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Facebook is rolling out a dedicated button for adding GIFs to comments

Sending a GIF through Facebook's Messenger app is pretty easy. It's long been possible to send GIFs quickly using the dedicated button, and the app recently added support for GBoard's GIF search feature, giving you even more choice. Sending a GIF in the main Facebook app has been a little trickier, however, first having to find a one elsewhere and then copy/paste it in. To celebrate 30 years of GIFs (I had no idea they were that old, either), the Facebook app now also includes a GIF button right in the text field, allowing you to search for and send one without leaving the app.

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Amazon’s new Dash Wand with Alexa is a real-life magic wand for your kitchen

The next time you run out dish soap, you could add the item to your shopping list via Google Home, or you could ask Alexa to add one to your next AmazonFresh order. You could even pull out a paper and pencil like an Aunt Tillie and write "dish soap" on a real, literal, physical shopping list, before the long and tedious trek to the supermarket. Or, you could grab your magic wand, point it at the empty bottle, and go about your day. Really. That's what Amazon's Dash Wand with Alexa is for, and with a $20 Amazon credit after purchasing, it's basically free. That's magic. 

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[Deal Alert] Huge sale for Samsung SmartThings and ZigBee Home Automation gear at MyDigitalDiscount

There's a fantastic sale for home automation gear going on today. Over at My Digital Discount right now you can pick up a handful of smart connected motion sensors, outlets, thermostats, locks, and a whole package of the lot together in a quick start bundle. Prices range from 60% off to 76% off, which is a tremendous savings. All the items are for Samsung's SmartThings / ZigBee, so if you don't run a system that will work with their stuff, you're out of luck. 

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Google Maps v9.55 adds notification channels for Android O and might add offline maps for whole countries [APK Download + Teardown]

If you're on the Google Maps beta channel, you probably received an update to v9.55 in the last day or so. After hunting for a while, we haven't seen any notable changes on most devices; except if you're running Android O, in which case the latest version enables a full array of notification channels. The hunt for features also brought out a teardown with a hint that users may finally have the option to download offline maps for whole countries.

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[Deal Alert] 6-pack Choetech assorted length USB-C to USB-C cables for $11.99 on Amazon w/ coupon ($8 off)

Do you still have drawers around your place filled with dated microUSB cables? It's 2017, and USB-C has been proliferating down the phone spectrum. It won't be long now until even low-end devices are sporting the world's newest and best USB connector. You had better get prepared, and the first step is replacing all those old cables. Here's a 40% off deal ($11.99) via coupon code for a 6-pack of assorted length Choetech USB-C to USB-C cables at Amazon. Welcome to the future.

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Switftkey Beta updated with GIF input, hashtag prediction, and new languages for transliteration

Today is the 30th anniversary of the first GIF, and it looks like SwiftKey knows it. The Swiftkey Beta on Google Play was updated today with GIF support. Other new features include hashtag predictions and transliteration support for some new languages, as well as a few bug fixes. So if you need to insert a GIF in your transliterated Punjabi or Bangla messages, well, now you can. 

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Locked phones and unlocking fees will be banned in Canada starting December 1st

Here in the US, unlocking policies are pretty lackluster. Sure, they've improved over time, but these regulations still aren't something we can be proud of. But up in the Great White North, the CRTC (Canada's telecom commission) is hard at work. Starting on December 1st, 2017, all mobile devices will have the capability of being unlocked for free, and all new devices will be unlocked out of the box.

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Android Things Developer Preview 4.1 is out, with improvements to Play Services and more

The first Developer Preview for Android Things OS was released at the end of 2016, as a lightweight version of Android intended for Internet of Things devices. Since then, it has been updated multiple times to support more hardware and fix bugs, and today Google has released Developer Preview 4.1.

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Google adds Play Store support to more Chromebooks from Acer, Dell, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung

Google promised that all Chromebooks shipped in 2017 and beyond would support Android apps, but the company has been a bit slow to deliver on that claim. However, Google has just updated its list of Chrome OS devices compatible with the Play Store, and a whopping 16 more devices can now run Android apps officially.

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T-Mobile plans to start 600MHz rollout this summer

We learned a few months ago that T-Mobile spent big in the FCC's recent 600MHz spectrum auction. The carrier dropped $7.99 billion on the spectrum licenses, which it has now officially been granted. It's wasting no time putting them to use. T-Mobile says it will begin rolling 600MHz coverage out to select markets over the summer.

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