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Google Play Store may start showing an app's top chart ranks in its listing

Among the craziness of last week, we received one tip about a minor but welcome change in the Play Store that was showing up for some users: when browsing an app's listing, you might see a new line below the Install/Uninstall button that displays its current top chart rank, as shown for Spotify in the screenshot above.

That is useful when you reach an app's listing from the Play Store's search and you're not sure how popular it is. You might be more convinced to download it or buy it if you knew it was in the top 10 or 20 or even 100 in its category on the Play Store.

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Google Assistant shortcuts can make your Home say anything

Back in May, Google Assistant added support for shortcuts, allowing you to say one thing and have Assistant perform another command. For example, I set "night" as a shortcut for starting ambient noise on my Google Home. But you can just as easily have fun with it, when combined with Assistant's 'repeat after me' command.

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Google Home Mini codes for Pixel 2 pre-orders will be sent within 4 weeks of the phone shipping

When pre-orders went live during the Google event last week, there was a bit of confusion regarding the free Home Mini you get for purchasing a Pixel 2. Google has recently updated the listing for the Pixel in the Google Store, and it's started emailing some extra information to those who made a purchase. Free Home Mini promo codes associated with a Pixel 2 pre-order will be emailed within 4 weeks after the phone ships. 

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Google adds 'About' and 'Store' links to top left of homepage

These days, we don't see the actual 'Google.com' as much as we used to, thanks to the search functionality built into the URL bars of pretty much every browser. But after its October 4th event where the Pixel 2, Home Mini, Home Max, and many more were announced, the homepage got two new links added to the top left: About and Store.

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Here are all the new Home and Assistant-related features that Google announced at its October 4th event

Google revealed a lot of products at its San Francisco event on October 4th, namely the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL, the Home Mini, and the Home Max. There were also software features announced for Google Assistant and Home products, but there were so many that they're hard to keep track of. So if you ever need to dig up that one specific Assistant feature from the event, you can find it here.

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[Update: Bluetooth 4.2, AAC] Google Pixel Buds charge over USB-C, can use Assistant and do real-time translation for $159

Now that Google's phones are ditching the headphone jack, it only makes sense that the company wants to sell you some expensive Bluetooth earbuds. At the press event today, Google announced the 'Pixel Buds', a pair of earbuds with Assistant built-in.

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[Update: Never mind] The Pixel 2 and 2 XL can be charged at up to 27W with a compliant USB-C PD charger

The new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will come with an 18W USB-C PD charger in the box, but luckily for you, if you want your brand new phone to charge faster, the phones support a higher power input.

According to Googler and all-around USB-C fan/evangelist/know-it-all Benson Leung, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL support up to 27W charging with compliant USB-C PD (power delivery) chargers.

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Google may be putting together an emulator for Android Automotive in the Android SDK

You might remember our intermittent coverage of Android Automotive — not to be confused with the near-identically named Android Auto. The (really) short version is that Android Automotive is a full Android implementation in a car, rather than just a dumb projection of your phone. And, according to the folks at XDA, Google might be building an emulator for it in the Android SDK.

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The single best reason to buy a Google Home Mini? $50 for a permanent "find my phone" button

Google Home Mini is exactly what I think most of us were hoping for in a smaller Google Home (check out our review here). But the more I consider it, there's one new Google Home feature that is going to make this little speaker indispensible to me: it can find my phone, even in silent mode.

Think about it. If a company were to market a device with the sole purpose of finding your phone just by touching a button, sitting permanently plugged into your wall, you'd probably be a little intrigued. How much would you pay for such a gadget?

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