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Google's smartwatches may arrive in Q1 2017, will run Android Wear 2.0

Android Wear hasn't received much love in the past few months. The first major update, Android Wear 2.0, was announced back in May. Two months later, we revealed the first leaks of Google's own smartwatches, set to debut with the new update. Although developer previews for 2.0 are still arriving, the update itself has been pushed back to 2017, and multiple companies won't release any new AW devices this year.

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Google releases Daydream Keyboard in the Play Store for VR typing

You needn't wonder any longer how Google is planning to do text input in Daydream VR mode. There's a new Daydream Keyboard app in the Play Store with some very informative screenshots. You can't use it yet, though.

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Google acquires 'influencer marketing' company FameBit

Getting up and running with an audience on YouTube isn't an easy thing to do, especially if you're trying to make a living off of it. Despite the breakout success of the "YouTuber" culture and some notable successes, creating a reliable base of viewers is hard work, to say nothing of getting paid. Google is trying to make that easier, according to the latest post on the official YouTube blog. The company has acquired FameBit, a tool for connecting content creators with sponsors and promoters, to help reach this goal.

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Australian carrier Telstra accidentally ships Pixel pre-orders a week early

Living in Australia seems rough. Not only does every animal on the continent want to kill you, but you usually have to wait longer to get your hands on new electronics gadgets than folks in other regions. Google's Pixel launch is an exception, though. Pre-orders are live via the Google Store and on carrier Telstra, and the carrier managed to screw that up in the best way possible by sending out pre-orders a week early.

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Search recommendations now appear inside Google search results

Google has long offered related searches at the bottom of search results, but this is a bit different. The above widget, which now appears for some users when you tap on a search result and then go back, shows relevant searches to whatever page you tapped on.

As opposed to the related search results at the bottom of each results page, this appears directly under whatever link you picked. Considering the vast amount of searches I do on my phone don't require me to scroll all the way down to the bottom, it makes sense to add recommendations directly into results. Additionally, the results seem to be tailored to the link itself, as opposed to being based on your query.

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[Not Calendar] Google's AdSense and Analytics sites get a Material Design makeover

Ever since its introduction many, many moons ago, Material Design was promised as an adaptable design language that's suited for our modern web: it works across platforms, it feels vibrant and responsive, and it brings layers and a sense of real interactions with something as static as a flat mobile or desktop screen. But even Google hasn't been diligent about implementing Material Design in its own sites. Contacts and Google+ are perhaps the most prominent two that got the makeover, but other entities still lag behind. (Like Calendar... Why?!)

Today, however, is a happy day for MD lovers who also happen to manage sites or ads — ie, probably not many of our readers.

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Google pushing Pixel pre-orders with popup on Google homepage

Google really, really wants you to pre-order a pixel, or at least to be aware that it exists. If you head to the Google homepage, you very well may see a popup encouraging you to pre-order the Pixel. Forget for a minute that most variants of the Pixel are sold out—Google is getting as much attention as possible for this phone.

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AndroidN-ify Xposed module brings Google Assistant to Marshmallow devices

Bless you, Xposed Framework. Thou art the last refuge of power users whose hardware has been forsaken by manufacturer and ROM developer alike. The root-enabled tool has a new module that back-ports a bunch of Android Nougat features to earlier versions of the OS. It's called AndroidN-ify, and the latest update includes a tweak that exposes Google's fancy new voice-controlled Assistant search tool to users on Android 6.0. An earlier build.prop tweak allowed Android 7.0 users to try Assistant on non-Pixel phones, which won't be officially supported when the new hardware launches.

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Google Phone 5.1 includes UI changes, swipe up to answer, and more [APK Download]

We're still tearing down all the applications from the Pixel system dump, and the included Google Phone 5.1 app is certainly worth talking about. Without further ado, let's dive in!

New call UI

The first major change is the brand new Call UI, which is now a translucent blue shade over your wallpaper. The new interface looks a bit like the iOS dialer, with large buttons and a circular Caller ID icon at the top.

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Verizon and Google confirm Wi-Fi calling and HD voice will work with Pixel phones from Google Store

With the launch of Google's Pixel devices, consumers have to make the choice to buy from Verizon, the Google Store, or Project Fi. Unlocked phones sold outside the carrier sometimes don't work with carrier-specific features, like Wi-Fi calling. Thankfully, both Verizon and Google have confirmed to Android Police that all Pixel phones will work with Wi-Fi calling and HD voice on Verizon.

Google's statement says that even Pixel phones purchased through Project Fi will work fine with those features. This essentially means there is no reason to buy a Pixel phone through Verizon, as they will work identically. Buying the Pixel from them actually has some downsides, namely the locked bootloader.

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