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Google makes RCS support in Messenger official, will be default SMS/RCS app on all Sprint Android devices

The ultimate goal of RCS is to completely replace SMS, but moving the millions of daily SMS users away is no small feat. Yesterday, we posted that RCS support was being rolled out to some Messenger users on Sprint and Project Fi. Now Google has made the feature official, and should be available to all Sprint customers starting today.

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RCS is going live for some Google Messenger users, enabling "enhanced features" for messaging

A little over a week ago, we first detected several less-than-subtle hints of Rich Communication Services, more commonly known as RCS, in Google Messenger 2.0's code. In case you don't know what RCS is, it essentially adds some useful features to SMS that are similar to what you'll find in Apple's iMessage. Now, for a select few, Google has flipped a server-side switch for RCS.

Google's initiative to make RCS more commonplace isn't new, though; last year, the Mountain View-based company purchased Jibe Mobile, a startup with an RCS platform. Allo was expected to receive RCS support, but since that didn't pan out, Messenger is the very first Google app to support it.

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Google Play services v10 can show a notification with player controls anytime a device on the network is Casting [APK Download]

If the people in your home get regular use of a Chromecast, you're probably more than aware of just how inconvenient it is when the Casting device isn't handy. Sure, you can always pick up your phone or tablet and track down the Google Home app (formerly named Google Cast), but that takes a lot of taps – and most people don't have it installed or even realize it has player controls. The latest update to Google Play services takes care of this little issue by adding a long overdue and oft-requested feature: it pops up a notification with player controls anytime a Cast session is active.

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[Update: Nixon now available] Michael Kors Access, Nixon, and Polar smartwatches, Philips Hue Starter Kit, now on the Google Store

Earlier this month, Google removed a number of products from the virtual shelves of the Google Store, most notably the Nexus 5X and 6P. Today the Google Store has begun selling a few new Android Wear wearables and the Philips Hue Color A19 Starter Kit.

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YouTube now allows creators to pin comments, add moderators, blacklist words and phrases, and more

The YouTube comments section - you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Part of the reason comments can be so unbearable at times is the dreadful moderation tools, but YouTube is seeking to fix that. Today on their Creator Blog, they announced a number of changes to how comments can be moderated.

YouTube creators can now blacklist certain words or phrases, with comments violating the list requiring manual approval. In addition, creators can now opt-in to YouTube's almighty algorithm determining which comments are "potentially inappropriate," and holding them for approval.

There are some public-facing changes to YouTube comments as well.

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'My Devices' on Google Play finally has unused phones and tablets removed

We like reporting on the tiny, minuscule improvements to the Android and Google platforms here at Android Police, so we were delighted to find that in the Google Play Store, older devices have disappeared on the list of 'My Devices.' This is pretty small and insignificant to most, but it's something that will have bothered many hardcore Android fans, so it's good to see it fixed.

Previously, every device you have ever owned would be listed, right from the first Android device you used (mine was a Nexus One) to the most recent. There is still no function to manually remove a device - it still has to be told not to appear in menus - and it still shows when it was registered and last used.

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Android Pay gets Capital One support (no really, it's happening this time)

After approximately 62 false starts, Google and Capital One have worked everything out and made Capital One cards functional in Android Pay. Caveats... there are some. Not all cards are supported, and the verification process is kind of a mess.

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Google Home units starting to ship from Google Store

Google's $129 smart speaker, the Google Home, was first announced back at Google I/O earlier this year. Featuring the shiny new Google Assistant coupled with a great speaker, the Home is part of Google's march into the smart home market. Pre-orders finally started last month, and now they are finally shipping to customers.

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Google Wallet's web app goes material, looks the same as the Android app

Material is the name of the game at the moment, with apps left, right, and centre adopting the new(ish) design standards and animations. While the Wallet Android app has been material for a while now, the web app has just been updated to adopt the desktop version of material design.

Generally speaking, the new web interface looks much like the Android app. There is a part to send or request money, a navigation drawer with options in it, including choosing what card to pay with and settings. There are a few things on one platform that are not on the other - Activity on the Android app and 'Cash Out' on the web app - but mostly they look the same on either, which is the aim of material design.

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Chrome now displays images centered, starting with v56 (live in Dev/Canary)

Sometimes, it's the little things that count. In Chrome 55, when you visit a direct link to an image, it was always displayed in the top left corner. This can make zooming and panning on the image difficult, as it is constantly locked to the corner of the screen. This was a minor annoyance at most, but Chrome 56 finally rectifies this issue.

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