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Google

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Google unveils two new education-focused Chromebooks and talks about the future

Google is doubling down on Chromebooks by pushing one use case where they are undeniably dominant: education. At the BETT 2017 education technology conference, Google is partnering with Asus and Acer to announce two new Chromebooks that have been optimized for the classroom. It's also hinting at what's coming next for Chromebooks.

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Another Play Store results layout shows up, this time with expanded cards

So you know how the Play Store has been changing things up a little recently, with new-look results, a different shade of green, a new Top Charts UI, and changes to how My Apps works? Here's another one, this time on the search results side of things, with one expanded card a line, instead of the more normal layouts, such as one big card then lots of little smaller ones.

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[Update: APK] Google resurrects Voice, gives the app and website a full makeover

Google Voice was a big deal when it launched back in 2009—there was a waiting list to get access, and the entire concept felt magical. However, Google seemed to give up on Voice some years ago, offering users the option to port some features of Voice into Hangouts and Project Fi. Now, Google Voice is back and completely revamped.

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Google updates Calculator to v7.2, adds calculation history [APK Download]

The computer in your pocket can do amazing things like play HD videos, access all the knowledge of mankind, and send messages all over the world. It can also do math with a calculator app. Google's Calculator app has been updated to v7.2, and it includes a long, long, loooooooooong overdue feature—history.

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Google acknowledges data count bug with OnHub/Google WiFi mesh networks

Modern routers can do some cool things, especially if you're using the new Google WiFi mesh routers. They can cover your home in a healthy glow of electromagnetic waves, intelligently connect to devices, and keep track of your data usage. However, linking Google WiFi with an OnHub can result in some weird data usage stats. Google now says it's aware of the issue and is working on a fix.

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[Update: Started on January 10] Google will start ranking pages with intrusive ads lower on search results

Trying to browse the internet quickly, even on the fastest smartphones, has become much harder in recent years. Advertisements take up valuable screen real estate, and can cause your phone's browser to slow to a crawl. Even worse, some sites *coughWikiacough* have taken to using full-screen advertisements and other popups.

As Jean-Luc Picard once said, "The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!" Google has taken the offensive in the battle against intrusive mobile ads, using their influence as the most popular search engine as leverage.

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Amazon is price-gouging Pixel XL buyers to the tune of over $1,500

The Pixel is a great phone, and as such, a lot of people want it. Although, Google seems to be dropping the ball with regard to making that possible. The Google Store is constantly sold out of the Pixel XL (and sometimes even the regular one), and this has led to price inflation. It's not unusual to see Amazon marketplace sellers listing items for well over MSRP when they're hard to come by, but this is Amazon asking $1,500 for a Pixel XL.

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Google Calendar on the web receives smarter meeting scheduling

The G Suite team has made the first improvement to Google Calendar on the web for the year, which brings some smarter scheduling options for meetings. One of these made a debut in the Android and iOS versions of Calendar last year, but it's good to see the web version getting the same treatment.

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Vizio SmartCast devices now have Google Home compatibility

A little while after LG's announcement that it would add Google Home compatibility to its Music Flow line, Vizio steps up and makes a similar announcement for its SmartCast series of connected speakers, displays, and the like. This will add the strength of voice control to Chromecast-ready devices like the Crave 360 and Pro speakers.

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Google acquires Fabric, a popular mobile developer platform for performance tracking and crash reporting

Ask all of the mobile app developers to name the SDKs and third-party services they're using and the answer you're likely to hear more than any other is Fabric, or possibly Crashlytics (a component of Fabric). Many apps rely on Fabric for crash reporting, performance metrics, and other services that are hard to build in-house, but prove very useful when supporting an app and making business decisions. Fabric announced earlier today that it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Google, leaving behind its parent company Twitter.

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