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Google's response to the European Commission's antitrust allegations leaves a lot to be desired

Last April the European Commission, the EU's executive body, issued a statement criticizing Google's management of Android. The Commission accused Google of facilitating monopolistic practices, specifically by tying the Play Store, the Android version of Chrome, and other common Google apps to Google's Search services among licensed Android manufacturers. Keeping manufacturers from releasing forks of Android as a condition of participating in the Google ecosystem - a process which Google calls "anti-fragmentation" - was also an issue. It took a while, but Google has finally published a full response to the Commission.

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Logitech's ZeroTouch car mounts re-purposed as Android Auto mounts, now available from Google Store

Some months ago, Logitech released a pair of car mounts called "ZeroTouch." At the time, I thought they were interesting, but ultimately not worth the high price. Now, this same hardware is back on the Google Store as an Android Auto mount. The price is still crazy, though.

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The Google Store now offers OtterBox Defender cases for the Pixel and Pixel XL

OtterBox is one of those products that has a fairly niche appeal, at least for its original practically bomb-proof protective cases, but does its job so well that people keep coming back. The company has been making a mint off of its durable Defender series, and it hasn't wasted any time bringing out new versions for Google's Pixel and Pixel XL flagships.

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[Update: Now on the Google Store] Verizon shows two new Live Cases for the Pixels that don't seem to be announced yet

Verizon has decided, whether on purpose or accident, to show two as-yet-unannounced Live Cases for the Pixels. These are not ones you would find on the Google Store. The blue option for the Earth case looks a lot like one of the wallpapers from last year's Nexus phones, which makes me feel a bit nostalgic.

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New Jeremy Scott Live Cases are now available in the Google Store

The list of available Live Cases for the Pixels and last year's Nexus phones continues to grow. Today, we see new entries from artist Jeremy Scott go live in the Google Store. Known for his fashion designs, Scott has brought his unique aesthetic to the Live Case lineup.

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Google marks "bug" report about night mode being removed from Nexuses as "FutureRelease," implications unclear

After having it removed in favor of the Pixel-only (for now) Night light feature in Android 7.1, Nexus fans have been a bit upset that the screen tinting Night Mode option was axed from their handsets. While only implemented as part of Google's experiment test zone, the system UI tuner, Night Mode struck a chord for a number of reasons (which aren't worth getting into here), and taking it away had Nexus owners a bit, well, cranky. Enough so that people have been submitting the feature's sudden absence in Android 7.1 as a bug. (Technically, Night Mode was removed in the later 7.0 developer previews, but if you didn't wipe your handset, the quick settings tile to enable it didn't go away for quite some time after that, and an app later was still able to access it via a simple workaround.)

One of those bug threads on the Google issue tracker has now been marked as 'FutureRelease' by a Googler.

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Google Arts & Culture VR app is now available [APK Download]

If you've been craving a bit of culture for your VR viewing pleasure, Google has you covered. Like many other apps, Arts & Culture VR is going live to prepare for the Daydream headsets. As the name would suggest, this app is meant for those who want to view works of art from museums around the world. While I may be no art fanatic, I would definitely appreciate this.

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YouTube VR app now available [APK Download]

To prepare for the launch of Daydream, we have seen a slew of apps go live in anticipation for Google's take on VR. Headsets for the new platform should be available starting tomorrow, November 10. Not looking to be left behind, YouTube has made its entry into virtual reality available today. 

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Next batch of Android Pay banks go live, Capital One included

The list of banks that support Android Pay continues to grow, with 31 US banks added this time around. As we already knew just under a week ago, Capital One now supports Android Pay, although as Ryan says in that post, the support is a little wonky with caveats and a weird verification process.

Like most US banks added in previous rounds, the other banks added appear to be small, community-based banks and some such. While they're not huge, it's good to see even more banks joining the list and supporting a fast-growing payment option for many in the US, and around the world as well.

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Android Nougat feature spotlight: Improved bug report capture process

Capturing and sending a bug report on Android used to be an inelegant process. Bugs are annoying and bug reports are one of the least exciting parts of a platform, but they are essential to help it and its apps move forward. So it's nice to see the Android team putting some thoughts behind improving the bug report interface and interaction, especially for those of us who tend to actually use the feature.

Previously, on Android 6.0 and below, if you decided to save and send a bug report, the device would vibrate once and nothing happened for a minute or two. Then you get the notification for the captured bug report and the only thing you can do is share it along with the screenshot that was taken when you tapped the bug report icon.

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