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Google Now-powered New Tab Page is coming to Chrome

Google makes frequent changes to the New Tab Page in Chrome, and they show up first in Chrome Dev. It looks like Google is toying with a New Tab Page powered by Google Now, and you can take a look at it right now in Chrome Dev. You might need to toggle a flag, but it seems to be live for everyone. It also works a little bit in Chrome Beta, but not at all in stable.

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YouTube Red now available in Mexico, costs a lot less than it does in the US

YouTube Red, Google's premium video service, can now be subscribed to by our friends in Mexico. Prior to today, YouTube Red was only available in Australia, New Zealand, and obviously the US. With the addition of Mexico, Red is now purchasable in a whopping four countries.

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Google's video chat app Duo will support audio-only calls soon

Google finally released Duo the other day nearly three months after announcing it. The pitch for Duo at I/O was that it makes video chat really quick and easy—it makes video chat simple, but what about audio calls? A Googler says that's coming too.

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[Update: Live on Android] Google announces new Google Classroom features for back to school

The day is approaching when kids will be back in school and out of your hair. For schools that use Google Classroom, there will be a number of nifty new features to help both kids and their parents stay on top of things. There's even a new tool for VR field trips, no permission slips needed.

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Google's latest Photos ad highlights a bunch of features, is awesome

Google Photos' advertising team has been on fire lately. First, there was that ad about how you won't miss important moments with Photos' "Free up space" feature. Then, there was the one about how even if you jump into a pool, your photos will be safe thanks to auto backup. Now, there's one called "Photos. For Life." that talks about the features the previous two discussed, and more.

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[Update: SMS Verification Working In More Countries] Google's Duo video chat app is rolling out in the Play Store [APK Download]

Google announced the Duo video chat app (and the messaging app Allo) at Google I/O this year, saying only that we'd see the final release later this summer. Well, here we are. Google Duo is beginning its global rollout right now. It's still showing as "pre-registration" for us right now, but it's finally happening. No sign of Allo yet.

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Google is using Opinion Rewards questions to improve YouTube video recommendations

If you've never used Google Opinion Rewards, it's an app from Google that periodically sends you surveys and rewards you with Play Store credit. Most questions are usually location-based, asking if you've been to a certain place recently and how you would rate it. But it looks like Google may be using Opinion Rewards to improve YouTube video recommendations.

Earlier today, I received a survey asking about my YouTube history. It's worth noting that if you have YouTube Watch History disabled, you won't get these surveys.

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Left: A YouTube survey?! Right: Here it asks about a video I watched earlier today.

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Google planning to focus Hangouts on business consumers after Allo, Duo release


Just a few hours ago, Google started the rollout for the first of its two new messaging apps, Duo. For me and some of us here, the Play Store listing still shows "Pre-Registration," but this is the typical Google way. As a refresher, Google is releasing the dynamic messaging duo (ha) to compete in this mobile-first market. Both the text-based Allo and the video-based Duo will be tied to a phone number instead of a Google account. This, obviously, directly contests with Hangouts, Google's all-in-one messaging platform, and is more in line with services like WhatsApp.

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Earlier, Google announced that they would be transitioning Hangouts On Air into YouTube Live, separating the feature from Google+.

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Google is moving Hangouts On Air to YouTube Live for future broadcasts

Coming as an inevitable surprise to no one, Google has announced today that Hangouts On Air will be leaving Google+ and moving to YouTube Live. All future broadcasts will need to be scheduled in YouTube Live, and events in Google+ will shut down after the hard date of September 12.

Google says that recorded Hangouts On Air will still be available on YouTube, and that Google+ event content will be available in read-only format in the Activity Log.

In regards to Q&A, Google's suggestion to broadcasters is to use Slides, which has the same feature, in conjunction with broadcasts. The company also suggests that questions are gathered ahead of time via social media.

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The 2016 Nexus "Sailfish" may have a "recycled" design, but does it even matter?

Making the rounds now is a GIF by Android Police alumnus Ron Amadeo. In it, Ron uses our leaked photo of the 2016 "Sailfish" Nexus device and frames it against a perspective-shifted image of the HTC One A9. The comparison has absolute merit: there is clearly some relationship between the front panels and overall proportions of these two devices.

But there are now claims that Sailfish has simply "recycled" the HTC One A9's design. In short: the growing sentiment is that Google phoned it in with Sailfish. But I would argue strongly that, aside from proportional similarities, dismissively calling Sailfish a reworked 2015 HTC phone is doing an unreleased handset a complete disservice and ignoring a vast, gaping chasm of nuance in favor of tired arguments about Nexus phones just being OEM leftovers that have persisted for years.

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