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Google Home units starting to ship from Google Store

Google's $129 smart speaker, the Google Home, was first announced back at Google I/O earlier this year. Featuring the shiny new Google Assistant coupled with a great speaker, the Home is part of Google's march into the smart home market. Pre-orders finally started last month, and now they are finally shipping to customers.

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[Deal Alert] Nextbit Robin only $169.99 on Amazon

The Nextbit Robin is one of the few crowdfunded smartphones that have actually shipped. After being released earlier this year, we gave it solid marks for its dual front-facing speakers and design. Now you can grab your very own Nextbit Robin for only $169.99, a whopping $130 off the $300 MSRP (and $30 off the normal Amazon price).

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Google appears to be testing a new, rounder search widget

Have you noticed the Google "pill" widget on the Pixel launcher doesn't bear much resemblance to the traditional search box? Well, it looks like Google is changing that. Several users have noticed a new search box design popping up on their devices. It's curvier and cleaner looking.

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Google Wallet's web app goes material, looks the same as the Android app

Material is the name of the game at the moment, with apps left, right, and centre adopting the new(ish) design standards and animations. While the Wallet Android app has been material for a while now, the web app has just been updated to adopt the desktop version of material design.

Generally speaking, the new web interface looks much like the Android app. There is a part to send or request money, a navigation drawer with options in it, including choosing what card to pay with and settings. There are a few things on one platform that are not on the other - Activity on the Android app and 'Cash Out' on the web app - but mostly they look the same on either, which is the aim of material design.

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Chrome now displays images centered, starting with v56 (live in Dev/Canary)

Sometimes, it's the little things that count. In Chrome 55, when you visit a direct link to an image, it was always displayed in the top left corner. This can make zooming and panning on the image difficult, as it is constantly locked to the corner of the screen. This was a minor annoyance at most, but Chrome 56 finally rectifies this issue.

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Google clarifies Pixel charging speeds, 5" Pixel peaks at 15 watts, only XL can do 18W

Earlier today a well-known community tester of USB devices reported that the 5" version of Google's Pixel phones was not able to pull more than 15 watts of power off the stock 18W USB-PD charger, despite Google's specification site for the Pixels implying heavily that both devices were capable of 18W charging.

Charging

USB Type-C™ 18W adaptor with USB-PD

18W charging

We reached out to Google, and it turns out this was just a marketing materials mistake: the official specification page for the Pixel has been updated to correctly state that the phones support USB-PD charging from 15-18 watts, as opposed to simply 18 watts.

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Google and Warner Bros. let muggles hunt for Fantastic Beasts in Search, Maps, Daydream, and Allo

There's a new Harry Potter spinoff hitting movie theaters soon, in case you haven't turned on a television, surfed the web, or looked at a billboard in the last few months. And because Warner Bros. isn't interested in making a new movie without the potential for yet another billion-dollar set of sequels, they're pulling out all of the stops for the marketing for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. That includes some new Easter eggs (do wizards celebrate Easter? Maybe chocolate frogs or something) in Google Search, Maps, and the upcoming Daydream VR platform.

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Google's Daydream View officially available on November 10th

You've been able to order a Daydream View from the Google store for a while now, but we didn't know when units would actually ship. Now, Google has given an exact date—Daydream View is officially launching on November 10th.

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Google: "We're evaluating" a firmware update to 5X and 6P to add fingerprint scanner gestures

Google introduced a simple fingerprint scanner gesture on the Pixel and Pixel XL that allows you to "swipe" the scanner to access the notification shade. This was not brought to the Nexus 5X and 6P, though, despite being an Android 7.1 feature, and the devices use the same fingerprint scanner hardware as the new Pixels. After some confusion, technical reasons were offered up for the lack of support for the feature - namely: the firmware version of the scanner on the old phones wasn't capable of implementing it, but that a firmware update was seemingly possible - it seemed that Google could potentially add the feature to the 5X and 6P, but for one reason or another chose not to.

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OnePlus community build 3.5.5 now available for the OnePlus 3 with redesigned call UI, switchable launcher layouts, and more

OnePlus has been doing this "community build" thing for a few months as it works to unify its Oxygen and Hydrogen ROMs. There have been several community builds, and the latest is 3.5.5. It's available for download now, if you've got a OnePlus 3 and some courage. This is still Marshmallow, though. No sign of Nougat yet.

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