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Philips Hue is the first smart home device that works with Google OnHub

The Google OnHub was launched one year ago with a lot of implicit promises about smart home functionality. We never saw any of that materialize, though the router has gotten more capable. Now there's finally some smart home integration happening in the form of a Philips Hue partnership. Oh hey, guess what still doesn't work. Yep, the USB port.

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Google announces Search In Apps, a new way to search for personal content

Android's always been pretty good at search - it's developed by the world's biggest search company, so you'd hope so - but one thing that it's always struggled with is searching content on your device, having removed it in Ice Cream Sandwich because the API was not up to scratch. Google is attempting to fix that today with the launch of the new 'Search In Apps' feature, which Cody uncovered part of during a recent Google app teardown.

InAppsSearch LgV20InApps

In Apps is basically an extension to the Google search bar. When searching something that's 'personal' such as a name or place, scroll to the end of list of available searches - the one with 'Web,' 'Images,' 'Shopping,' 'Maps,' and more on it.

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Report: Nest developers are moving on to Google to help with its smart home initiative

Nest has seen better days. A couple of months ago, a reshuffle was announced at the top of the company's hierarchy, with CEO Tony Fadell leaving and Marwan Fawaz taking his place at the helm. Nest has also been under pressure to bring more products from the pipeline to the market and to be more profitable.

It seems that there's another reshuffle in Nest's future though, according to a report by Fortune. The Nest platform team (think software) might soon be moving to Google, jumping from one Alphabet subsidiary to another. It will be part of a team lead by Hiroshi Lockheimer, current senior VP of Android, that will focus on the smart home and living room, create a unified Internet of Things platform, and continue to develop the upcoming Google Home.

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Google planning to enter the ride-sharing business with Waze

It looks like Google is finally moving into the San Francisco ride-sharing market. According to the Wall Street Journal, the tech giant is looking to offer commuters cheaper rates (and lower fares) than the two big players, Uber and Lyft. The plan is to connect drivers and riders who are going in the same direction, instead of the on-demand service you would see with other ride-sharing services.

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Google seems to be testing a new look for search history in the Google widget, and you can try it now

The next time you do a search on your phone, you may notice something unusual—the search history drop down has a new look. Well, it's new for some people. It's more compact with search terms in a series of blocks. This appears to be the default for a few users, but everyone can try it with a little keyboard trickery.

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Google+ Web Preview now default look, Google+ Classic going away

Back in November last year, Google rolled out a new-look Google+ and deemed it a 'preview' of what was to come. It was generally assumed that at some point this would replace what has become known as 'Google+ Classic,' and that day has now arrived, with the announcement that the Web preview will be the default look from today onwards.

This isn't entirely a surprise: last week Google issued a reminder saying that today was the day, so we were prepared for this eventuality. That said, I personally find the Web preview better than the Classic interface - I much prefer the material look over the somewhat out-of-place design and general jankiness of Google+ Classic.

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[APK Download] Google Contacts 1.5 adds hamburger menu, labels, and more

Google Contacts is a great way to keep your contacts organized, but the Android version always lacked some features from the web app. The Android app has always been simplistic in nature, with the UI consisting of just a constant stream of contacts and an Add button. Google Contacts 1.5 is a welcome improvement, so let's dive in!

User interface changes

The hamburger menu in action.

The hamburger menu in action.

Previously, the Google Contacts app used just two tabs, Favorites and All. This has been replaced by a hamburger menu with more options. There are options for viewing contacts and duplicates (which we will get to later), as well as filtering by labels and accounts.

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New Google Crowdsource app asks you to help with translation and text transcription a few seconds at a time

Do you have 5-10 seconds to spare? Google would like you to spend that time getting something done in its new Crowdsource app. You can apply your human sensibilities to translation and text transcription, and in return you get a sense of satisfaction. Yep, that's it.

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Google will crowdsource Android Wear watch face designs from the internet

Do you fancy yourself a designer? Well, you might be able to get your art included in an upcoming collection of Android Wear watch faces. Google is working with Paper Magazine to get design ideas from the internet. Interested? You've only got a few weeks to get your submission in.

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Alphabet looks to slash costs of Google Fiber unit and cut workforce in half

Many of us have spent the last five years hoping beyond hope that Google Fiber would be deployed on our home turf. Fiber has been expanding little by little, but the costs are still astronomical. Alphabet CEO Larry Page has reportedly gotten fed up with Google Fiber burning through cash. He's demanded Fiber chief Craig Barratt cut his staff to 500 from 1,000 and reduce the cost of acquiring new customers to one-tenth of current levels.

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