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You can now turn on and off your Chromecast-connected TV with a Google Home command

It's the little things you guys. Sometimes, you're sitting in the living room and you just want to turn on your TV without reaching for that remote. Sure, you can ask Home to play something on your Chromecast, which will automatically turn the TV on, but then it'll start playing something while maybe you just wanted to see those pretty backdrops. And forget about turning the TV off, that just didn't work.

Until yesterday that is. Google published a new support document that explains that you can now turn on and off the TV with Google Home. You'll need to have a Chromecast connected to your TV and for the TV to support HDMI-CEC with CEC turned on (basically this is what allows the TV to turn on automatically through an HDMI command).

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Inbox email notifications are currently broken for some users

If there's one feature of an email client that everyone depends on, it's notifications. I mean, if you're receiving emails, it's kind of important to be informed about them, right? Sadly for many Google Inbox users at present, this isn't happening. Notifications for the Android app appear to be broken, and it's understandably making people mad.

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"OK Google, what's this song?" is finally coming to Google Assistant

We don't distribute "finally" in titles gratuitously. In order for a piece of news to earn its "finally," it has to be a popular request and one that's been long in the making and, more often than not, it has to be so logical that its absence baffled us. But today, we have a much-earned "finally" for song search on Assistant.

One of the most beloved features of Google Search has long been asking it what's playing to identify songs around you. It works like Shazam or SoundHound, but without requiring a third-party app. When Google introduced Assistant, everyone was disappointed to see what the command didn't work.

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YouTube is testing a new Activity bottom tab for Shared videos and Notifications

YouTube is one of Google's most server-side test prone apps. Every couple of weeks, sometimes even days, we spot a new layout somewhere that brings a little change to the table. The latest is a renamed 4th bottom tab to Activity.

Activity merges the previous Shared 4th tab (which has been official for all since August) with your Notifications (which until now are hidden under Library -> your profile picture -> Notifications). So there are now 2 top tabs under the 4th bottom tab, yay! The move does make sense though since you can see all your active YouTube shared video discussions with friends as well as catch up on all the recent uploads, live broadcasts, and activity from the channels you follow.

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You can now pick a preferred TV/speaker for media playback with the Google Home

Ever since the Google Home was first released last year, you could use voice commands to start media playback on a Chromecast-enabled TV or speaker. For example, you could use commands like "Play The Office on the living room TV" or "play music from Coldplay on the kitchen speaker." Now Google is making that slightly easier, with the ability to pick a preferred device for media playback.

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Google Assistant will soon have transaction apps, kid-friendly features, and game templates

It has been slightly over a year since Google Assistant first became widely available, as part of the Google Allo messenger app. It definitely had growing pains, but fast forward to today, and it's a pretty darn good product. At Google's press event today, the company announced a handful of new Assistant features for both users and developers.

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Here's where to pre-order the Google Pixelbook

Google's new Pixelbook looks kinda slick. I think the chances are pretty high that I'm going to grab one. At least, if the keyboard on it is any good. But there are a lot of places to pre-order the new Chromebook up outside the Google Play store. For your convenience (and mine, later) we've put together some of the spots you can pick it up into a nice little list. 

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Here's where to pre-order the Google Home Mini

At its San Francisco event today, Google unveiled a bunch of new products, including the Home Mini. At just $49, the Mini is sure to have enticed a lot of you to finally check out Google's Home ecosystem, but you might be wondering where to get one aside from the Google Store. Don't worry; here's a list of all the retailers we've found that are selling Google's new tech-filled hockey puck.

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Check out all the videos for Google's newly announced products

Today was Google's big hardware event, and we saw a ton of new things. There are new phones, new Google Homes, and even a new Chromebook. You can relive it all right now. In addition to the live streamed event, Google posted a number of ads and product demos. Here they all are, organized by product.

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Actions on Google now supports French, Korean, Japanese, and German

I'll be honest, I'm having trouble keeping track of the distinction Google seems to be trying to make between "Apps for the Google Assistant," "Actions on Google," and the Google Assistant. I get that the ambiguous double name for the former expands the capabilities of the latter for developer use. But, frankly, the difference in marketing seems entirely unnecessary and overly confusing, both for consumers and for myself.

Also, Actions/Apps for Google now supports four new languages.

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