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[Updated] Google Maps 9.44 shows parking availability and Atmosphere images [APK Download]

Back in August, Cody found strings in his teardown of Google Maps v9.34 beta that hinted at an upcoming display of parking difficulty. The option may have crept up for some users since then, but now we have our first glance into how the feature will work since it has started showing up for more is live for users on Maps v9.44 beta.

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Top Features start showing up for more users on the Play Store

Google always seems to be tweaking reviews in the Play Store, changing how they're presented to users and trying to make it easier to see how an app/game fares and how users perceive it. We've been seeing Review Highlights, detailed Feature Ratings for games that divide the rating by controls, gameplay, and graphics, and more. One of the tweaks is Top Features, a list of the best features a given app has, approved by users who give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.

Top Features started showing up back in August of 2016, but it seemed to be limited to certain users before (mostly in the US from our anecdotal evidence).

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YouTube's new sharing feature is live in Canada, remains invite-only everywhere else

A built-in sharing feature for YouTube has been in various forms of testing for months, but it is now live for all Canadian YouTube users. You read that correctly - Canada actually received a feature first.

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Google is rolling out offline search to help counter spotty connections

The power of Google searches has always had an Achilles heel: terrible connections. Whether you have little to no mobile signal or less than stellar WiFi connectivity, you know the frustration when you're trying to look something up. There is nothing to counter this, but Google has officially rolled out an "offline search" feature which will deliver your searches to you when an adequate signal becomes available.

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Android One phones may be arriving in the United States in the coming months

Google started the Android One initiative back in 2014, with the goal of partnering with manufacturers to develop low-end Android phones that would receive updates directly from Google. All Android One devices have 18 months of promised updates (similar to past Nexus devices), including the monthly security updates, with a stock version of Android. The Information reports that Google will be bringing the Android One program to the United States in the coming months.

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Google TalkBack update prevents screen from locking during text reading, interruption while using voice search, and more

It is easy to take the use of our full senses for granted — some of our fellow Android users are not so fortunate. Luckily, Google has implemented the TalkBack service into the OS, which allows those who are blind or otherwise visually-impaired to use their devices more effectively. Now the v5.1 update notes have been posted to the Play Store, showing that the update brings some nice improvements.

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Google Contributor has been shut down

Back in 2015, Google launched a service called Google Contributor, which allowed users to pay a small amount of money per month to see fewer AdSense ads on their favorite websites. The service never expanded outside the United States, and last month, Google announced it would shut down "mid-January 2017."

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Google+ getting comment filters, return of Events, and more; Classic UI going away forever on January 24

Google+ refuses to die, much to the joy of people like me who actually enjoy the service. The development team behind the social media platform has been making changes over the years, including some pretty massive ones to both the mobile and desktop interfaces. Today brings us some new additions: a low-quality comment filter, layout adjustments, and the return of Events.

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LifeProof FRĒ waterproof cases for the Pixel and Pixel XL are now on the Google Store for $90 a pop

Unlike some other flagship phones, Google's Pixel and Pixel XL are not officially water-resistant - their Ingress Protection rating is a mere 53, much less capable than some Samsung and Motorola designs. If you're left feeling a little exposed, LifeProof has a case to sell you. Previously only available on the manufacturer website, the FRĒ series of cases are now being sold on the Google Store alongside the phones themselves. The good news is that the cases have an IP68 rating, meaning they're dust-proof and submersible for up to two hours in 2 meters of water. The bad news is that the cases cost $89.95, for either the Pixel or Pixel XL.

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The Play Store should soon tell you if your device is GMS certified or not

In October of last year, Cody found strings in his teardown of the Play Store 7.1 that hinted at a mysterious "Device Certification" label. Back then, he theorized that it could be an indicator of whether your device was indeed GMS certified and thus supposed to have the Play Store or it could be a SafetyNet check to see if your firmware was modified in any form. The correct answer turned out to be the first one.

Several users have reported the appearance of a "Device certification" menu in the Play Store's settings over the past couple of months, but the option was buggy and not so widespread.

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