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Chromebook Pixel 2 gets Android apps on the Chrome OS stable channel

A few days ago, Google released Android apps to two Chromebooks: the Acer Chromebook R11 and the ASUS Chromebook Flip. These arrived with version 53 of Chrome OS, on the stable channel. However, the Chromebook Pixel 2, which has had Android apps in beta up until now, has been waiting for the stable release. This painful period is over, Pixel 2 owners, because you too can now join in on the Android fun with the release of stable Chrome OS 53 to last year's flagship Chromebook.

From what we can tell, it works the same way as it did on the beta.

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Chrome is getting better at saving data, even on videos, downloading pages for offline, and suggesting personalized content

The Chrome team has announced a bunch of new features for its browser and made a few others that we've heard about before official. Without further ado, let's delve into everything new you can expect to see in Chrome stable (and sometimes just Beta and Dev) now.

Data Saver for videos

Data Saver has been an option of Chrome for a while now, but it's still limited compared to the powerful compression of Opera. At best, I've seen it reduce my usage by 15%, but that might be changing soon as the feature gains one important addition: video compression (just like Opera). The team claims that this can save you up to 67% of data on mp4 videos, which is fantastic.

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YouTube Go is a data-friendly version of YouTube, rolling out gradually in India

The YouTube team has been making lots of efforts over the past couple of years to bring its service and millions of videos to more users worldwide. This involves those who have access to fast internet connections and plenty of data, but also those who have very little data bandwidth and are still limited to 2G or congested 3G. Video, by default, doesn't fit well with the latter, but through conscious efforts like YouTube Accelerator and YouTube Offline, it can reach more of those devices and people who would seemingly be off-limits.

YouTube Go seems to be the culmination of these efforts.

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Images of Chromecast Ultra leak ahead of October 4th unveiling

As we are all acutely aware, Google is having a huge hardware event on October 4th, and in very un-Google fashion, it's aggressively advertising it. We're fairly certain at this point there will be a pair of Pixel phones and a few other goodies, including the 4K Chromecast Ultra. A few images of that device have now leaked courtesy of Evan "evleaks" Blass.

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Google may launch Andromeda OS on rumored 7-inch Huawei 'Nexus' tablet

Google is hyping up its October 4th event for the new Pixel phone unveiling, but there may be a crazy #onemorething happening too. As we reported earlier today, Google is working on a new Android-based OS codenamed Andromeda that integrates some features from Chrome OS, making it more suitable for use on a laptop-like device. This might be previewed at the event. Now, 9to5Google reports that Google's first Andromeda device will be that long-rumored 7-inch Huawei-built "Nexus" tablet.

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Exclusive: Google is planning a 'Pixel 3' laptop running the 'Andromeda' OS for release in Q3 2017

Two independent and reliable sources have confirmed to us that Google is planning a new Pixel laptop to be released in Q3 2017. The project, known internally as 'Bison' and by the informal nickname 'Pixel 3,' will likely be the first brand-new device to showcase Google's combined Android / Chrome OS 'Andromeda' operating system in a laptop form factor. Bison, then, would be the culmination of years of work by Google's Pixel team and Google's Android and Chrome OS teams.

We are extremely confident Google plans for the device to run Andromeda. We are also confident that Andromeda is a completely distinct effort from Google's current campaign to bring Android apps to Chromebooks, and that Bison would not be marketed as a Chromebook.

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[Update: Best Buy too] [Deal Alert] Chromecast Audio only $25 ($10 off) on the Google Store

The Chromecast Audio is a great little device, allowing you to stream supported content to any speaker (or anything else really) with audio input. I myself bought one fairly recently, so I could turn my old iPod dock into a WiFi speaker.

Google today dropped the price of the Chromecast Audio down to $25, a whopping $10 lower than the original price. There is no sign of a Chromecast Audio replacement being announced at Google's upcoming October 4th event, so you don't have to worry about buying a soon-to-be-discontinued device.

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Google Search may soon show live popular business times for locations

There's a Chick-Fil-A location on Powers Boulevard in Colorado Springs. It's there. It sells chicken sandwiches. It's the only one on that side of the city. The store is technically open from 6AM to 10PM every day, but I don't think I've ever been there before nine at night. Because as good as Chick-Fil-A sandwiches are, they're not worth waiting 40 minutes in a drive-through line that wraps around the building twice.

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First Chromecast Preview firmware removes all Chrome branding

Not too long ago, Google began offering users the chance to test unfinished Chromecast firmware. The first preview firmware, version 1.21.72444, began rolling out to users recently. Google's release notes for the update only state, "General bug fixes and stability improvements." Really helpful, Google.

Thankfully, tipster Rafael sent us the screenshots above and below. They indicate that all references to the word 'Chrome' have been removed. The current public firmware shows the Chrome logo when the device starts up, which is now replaced by a Google logo.

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Allo hits #1 in the Top Free Apps chart, but for how long?

Allo was finally released earlier this week, much to my own excitement. Google's latest messaging app seems pretty appealing in some regards and I am always willing to try something new. Thus far, I am enjoying it.

It seems that I am not alone. Allo is listed as number one in the Top Free Apps chart in the Play Store. That means it is beating Facebook/Messenger, Snapchat, and Instagram. It is mirroring its cousin, Duo, which also reached number one in the Top Free chart shortly after its release just over a month ago.

From this vantage, it is pretty easy to draw parallels between the two apps — both were announced together as Google's new messaging solution.

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