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WSJ: Google planning to block bad ads in Chrome on desktop and mobile

Advertising is very much a balancing act for websites these days. You want to make enough money from an ad-supported site to cover costs, but you don't want to annoy users to the point they block all your ads. Some websites don't seem to care how much they annoy you, though. Google is reportedly getting ready to take a stand against the worst ads on the web with a built in ad-blocker for Chrome.

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Google PhotoScan 1.4 makes glare removal optional, adds photo sharing

If you've been using PhotoScan by Google Photos to digitize all your pre-stick selfies then this latest bit of news might come in handy. Google has updated the app to 1.4, adding the ability to share photos from directly inside the app using intents, and a new toggle to disable glare removal. Easy sharing can save you time with social media, and the latter could come in handy if you have noticed it messing with light areas in high-contrast images.

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Chromecast HDMI CEC support is broken for some users, Google working on a fix

Back in 2015, Google updated the Chromecast to support HDMI CEC, which allows users to control their devices connected via HDMI with just one remote. Instead of pulling out your phone or tablet for every minor action, some controls (like playing/pausing) can be done through your TV's remote.

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These are all the apps and services that will work with Google Home [Continuously Updated]

Google first talked about Google Home back at I/O, but the device became official at the recent October hardware event. The speakers didn't go into detail on all the apps and services that Home would work with, preferring instead to focus on a few specific demos. Now, Google has published a list of everything that works with Home, and we expect this will grow over time.

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The new Google Play Console brings developer management into the material era

Google's new Google Play Console, or the artist site previously known as the Google Play Developer Console, has been brought into the future. The console has been updated to feature an attractive new material design layout as well as the new name. It has been about a year since the last time we saw any major visual changes to the site, and it's good to see Google's keeping an eye out for their developers sense of aesthetics.

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Actions on Google (third-party services for Assistant) will come to languages other than US English... one day

If you bought a Google Home in the UK, you may be wondering why your new gadget feels less powerful than what you had expected. Sure, you can ask it questions and play music, but the services supported aren't as numerous as what you originally thought. Where's Logitech for example? And Todoist? And all those fancy names you keep reading about? Well, they should be under Services in the Assistant settings of your Google Home, but they're not. That's for one reason: the Actions on Google platform, which was opened to devs last December, is only available in US English.

Add this to the list of inconsistencies with Assistant.

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Google accidentally pushed a Dogfood test build of the May 2017 security update to the Pixel XL

Google seems to have a problem with keeping testers and customers apart. Last month, the company pushed an unfinished Google Drive for Windows update, causing Drive to break for thousands of users. Now Google has accidentally released a confidential build of the May 2017 security update to normal Pixel XL owners.

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Google Assistant adds support for Lowes Iris, Lutron Caseta, and Osram Lightify

Even if you have a wide array of smart home products from different manufacturers, Google wants to make sure they all work seamlessly on Assistant (and thus, the Google Home). The company has gradually added more supported services since launch, and now Assistant works with Lowes Iris, Lutron Caseta, and Osram Lightify.

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Google Voice now has improved spam call filtering

No one likes spam calls, and Google knows that. You may recall that last year, Google added a warning in the Phone app for when a suspected spam caller was ringing. Now the company is bringing that same feature to Google Voice.

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Google is testing a new, more compact weather card

The Google app feed (formerly known as Google Now) includes relevant bits of data from around the web and culled from your own data. One card we almost all have is weather, and Google looks to be experimenting with a new version of that one. Rather than the large card with the forecast, the new one is a single line with a few bits of relevant information.

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