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Android Pay celebrates May the 4th with Star Wars Easter eggs

Google has introduced a few Easter eggs to Android Pay for this week's Star Wars themed date. All May (the) 4th long, as well as the rest of the week, you get one of 7 dancing Android-ified characters when you use Android Pay to make a purchase.

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Android Things Developer Preview 3.1 adds support for the AIY Projects Voice Kit

Google released the first Developer Preview for its new 'Android Things' operating system back in December, and the company has been improving it ever since. A minor update, Developer Preview 3.1, was released today with support for the new AIY Projects Voice Kit.

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With Map Maker closed, road segment editing is available to all users on Google Maps

Map Maker was completely shut down on April 2nd and at the time, Google promised that its features would find their way to the main Google Maps app. Part of them was implemented long ago last September with the addition of missing info and fact checking cards, but that left the main Map Maker function of editing road segments. It was enabled for Local Guides a while ago and according to a post on the Local Guides Connect community, it has been made available for everyone on April 27.

Sure enough, I checked on my phone and I can see the option to edit road segments.

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[Update: APK Download] Chat backups, link previews, and group incognito are coming to Google Allo today

Allo might not be a true replacement for those that used Hangouts until it has web or desktop clients, but development on Google's latest messaging solution still continues apace. Amit Fulay, the Head of Product at Google for Allo and Duo, tweeted earlier this morning that some new features were rolling out today. The update isn't out at the time of writing, but he claims it will include the ability to back up and restore chats, add incognito mode to group chats, and introduce link previews.

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[Is This Real?] Google Calendar's web interface should be getting a redesign in Q4 2017

Folks, it's happening. Alright, it's not happening right now, but it should be happening soon. What every Google Calendar user has wanted for years, what every Google user who dared venture in the dark and murky waters of calendar.google.com has clamored for, what every piece of common sense has predicted: Google Calendar's web interface is getting a revamp.

According to this roadmap of G Suite features that has appeared in a presentation from Google's Cloud NEXT 2017 event, Google Calendar has a "redesign of web interface" planned for Q4 2017. If that is what it exactly says it should be, then we will finally have that brand spanking new Calendar UI on the web that we've been dreaming of and that we can only achieve with themes and extensions right now.

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Google bakes phishing protection into the Gmail for Android app

Perhaps due to today's outbreak of a widespread phishing scam, or simply by coincidence, Google is rolling out enhanced anti-phishing security checks in Gmail for Android. When users tap on a suspicious link, the above warning will now appear.

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The robots are winning: Google's neural network OCR gives names to the nameless (streets)

Everyone uses Google Maps, but not often do we consider where, exactly, all that data comes from. When a new road goes in, or a bypass, or the name of a street changes, it isn't as if your local city reaches out to Google to make sure everything is up to date. Some of that used to come from user submissions in the Map Maker forum. Now those tools are being rolled into Maps itself, but that's not the only source of information. Google's fleets of Street View cars collect an insane number of images, and nestled in with them are pictures of businesses, street signs, and addresses, and Google's latest research blog post goes into some interesting details about all that potential data.

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Google releases official statement on widespread Google Docs phishing email

Phishing emails are annoying and potentially dangerous, but very rarely do we see one as nefarious as this. A specific email, shown above, has been making waves in the news and Google has released an official statement regarding it.

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Google expected to discontinue YouTube Accelerator to focus on deploying WiFi networks

Google announced an interesting product last year called YouTube Accelerator that aimed to do away with buffering by caching YouTube videos on local networks. Accelerator initially launched in a handful of locations in the Philippines, but now Google is rumored to be dropping Accelerator. Instead, it's just going to work on rolling out faster WiFi in public spaces as part of the Google Station program.

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Android Pay's gift card limitations: You can only add 10 cards total and 5 per merchant within 30 days

File this one in the "Did you know?" category of weird limitations placed on Google and Android services. If you have many gift cards that you want to add to your Android Pay account, you might hit an arbitrary and unforeseen limit at some point. Tipster Ananya Gupta encountered the issue while adding several gift cards to his account: the above pop-up showed up and he couldn't add any more cards. So he contacted a Google support rep who explained the limits:

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