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OnePlus 5T hands-on: The expected upgrade

OnePlus is no longer satisfied to launch just one flagship phone each year. Just like last cycle, we're faced with a new OP smartphone that not entirely new. OnePlus has just unveiled the OnePlus 5T, and it's very much the phone you expected to see. That's not just because of the leaks—we all sort of know what to expect from OnePlus now. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though. Even with the small price hike, this still seems like a strong competitor.

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[Deal Alert] Acer's Chromebook 14 for Work drops to $390 ($210 off)

Acer has made a name for itself designing and selling good bang-for-your-buck Chromebooks. I came away rather impressed with the Chromebook 15 (2017) not too long ago, despite some shortcuts made to keep the price low. Moving on, though, we're seeing yet another sale on one of Acer's other models; the Chromebook 14 for Work (CP5-471-312N) has dropped to $389.99 on Acer's U.S. store, a savings of $210.

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YouTube 12.44 brings pinch-to-zoom to more devices like the Galaxy S8+ and LG V30

YouTube 12.40 brought one small but neat change: a pinch-to-zoom gesture that lets you expand the video to fit an entire 18:9 display. Since most videos are made for the 16:9 format, black bars would sit on each side of the display when you're viewing YouTube videos in fullscreen mode, which sort of detracted from the illusion of having that big shiny nearly full-front display.

With 12.40, only the Pixel 2 supported the gesture, leaving other 18:9 smartphones behind. Now we've verified that v12.44 of the YouTube app makes the gesture available to the Galaxy S8+, LG V30, and possibly more devices.

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Google Assistant is able to troubleshoot problems on your phone (Pixel 2 only, for now)

The Google Assistant on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL is more powerful than ever before, and it can help you do a bunch of things with your phone like change settings or initiate a conversation with support. Thanks to a whimsical request from a reader, we now know about one more ability the Assistant has.

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Google Search is testing more local predictive search suggestions

In its never-ending quest to improve the way you search and speed up your way to more information, Google appears to be trying a new approach with its Search suggestions. As you can see in the screenshot above, at the bottom of the list after recent searches, there are 4 more locally relevant suggestions.

These are for movie timings nearby, the latest cricket scores, word translations, and the latest Bollywood movies. As you can guess, those suggestions are relevant to our tipster, and carry a grey icon next to them probably to denote that they're different from recent searches and other suggestions.

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Actions on Google open new languages (CA, IN, BR, IT, ES), better discovery, and more interactions for Assistant apps

Google Developers is rolling out a huge update to Actions on Google, the backbone through which developers can create those Assistant apps and integrations that are still a little hidden but can be very useful if you interact with your Home or phone a lot through voice. Both developers and users stand to benefit from these changes as there are a lot of improvements that will add up quickly for a better experience.

First, in terms of discovery, the Assistant's Explore tab / "app directory" will see two new sections for "What's new" and "What's trending." Now there's only a list of categories, which makes it impossible to spot popular services or new additions.

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Google Maps is about to get a lot more colorful

The design of Google Maps doesn't get updated very often, so when it does, it's kind of a big deal. The latest tweaks are all about adding a bit more color to the interface and making things a little easier to pick out as a consequence. What you see will also be more relevant to the mode of transport you're using, too.

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BlueBorne vulnerability affected Google Home and Amazon Echos, but both have been patched

Vulnerabilities. There's a new flavor of the week every few days and in this highly connected world, it's tough to keep up, whether it's for users who don't know which of their devices are vulnerable and have/haven't been patched or for companies who are scrambling to fix one bug only to see the next one around the corner.

The BlueBorne vulnerability affected Bluetooth devices and could be exploited by hackers to completely take over a device with Bluetooth just turned on, without pairing with it first. Android patched it in September, but it appears that Amazon Echo and Google Home devices were left vulnerable for a while.

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HTC starts rolling out Oreo to the U11 in Taiwan

Oreo's era is in full swing and the next device to get the chocolate and cream treat is HTC's U11. Back in August, when Oreo officially launched, HTC said it would be bringing the new software version to the U11, U Ultra, and HTC 10, and the first one appears to have won the race.

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[Deal Alert] Xperia XZ1 Compact is down to $449 on eBay with coupon code, or $499.99 with a $50 gift card at Best Buy ($150 off)

Remember when we all thought the Galaxy Nexus's 4.65" display was enormous? Those days are long gone, but thankfully, Sony will still sell you a flagship with a screen about that large. The Xperia XZ1 Compact, originally priced at $599.99, has dropped to just $449 on eBay with a coupon code. Alternatively, you can grab one from Best Buy for $499.99 and get a free $50 gift card included.

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