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Google's TensorFlow hits v1.0 with upgrades to speed, flexibility, and production-readiness

At the TensorFlow Developer Summit, Google announced that its second-generation machine learning platform has reached the v1.0 milestone. In the time since it went open-source, TensorFlow has helped many professionals in several fields make huge strides in things like language translation, early skin cancer detection, and diabetic blindness prevention.

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Material redesign for YouTube rolling out to more users

Back in April 2016, YouTube began testing a new look on the desktop site. This time, the web interface is heavily influenced by Material Design - something that has been in the works for other Google web apps recently. Now the redesign appears to be rolling out more widely.

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WSJ report: Google and Amazon are hoping to make Home and Alexa into home phones

Quite a lot of us have done away with the landline telephones that used to be a staple of homes in the developed world. A 2013 survey concluded that over 40% of US households had ditched their standard landlines phones, driven by younger users relying exclusively on their cell phones. But according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, both Google and Amazon are looking to revive the landline (well, VOIP line anyway) as a bonus feature in their voice-controlled Wi-Fi speakers, the Google Home and Amazon Echo/Tap/Echo Dot.

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Google expands fact-checking to Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico

News is extremely vital to how our societies function — making sure you find solid, fact-checked stories is an important aspect of that. Google has already taken steps to assist in that endeavor in the United States, France, and Germany, and now Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico are getting the same treatment.

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Google Assistant in Allo can now share personal data in chat, if you allow it

Google Assistant in Allo isn't quite as feature-packed as Assistant on other platforms, but it's still one of Allo's most compelling features. It can quickly perform a web search, tell a joke, set reminders, and more - all by just tagging it in the middle of conversations. Google has added a new trick to Assistant on Allo - it can share your personal data, if you grant it permission.

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Nest app updated with automatic door detection, app shortcuts, and more

Most home security cameras have mediocre apps (if you're lucky), but Google's Nest app is the exception. It tends to support more OS features, has better integration with other services, and it looks nice. It's getting better today. Nest is rolling out an update that includes some cool learning features, support for some Android 7.0 features, and more.

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Chrome Beta 57 adds full tab controls to Chrome Custom Tabs

Chrome Custom Tabs were introduced back in 2015, as a way for applications to open pages in Chrome without the slow process of actually opening the Chrome app. Custom Tabs load quickly, retain the color of the host app, and can open the page in the full Chrome browser easily.

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Google Assistant, four months later: Still fragmented, still unfinished, still the best

Back at Google I/O 2016, we got a first look at Google Assistant. It was designed to be a conversational assistant, as opposed to the search-based Google Now. Then when Allo was released in September, it shipped with a beta version of Assistant. Finally when the Google Pixel phones were released in October, Assistant was a major selling point.

Google has a tendency to rush products out the door without fully finishing them, and Assistant was no exception. So now that about four months have passed since the official introduction of Google Assistant (roughly five months if you count the Allo beta), has anything changed?

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InBrief
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Google adds 9 new (mostly smaller) Android Pay banks

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Google's Verify Apps now shows apps that it has recently scanned

Google rolled out the Verify Apps framework many years ago to scan apps as they were installed. Then, in 2014 it added the ability to constantly scan apps to watch for malicious behavior. You were sort of taking Google at its word as a user that Verify Apps was indeed rummaging around to keep tabs on things. Now you can see some of what it's doing—the settings menu now shows which apps have recently been scanned.

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