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[Update: YouTube too] Google switches to white nav bar in Chrome 65 (Canary) and Google Photos

The navigation bar on Google devices has been black since time immemorial, but that's starting to change. In both Chrome and Google Photos, the navigation bar has switched to white with black navigation buttons. It's just those apps so far (and the Chrome change is in Canary), but maybe this is only the beginning.

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Contacts sync is breaking on some devices running Android Oreo

One of the most basic and convenient features of life in Google's ecosystem is contacts sync. From email to phone numbers and Google+ profiles, you know that whatever platform you are on, you'll be able to reach out to the people you need to with a minimum of fuss. But for some this essential feature isn't working correctly, and contacts aren't being successfully synced to their Oreo-powered Android devices.

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Google pauses accessibility app ban while it considers 'responsible and innovative' uses of the accessibility services

Google started contacting developers last month with a bit of an ultimatum: make sure accessibility mode is only used to help disabled users or risk being banned from the Play Store. Android's accessibility services have been used for a great many things over the years, so this change in policy caught many developers off guard. However, Google is now notifying developers that it's pausing the ban as it looks into how apps can make "responsible and innovative" use of accessibility features.

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Google's Tez app will soon be able to process bill payments

A couple of months back, Google introduced a brand new mobile payments app exclusive to India. The country's banking landscape is a little different to many of the territories that currently have access to Android Pay, and so it needed a different approach. Until now, Tez has only been able to pay participating merchants or transfer between users, but it will soon be possible to pay utility bills, too.

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Here are 27 temporarily free and 18 on-sale apps for your Wednesday

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to Wednesday. It's time for more app sales, and a short list at that. December and the holiday season are both in full swing, and the semester is nearly over. Don't expect too much from today's list if you take the time to look over it, or even at Monday's. Til next time.

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Google's device art generator adds frames for Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and Pixelbook

Every year, Google adds frames of its new devices to the device art generator. This time around, Google took a little longer than usual, but frames for the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and Pixelbook are finally here. And just like before, it's brutally simple to use, meaning that you, too, can frame your screenshots in Google's new gadgets.

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Official Pixelbook sleeve pops up on the Google Store as 'coming soon'

With a device as pricey as the Pixelbook, you're probably going to want some sort of protection to make sure it doesn't get scratched or dented. The Google Store currently sells a leather Bellroy sleeve for the Pixelbook, but at $89, it's rather expensive. If you don't want to spend that much but still want a Google-approved solution, you're in luck - the 'Sleeve for Pixelbook' is now showing up on the Google Store as 'coming soon.'

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Google is removing the Photos tab from Drive in January

Right now there are two ways to access images uploaded to Google Photos from within the Google Drive desktop site. You can either access your photos from the "Google Photos" tab on the left or enable a setting that reveals your photos as files sorted inside an appropriately named folder. Next month, the first of the two options will be removed. 

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[Update: Amazon responds] Google pulling YouTube from Echo Show and Fire TV after failed talks with Amazon

Google and Amazon haven't played well over the years. Back in 2015, Amazon pulled the Chromecast and Nexus Player (among other similar devices) from its online store to boost sales of its own Fire TV products. Earlier this year, Google blocked YouTube from working on the Echo Show, and later partially restored the functionality after talks with Amazon. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video still isn't compatible with the Chromecast or most Android TV devices.

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Google search gets expanded snippets, improved Knowledge Panels, and smarter suggested content

It's been almost ten years since Google rolled out the first related search suggestions. A lot has changed in Google's search engine since those early days—it's no longer a list of blue links. Searches might surface data from your email, past purchases, and more. Today, Google is adding new features to search to help you discover more content.

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