrote about the massive number of changes that Chrome Beta 54 brought along. Chrome 55 hasn't been in development for quite as long, but there are still a few noteworthy changes. Come along with me as I journey into the wonderful world of alpha-quality software.

Users on Android 7.0 might need to use an APK to update, as there is a bug with Chrome Beta & Dev updating from the Play Store. You can find the APKMirror download link at the bottom of this post.
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Chrome 54 Beta adds an updated New Tab Page, background video playback, and more [APK Download]

Chrome 54 Beta is now available on the Google Play Store, for you adventurous beta testers out there. This beta brings some very useful new features to Chrome, so let's dive right in!

New Tab page

Chrome 54 brings a redesigned New Tab page, and honestly, I'm not sure I'm a fan. The changed New Tab page still maintains the Google logo and the search bar, but does away with the Bookmarks or Recent Tabs buttons.

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Android apps can now easily access Google's harmful website database

Google's Safe Browsing feature has been around since 2007, and has protected millions of people from harmful threats on the internet. It's a blacklist of harmful websites, such as those distributing malware and phishing scams, that Google actively updates every day. The database is used by Chrome, Firefox, and even Safari to ensure users can be as safe as possible online.

Back at Google I/O, Google announced they would make an official API for applications to check a given website in the Safe Browsing database. Starting with Google Play Services 9.4, developers can finally use the API in their apps.

The Safe Browsing API uses the latest version of the Safe Browsing Network Protocol, meaning it's designed to be as quick (and use up as little cellular data) as possible.

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Google made some cute advertisements for Duo, seriously they're adorable

One trend I've noticed with Google over the years is that they don't usually advertise on TV. There's been some commercials for the Nexus devices over the years, and recently some ads for Google Photos, but not much else. Google just uploaded a series of ads for Google Duo, their new video chat application, and they're absolutely adorable. Check them out:

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