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Ninety7 LOFT battery base review: A $50 way to move your Google Home around the house

Google has now released three versions of the Google Home, each with its own unique size and price point, but none of them are portable out of the box. Untether them from their power cords, and you'll be left with an interestingly-shaped paperweight (well, the Home Mini actually somewhat resembles one).

Those of you looking for a mobile Home have probably run into this: Ninety7's LOFT battery base for the original Google Home. Ninety7 is no stranger to these battery bases, having made the similarly-priced VAUX, a base with a more powerful speaker for the Echo Dot. But at $49.95, the LOFT isn't cheap, and it doesn't add better speakers like the VAUX does.

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Weekend poll: Do you use apps that take advantage of Android's accessibility services?

Last month, Google announced that it would remove Play Store apps that were using Android's accessibility services to add functionality other than that intended for disabled users. While it was terrible news for many developers, the logic behind the decision was understandable. Recently there have been multiple exploits that take advantage of accessibility services. But unfortunately, plenty of apps use it for legitimately useful purposes as well.

Google just recently decided to pause the ban while it debates the issue internally, and we got curious about how many users might be affected by the change if it was implemented. So, do you use any apps that rely on Android's accessibility services?

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Kick off the weekend with 26 temporarily free and 20 on-sale apps, including some of the Ace Attorney games

The first full week of December is nearly behind us and the holiday season progresses. It being Friday, it's time for some more app sales! The list today is mostly our standard lackluster affair, but amongst the yawning, you will find that Capcom has placed three of the Ace Attorney games on sale. Good stuff.

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New Google music streaming service YouTube 'Remix' could launch in March 2018

It's clear Google sees a benefit in owning a music service to rival Spotify and Apple Music, but making it happen is proving incredibly difficult. Google Play Music hasn't exactly captured the imagination, in no small part due to its terrible app, and YouTube Red (previously YouTube Music Key) hasn't fared much better. Fear not, another attempt is on its way.

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Google Photos adds holiday-themed movies in time for the festive season

Last year, Google Photos introduced 'Movie Concepts,' which are videos automatically created from the photos and videos in your account. They're much like the vacation videos the app puts together when you go on a trip away from home, but based on different themes. The first example was a movie about your kids growing up, but Google said it would be expanding the feature to include other life events and holidays in time.

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The 'Check for update' button on Pixel/Nexus devices still isn't pulling the latest OTAs as promised, but it'll be fixed in 2018

There was much celebration in the Android Police virtual HQ earlier this year when Googler Elliott Hughes revealed that the much-maligned "Check for update" button was getting an overhaul. After so many pointless presses, this button would finally do something on Pixel and Nexus devices. If there was an update available, the button would download it. However, this feature still isn't working. According to Hughes, the bug that broke this feature will be fixed in early 2018.

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[Update: YouTube too] Google switches to white nav bar in Chrome 65 (Canary) and Google Photos

The navigation bar on Google devices has been black since time immemorial, but that's starting to change. In both Chrome and Google Photos, the navigation bar has switched to white with black navigation buttons. It's just those apps so far (and the chrome change is in Canary), but maybe this is only the beginning.

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Contacts sync is breaking on some devices running Android Oreo

One of the most basic and convenient features of life in Google's ecosystem is contacts sync. From email to phone numbers and Google+ profiles, you know that whatever platform you are on, you'll be able to reach out to the people you need to with a minimum of fuss. But for some this essential feature isn't working correctly, and contacts aren't being successfully synced to their Oreo-powered Android devices.

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Google pauses accessibility app ban while it considers 'responsible and innovative' uses of the accessibility services

Google started contacting developers last month with a bit of an ultimatum: make sure accessibility mode is only used to help disabled users or risk being banned from the Play Store. Android's accessibility services have been used for a great many things over the years, so this change in policy caught many developers off guard. However, Google is now notifying developers that it's pausing the ban as it looks into how apps can make "responsible and innovative" use of accessibility features.

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Google's Tez app will soon be able to process bill payments

A couple of months back, Google introduced a brand new mobile payments app exclusive to India. The country's banking landscape is a little different to many of the territories that currently have access to Android Pay, and so it needed a different approach. Until now, Tez has only been able to pay participating merchants or transfer between users, but it will soon be possible to pay utility bills, too.

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