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[Update: There's an easier way] Tip: You can edit the shortcuts at the top of the Google Feed, sort of

Google has been toying with changes to the Google Feed in its eponymous app all year, seemingly settling on a translucent look when you swipe right from your launcher home screen, or the three-tab interface in the full app. Google may still be testing different options, so yours may not be the same as mine, but I find it a lot worse than what I had before, especially as I can't swipe away cards to dismiss them anymore.

Another fairly recent introduction, in both views, are the shortcuts at the top of the feed (see above image). By default, four of them are on display: current weather, Eat & Drink, Translate, and Solitaire.

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Google uploaded a pile of videos showing off how the Google Assistant works on headphones

The Google Help account uploaded three new videos a few days back, detailing exactly how to use the Google Assistant on devices like Bose's recently released QuietComfort 35 II. If you've been wondering how, exactly, the Google Assistant works in that type of environment, it actually looks reasonably intuitive. And either way, the videos are pretty short and worth a watch. 

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Linux kernel's long-term support releases now last for 6 years, and that's good for Android

In a recent presentation at Linaro Connect, it was revealed that the Linux kernel would be moving to a six-year LTS. Right now LTS kernels are only supported for two years, which can be a problem when a hardware design pipeline can take more than 12-18 months for a device to make it into a consumer's hands, and that's not even taking into account SoC development. This new change, combined with Google's Project Treble, could further extend device support for Android updates and might spell good news for consumers.

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Guide: The best phones and tablets for LineageOS

The following post was written by Ryne Hager and Corbin Davenport.

The vast majority of Android device buyers don't know or care what a custom ROM is. And that's completely fine - a phone or tablet's stock ROM will be enough for 99.9% of potential users. But for the 0.1% that like to tinker, the development community surrounding a given device can drastically impact the value. Your purchase can become a much better deal if there is a wealth of custom ROM options available, extending its lifespan for possibly years (and nearly a decade for the HD2).

There are quite a few popular custom ROMs in the wild, but LineageOS is probably one of the best overall.

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Google Photos 3.6 makes video sharing way faster

When your bandwidth doesn't oblige, sharing videos via Google Photos can be a bit frustrating. Videos are, well, large. And uploading large files can take a while, especially if you're in a congested area, on a throttled connection, or traveling. But now Google Photos has cut down the wait by uploading low-resolution copies for sharing first. And don't worry, your friends won't be stuck with blurry potatoes, those videos are later replaced with high-quality versions. 

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Google app now has home screen shortcuts for entertainment, sports, and more

Google has been fiddling with the layout and options in the Feed for a couple months, and some users are seeing an interesting new option appear. In certain Feed categories, Google offers to create home screen shortcuts so you can get back to that section without even visiting the Feed.

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Google's Family Link parental control app is now available to everyone (in the US)

Back in March, Google announced an interesting new app allowing parents to set up accounts on Android devices for kids under 13. Unlike setting them up with a standard account, Family Link gives you power over what they can do with their phone or tablet. The app was available as part of an invitation-only test in the US, but now it's getting a widespread public launch.

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Assistant has finally come to the SHIELD TV and it looks great

After waiting and waiting (and waiting), Google is finally starting the rollout of Assistant to Android TV. Announced at CES back in January, this functions like a combination of a Google Home and a Chromecast in one thing... and that's awesome. This will be coming first to Nvidia's SHIELD TV starting today.

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[Update x2: Confirmed hoax] Leaked slides hint at what might be the "Ultra pixel" phone by Google

On further inspection and after much more discussion, the Android Police team has come to the consensus that the slides shown in this video are, at the very least, probably not representative of anything we'll see at Google's October 4th event, if not outright fabrications.
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[Goodbye Productivity] Google celebrates its 19th birthday with surprise spinner and new Snake game

Although the Google.com domain name was registered on September 15, 1997 and it technically celebrated its 20th birthday a couple of weeks ago, Google likes to celebrate its birthday closer to when the company officially launched. And for the past years, it's sort of chosen September 27 as its birthday. You may notice that today is actually September 28, but we were overwhelmed with plenty of news yesterday and had to miss the birthday party. I'm sure Google doesn't mind. After all, it's old enough now to go celebrate with its buddies and leave us all alone with its freshly baked favorite cake and memories of when it was young and would beg us to help it blow the candles.

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