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Google's Homescreen Search Bar Displays Sample 'OK Google' Commands For Some Users

Over the past few weeks and months, it seems Google has been testing out a minor tweak to the search bar that appears on the home screen above your apps. Instead of simply showing Say "OK Google," some of our readers are seeing search recommendations such as "OK Google 15% of 80" and "OK Google... Movies nearby."

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The former shows that you can use Google to do math. The latter nudges people to use Search to find what movie theaters are currently playing nearby. Many of us may already be accustomed to this functionality, but these recommendations serve as a way to subtly inform a broader audience of all the things Google Search can do.

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InBrief
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Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi Gets A New Android 5.1.1 Factory Image (LMY48G) But There's Not Much Inside

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Many Happy Returns: Google+ Is Four Years Old Today

Love it or loathe it - and plenty of people seem to do both - it doesn't look like Google's most recent attempt at a social network is going anywhere soon. Today marks four years since Google+ was first introduced as an invite-only beta, after which it rapidly expanded with an Android app and hooks into nearly every Google web and mobile service. Google continues to update and refine Google+ on a regular basis.

Estimated users of Google+ are over 500 million, though those numbers are deceptive - there are close to a billion users of Gmail, which automatically creates a Google+ page for new accounts.

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The Chromium Team Is Implementing Reader Mode Again, Now Being Tested In Chrome Dev

Back in Chrome v39, we got a look at a reader mode not unlike many other mobile browsers such as Firefox. However, it didn't even leave Chrome Beta before getting hidden in the flags menu. Features that were not originally in flags but later moved there tend not to come back. Well, the latest Chrome Dev, v45, features a revamped version of reader mode. Now, on pages the browser decides could benefit from it, it gives a prompt that says "make page mobile-friendly." Tapping on that brings the user to a slightly redesigned reader view, though it isn't described as such anywhere.

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Google Aims To Improve Ad Experience By Eliminating Accidental Clicks

If you're a user, accidentally clicking an ad on a mobile site or in the middle of a game is frustrating. If you're an advertiser, accidental clicks lead to lower conversion rates. Accidental clicks are just bad all the way around.

To that end, Google is introducing new mechanisms to prevent as many accidental clicks as possible.

First, Google is blocking clicks that happen close to the edge of the ad image.

Second, Google will block clicks on app icons for in-app interstitial ads, so you won't need high precision to hit the little X button and return to your game.

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InBrief
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Google Opinion Rewards Expands To Mexico And Brazil In Spite Of Donald Trump's Best Efforts

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Google Puts Tablescape 'Foodograph' Experiment To Rest

Back in February, we caught sight of an interesting experiment Google was undertaking with the help of trusted local guides. The experiment was an app called Tablescape - a "community to make, share, and discover amazing foodographs." With a little digging, we found that the content shown in the screenshots (originally posted by El Androide Libre) lined up with a community called The Plate, which was likely serving as a Google+-based content funnel for the app.

After that initial glimpse though, we didn't see or hear anything official about the service.

Today we've heard something more, but it may not be what we had hoped - it looks like Google is officially closing down the Tablescape experiment before it had a chance to see the light of day.

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Google+ v5.8 Declares Its Built-In Photos App Is Going Away, Directs Users To The New Photos App

The standalone Photos app was released to the public during last month's Google I/O conference, finally completing the separation with Google+ as rumors (and facts) had long suggested. While the new Photos app was widely accepted as an improvement in many ways, it also lacked many of the enhanced editing features that had made the old version so useful. Unfortunately, installing the standalone Photos app effectively hid access to the version built into Google+. That was probably a pretty good sign about what was to come. With the latest update to Google+, users who have stuck to the old version will be warned that it is not long for this world.

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Google Shoots First, Asks Questions Later With AirDroid After Broad Facebook Trademark Complaint

Last night, we received a tip that the Play Store listing for AirDroid, a popular app that allows users to see notifications, respond to messages, and manage content from their Android devices on a desktop, had been removed from the Play Store. The listing was directing to Google's infamous "Not Found" page.

We reached out to the AirDroid team who, at the time, were still trying to figure out what had happened. As it turns out, Google had removed the listing after a mass-complaint from Facebook. The sweeping set of complaints picked up tons of apps with "WhatsApp" in their names, but also apps - like AirDroid - that simply mentioned WhatsApp in the description.

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Google Calendar Web And API Now Support Adding File Attachments To Events Via Google Drive

No longer a labs option, file attachments in Google Calendar are going to the stable channel. A feature oriented towards shared events, this can allow you to share important information that can't be captured in a written description. It is live now on the web and the API is ready for use, which means we should see app developers taking advantage in the near future.

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You'll see that "add attachment" option when creating a new calendar event, and when clicked you will see something like this:

Google_Calendar

That should look familiar if you've shared files on the web with any other Google product in the recent past.

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