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YouTube is testing a more granular mobile data usage setting than the HD toggle

As any regular AP reader will know, YouTube tends to test little server-side changes in its Android app quite often. The latest one we've spotted appears to have been in the pipeline for a while now - a granular mobile data usage setting in place of the standard HD toggle.

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Google adds Play Store support to more Chromebooks from Acer, Dell, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung

Google promised that all Chromebooks shipped in 2017 and beyond would support Android apps, but the company has been a bit slow to deliver on that claim. However, Google has just updated its list of Chrome OS devices compatible with the Play Store, and a whopping 16 more devices can now run Android apps officially.

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[Deal Alert] Rent a movie from Google Play for $0.99 if you have purchased and activated a Chromecast/Ultra (U.S. only)

Hey, Chromecast owners! Google has a special promotion going on for you lot — renting any single "eligible" movie from Play Movies will only cost you a measly $0.99. This applies to both the regular Chromecast and the Ultra, but it's unfortunately limited to U.S. residents only. Sorry, internationals.

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Google updates kids animation app Toontastic 3D with new Cars 3 and Fruit Ninja themes [APK Download]

Earlier in the year, Google released the impressive Toontastic 3D. The digital storytelling app was a follow up to the original Toontastic game by educational developer LaunchPad Toys, which was acquired by Google in 2015. The app allows kids to draw and animate their own stories to create a 3D video. The budding directors can even narrate their creations and add built-in songs to the soundtrack before sharing. In the latest update, Google adds new characters and settings as part of two additional themes.

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Google announces MobileNets, a family of mobile-first visual recognition models

Today Google has announced the release of MobileNets, a series of TensorFlow vision models built for comparatively low-power, low-speed platforms like mobile devices. In a cross-post on both the Open Source and Research blogs, Google released details about the new visual recognition software. Now even more useful machine learning tools can operate natively on your phone’s hardware, in a fast and accurate way. And, future tools like Google Lens will be able to perform more functions locally, without as much need for mobile data, and without waiting. 

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The Play Store now fails gracefully when you're offline, offers to show pages when you're connected again

Google appears to be rolling out an interesting new feature in the Play Store phone client. Knowing that connectivity is not always guaranteed, the Play Store will now fail gracefully when you try to load a page without data. Not only does the error look nicer than the current one, it offers to notify you when you have a connection again.

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What ever happened to Google's dual-tab "Feed and Upcoming" update?

Last year Google announced an update to the Google app that would bring an additional tab to Google Now. The new interface was meant to separate general items in your feed from more personal data, by partitioning the latter into a new "Upcoming" section. Well, it's been six months since it was announced, and it seems as if almost no one has the feature.

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Google Voice notifications are broken for some, but Google is on the case

If you haven't been reliably receiving notifications for messages in Google Voice, you may not be alone. Some users at Google's Product Forums have been reporting that notifications from Google Voice don't always appear, and often don't show up until the app is opened and refreshed. Thankfully it seems that Google is on the case. If indicators for events like messages or voicemails in Google Voice do not show up in your notifications, perhaps it's worth taking a look at the threads over on Google's forums.

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Google announces 'Backup and Sync' for Windows and Mac, will replace desktop Google Drive client

The Google Drive client for Windows and Mac is.. decent. It's a bit buggy, and at least on Windows, seems to disconnect every once in a while for no apparent reason. Back in March, we learned that Google was working on a new version called 'Backup and Sync,' because the company accidentally pushed an unfinished version to users which didn't work at all.

Now it seems like Backup and Sync is nearly ready for release.

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Google is testing a wild new transparent Google Now pane

Google Now was a big deal when it debuted years back, but now Google is all about Assistant. The Google Now pane got its last redesign in 2015, but Google appears to be testing something more radical currently. Some users are starting to see a transparent Google Now pane.

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