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25 standalone apps and watchfaces for your Android Wear 2.0-equipped watch

The long-awaited Android Wear 2.0 update has finally made its official debut, and one of its most prominent highlights is standalone apps. Essentially, this allows your watch to install its own apps from its own version of the Play Store, and not be tied to your phone. Some of these are honestly pretty handy, which is why we've rounded up the best ones for you to have a look at.

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Google I/O 2017 ticket confirmations are going out to raffle winners

Google I/O is coming up in a few months. It may seem far away, but it'll be here before you know it. If you applied for a ticket, you're about to find out if you won the opportunity to give Google $1,150. Just check your email. Google is notifying the winners today.

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General Mobile GM6 announced as the next Android One phone

Android One hasn't had the impact I think Google wanted, but these phones are still a popular budget option in many markets. Consumers in Turkey are about to get a new Android One option that could be quite a step up. The General Mobile GM6 includes a few niceties that many past budget phones have lacked like a fingerprint sensor and a selfie flash.

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Google Home might officially launch in the UK before the end of June

Since its launch in November of last year, Google Home has only been sold officially in the US. Sure, you can buy it there and bring it overseas or probably grab it from some black market reseller in other countries, but "officially," the device is only available in the US. That should change soon.

Rick Osterloh, SVP of Hardware at Google, revealed in an interview to the BBC at Mobile World Congress that Google Home will be launching in the UK before the end of June. It will follow in the footsteps of Amazon which brought the Echo to the UK and Germany last fall.

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Google makes Play Store sales (including free offers) for paid apps and games official

You may have seen earlier this month that Google started testing a few new sale features on the Play Store. Select developers were able to set sale prices that showed up on the purchase button, and (finally) paid listings could be temporarily free. Now, that functionality is official. There's a support page with all the relevant details developers can check out.

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InBrief
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YouTube now receives one billion hours of watch time every day

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Google makes a witty and endearing Google Photos ad for the Oscars

The world is all eyes and ears today for one of the most important events that take place each year. Oh, you think I'm talking about MWC in Barcelona? Ha, neeeeerd! No, I'm talking about the 89th Academy Awards ceremony which celebrates the best in film for the past year. But for Google, the real award belongs to you and your shots and creations.

El Goog has started its Oscars campaign with a couple of tweets (1 and 2) saying that regardless of who's the big winner in the ceremony, the award for Best Picture belongs to you. That was followed up with a 1-minute video ad for Google Photos already posted on YouTube and likely to be aired during the ceremony tonight, but maybe only in its shorter version.

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[Deal Alert] Save $35 when you buy a Google Home and Chromecast or Chromecast Audio

The Google Store keeps running promos on the Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, and sometimes the Google Home, but this has to be one of the best we've seen yet. For the past few weeks, you could get $15 off when buying a Google Home and Chromecast, but that deal wasn't even good enough for us to post. Now, however, you can take $35 off the combo, essentially making the Chromecast free.

When you head over to the US Google Store, you'll be able to add a Google Home ($129) and either a Chromecast ($35) or Chromecast Audio ($35 - the $30 price only applies if you purchase the Audio by itself) to your cart.

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Android 7.1.2 Beta finally hits the Nexus 6P, but fingerprint gesture support is missing

If you're using the Nexus 6P and enrolled in the beta program, you should be checking your phone for a new update. The 7.1.2 Beta is rolling out now, bringing the larger 2015 Nexus in line with the other Google devices. Those of us who felt snubbed last month when our phone was left out should feel better now.

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Google announces RCS support for Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe subscribers

Late last year, Google announced that Sprint would be the first carrier to use its Jibe RCS Cloud platform. Several more carriers have joined since then, including Rogers in Canada and Telanor in Europe and Asia. In a blog post from Google, the company announced that Orange, Deutsche Telekom, and Globe will be rolling out Jibe RCS to their customers.

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