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Google Duo review: When video calls are this simple, I will surely use them more

Of the two communication apps that Google announced at I/O, Duo surely seemed like the less interesting one. Video calls have been done again and again, and by now, if you have someone you want to talk to and see at the same time, odds are you already have your preferred way of doing that. But my last few days with Duo have shown me another side to the story. Duo isn't trying to revolutionize video calls, it just wants to approach them from a more modern perspective, one that builds on our smartphone-carrying habits, our needs for immediacy, and our disdain for complexity.

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Android Pay expands to 44 more banks and credit unions in the US and Australia

Android Pay has been gaining support for a ton of banks and credit unions lately, and 44 more have just been added. Most of these banks and credit unions are local ones most of us haven't ever heard of, but hey, maybe your local bank is included. No, Chase isn't on here; I double-checked. There are a few Australian banks and credit unions on here as well.

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Google Now-powered New Tab Page is coming to Chrome

Google makes frequent changes to the New Tab Page in Chrome, and they show up first in Chrome Dev. It looks like Google is toying with a New Tab Page powered by Google Now, and you can take a look at it right now in Chrome Dev. You might need to toggle a flag, but it seems to be live for everyone. It also works a little bit in Chrome Beta, but not at all in stable.

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Google's video chat app Duo will support audio-only calls soon

Google finally released Duo the other day nearly three months after announcing it. The pitch for Duo at I/O was that it makes video chat really quick and easy—it makes video chat simple, but what about audio calls? A Googler says that's coming too.

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[Update: Live on Android] Google announces new Google Classroom features for back to school

The day is approaching when kids will be back in school and out of your hair. For schools that use Google Classroom, there will be a number of nifty new features to help both kids and their parents stay on top of things. There's even a new tool for VR field trips, no permission slips needed.

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Fragment, a prismatic art app, is down to £0.10 / €0.10 in a few European countries and Australia (no US)

Apps that do things with photos are becoming very popular these days, with Prisma racking up a considerable amount of downloads since its release on Android almost a month ago. Today, Fragment, an app which converts photos into prismatic works of art, is available for €0.10 in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, 10p in the UK, 10 RUB in Russia, and $0.20 AUD in Australia.

Having played around with Fragment, it certainly makes photos look really good with little to no effort. There's a shuffle button if you just want to get some kind of prism of your photos, or you can choose what you'd like in the myriad of options.

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[100% Chance of Pants] New weather app matches questionable fashion with current conditions

I'm the first to admit I do not understand fashion, but I do have a pretty good grasp on the basics of weather. A new app called Skyler matches what I assume is trendy fashion up with the current conditions so you'll never again have to stress about how to dress for the weather. And of course, all the clothing is totally practical and not weird at all. Nah, I'm kidding. It's all painfully trendy.

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Google updates Santa Tracker open source code with changes from last Christmas

Is it Christmas time already? Not quite, but we don't have long before kids start counting down the days to Santa's visit. When they ask, Google is again ready to provide an answer.

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Google's latest Photos ad highlights a bunch of features, is awesome

Google Photos' advertising team has been on fire lately. First, there was that ad about how you won't miss important moments with Photos' "Free up space" feature. Then, there was the one about how even if you jump into a pool, your photos will be safe thanks to auto backup. Now, there's one called "Photos. For Life." that talks about the features the previous two discussed, and more.

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[Update: SMS Verification Working In More Countries] Google's Duo video chat app is rolling out in the Play Store [APK Download]

Google announced the Duo video chat app (and the messaging app Allo) at Google I/O this year, saying only that we'd see the final release later this summer. Well, here we are. Google Duo is beginning its global rollout right now. It's still showing as "pre-registration" for us right now, but it's finally happening. No sign of Allo yet.

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