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Google testing Top Features and other changes in reviews section of Play Store app

 

Less than a week after we reported that Play Store reviews no longer require a Google+ account, it seems that Google has begun testing another change in the same arena - Top Features, a new element that aims to make determining what functionality an app has easier. In addition, the reviewing process has been tweaked. As of now, these changes do not appear to be rolling out to all devices; while I have the feature on my Nexus 6, it's nowhere to be seen on my HTC 10 that is running the same version of the Play Store.

Screenshot_20160814-114503 Screenshot_20160814-114440 (2)

Top Features' scrollable bar

Top Features is situated above Review Highlights and contains user feedback about certain abilities of the reviewed app.

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Latest Google App beta adds an animation for the Nexus Launcher's search button

If you're rocking the leaked Nexus Launcher on your device, you might have noticed at least one animation wasn't working. With the current release version of the Google Search APK, tapping on the search button brings up the search bar, but without the fluid animations we've come to expect from Material Design.

Now you may be thinking to yourself, "does one animation really matter?" And the answer is always yes. Reddit user /u/parentskeepfindingme noticed that in the latest Google App beta, there's actually an animation! Here's a capture we took of that new animation.

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Google is developing an OS called “Fuchsia,” runs on All the Things

Every single operating system developed by Google to date has one thing in common: they're based on the Linux kernel. Chrome OS, Android, Chromecasts, you name it. Linux has powered Google hardware for years.

However, the Linux kernel is not ideal for every situation. Especially in the case of embedded devices like car dashboards or GPS units, full-blown desktop kernels like Linux impact performance and cause other issues. There’s a massive ecosystem of operating systems designed for embedded hardware, and Google may be working on their own.

Enter “Fuchsia.” Google’s own description for it on the project’s GitHub page is simply, “Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System)”.

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[Deal Alert] Get an international 16GB Nexus 5X for $199

As we quickly approach the dawn of the 2016 Nexus era, we should not so easily forget the Nexuses of yesteryear. Just yesterday, we brought you a deal for a 32GB Nexus 5X via Groupon. Prices for the old budget-friendly Nexus are dropping quickly. Google Fi has had some good (and some outright fantastic) Nexus offers, but those have been US-only. Now, we have a similar price for international Nexus users. From eBay, you can score a 16GB Nexus 5X for $199.99 in all three colors. This is $150 less than what Google charges. 16GB of internal storage may not be enough for everyone (myself included), but for others, 16GB works just fine.

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InBrief
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Google TalkBack gets a new icon as v5.0 rolls out more widely

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Russia issues measly $6.8 million fine against Google in antitrust case

Russia began investigating Google for antitrust violations last year after the largest search engine in the country, Yandex, complained to authorities. It alleged that Google's promotion of its own services over alternatives (like Yandex) on Android was anti-competitive. Now, the Russian Federation Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has issued a $6.8 million fine against Google. Surely, this will bankrupt the company.

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Google is testing a new 'Dashboard' tab in Now, collects data from other Google sources

With Google Assistant not that far off, it seems Google is really amping up the changes to Google Now. After the 'Explore Interests' card and autocomplete improvements, plus laying the groundwork for Assistant, the next new thing is a bottom row of tabs, with 'Home' and 'Dashboard' occupying it.

While the Home tab is the expected Google Now homepage, Dashboard is new and therefore interesting. From the tips we've had on this it's pretty clear it's not really working properly yet, but what we can gather is this: it seems to only work with the Nexus Launcher, at least at the moment, and collects data from across the different Google services and pools them all in the tab.

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Google+ profiles may not be needed to post Play Store reviews anymore

According to several tips from Android Police readers, the Google Play Store may not require you to have a Google+ account to write reviews anymore. This news comes hot on the heels of reports that the +1 button is disappearing from the Play Store (which Artem is still devastated about, by the way). In fact, the two situations are very likely related.

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Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides improve tables and charts on Android [APK Download]

Tables and charts are some of the most commonly used elements in Google's Drive suite of apps, but they can be a little clunky on mobile. Today, Google has updated Docs, Slides, and Sheets on Android to make these organizational tools easier to use than ever before.

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Flash all the things: August 2016 Marshmallow Nexus OTA roundup

Google has started rolling out the latest round of monthly patches for Nexus devices (and the Pixel C). Maybe you've got that nagging OTA notification on your phone, or maybe you only wish you were so lucky. If you need to update and the factory images are no good, we've got all the OTAs right here. If you want to know what's in this update, check out our full rundown.

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