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Latest Google Maps beta shows distance to locations in search

A few days ago, we posted a teardown of the latest Google Maps beta. Another minor, but much appreciated, change in this beta version is that distances now appear alongside results in search.

This is a very minor feature, but definitely one worth mentioning. Most of the time when I searched for locations, I had to look at the map myself and figure out which was the closest. As you would expect, it shows the distance in either Imperial 'Murican or Metric units, depending on your preference.

googlemaps-screenshot

If you want to try out the beta release, you can download the APK from APKMirror.

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Like them or not, Google's Pixel phones will be the iPhone competitor we've demanded for years

Last year, I attended the launch of the Nexus 5X and 6P. Google also introduced the Pixel C, a refreshed Chromecast, and the new Chromecast Audio at this event to an audience of maybe 100 to 150 journalists. For the biggest company in tech, it felt like a small affair, and if I'm honest, one without much sense of occasion. We were seated in an artsy venue in San Francisco in a room that had been converted into a sort of banquet hall. Front and center, there was a small stage. I watched Sundar Pichai walk up that stage to greet us good morning, much in the way the Senior Vice President Of Team Building would kick off ManageCamp '16 at the Hilton.

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The Nexus Launcher is being renamed Pixel Launcher, and it's not hard to figure out why

Following solid rumors that the next Google flagship smartphones will be designated Pixel and Pixel XL, we now have even more substantial evidence that the beloved Nexus nameplate will be retired. ROM developer LlabTooFeR has posted several screenshots of the rebadged launcher on Twitter.

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Chrome Dev and Beta add a Read it later/Keep tab feature to Custom Tabs

Read it later apps are massively popular, with examples such as Instapaper or Pocket being among the most downloaded apps on Google Play. Google is also getting into the game now, albeit in a different way, with the Chrome team adding a read it later feature to the development versions of the browser.

As alluded to, both Chrome Dev and Chrome Beta have this, but in slightly different guises.

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Weekend poll: Would you buy a new "Nexus" (or Pixel) 7" tablet?

Rumors of Huawei building a 7" tablet "for Google" were stirred up by serial leaker Evan Blass last week. We've not heard anything more about this alleged device, but suffice it to say that the hype is real for this thing. The original Nexus 7 was as beloved as it was horribly flawed, though its 2013 successor remedied many of those ills. And much can be said of why the Nexus 7 was popular - it was "the right size," a good combination of value and performance, and one of the few tablets running stock Android. But all of that pales in comparison to the one thing that made the Nexus 7 such a hit: it was damn cheap.

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Google plans a Nougat party and an official Android statue for French town of Montélimar

Remember when the fanciful dessert codenames for Android were an inside joke rather than an actual marketing push? Ever since version 4.4 "Kit-Kat" (and the tie-in promotional campaign with Nestle), it seems like Google has been making a sincere effort to make users as aware of the codename - which is now more of a slogan - as the release number itself. So when the French town of Montélimar asked Google if they were interested in some kind of promotional event for Android 7.0 "Nougat," the company jumped at the chance.

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Google+ push notifications now available on Chrome, seems a bit buggy right now

Several major websites have offered push notifications with Chrome (and other supported browsers) for some time, including sites like Facebook and eBay. Today Google+ is now supporting this feature, enabling users to receive notifications even when the site is not open.

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[Update: New Top Charts too] Google Play Store testing file sizes for apps on most pages

If you're trying to be conscious about your device's storage space, the Play Store doesn't make it easy. To see an application's total file size, you have to tap on the app's page, tap 'read more' on the description, and scroll all the way to the bottom. That's not incredibly intuitive, but it looks like Google is trying to fix that.

The Google Play Store is testing a server-side change that shows the app file size on almost every screen on the Play Store. The screenshots provided to us show the download size at right side of all application cards at the update screen, My Apps screen, and other locations such as Top Charts.

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Project Fi K.2.7.13 is preparing for the launch of group plans [APK Teardown]

Project Fi is an ambitious effort to give customers an experience devoid of the problems endemic to cellular carriers in the United States. It's low-cost, easy to manage with a simple app, and it even breaks new ground with intrinsic support for multi-network connectivity. However, in some ways, Fi wasn't really finished at launch. It spent many months as an invite-only service and lacked a few things many people would consider integral to their cellular service. One of the top requests from current and potential customers is the addition of group plans. It's an important feature for both families and businesses, especially as the number of lines grows.

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WiFi Assistant for non-Project Fi Nexus devices is rolling out

A few weeks ago, Google told us that Project Fi's WiFi Assistant, which connects users automatically to public WiFi using a secure VPN, was heading to Nexus devices in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Nordic countries. This has now started rolling out, via an update to Google Connectivity Services, version D.1.5.10.

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