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[Deal Alert] Daydream View headset price reduced to $49 in the Google Store until February 25th

Google's official VR headset for the Pixel and Pixel XL, the Daydream View, isn't absolutely necessary to enjoy the phones. But since owners have one of the only pieces of hardware on the planet currently compatible with the Daydream platform, it would be a shame to let the opportunity to check it out pass by. Google agrees... or at the very least, they have an overabundance of stock since the initial freebie preorders ran out. At the moment the headset is $30 off on the Google Store.

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Android Wear 2.0 to land on February 9 according to Evan Blass

Google has been releasing Android Wear 2.0 dev previews for several months and after a couple of delays that saw the launch pushed into 2017 instead of 2016, we now have a date to look forward to: February 9.

Just last week Google sent emails to developers to ask them to update their apps for Android Wear 2.0 ASAP because the new firmware would be released in early February, so the February 9 date just leaked by Evan Blass fits well into that timeframe.

We don't know which watches will get this update and how quickly they will, but we are slated to see more new watches come out with Android Wear 2.0 soon, including Google's own smartwatches which should be coming in Q1 2017 and LG's unknown round LTE watch.

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PSA: Chrome Dev allows you to modify recommended sites or articles, sort of

Many weren't happy with the change that shows recommended sites and articles in Chrome 54 - Android Police team members included - and while I personally do not mind them, I can see why you would prefer not to have Google recommend stuff you may not like.

In light of this, Chrome developer evangelist François Beaufort has come to the rescue. A new Chrome internals page, in the latest builds of Chrome Dev, allows modification of the recommended sites and articles, at least somewhat. chrome://ntp-tiles-internals controls what is shown on the page, with an update button to update the popular sites and function to change the region you get sites from (for example, I'm in the UK so I see the UK versions of sites).

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5 things I'd like to see Google improve on in the next Pixel phone

I'm coming up on month three of near-uninterrupted use of the Pixel (specifically the Pixel XL), and as I've spent more and more time with Google's chosen phone, I think I've got a solid list of areas where I think Google could improve the device when a successor is released. While I still think the Pixel is quite easily the best Android phone currently on sale, it's not without compromises, some of which were not readily apparent to me until well after I started using it. Here are five areas I think are ripe for improvement on the Pixel, and that I hope are addressed when we see a new Pixel (again, hopefully) later this year.

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Android Pay gets support for 40 new banks including BMO Harris

Every time it seems like Android Pay must now, finally support all the banks, there are more of them. Google has just confirmed support for 40 more banks in its payment service. That's in addition to the 46 that were added just a few weeks ago. Let me just save you the trouble of scanning the list and being disappointed—Simple Bank is not among them.

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YouTube is killing Fan Funding feature, new monetization options coming soon

One of YouTube's many problems is video monetization. With the site changing its discovery algorithms constantly, many major creators have turned to services like Patreon to ensure a steady source of income. Now YouTube has decided to shut down its Fan Funding feature, which allowed users to donate to channels with it turned on.

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Google Maps 9.43.2 has added 100% native Uber integration, and it looks awesome [APK Download]

As part of an update to the Maps app today, Google is adding fully native integration with Uber. You can set a destination, pick an Uber type, book it, monitor its location, and call the driver - all directly from Google Maps. This is excellent. While I did see an update to Maps on my phone today, the feature doesn't appear to be live for me just yet, so there's probably a server-side switch on this.

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[Update: Fifth Third Bank] 46 new banks get Android Pay support including Scottrade and Bremer

Just a year ago it was rare to have support for Android Pay at your bank, but things are much better now. It's getting to the point that even small banks have support for Android Pay. Case in point: 45 new banks have been added to the supported list for Android Pay, and you probably haven't heard of most of them.

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Photos on Google+ receive the machine learning treatment to help save on bandwidth usage

Machine learning is such a buzzword, or words, these days. Perhaps one of the biggest advocates of this technology, the almighty Google has been applying it to many of its services over the past few months. Now photographs on Google+ are getting some love with the addition of RAISR, which allows for low-resolution images to receive massive bumps in quality while saving on bandwidth.

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Android Wear 2.0 is launching in early February

Google was supposed to release Android Wear 2.0 last fall, but there were... issues. Specifically, feedback for the developer preview was quite negative. Google decided to reassess and pushed the release to early 2017. After a few more dev previews, here we are. Google has notified developers that Wear 2.0 is coming in a few weeks, so they had better get their apps ready.

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