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Google made some cute advertisements for Duo, seriously they're adorable

One trend I've noticed with Google over the years is that they don't usually advertise on TV. There's been some commercials for the Nexus devices over the years, and recently some ads for Google Photos, but not much else. Google just uploaded a series of ads for Google Duo, their new video chat application, and they're absolutely adorable. Check them out:

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Gmail is getting responsive design for emails on Android and the web

You can see the same emails on your phone as you can on your computer using Gmail, but these devices have a number of fundamental differences. The way emails render on a large screen device won't always make sense on a smaller one, so Google is getting ready to implement responsive design for emails in Gmail.

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Google Duo hits 10 million downloads on Android, but it's not doing so well on Top Charts

About three weeks ago, we reported that Google Duo had reached 5 million downloads on Android in the week or so that it had been officially released. Now, Google's new video chatting app has hit a whopping 10 million downloads. That's certainly impressive for a month-old app, but less healthy-looking is its placement in the Play Store's Top Charts; it's fallen over a hundred places from its high point at first place.

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FOX Sports VR lets you watch games in the dream house you'll never be able to afford

One of the core principles of video games is that they're aspirational: we beat the invincible bad guy and drive hovercraft race cars in lavish fantasy worlds because we can't ever do it in real life. Video games are now so amazing that they're intersecting with the real world in the form of VR, but our aspirations have softened a bit as we've gotten older - now some of those impossible dreams include "owning a really nice house." FOX Sports VR has embraced the death of the American dream by virtualizing that nice house and letting you watch football in it.

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WiFi Assistant can secure manually connected non-secure networks as of Play services 9.6

After rolling out to new countries and devices without a Project Fi SIM just under a week ago, Google has made Wi-Fi Assistant even more useful. The Assistant can now connect to non-secure public networks that are connected to manually, instead of only being able to secure networks that it connects to automatically.

This solves one of those caveats mentioned in the post last week. Without this functionality, WiFi Assistant could only secure a network if it identified it was open and could connect automatically, which is by no means certain. However, as of Play services 9.6, if you're hunting for open WiFi networks and connect manually, Assistant will now offer to secure it with the VPN, meaning you can browse the web, check emails, stream music, or anything else without worrying if your connection is going to be compromised.

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Google says Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE Nougat updates will be rolling out "in the coming weeks"

Android 7.0 Nougat was officially released over three weeks ago, and people instantly went insane over the lack of any factory or OTA images available for the Nexus 6 (but not so much for the Nexus 9 LTE, since they didn't sell too many). We reached out to Google, and it seems like you guys are gonna have to wait for just a few more weeks.

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Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the first phone with integrated Project Tango, delayed to "fall"

Google's Project Tango, that awesome tech that allows a gadget to map out three-dimensional spaces, is really cool. But it's taking its damn sweet time getting here: Tango was first announced over two years ago and offered as a developer kit tablet last summer, and the first Tango-capable smartphone was supposed to arrive from Lenovo this month. That seems less than likely now - the store page for the Phab 2 Pro has been adjusted from "coming this summer" to "coming this fall."

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YouTube is testing new Community feature for supplementary content

I'll admit, YouTube has added some strange features lately, and at first glance this seemed like yet another useless addition. Starting with a few select channels, a new 'Community' tab will appear on the channel's profile, both on mobile apps and the desktop site. This essentially works like a social feed for the channel, allowing content creators to share text, images, GIFs, livestreams, and more straight through the YouTube app. You can even choose to receive push notifications for Community posts.

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Chromecast Preview Program lets you test drive new Chromecast firmware before they're released

Back in May, Cody unveiled strings in the Google Cast app version 1.15 that pointed to an upcoming "Chromecast Preview Program." It was clear from the code that the app would start offering an opt-in option for users to test new versions of the Chromecast firmware before they're released to the public. But for months, the Preview Program was nowhere to be found in the app.

In the last couple of days, we've received a couple of tips from users telling us that the option has now shown up for them inside the Google Cast app. And now it's finally been officially announced by the Google Cast team.

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[Update: Android app too] Google Maps' speed limits start showing up while driving... on Android Auto

There are some missing features in Android and some of Google's apps that are simply incomprehensible. Speed limits are one of them. In countries where speed limits are enforceable by the law and mandatory to respect (ie not here in Lebanon), it's quite unfathomable to me that you would be using a routing and navigation app that didn't show you the speed limit of each road you were taking so you could drive safely and lawfully.

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