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Play Games And Google Talkback Both Join The 1 Billion Installs Club

Every couple of months the members of the exclusive billion installs club have to roll out the red carpet as they introduce another app into their ranks. This time, they're welcoming two. The likes of Gmail, Facebook, and WhatsApp now have to say hi to Play Games and Talkback.

Play Games (which only launched in 2013) isn't as old as other Play apps such as Music, Movies, and Newsstand —but that hasn't stopped it from beating all three to the one billion installs mark. Now, before anyone gets too excited, that doesn't mean a billion people have all gone out of their way to install the app.

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[Update: The Drop Test Part Was A (Dumb) Joke] Project Ara Will No Longer Use Electropermanent Magnets To Connect Modules Because They Don't Pass Drop Tests

Speculation is rampant about the future of Google's incredibly ambitious Project Ara modular phone after news broke a few days ago that the planned 2015 test run in Puerto Rico had been cancelled. Now the Project Ara Twitter accounted has shared a tidbit of news that might offer a partial explanation of the delay. The electropermanent magnets that were supposed to hold the hardware modules in place don't pass drop tests.

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AdSense Gets Material Makeover, Spiffy Icon, More Report Types, New Metrics, And Custom Date Ranges In Version 3.0 [APK Download]

Most of us are more familiar with seeing ads than managing them, but those with Google AdSense accounts will be pleased to know that the latest version of the Android app has gone material. And that's just the beginning.

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Google Photos Opt-In 'Rediscover This Day' Feature Now Rolling Out To Mobile Devices And The Web

Remember that photo you took a year ago today? Probably not, but Google does, and today it has publicly called attention to a feature in Google Photos that will bring these past memories back to light.

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The Bing App's New 'Snapshots' Feature Is Like Google Now On-Tap But Different

One of Google's big innovations in Android Marshmallow is Now On-Tap, a contextual search service that uses the content on your screen to perform searches and find relevant information. It's only going to work on Android 6.0, but Microsoft has just updated the Bing app with a similar feature called Snapshots that will work on any device.

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Google Maps Views Is Officially Dead, And The Migration To Google Maps Has Begun

Google Maps is arguably the best way to get from point A to point B, but it is also one of the best ways to explore places around you. From restaurants, to movie theaters, to state parks, Google Maps has all the information you could ever need. How does Google have information for all of these places? Surely there can't be a couple people sitting in Mountain View documenting every mom and pop shop in the world. In fact, most of the information that appears in Google Maps is there because of contributors. There are Googlers who help verify information, but the contributors are the people who add addresses, hours, reviews, etc.

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Project Fi App Update Includes Cross-Device Account Management, Improved Roaming Experience, Visual Tweaks

As a recent (and mostly happy) convert to Google's Project Fi carrier experiment, I've taken up the task of covering Fi news for AP including updates to the Fi app, Google's super simple app for managing your account and keeping tabs on data use.

Today, the app got an update to E.1.3 that brings a few small improvements and one big one - cross-device account management. Basically, Fi users can now install the app on their other devices and manage their accounts from any of them, rather than being stuck to just the Nexus 6.

Screenshot_20150819-194330 Screenshot_20150819-194334

The update also brings an improved experience for initial setup/activation.

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Google And Intel Team Up To Create A Project Tango Developer Kit For Phones Using RealSense

When Dell launched the Venue 8 7000 tablet, a sleek device that's insanely thin, it included a bunch of extra cameras. They provided the hardware necessary for Intel RealSense, which adds depth-sensing capability for images. The end result was kind of awkward, but hey, it's an innovation in progress.

Today at the Intel Developer Forum, the company announced that it has worked with Google to develop a Project Tango developer kit for smartphones utilizing RealSense. To accompany this news, there's a smartphone sporting a 6-inch display and a bunch of cameras on the back. Engadget has shared several photos of the device, which looks a bit like the top half of a Nintendo 3DS.

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Google's New 'OnHub' Smart Wireless Router Is On Sale In The Google Store, Amazon, And More For $199 (US And Canada)

Google has been branching out into new areas recently with the acquisition of Nest and Dropcam, but now it has partnered with TP-Link to make something new—a WiFi router called the OnHub. I know, you've already got a router, but this one looks pretty great as far as routers go. It will automatically adjust channels and bandwidth to suit your usage, it remembers your devices, it's got a speaker/Bluetooth, and there's a mobile app to manage it all.

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Google's Sound Search Widget Gets A Modern Makeover In Android Marshmallow Preview 3

You've probably heard of Shazam. You fire up the app when a song is playing that you can't remember the name of. It will do a little magic trick, then come back with the answer and maybe even lyrics. Google's Sound Search widget does something similar, and following the update contained within the latest Android Marshmallow developer preview, it looks more up-to-date doing it.

The widget doesn't just come with a new style. The developers have also tweaked the functionality. Now the widget launches into the Google Search app's sound recognition interface rather than inside the widget itself. And there's a 1x1 widget option to choose from.

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