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[Update: More carriers in Latin America] RCS messaging coming to Telia subscribers in Sweden

Just over 25 years ago, the first text message was sent. Not all technology can last a quarter of a century, but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. RCS is the cloud-powered standard designed to eventually replace SMS, but adoption has been slow. The next carrier to support the technology isn't Verizon, or AT&T, or T-Mobile - it's one that operates in northern Europe.

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Contacts sync is breaking on some devices running Android Oreo

One of the most basic and convenient features of life in Google's ecosystem is contacts sync. From email to phone numbers and Google+ profiles, you know that whatever platform you are on, you'll be able to reach out to the people you need to with a minimum of fuss. But for some this essential feature isn't working correctly, and contacts aren't being successfully synced to their Oreo-powered Android devices.

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Google pauses accessibility app ban while it considers 'responsible and innovative' uses of the accessibility services

Google started contacting developers last month with a bit of an ultimatum: make sure accessibility mode is only used to help disabled users or risk being banned from the Play Store. Android's accessibility services have been used for a great many things over the years, so this change in policy caught many developers off guard. However, Google is now notifying developers that it's pausing the ban as it looks into how apps can make "responsible and innovative" use of accessibility features.

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Google releases web app version of Chrome Remote Desktop

Google is trying to phase out Chrome Web Store apps, in favor of more modern (and cross-platform) Progressive Web Apps. One of the most well-known Chrome apps is Chrome Remote Desktop, a remote management tool similar to VNC or TeamViewer. While it was originally designed to give Chromebooks a proper remote desktop application, it has also become popular as a TeamViewer alternative.

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Google Search gets you answers straight from your favorite stars, selfie-style

We all turn to Google to get answers regarding this and that, and that other thing, and those as well, and eventually there's a point where we get a little curious and we want to know something about the actors and stars that we love. Google usually uses its Knowledge Graph to surface the best and most accurate answer for you, but what if you could get it straight from the horse's mouth. There'd be no denying the authenticity of it, would there?

And that's what Google has done. Starting today, when you search for a few known celebrities, you will see a special Top Questions Answered section at the bottom of their Google card with video cards.

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Barclaycard US, 58 other banks add support for Android Pay

Google's Android Pay team is keeping the momentum going, with support for 59 more banks added. While most of the banks in question are regional banks hailing from Texas and other southwestern states, the most nationally known is likely Barclayscard US. This update brings the total number of participating banks to 1,131.

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Chrome 63 adds new flags page, prepares Chrome Home UI for wide rollout, and more [APK Download]

It's that time of the month again - Google has released a brand new version of Chrome for Android. We're now up to version 63, which brings a few useful improvements and further changes to the in-development 'Chrome Home' interface.

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Google's Tez app will soon be able to process bill payments

A couple of months back, Google introduced a brand new mobile payments app exclusive to India. The country's banking landscape is a little different to many of the territories that currently have access to Android Pay, and so it needed a different approach. Until now, Tez has only been able to pay participating merchants or transfer between users, but it will soon be possible to pay utility bills, too.

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[Update: Best Buy too] Get $300 off a Pixel 2 or 2 XL at Verizon

There has been ample griping about the high cost of Google's Pixel phones, much of it completely reasonable. Dropping $850 on the Pixel 2 XL just isn't feasible for a lot of people, but you can get a good discount on a Pixel 2 or 2 XL today if you don't mind going through Verizon. Pick up a Pixel, and Verizon will knock $300 off the total cost. As usual, this comes with some caveats.

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Google wants Progressive Web Apps to replace Chrome apps

The Chrome Web Store originally launched in 2010, and serves a hub for installing apps, extensions, and themes packaged for Chrome. Over a year ago, Google announced that it would phase out Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux in 2018. Today, the company sent out an email to developers with additional information, as well as news about future Progressive Web App support.

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