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Pixel Launcher works with Google Calendar to show the correct date, changes some UI elements

It's been a few hours since the Pixel Launcher was leaked, and from the screenshots we saw initially, it didn't seem like much had changed in the name's transition from Nexus to Pixel. However, since downloads became available, we've discovered more and more subtle tweaks to the interface. Arguably the biggest change is the integration of the date into Google Calendar's icon.

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Grab the leaked new Pixel Launcher here [APK Download]

A few hours ago, LlabTooFeR tweeted out some screenshots of the launcher formerly known as the Nexus Launcher. On the surface, the Pixel Launcher looks nearly identical to the Nexus Launcher, save for an icon change and a version number change; however, we have a post in the works on some new integration between the Google Calendar icon in the app drawer and Pixel Launcher.

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Google is testing a crazy new bottom bar interface in Maps [Update]

The current version of Google Maps has an Explore bar at the bottom of the screen, giving you access to nearby points of interest. It appears that some people have started seeing a different version of that bottom bar with options for seeing locations, driving, or transit details. It looks rather handy.

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Latest Google Maps beta shows distance to locations in search

A few days ago, we posted a teardown of the latest Google Maps beta. Another minor, but much appreciated, change in this beta version is that distances now appear alongside results in search.

This is a very minor feature, but definitely one worth mentioning. Most of the time when I searched for locations, I had to look at the map myself and figure out which was the closest. As you would expect, it shows the distance in either Imperial 'Murican or Metric units, depending on your preference.

googlemaps-screenshot

If you want to try out the beta release, you can download the APK from APKMirror.

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Like them or not, Google's Pixel phones will be the iPhone competitor we've demanded for years

Last year, I attended the launch of the Nexus 5X and 6P. Google also introduced the Pixel C, a refreshed Chromecast, and the new Chromecast Audio at this event to an audience of maybe 100 to 150 journalists. For the biggest company in tech, it felt like a small affair, and if I'm honest, one without much sense of occasion. We were seated in an artsy venue in San Francisco in a room that had been converted into a sort of banquet hall. Front and center, there was a small stage. I watched Sundar Pichai walk up that stage to greet us good morning, much in the way the Senior Vice President Of Team Building would kick off ManageCamp '16 at the Hilton.

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The Nexus Launcher is being renamed Pixel Launcher, and it's not hard to figure out why

Following solid rumors that the next Google flagship smartphones will be designated Pixel and Pixel XL, we now have even more substantial evidence that the beloved Nexus nameplate will be retired. ROM developer LlabTooFeR has posted several screenshots of the rebadged launcher on Twitter.

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Chrome Dev and Beta add a Read it later/Keep tab feature to Custom Tabs

Read it later apps are massively popular, with examples such as Instapaper or Pocket being among the most downloaded apps on Google Play. Google is also getting into the game now, albeit in a different way, with the Chrome team adding a read it later feature to the development versions of the browser.

As alluded to, both Chrome Dev and Chrome Beta have this, but in slightly different guises.

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Weekend poll: Would you buy a new "Nexus" (or Pixel) 7" tablet?

Rumors of Huawei building a 7" tablet "for Google" were stirred up by serial leaker Evan Blass last week. We've not heard anything more about this alleged device, but suffice it to say that the hype is real for this thing. The original Nexus 7 was as beloved as it was horribly flawed, though its 2013 successor remedied many of those ills. And much can be said of why the Nexus 7 was popular - it was "the right size," a good combination of value and performance, and one of the few tablets running stock Android. But all of that pales in comparison to the one thing that made the Nexus 7 such a hit: it was damn cheap.

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Google plans a Nougat party and an official Android statue for French town of Montélimar

Remember when the fanciful dessert codenames for Android were an inside joke rather than an actual marketing push? Ever since version 4.4 "Kit-Kat" (and the tie-in promotional campaign with Nestle), it seems like Google has been making a sincere effort to make users as aware of the codename - which is now more of a slogan - as the release number itself. So when the French town of Montélimar asked Google if they were interested in some kind of promotional event for Android 7.0 "Nougat," the company jumped at the chance.

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Google+ push notifications now available on Chrome, seems a bit buggy right now

Several major websites have offered push notifications with Chrome (and other supported browsers) for some time, including sites like Facebook and eBay. Today Google+ is now supporting this feature, enabling users to receive notifications even when the site is not open.

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