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Google

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Play Store has a new Trending section for entertainment, and it's fantastic

It feels like Google changes the Play Store UI every few weeks. A larger button here, adjusting the font size there, and so on. But the new 'Trending' section on the Play Store is absolutely new, and is both incredibly useful and well-designed. The new addition can be found in the entertainment section, just below the new movie releases.

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You can use "Hey Google" instead of "OK Google" with Google Home, but it does a bad job letting you know that

All of Google's products have adopted the "OK Google" hotword in recent years, but Google Home presents an interesting challenge. What if you have another device around with OK Google enabled? It can be a mess, so now there's also "Hey Google."

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Google makes RCS support in Messenger official, will be default SMS/RCS app on all Sprint Android devices

The ultimate goal of RCS is to completely replace SMS, but moving the millions of daily SMS users away is no small feat. Yesterday, we posted that RCS support was being rolled out to some Messenger users on Sprint and Project Fi. Now Google has made the feature official, and should be available to all Sprint customers starting today.

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RCS is going live for some Google Messenger users, enabling "enhanced features" for messaging

A little over a week ago, we first detected several less-than-subtle hints of Rich Communication Services, more commonly known as RCS, in Google Messenger 2.0's code. In case you don't know what RCS is, it essentially adds some useful features to SMS that are similar to what you'll find in Apple's iMessage. Now, for a select few, Google has flipped a server-side switch for RCS.

Google's initiative to make RCS more commonplace isn't new, though; last year, the Mountain View-based company purchased Jibe Mobile, a startup with an RCS platform. Allo was expected to receive RCS support, but since that didn't pan out, Messenger is the very first Google app to support it.

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YouTube now allows creators to pin comments, add moderators, blacklist words and phrases, and more

The YouTube comments section - you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Part of the reason comments can be so unbearable at times is the dreadful moderation tools, but YouTube is seeking to fix that. Today on their Creator Blog, they announced a number of changes to how comments can be moderated.

YouTube creators can now blacklist certain words or phrases, with comments violating the list requiring manual approval. In addition, creators can now opt-in to YouTube's almighty algorithm determining which comments are "potentially inappropriate," and holding them for approval.

There are some public-facing changes to YouTube comments as well.

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Google Home units starting to ship from Google Store

Google's $129 smart speaker, the Google Home, was first announced back at Google I/O earlier this year. Featuring the shiny new Google Assistant coupled with a great speaker, the Home is part of Google's march into the smart home market. Pre-orders finally started last month, and now they are finally shipping to customers.

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Google appears to be testing a new, rounder search widget

Have you noticed the Google "pill" widget on the Pixel launcher doesn't bear much resemblance to the traditional search box? Well, it looks like Google is changing that. Several users have noticed a new search box design popping up on their devices. It's curvier and cleaner looking.

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Google's Daydream View officially available on November 10th

You've been able to order a Daydream View from the Google store for a while now, but we didn't know when units would actually ship. Now, Google has given an exact date—Daydream View is officially launching on November 10th.

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T-Mobile's $325 off Pixel promo is now available to customers with Simple Choice Unlimited plans too

John Legere is well-known for being a rather unconventional CEO, and the Pixel promo that T-Mobile took the wraps off of last week had Legere stamped all over it (it was essentially the equivalent of spitting in Verizon's face). The $325 bill credit for having a Pixel on T-Mobile seemed like a sweet deal at first glance, but it required customers to be on the carrier's controversial, "unlimited" ONE plan.

We first heard about T-Mobile extending the offer to non-ONE customers when a reader tipped us with a thread from the Pixel subreddit (thanks, Alex!), but nothing was official. However, T-Mobile has just updated its promo's press release to indicate that Simple Choice unlimited customers are now eligible for this offer as well.

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Project Fi app now shows live data use and per-app breakdown

Project Fi subscribers are getting a new tool to track data usage today. A post in the Fi sub-Reddit by the verified Google community manager account says data tracking will now update live, and that usage will be broken out by app. It's all live right now—just open the app and check it out.

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