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Google Assistant will soon have transaction apps, kid-friendly features, and game templates

It has been slightly over a year since Google Assistant first became widely available, as part of the Google Allo messenger app. It definitely had growing pains, but fast forward to today, and it's a pretty darn good product. At Google's press event today, the company announced a handful of new Assistant features for both users and developers.

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Google App 7.13 beta brings back notification toggle to Assistant devices, prepares for commuting, kids, and Pixel Buds [APK Teardown]

An update to the Google app hit the beta channel yesterday and it brings back the Notification toggles for Assistant devices that had briefly appeared a few months ago. Also in tow are some visual tweaks and a revised list of the types of devices certain Assistant features work with. A teardown also turns up new commute settings, a few bits about getting your kids set up with Google Assistant and Home, and a pretty cool feature for the newly announced Pixel Buds.

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Here are 25 temporarily free and 21 on-sale apps for your Pixel Day

Pixel Day has wrapped up finally and I feel like I'm a tad hungover. It was quite the crazy day of announcements, and I almost forgot about today's app sales post (feeling like I just did Monday's). Fear not! We have a small list of meh quality to get through, so let us trudge on. It is Wednesday, after all.

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Actions on Google now supports French, Korean, Japanese, and German

I'll be honest, I'm having trouble keeping track of the distinction Google seems to be trying to make between "Apps for the Google Assistant," "Actions on Google," and the Google Assistant. I get that the ambiguous double name for the former expands the capabilities of the latter for developer use. But, frankly, the difference in marketing seems entirely unnecessary and overly confusing, both for consumers and for myself.

Also, Actions/Apps for Google now supports four new languages.

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New Google Assistant app appears on the Play Store, does basically nothing

In the midst of Google's largest product announcement ever, a brand new app turned up in the Play Store with the name Google Assistant. You might be thinking that this will finally bring Assistant to Android tablets, or maybe even enable it on Chromebooks, especially since the Play Store allows installation on both types of devices. Unfortunately, it doesn't do either of these things. The app is just a shortcut to trigger Assistant on devices that already have it. Yes, it does the same thing as holding the home button.

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Google Camera on the Pixel 2 will have 'AR Stickers'

Google has been experimenting quite a bit with augmented reality recently. Project Tango still hasn't taken off, but the company's new ARCore library promises similar functionality without specialized hardware. The company is expanding on this with new 'AR Stickers' for the Google Camera.

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New Pixel Launcher home screen moves search to the bottom, adds "at a glance" section to the top

Google has just announced its 2017 #madebygoogle hardware line up, including the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones. There are lots of interesting new software features to talk about, including a new always-on ambient display that tells you what song is playing in the background without you even asking, but the first thing anyone notices when they unlock their phone is the launcher. Sabrina Ellis, director of product management, took to the stage to talk about the new Pixel Launcher home screen, among other things. It is getting a considerable makeover, and it's bound to be controversial.

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Google Lens will be a Pixel-exclusive feature at first, coming soon to Assistant and Photos

Google Lens is the machine learning-powered successor to Google Goggles, with the ability to search for whatever it can see through the camera. We've been hearing about it since Google I/O 2017, but today at the company's press event, even more details were shared about Lens.

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Redesigned Google app UI could arrive with new Pixels, including bottom navigation bar and dedicated Lens button

The Google app and its feed, formerly Google Now, have been through a plethora of changes recently, and they could be about to see another redesign alongside the launch of the new Pixel phones. The whole interface looks like it's going to be tweaked, with more rounded corners on cards and new menu navigation.

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Updated Google Home listing on Google Play shows off the Pixel 2 XL

Google updated the listing today for the Google Home app on Android. And with it, the company also posted some new images, most of which show off what looks like the top half of the still-unannounced Pixel 2 XL.

Whoops.

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