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Pricing for the smaller Google Pixel phone could start at $649, but financing will be available

There's plenty of good evidence now that Google's upcoming phones will not be Nexus devices, but the first in a new breed of Pixel-branded phones. Although they are being manufactured by HTC, we expect Google will be setting the distribution of the phones, and pricing may be much higher than previously thought. A trusted source tells us that the smaller Pixel phone will start at $649. That means the Pixel XL could be even more.

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Google Trips travel itinerary app goes live after extensive private beta [APK Download]

Users pay Google not in dollars, but in data. In exchange for handing over all of our private information, we get cool stuff like Google Trips. This travel app culls your Gmail account for hotel reservations, flight bookings, travel times, addresses, and other information you could possibly need for your next trip.

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Google Photos rolling out faster photo sharing and 'Movie Concepts' [APK Download]

Google Photos remains one of my favorite Google products. Unlimited free photo uploads (at a capped resolution), easy organization, automatic tagging, the list of features goes on and on. Google Photos is rolling out two new features today that improve sharing and automatic video creation.

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Google Play Books adds Discover mode with customized book news, reviews, and suggestions [APK Download]

Google is rolling out an update to the Google Play Books app today, and for the first time in ages there's a notable new feature. It's called Discovery, and it helps you discover new stuff to read. As is the case with a great many Google features, this one is available in the US only at first.

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Google Slides now supports using Android Wear to control presentations [APK Download]

It's a bit difficult to get excited over updates to presentation software. But the latest Google Slides update brings a new feature that should have been implemented ages ago - remote control with Android Wear devices. Google Slides has supported streaming presentations to Chromecasts for a while now, but you have always had to control the show from your phone (or your laptop, if using the web version).

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The latest Google Slides update installs a companion app on your Android Wear device. When you start casting a presentation, a notification appears on your watch that opens the Wear app. The top of the UI shows the time you have spent on the current slide, the orange bar indicates how far along you are in the presentation, and the bottom shows a preview of the next slide.

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Google Allo may launch this week, according to Evan Blass [Update: Maybe 9/21]

Google Duo and Allo, the company's latest messaging applications, were announced back at Google I/O this year. Only Duo has been released to the public, and as I'm sure you all know, Google has been silent about the release date for Allo apart from a summer release. With the first day of fall coming on September 22, time is running out to meet the deadline.

Evan Blass, more famously known as @evleaks on Twitter, posted a tweet saying only "Hello, Allo (launches this week)." That's it.

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[Not Allo] Google starts advertising Duo on the Google.com homepage

Google rarely advertises anything on the Google.com homepage. Most of the time the ads consist of single-line text banners about a new Nexus device or donating to disaster relief. They were the subject of much criticism in 2012 when they used an animated advertisement (for the Nexus 7) on the homepage for the first time.

Google is once again using its influence as the homepage for millions of users - this time to promote Duo. If you visit the Google homepage at the time of writing, you can see a text banner that reads, "Face-to-face with just a tap. Try Duo, simple video calling for Android and iOS."

Google appears to be making a large marketing push for Duo, just recently they published a series of advertisements on their YouTube channel.

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Google is rebranding 'Google for Work' to 'Google Cloud,' for some reason

Google for Work, also commonly known as Google Apps, is a service available to businesses on a subscription model from Google. As you might figure out from the name, it allows companies to create and manage accounts that can use Gmail, Google Calendar, Hangouts, Google Drive, and other related services. As a matter of fact, everyone at Android Police has a Google for Work account.

The Information reports that Google is discontinuing the use of the 'Google for Work' brand, and replacing it with 'Google Cloud.' One of their sources, someone who was briefed on the change, said "The name change is Google’s way of saying, ‘We have the best cloud platform, period.'" The Information believes they will formally announce the name on September 29.

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Google is testing the option to queue Play Store downloads for when WiFi is available

Ever since capped mobile data became the norm, we have been faced with a conundrum—download things on mobile data for instant gratification or wait until there's WiFi that won't put a dent in our data plan. The Play Store has long had an option that would prevent large downloads from starting without your express permission on mobile data, but now Google is testing a system that lets you queue these downloads for the next time you're on WiFi.

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Chrome Dev 55 adds gamepad features and better Android Pay support [APK Download]

Yesterday, I wrote about the massive number of changes that Chrome Beta 54 brought along. Chrome 55 hasn't been in development for quite as long, but there are still a few noteworthy changes. Come along with me as I journey into the wonderful world of alpha-quality software.

Users on Android 7.0 might need to use an APK to update, as there is a bug with Chrome Beta & Dev updating from the Play Store. You can find the APKMirror download link at the bottom of this post.
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