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Google adds so-called "Greeklish" transliteration support for Greek to Gboard

The latest buzzword for language input is transliteration. And, it's actually a pretty big deal. By typing the way something sounds instead of the way it's spelled, you can write in a language, even if you only know how to speak it. SwiftKey and Google have both been pushing the technology hard, and today Google has rolled out support for "Greeklish" or transliteration for the Greek language via Latin characters. 

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Android Oreo feature spotlight: Rollback Protection, a new part of Verified Boot, won't allow you to start a downgraded OS

This flew under our radar back at I/O, but it's big news. On compatible devices, the new Verified Boot changes in Android 8.0 Oreo will prevent a device from booting should it be rolled back to an earlier firmware. The new feature is called Rollback Protection. So if your phone is flashed with older software, you (and your data) are protected from whatever potential security vulnerabilities may have been present in earlier versions. 

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"OK Google, send a Google Voice message" command is coming soon to help those with Google Voice numbers

Some of you exclusively use their Google Voice (GV) numbers, some have differentiated between friends and colleagues by giving their regular number and GV number separately to each set of contacts, and some might use the GV number occasionally for a few contacts only. Regardless of your case, sending texts from that GV number has been pretty hit-and-miss when it comes to Android Auto, Android Wear, and Assistant. But that should be fixed soon.

As explained by several complaining users in this support thread, if you have a Google Voice number and you set it as the default SMS number in Hangouts then set Hangouts as your default SMS app, when you're using Android Auto and you say, "OK Google, send a text," the command will forego your defaults and just issue a regular SMS text through your carrier number.

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YouTube, your volume controls are bad and you should feel bad

Many of you have probably seen yesterday's XKCD comic about the laughably terrible state of volume controls on mobile devices. The issue is particularly bad in Android apps, and developers really need to do something about it. Quite honestly, it's embarrassing that this is still a problem in 2017.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Chromecast Ultra for just $29.99 ($39 off) from RCWilley, but only with local pickup

Thus far, we've most commonly seen $10 discounts on Google's Chromecast Ultra. That's really not that great of an incentive, but if you're on the West Coast, you may be able to grab one of these 4K-capable streaming devices for just $29.99 - a whopping 57% off the MSRP.

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[Who needs iMessage?] Someday you may be able to send and receive SMS using your Chromebook

A bit over a month ago, we heard that Chromebooks might be getting SMS notification support via something called SMS Connect, which was exciting news. The folks over at Chrome Unboxed, who initially discovered this coming functionality, just found a bit more information on the subject. Not only will we be able to see when we get an SMS, but we might even be able to read and reply to them, all from the comfort of your Chromebook. 

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YouTube for Android TV 2.01.04 update brings back brand accounts and channel switching [APK Download]

The update to version 2.0 ushered in some major changes to YouTube for Android TV. Many of them were superficial, but there were also useful things like being able to turn off autoplay. It also got a fair amount of criticism for essentially just being a web wrapper and having some things missing. The biggest disappointment for many was that you could no longer sign in with a brand account or switch channels as you could in the previous release. Google said they would be brought back soon and has just made good on that promise with a new update.

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Canary Flex camera is unable to be set up with Oreo devices, but a fix from Google is on the way

With every new OS release, there are bugs that will need to be worked out, and Android Oreo is no exception. One of these bugs is completely preventing Oreo devices from setting up the Canary Flex security camera. Fortunately, Canary and Google are both aware of the situation, and a fix is on the way.

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Google Maps' picture-in-picture mode officially rolling out soon

One of Android Oreo's main new features is picture-in-picture mode, which launches apps into little windows that go over other apps. It was added to Google Maps a couple weeks ago, but it wasn't functioning properly until a few days ago. Even now, however, it isn't fully working, with PiP windows sometimes not triggering when users hit the home button during navigation. Google is saying that this will be fixed soon, marking the official rollout of PiP for Maps.

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Google Photos will now cache videos you've watched to avoid using more data when replaying them

There are a handful of Google services that virtually everyone uses, and Google Photos has managed to squeeze into that select group. Over the two years it's been out, Photos has accumulated over 500 million users as of May 2017. Although the service still isn't perfect, it's getting there. The latest update enables watched videos to be cached so that they won't use up more data when replayed.

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