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Google Messenger RCS support is likely not in public testing for T-Mobile after all

Yesterday, we reported that T-Mobile was in the process of testing Google's/Jibe's RCS implementation. T-Mobile has had its own version of RCS (called Advanced Messaging) since 2015, but like most implementations of the RCS technology, it is not compatible across carriers like SMS.

T-Mobile implementing the Jibe Universal RCS Profile, which Sprint and (soon) Rogers support, would certainly be better for users than the current Advanced Messaging system. Unfortunately, there is no substantial evidence that it is happening at this point.

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RCS support in Messenger going live for some T-Mobile users

RCS, short for Rich Communication Services, has been aiming to replace SMS for years. But unlike the universal SMS standard, there are multiple RCS implementations that don't work with each other. Google has been trying to solve this, by adding RCS support to Google Messenger and working with carriers to implement Jibe's 'Universal RCS Profile.'

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Google adds more enterprise-grade security controls to G Suite

While on the face of things, it may seem like Google steals data and invades privacy, the company is actually very serious about security. That doubles when it comes to the security of G Suite, Google's enterprise accounts product range. Today the company has announced it's adding a few things to make the accounts even more secure.

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Android 7.1.1 will be the end of the line for the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 - no 7.1.2 updates seemingly planned

Google's blog post announcing Android 7.1.2 today came with some implicit news for owners of the Nexus 6 and 9, but they probably could have seen it coming: this is the end of the line. Both devices are not included in Google's "final release" list for 7.1.2.

We're expecting to launch the final release of the Android 7.1.2 in just a couple of months, Like the beta, it will be available for for Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and Pixel C devices.

Google generally doesn't comment on specifically which updates will EOL a given device, but both the 6 and 9 are past the end of the support windows published by Google - October 2016.

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Google announces Android 7.1.2 Beta, includes Pixels, Nexus 5X, Player, 6P, and Pixel C [update: images]

Google has just announced Android 7.1.2, a maintenance release focused on fixing bugs and improving performance. The initial devices eligible for the update are the Nexus 5X, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and both Pixel phone models. The Nexus 6P will be eligible, but not yet, with Google saying they expect the 7.1.2 beta will be "released soon."

Factory images don't yet appear to be live. Factory images are live here. Be sure to enroll your device in the beta program if you want to receive the OTA, which Google says will start rolling out soon.

As for what's changed? Google doesn't really say beyond a cryptic reference to "enhancements for carriers and users," whatever that means.

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[Update: Better shots] Google's LG-built Android Wear 2.0 watches appear to have leaked in low-res form

We're just a few weeks away from the release of Android Wear 2.0, and along with that we expect Google's new watches to arrive. Google has confirmed it's working on these devices, but little else. Following a spec-heavy report last week from VentureBeat, there's now a new piece of the puzzle. An image has leaked that purports to show the two watches, and they look very much like we'd expect them to look.

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Is your Google Pixel's rapid charging feeling less rapid lately?

I put out a question on Twitter a few minutes ago asking if anyone else was feeling like their Pixel was charging more slowly lately. The response was mixed, but some definitely concurred with me: For whatever reason, the Pixel's (and/or Pixel XL) rapid charging definitely isn't feeling so rapid sometimes.

I've consistently noticed when putting my Pixel on the official Google rapid charger (the one in the box) that it's taking much longer to charge than it should, regardless of whatever the indicated battery level is. At very low levels, I've seen the phone take nearly three hours to reach peak charge, which is well above what should be happening based on what we know about the charging speed.

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Google Opinion Rewards update adds a hamburger menu and notification sounds

Google Opinion Rewards has been around for a while, allowing Android users to answer various surveys to receive Play Store credit. Now Google has updated the Opinion Rewards app to version '20170119,' adding a hamburger menu and new notification options.

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PSA: Google Assistant can remember things, on Allo, Pixel, and Home

We've often lamented the rather lacklustre approach Google has taken with Google Assistant, but it can do one thing: remember stuff. On all three things which use Assistant - that's Allo, Pixel, and Home - it can recall things it's been asked to remember. As Assistant is cross-platform, this works across all three devices; telling it to remember something on Home and then asking on Pixel does indeed work.

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[Hands-On] Google Contacts web rolls out a better looking Material Design interface to everyone

Google started testing a Preview redesign of Google Contacts' web interface back in March of 2015. At the time, you could access it by going to contacts.google.com/preview and it looked nicer than the old Gmail-like Contacts page. As time passed, Material Design evolved even further and that redesign itself was getting stale. A slightly updated version was rolled out to G Suite users in March of 2016, but the biggest redesign is happening now and it's affecting everyone.

If you head over to contacts.google.com, no /preview at the end, you will see a brand new Contacts interface that takes the Material redesign to a new level.

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