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PSA: You can control YouTube playback with OK Google voice commands

Google Now has a tendency to add voice commands without most people noticing. Besides the few listed in-app, Google hides most of its commands, perhaps the most useful ones. For example, Google's voice actions have been integrated and implemented within YouTube, so you can control video playback with your mi... wait, no that's the next update.

To get started, just start playing any video in the YouTube app. Then you can use any of these voice commands, triggered by the "OK Google" keyword, provided you have enabled its detection from any screen:

  • "Pause" - Pauses the video.
  • "Play" - Resumes the video.
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Friday app and game sales: Unified Remote, Shadowgun, Punch Club, and more

The weekend is upon us, and I'm sure you have all sorts of plans out in the real world with people. You would never just loaf around on the couch and play games on your phone all weekend. Hypothetically, if you were to do that, you'd be interested in the sales we've rounded up here. Maybe you should look... in case all those big plans fall through.

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Google is phasing out Chrome apps except on Chrome OS, will no longer work by 2018

Google Chrome has been undergoing a massive amount of changes recently. From massive optimizations, to the Android New Tab page showing Google Now cards, to Progressive Web Apps blurring the line between native and web apps.

But in another change, although not entirely shocking, Google will be phasing out Chrome apps on the Chrome Web Store. If you've never used the Chrome Web Store, most of the items listed are branded as applications, but are in fact simply links to websites or web applications.

These are called 'hosted apps', which are allowed in the Chrome Web Store alongside 'packaged apps.' Packaged apps are based on web apps, but are hosted locally and have more control over their windows and the host computer.

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Unlike Hangouts, Allo lets you delete messages from your chat history

Aside from the privacy of Incognito chats in Google's upcoming Allo app, there's one more way you can save yourself from embarrassment if you sent or received something that you don't want to stay in your chat's history: delete.

Based on the screenshots we've obtained from people testing a preview version of Allo, it looks like you'll be able to select any message (no multiple select yet we're told) and just delete it from the chat's history.

The top bar switches to show share, forward, copy, and delete options for a selected message, an interface that reminds me a lot of WhatsApp. In the first screenshot below (leftmost), "Message 3" is selected — you can tell because it looks a tad darker than the others.

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Condoms, butts, and nipples: A first look at some of Google Allo's hilarious sticker packs

With Google Duo already released and working well, and rumors of Nougat coming on August 22nd, it's only a matter of time before we have Google's Assistant and its messaging app Allo in our hands.

In the meantime, what we have here is an early look at one of Allo's features: sticker packs. From the screenshots, it looks like Allo will come with 3 packs installed by default and others can be added later.

google-allo-stickers-1 google-allo-stickers-2 google-allo-stickers-3

There are 24 additional packs available in different styles and from different designers. As far as we can tell, there doesn't seem to be a way to add your own sticker packs from a URL or a Zip file, but that may or may not change in the future.

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Google Play Music on the web tweaks playlist UI, adds sliding panel on the right for quick access

In a move that strikes a balance between becoming more consistent with the mobile apps and giving desktop users the best experience possible, Google has made some tweaks to Play Music's playlist interface. While playlists are no longer on the top level of the left-side hamburger menu—to be more like the phone and tablet UI—web users can use a shortcut to access a new sliding menu from the right.

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Q*bert Rebooted comes to NVIDIA SHIELD devices

Many years ago, people would pour quarters into arcade machines to play Q*bert. You are much more lucky—you can get Q*bert Rebooted for SHIELD at the low price of $5.99 and it's yours forever. This is a special edition title with improved visuals, but it's only for SHIELD devices.

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Google Duo now #1 in Top Free chart, available globally

Just two days after it first began to roll out, Google's Duo has already become the number one free app in the Play Store. The video chatting app, which received an icon redesign just before it went live, has proven to be extremely popular with Android users. In addition, it is now possible to use Duo in any country (well, any country that Google provides its services to).

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Nenamark 3 is an oddly fascinating but also hilariously terrible benchmark app

Benchmarking applications like 3DMark and PassMark are great for scoring the graphics or computational power of a given device. Nenamark 2 was a popular choice for benchmarking graphics back in the day, and five years after Nenamark 2 launched, Nenamark 3 has arrived. It's not clear why.

I hesitate to even call Nenamark 3 a benchmarking app. It's designed like a game - the benchmark proceeds through levels, each level having up to four tests. But the benchmark ends as soon as your device can't reach a steady FPS arbitrarily determined by the Nenamark app. So instead of a useful score like an average FPS or the time it took to complete the test, my Nexus 5X gets a score of "3-0." Uhh...

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FordVR brings behind-the-scenes VR racing videos to your phone

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I really wish I could watch Ford™ virtual reality experiences on my phone"? Me neither, but someone out there must be at least mildly interested, even if they are an executive at Ford.

All joking aside, FordVR is a new application that provides "an extraordinary new virtual reality experience that’s the closest thing to the real thing," according to the app's description. Upon downloading the app, you are greeted with the one video currently available in FordVR - "The Return to Le Mans." Even if you're not at all into sport car racing, it should still be interesting.

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