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Google acquires French image recognition startup Moodstocks

Google has shown a lot of interest in computer vision over the last few years. You need only look at the way it digs around for similar images in Google search and identifies specific objects in your uploaded photos. It can always be better, though, so Google has purchased a French company called Moodstocks that specializes in image recognition.

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Google Now weather card has been improved with detailed hourly Wind and Precipitation graphs

Google Now's new weather card was spotted at the beginning of January then officially announced later that month. Ever since, it has been going on and off when you tapped on the weather card or did any weather search inside Google Now, and mostly never made it onto the regular Google Search results inside the browser (mobile and desktop - think when you open Chrome and do a normal weather search there, not through the Google app).

Long and tumultuous history aside, the modern weather card with the blue background, detailed forecasts, and funky frog, has gotten slightly better over the past month.

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Exclusive: this is what the 2016 Nexus phones, Sailfish and Marlin, will look like

The moment you've all been waiting for, right? As you can see in the above image, Google's Nexus phones are taking on a decidedly cleaner design language for 2016, according to information we've received from a reliable source. The image you're seeing is not an actual press render, but our own recreation of the upcoming Nexus phones based on evidence from our source. So, let's do the rumor breakdown.

Confidence level

We give this rumor a confidence level of 8 out of 10. While we are very confident in the reliability of our source in this case, we are uncertain of the age and finality of particular details we received from that source.

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Get a free Google Cardboard headset from Optus in Australia

Troye Sivan is a popular singer, actor, and YouTuber in Australia. Regardless of whether or not you know all his songs and the fact that he played young James Howlett in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there's a techie reason you might be interested in this giveaway that he's doing with Australian carrier Optus.

The operator has partnered with Troye to offer a chance to meet him in real life to some lucky winner, but also to design exclusive Google Cardboard headsets to give away so you can watch his 360 YouTube video of a private soundcheck performance from his latest single "Talk Me Down."

Whether you're a Troye fan or not, you can try heading over to your local Yes Optus store in person and asking nicely if they have one of these headsets available to give to you.

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Weekend poll: what do you think of the Android 'Nougat' codename?

The mystery and intrigue are over: after the usual post-I/O buildup, and even a first-ever user submission process, Google has made the name of Android N public. If you've been under a rock all week, the dessert of the year is "Nougat," which will be used to refer to Android 7.0 (and possibly one or two more iterative version bumps, a la Jelly Bean).

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Google offers 4 month free trial of Play Music Unlimited and YouTube Red for new subscribers

It's hard to justify an ongoing subscription for content that, for the most part, is already free with advertising. In the hope of convincing a few more people to pony up for the premium tiers of its digital media services, Google is offering a sweet deal to new subscribers: four months of free, no-strings-attached access to both Google Play Music Unlimited and YouTube Red (which are already bundled for paying customers). That's a $40 value at today's subscription price.

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Google Play's Family Library with app and game sharing goes live today, July 2nd

Family Library and sharing have been a long, really long, time coming on Google Play. In his different app teardowns, Cody has repeatedly discovered strings pointing out to the feature coming to Play Books, Play Movies, Play Services, the Play Store, but up until recently, the only Google entity that had benefited from any kind of family sharing was Play Music and its Family Plans.

But at this year's Google I/O, Google announced that Family Library was coming to Google Play app and games purchases with the new changes taking effect on July 2nd... which happens to be today.

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[Deal Alert] New Chromecast offer gets you 75% off any movie rental in Google Play (US only)

The Chromecast only costs $35, which is a great value for the hardware. That's just the start, though. Google regularly offers promos for Chromecast users such that you might actually make money on the device over time. The latest offer is for 75% off any movie rental in the Play Store, but be aware this is US only.

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Google app tests notifying you when search results are ready in background

Most of us probably use the Google app for searching on our phones, rather than through Chrome or - *gasp* - another search engine. I've often found that on slow connections, the Google app can take ages to bring up results - think 2G or even 3G mobile networks. To combat this, it appears that Google is either testing or rolling out a notification to tell you when the app has completed searching and showing results.

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Three Google Search notifications. Note: this is MIUI, which is why it looks a bit... iOS-y.

This may not be used only for slow connections, but will probably come in handy the most on a network where speed is hard to come by.

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Google refreshes its Android.com feature pages, gets rid of Android One for some reason

An official name for Android N isn't the only change that Google made to its public face today. In addition, there are a handful of updated pages for major Android-related websites within the Google universe — for some reason the dedicated page for Android One is gone. Why Google felt the need to get rid of a page explaining its biggest developing world mobile push is a matter of speculation, but it surely doesn't bode well for the low-cost phone program.

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