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Google brings Material Design to the Chrome extensions page

Google has been slowly adding some Material Design flair to various aspects of Chrome over the last few months. The latest to get the redesign is the extensions page, which transitions from a boring list to a nicer-looking series of cards.

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Is the Pixel/iPhone MMS screenshot bug fixed for you?

No Android phone is without issues, and the Google Pixel is certainly no exception. One of the problems reported was a strange bug related to sending screenshots over MMS. If someone sent a screenshot from an iPhone 7 Plus to a Pixel in a text, regardless of the SMS app being used on the Pixel, the screenshot would be displayed as a garbled mess (seen above).

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Google Play Music's first original podcast series is 'City Soundtracks'

A little under a year ago, Google added podcast support to Google Play Music. Spotify is currently working on several exclusive podcasts for its service, and now Google is doing the same with 'City Soundtracks.'

Each episode features musicians discussing growing up in their hometown, with host Hrishikesh Hirway, and includes a mix of conversation and curated playlists. The first three episodes are already available - featuring Kehlani, Big Freedia, and Spoon, respectively. You can stream City Soundtracks right now on Play Music, with more episodes to come in the future.

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AutoVoice 3.0 adds Google Home, Amazon Echo integration and natural language commands to Tasker

Fellow long time Tasker users will be familiar with João Dias and his awesome AutoApps plugins. One of his most popular, and the one that I use the most, is AutoVoice. Basically, the plugin listens to and hijacks Google Now commands to trigger Tasker profiles — I had a simple one that would turn on my PC via Wake On LAN when I said "Okay, Google. Turn on my computer." Now v3.0 has been officially released and brings some awesome Home, Echo, and IFTTT integrations as well as natural language commands.

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Replacement Daydream View Facepads now sold on the Google Store

Google's Daydream View VR headset was released last year alongside the Pixel phones. One of the headset's features is the removable facepad, which you can hand wash occasionally to keep the headset clean. If something happens to the facepad, or maybe you just want a spare, Google is now selling them separately for $14.99.

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Belgium is the tenth country to get the Android Pay treatment

Belgium is next up in Google's ongoing, slow-moving initiative to bring Android Pay to more countries. Starting today, Belgians can use the contactless payments service at over 85,000 locations including places like McDonald's, H&M, and Carrefour.

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Google Translate now uses neural machine translation for some languages

Much to my dismay at the time, my high school Spanish teacher could always tell when I used Google Translate. Automatic translation tools often produce results that mostly get the point across, but with strange sentence structures and other quirks. Google is now testing neural machine translations for Google Translate, with the hope of producing more accurate results.

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Google is increasing bug bounties for some security vulnerabilities

Most major tech companies offer 'bug bounties' for major security flaws found in their products. For Google, a company dedicated to cloud services and internet-connected hardware, the bounties ensure its products are as safe as possible. Now Google is increasing the rewards for certain vulnerabilities.

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[Deal Alert] Get $5 off on any book over $5 on Google Play

Today is the fifth anniversary of the Google Play Store. That's right, it has been five years since we saw the last of the Android Market - unless you had a very old device that never received the redesigned store app. To celebrate, Google is taking $5 off any book on Google Play Books - as long as it costs more than $5 to begin with.

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Pixel and Nexus March 2017 factory images and OTAs are live, plus new security bulletin

Factory images for the March 2017 security update for most supported Pixel and Nexus devices are now up on Google's developer sites here and here. That includes the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, Nexus 9 (+LTE), and Nexus 6. Builds for the Pixels are NOF27B for all variants except devices on Rogers, which should use build NOF27C.

The Nexus Player appears to be left out of the March updates at this point.

You can find the accompanying security bulletin here, which as usual lists a significant number of security threats that have now been eliminated.

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