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Android O feature spotlight: Enabling developer options requires your device's passcode

Turning on the developer options menu has been the same for who knows how long. You always open settings, go to 'About phone,' and tap on the build number for a certain number of times (though most of us simply tap on it furiously). However, the second Android O developer preview has added another step: entering your device's PIN, password, or pattern.

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[Deal Alert] A Stork's Journey is currently free on Google Play Movies & TV

The holiday weekend may have come and gone already, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying a free movie by yourself, with your kiddos, or with whomever else you want. A Stork's Journey, a film that hasn't even hit theaters yet in the U.S., is up for grabs over on Google Play Movies & TV. Just tap the "Add to Library" button and you'll be good to go.

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LineageOS adds support for the Pixel C, more V20 models, and other devices

The LineageOS project has continued to add support for more and more devices, while also adding a few improvements to the ROM itself. It's been a little while since our last status update, so it's time we took another look at how Lineage is doing.

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Google Sheets adds machine learning chart creation, sync with Docs and Slides, and more

I get it - spreadsheets aren't the most exciting thing in the world. Still, Google has continued to improve the mobile and desktop apps, most recently adding text rotation and other formatting features to the Android app. Now the company has added a few major improvements to Sheets, starting with some machine learning magic.

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Google confirms it will block bad ads in Chrome, starting in early 2018

About two months ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google would add an ad-blocking feature into the Chrome web browser. Similar to AdBlock Plus' default setting, Chrome would block ads deemed unacceptable (such as pop-ups, auto-playing video ads, etc). Google has now confirmed this, and shared further details about how it will work.

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Android Pay is now available in Taiwan

After what was a pretty slow start, support for new regions by Android Pay is starting to gather pace. A couple of weeks ago, Google pointed to the next 5 countries on the list. After the recent launches in Canada and Russia, Taiwan has now reached the front of the checkout queue – Android Pay is available in the country from today.

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Google says inconsistent Trusted Places behavior is fixed in Play Services v11

Smart lock can be a life saver if you're unlocking your phone constantly, and Trusted Places is one of the most frequently used options. With Trusted Places, you can set locations where your phone will skip the secure lock method, but it hasn't been working so well as of late. Google says that's fixed in the latest version of Play Services, though.

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Google Store officially launches in Puerto Rico, Pixel and other products available for purchase

Puerto Rico, despite being a territory of the United States, is often treated as a separate country by businesses. Puerto Rican residents could order from the US Google Store, but now Google has created a seperate Store just for the island itself.

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Oculus adds Chromecast support to Gear VR

You might recall a Daydream VR tidbit in the torrent of Google I/O news earlier this month; Daydream 2.0 will include Chromecast support. Not to be outdone, Oculus has announced that Gear VR can do that starting now, or just as soon as a new version of the Oculus app can be rolled out to Samsung devices. This makes VR just a tiny bit less antisocial.

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Google improves art searches with high-resolution images, interactive knowledge panels, and more

Google says people like art, and it would know. There are more than 500 million art-related searches on Google every month. The team from Google Arts & Culture got together with the search team to make these results more than just a list of images and Wikipedia links. Now, you'll see high-resolution collections, knowledge panels, better indoor Street View experiences, and more.

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