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Google Assistant gets an app directory with categories and sample commands

Until now, the only place you could see all the apps with Assistant support was the gigantic scrolling list in the Home app. With the updated Assistant implementation rolling out today, you can finally check out what Assistant has to offer in a more sane way. It's got an app directory now.

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Google Assistant on Android now has query history that you can edit or delete

Google is in the process or rolling out typing input for Assistant on Android phones, which was announced on day one of I/O. When you get it, there will be a few more goodies that Google's didn't see fit to talk about. It turns out there is a full editable history of what you say to Assistant.

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Android O feature spotlight: Google explains the new actionable battery menu

Google is focusing on battery life in Android O by clamping down on what apps can do in the background. At the same time, Android O includes a new battery settings menu that attempts to present your usage in a more understandable way. Instead of simply showing how much juice an app used, it puts battery use in the context of how you use the phone.

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Devs can now autosize TextViews

Google has been smoothing Android's rougher edges over the last few revisions, but there's one thing you interact with constantly that still needs some work: text. Until now, developers had to specify a text size, and that's all the text would be without third-party workarounds—even if that meant it was super-tiny or so big it overflowed. Now, they can create "autosizing TextViews" with Google's tools.

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Google is working on a new payment API for the web and mobile

Manually entering your payment information every time you check out on a new site (or app) is incredibly annoying. In fact, Google says virtual shopping carts are abandoned twice as often on mobile for that very reason. To help alleviate this problem, it looks like Google is working on a PayPal-like payment API that works on desktop and mobile.

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Redesigned Pixel Launcher makes early appearance at Google I/O

A brand new Pixel Launcher UI has been spotted at Google I/O during a sandbox session on Instant Apps. We've not seen anything official about it yet, so it's either going to be debuted soon, or somebody messed up and it's not even a fully tested product. It seems the unreleased launcher was being used to show off new functionality relating to the now more widely available Instant Apps, which it can show in search results alongside those on the Play Store. Previously, the launcher could only show you apps already installed on your device.

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The Google Home app now features customizable user-defined shortcuts for Assistant

One of the draws of having a personal assistant is being able to control various things through it. Alexa is popular partially for this reason and Google Home/Assistant has been slowly catching up since its launch. Just a few weeks ago, our very own Cody noticed that Google was implementing direct support for IFTTT in the Google app for user-defined actions. Well, this has finally appeared in the Home app in a "Shortcuts" menu in the Assistant section.

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Google's education app Expeditions is getting a new AR mode

2 years ago at I/O, Google introduced Expeditions, an educational tool allowing teachers to take their classes on virtual reality field trips, and it's since been experienced by more than 2 million students around the world. It could be used with an inexpensive viewer such as Google Cardboard to tour a variety of virtual spaces, such as Antarctica or the International Space Station. During this year's I/O keynote, Google's VP of Virtual Reality Clay Bavor announced a new feature for the app — it now includes an AR mode.

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Daydream comes to the Galaxy S8 this summer, a future LG phone later this year

Samsung launched the Galaxy S8 with support for the Gear VR (obviously), but Google's VR platform got the cold shoulder. The GS8 could have had both if Samsung wanted, and Samsung and Google have apparently come to an understanding. Yes, Daydream is coming to the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.

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Google announces Daydream standalone VR headsets with beacon-free position tracking, HTC Vive and Lenovo onboard

VR has slowed in both improvements and public excitement recently. But that hasn't stopped Google from bettering its Daydream platform, its take on so-called "smartphone VR." Like Samsung's version, Daydream requires a phone to operate. As cool as this was, it led to some issues, notably battery life and heat. During this year's I/O keynote, Google announced the Standalone VR headsets that were rumored yesterday. As the name suggests, these devices won't require a phone to operate.

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