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Google

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Google News desktop site gets a Material redesign, with new Story Cards and more customization options

The Google News & Weather app for Android has been updated semi-regularly since it was re-branded in 2014. But during that time, the desktop site remained mostly unchanged. Today Google took the wraps off a brand new Google News site, which not only has a fresh coat of Material Design, but also adds some major new functionality.

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EU issues record-breaking $2.7 billion fine to Google for antitrust violations

Google's ongoing regulatory headaches in the EU have today resulted in a whopping $2.7 billion fine, the most significant regulatory penalty in the EU since the 2004 Microsoft decision. This fine stems from Google's handling of shopping searches and the way its own comparison tools are allegedly given preferential treatment. It's now up to Google to change its search practices, and that could affect the way it operates in other regions as well.

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Here are 45 temporarily free and 61 on-sale apps to start off the week

It's late on a Monday night and I finally got around to getting the first app sales post of the week together — it's a labor of love, so you're welcome. There are quite a few, as is usual for a Monday, so buckle in.

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Android O will introduce an animated Clock app icon in launchers

Chris Lacy, the developer behind the well-known Action Launcher, has uncovered something in the APK file of the Clock app that comes in Android O: the manifest.xml mentions hours, minutes, and seconds as layers with default values, and the icon has separate images for the background and different elements.

That logically lead him to deduce that starting with Android O, the Clock app's icon will be animated to show the current time. That will happen both when the Clock is placed as a shortcut on the homescreen and when it's inside the app drawer.

Chris also used that animation in his latest Action Launcher release, which we wrote about a couple of days ago.

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[Update: Now available in France and Germany] Google Wifi may be coming to France on Monday

It isn't officially announced, but earlier today Google posted a teaser GIF about upcoming product availability on their French Google+ page. The meaning of the image wasn't entirely clear since it's just an animation of some buildings growing out of the ground, as a bubble in the center reflects waves around. However, since the filename was "Google Wifi #3.gif," I don't think it's too much of a stretch to make a guess.

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Some specs for the Google Pixel 2 may have leaked, point to 5" and 6" displays

A few things are known about the two upcoming successors to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL - we know that taimen is the largest of Google's 2017 devices, that muskie was shelved in favor of taimen and that taimen is being made by LG. However, we hadn't heard anything about specifications until now. Our friends over at XDA spoke with a source who has spent time with "at least one of these phones," and believe this information to be valid given the source's track record.

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[Update: It's out] Google Home is coming to Canada on June 26th, pre-orders available now via Google and Best Buy

Google Assistant debuted last year in Allo, but it wasn't until Assistant arrived on the Pixel and Google Home that we really got to see what it could do. However, Home was only available in the US at first. It came to the UK later, but America's neighbor to the north was left hanging. Not anymore—Google Home launches in Canada on June 26th.

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Google resolves to stop reading your email (for advertising, anyway)

Today Google made an announcement on their blog in which they expressed a desire to "more closely align" their efforts on the consumer side of Gmail with G Suite's Gmail. It might sound humdrum, but it's a biggie. That's because Google wants to bring the two more closely together by taking a page from G Suite and no longer using the content of your emails as input for personalized advertising. This is expected to occur later this year.

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Google adds a whopping 60 new banks to Android Pay

There are a lot of banks in the US. How do I know? Google is still finding banks to add to Android Pay. A new batch of fine financial institutions have been added to the list—60 of them, in fact. This is one of the largest expansions of Android Pay to date.

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