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Google app v7.16 beta suggests tablet rollout coming soon, reveals Routines can run after alarms, more on Quartz and podcasts [APK Teardown]

There's a fresh version of the Google app rolling out on the beta channel right now. This one doesn't appear to put a lot of new stuff in front of us for use right now, but there are hints scattered around that tablet support is ready to launch. A teardown brings the more interesting clues, including more capabilities for Routines, additional details for the screen-enabled Google Home (i.e. Quartz), and even downloadable podcasts.

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Google fixes Pixel trade-in factory reset and misclassification problems

Just a bit before the new Pixel 2 phones launched, Google released a new trade-in program that allows you to swap an older phone for credit that can be applied (in the form of a partial refund) on a purchase. Since it rolled out, there have been reports that the inspection being performed on phones isn't accurate, resulting in an incorrect trade-in value assessment. According to a statement by a Google rep, this issue seems to have been fixed, at least when it comes to Pixel phones and factory reset/device classification. 

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November 2017 platform distribution shows an anemic 0.1% increase for Oreo and a larger bump for Nougat

It was beginning to look like Google wouldn't get around to releasing platform distribution numbers this month, but it just came through. The news, however, isn't great if you've been pulling for Oreo to catch on. After debuting last month at 0.2% market share, Oreo is up just another tenth of a point this month. Meanwhile, Nougat saw a more substantial increase.

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Broadcast for Google Home is rolling out now, allowing you to talk to everyone in the house

A ton of products and features were announced at Google's October 4th event, and among those was a broadcast feature for the Google Home line. If you have several Homes in your home, this is sure to come in handy when you need to communicate something with the entire house.

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Pixel 2 cameras don't like LED lights, display strange banding when aimed in their direction

There's no doubting that Google's 2nd generation Pixels are excellent phones, but like any major release, they've not been without their fair share of teething problems. The screen of the Pixel 2 XL has captured the most headlines, with various issues which may or may not have been overblown in some media circles. With all that talk of the display, the camera must have been feeling left out. Well not anymore.

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[Update: €349 in rest of Europe] Google drops Pixel C price significantly in the UK, now just £299

The Pixel C tablet is something of a forgotten product. That has a lot to do with where Android tablets are right now: the category is all but dead by this point. The space has been taken over by cheap Chromebooks, many of which can now run Android apps and operate in tablet mode.

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'Viki' is the sixth video streaming service supported by Google Home

Nearly a year ago, Google added the ability to play content from partner services through your Google Home. For example, you could say "Play The Office on Netflix," and your Home would cast the show to the Chromecast/Cast-compatible TV of your choosing. At launch, only Google Photos and Netflix were supported, but the list of compatible services has been slowly growing.

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[Update: Ambiance bulbs on sale too] Deal Alert: Philips Hue White A19 LED Starter Kit is $59.99 ($40 off) at Best Buy and Amazon

Philips makes some of the best smart light bulbs on the planet, but they can get pretty expensive. Just one of those fancy colored bulbs costs $50. If you don't care for the color-changing bulbs, the A19 Starter Kit is $40 off at Best Buy and Amazon.

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Google updates Assistant interface with white background and rounded cards

Over the past few weeks, Google has been changing the interface of a few applications, making them brighter with more rounded edges. The mobile search site recently switched to this layout, and the in-progress Chrome redesign has it too. Assistant now fits in with this design language, as a visual change has started to roll out to users.

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[Update: Now in Dev channel as flag] Google adds split-screen snapping to Chrome OS tablet mode

Over the past year or two, we've seen a rise of 2-in-1 Chromebooks like the ASUS Flip lineup and Samsung's Chromebook Plus/Pro. But using Chrome OS in tablet mode is still rough around the edges. Now Google is trying to change that, with the introduction of split-screen windows in tablet mode.

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