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[Hands-on] Google's Family Link is a surprisingly polished experience

Google has come up with a way to create Google accounts for kids under age 13, which has long been against the rules based on government regulations. However, Family Link allows for a very limited account with powerful parental controls. What's it like to use? It just so happens we've got like a million screenshots of it. Check them out below.

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Talon for Twitter gets a big UI revamp in v6.0 update

Talon was one of the first apps to embrace material design when Google announced Lollipop a few years back. However, even a material app from that era would look a little old by today's standards. Talon has been updated consistently over time, and today it's moving to v6.0 with some notable UI improvements.

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Play Music v7.5 adds quality settings for music streamed over Wi-Fi or downloaded for offline playback [APK Download]

The early versions of Google Play Music earned a dubious reputation at launch for aggressively eating through cellular data in the name of providing the "highest quality" sound. After a few optimizations and an option to control audio quality on mobile connections, the situation got much better. However, being more responsible with cellular data alone wasn't very helpful to users with capped home Internet service or slow Wi-Fi. The latest update to the app aims to fix that with new settings to control audio quality when streaming over Wi-Fi or downloading music for offline playback.

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[Deal Alert] Zombie City Defense is free worldwide, plus the 10 cents app and game of the week

Ever since Google has allowed apps to momentarily dip to free on the Play Store, we've seen a large number of icon packs, games, and apps test out the model. The latest is Zombie City Defense, a tower defense game where your goal is to protect your city against hordes of zombies. The holographic look is quite futuristic and less grim than most apocalyptic zombie titles, and the game offers 3 difficulty levels with an infinite mode, various city maps, infantry units, vehicles, adversaries, and more.

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iRobot's Roomba robot vacuum adds Clean Map reports and promises Alexa integration

I've been eying the iRobot Roombas for over a year now. The idea of a robot vacuum gliding around my apartment and cleaning up while I'm not around sounds all too appealing and nerdy. And because I'm into connected gadgets, I sure want one of the newer Series 900 robots, which would set me back somewhere between 7 and 9 Franklins. Ouch. If you're lucky enough to have that kind of dough to spend on a Roomba, your robot is about to get cooler in the geekiest kind of way: maps and stats. Oh and Alexa.

iRobot is announcing new Clean Map reports for your Roomba 900 series that will show you a map of your house and the spots that were cleaned, along with graphs for the total cleaning time and coverage over the last 30 jobs plus some lifetime stats.

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[Update: Stable] SwiftKey Beta improves the flow experience with 3 possible predictions

One of the reasons I don't swipe on my smartphone's keyboard very often is that I can never be too sure what the prediction engine will insert especially when the word is too short or the letters and swipe motion are very similar to another word. "To" and "too," "art" and "at," "deal" and "desk," are some of many examples where moving your finger a few millimeters and pausing on a letter for a few milliseconds can make all the difference between a quick message and lost seconds spent tapping backspace and retrying to type the correct word.

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Google is testing a new interface for the Google Search app

Between the search bar on the Google Now Launcher/Pixel Launcher and Google Assistant, I rarely find myself opening the standalone Google search app on my phone. But now Google is testing a new interface for the application, and it looks quite a bit cleaner.

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The Google Home app gets a new Listen tab for music suggestions and discovery

I listen to music when I am doing most any activity, especially for work, school stuff, and the gym. Sometimes, though, it's difficult to find the right artist or playlist that suits my particular mood at a given moment. Luckily, Google Play Music has those suggestions throughout the day for various activities, and a similar feature has arrived for the Home app.

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Improved version of expanded replies in the YouTube app is being tested, no longer minimizes videos

Google is well known for testing all sorts of small server-side changes in its apps, and YouTube is one of the best examples for this. Whether it be the general UI, videos, descriptions, or comments, there always seems to be something that Google is experimenting with in the YouTube app. The popular video-sharing app's latest server-side update makes expanded replies in the comments section of videos a lot nicer.

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Microsoft Teams is now generally available to Office 365 users worldwide

Microsoft has announced a global, general availability for its Slack competitor, Teams. The internal chat service released in a preview form back in November for Enterprise/Business customers. It is deeply integrated with Office 365, which is perfect for organizations mired in the Microsoft ecosystem.

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