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Google Home will work with SmartThings out of the box

Google's new smart home hub, Google Home, will work with the Samsung-owned SmartThings platform out of the box, according to a source familiar with the companies' plans. We trust the quality of this information implicitly, so consider this rumor a '10' on the confidence scale, barring some sort of delay that leads to Google postponing the announcement.

Google Home would probably be near-dead on arrival without compatibility for some common smart home technology, and aside from Nest (for which we assume Home compatibility is a given), SmartThings is one of the most obvious choices. SmartThings hub devices work with a wide variety of smart home products, and making Google Home compatible with this platform will ensure that SmartThings users have another, non-Echo option for a smart home assistant and speaker device.

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InBrief
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The latest versions of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides allow you to restore deleted files

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Google launches new central company blog, 'The Keyword'

If you click the source links at most of our posts about Google products, you might notice there is a lot of Google blogs. Almost every Google product has its own blog - Android, Gmail, YouTube, ChromeGoogle Fiber, you name it. I think Google finally realized the need to consolidate, and has created 'The Keyword.'

The Keyword replaces the former Google company blog (googleblog.blogspot.com), which has been mirrored by the Internet Archive if you want to compare. The blog is a mix of product announcements and coverage of various events. In the official announcement post, Google says The Keyword combines content from 19 other blogs - but doesn't say which ones.

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Google Drive adds Quick Access feature, guesses what file you might want

Google Drive has recently added an enhanced search and regular expressions support, but those features have not yet made their way to the mobile apps. Now the Android application exclusively has a new feature, simply called Quick Access. This uses machine learning to predict what documents you are most likely to open, based on your Drive activity and recurring patterns. Google claims this "saves 50 percent off the average time it takes to get to the right file by eliminating the need to search for it."

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Google releases Android Wear 2.0 dev preview 3, confirms public release is delayed until early 2017

Google has started rolling Android 7.0 Nougat out to Nexus devices, but no watches have gotten the corresponding Wear 2.0 update. The beta test has been ongoing for months, and today Google has released the third dev preview. That's good, but there's also some bad news. The developer preview is now expected to continue into early 2017, which is a significant delay.

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Video: Six years of Nexus - A Google phone history

As the Pixel phone announcement draws near, it seems that, if not going away entirely, Google's Nexus brand will at the very least be undergoing some major changes. Google intends to heavily market its Pixel phones if the last week is any indicator, meaning there really won't be much room for the Nexus phone program to exist in the same way it has in the last few years. Nexus may live on, but it will undoubtedly be in a capacity different from the more aspirational efforts we've seen Google make with it in devices like the Nexus 6, 5X, and 6P.

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Google is rolling out a ton of new navigation voice commands

Driving is serious business—you're in control of a rolling pile of metal and glass weighing thousands of pounds, and one moment of inattention can have very messy consequences. So, for goodness' sake, don't screw around with your phone while driving. Google Maps has voice commands while in navigation or driving mode to help you keep your hands off the phone, and today there are a lot more available.

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Google Allo hits 5 million downloads in the Play Store, is #8 in Top Charts

Google Allo, the second of Google's two new messaging apps, has just hit five million downloads in the Google Play Store. All the anticipation for Allo (let's forget about the subsequent letdown for now) has made its download numbers soar. However, the aforementioned letdown is quite apparent in its current ranking in the Play Store; while Allo sat at #1 in Top Charts just five days ago, it's since fallen to #8.

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[Finally] Google Play Music now appears to be available in India

Five years - that's how long Indians have had to wait for Google Play Music to come to their country. However, it appears that the massive delay may finally be over. Several India-based AP readers have tipped us that Play Music is now showing up on their devices with songs available for purchase. This news comes just a day after Google's big announcement regarding the Indian market.

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Google turns 18 years old - now it can index porn without lying at the age gate

Happy Birthday, Google, you're legally an adult now. According to the Google Doodle, anyway: the actual date that Google became a company is something of a point of contention. Google's own history says that it was incorporated in California on September 4th, 1998, with founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin setting up shop in a garage office in Menlo Park. A little less than two decades later it's the most dominant search engine on the planet, it develops the world's most-used operating system, it sells more advertising than a billion Times Squares, and it never turns down a chance to make its logo look weird on the home page.

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