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Chrome Beta 57 adds full tab controls to Chrome Custom Tabs

Chrome Custom Tabs were introduced back in 2015, as a way for applications to open pages in Chrome without the slow process of actually opening the Chrome app. Custom Tabs load quickly, retain the color of the host app, and can open the page in the full Chrome browser easily.

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BlackBerry releases 'Notable' screen capture and markup app, available first on BlackBerry devices

We don't cover all the apps that hit the Play Store, just the notable ones. This app is actually called Notable, so we kind of have to cover it. But really, it is kind of notable because it's BlackBerry's latest effort to convince people to pay for its Android software suite.

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Amazon enters the meeting, video call, and messenger space with Chime

Conference calls and video meetings have almost been synonymous with Skype for the longest time, but Amazon is looking at changing that. Chime, a new Amazon Web Services platform, wants to simplify communications between teams and individuals and cater to their different aspects in one app: video call, voice call, chat, and screen sharing.

Chime is now available on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows. According to Amazon, the service was built from the ground up with mobile in mind, so the apps work well on phones and let users seamlessly transition from and to their desktops. There are a few other advantages to Chime, like the lack of any long pins (meetings ring up like a phone call), quick options to get out of a meeting or let others know you're running late, a view of all participants and their current status, the possibility to mute one specific person's microphone if there's too much ambient noise around them, and the ability for anyone to share their screen without too much hassle.

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Huawei CEO Richard Yu confirms the Huawei Watch 2 will be announced at MWC

The Huawei Watch was many people's favorite Android Wear smartwatch back when it was released in 2015, and it remains so because of its round screen and 'classic' watch look. Huawei CEO Richard Yu has now confirmed on Weibo that the Huawei Watch 2 will be unveiled at MWC, following earlier speculation that this would be the case.

Yu doesn't say anything about the Watch 2, but shares a promotional picture, featuring a man in sports attire wearing the watch. Could this indicate the new model is aimed at the sports watch market? This would mark quite a change from its predecessor, although it's what VentureBeat reported on last month.

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Google Assistant, four months later: Still fragmented, still unfinished, still the best

Back at Google I/O 2016, we got a first look at Google Assistant. It was designed to be a conversational assistant, as opposed to the search-based Google Now. Then when Allo was released in September, it shipped with a beta version of Assistant. Finally when the Google Pixel phones were released in October, Assistant was a major selling point.

Google has a tendency to rush products out the door without fully finishing them, and Assistant was no exception. So now that about four months have passed since the official introduction of Google Assistant (roughly five months if you count the Allo beta), has anything changed?

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InBrief
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Google adds 9 new (mostly smaller) Android Pay banks

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New Nokia devices may launch at MWC, including a homage to the Nokia 3310

Nokia, much like BlackBerry, no longer manufactures its own devices. After selling its entire mobile division to Microsoft in 2014, it partnered with Foxconn to manufacture the Nokia N1 tablet, but that seemed to be a one-time deal. Now HMD Global, the Finnish manufacturer with the exclusive right to use the Nokia brand for phones, might be launching new Nokia devices at Mobile World Congress.

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Google's Verify Apps now shows apps that it has recently scanned

Google rolled out the Verify Apps framework many years ago to scan apps as they were installed. Then, in 2014 it added the ability to constantly scan apps to watch for malicious behavior. You were sort of taking Google at its word as a user that Verify Apps was indeed rummaging around to keep tabs on things. Now you can see some of what it's doing—the settings menu now shows which apps have recently been scanned.

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[Deal Alert] LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes, Goat Simulator, and more are free or discounted on the Play Store

We already posted how Google is now allowing developers to temporarily make their paid apps free. The app from that post, Blaze and the Monster Machines, is just one of several paid apps that are discounted or free for a limited time on the Play Store.

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[Update: OnePlus 3T too] LineageOS 14.1 hits new devices, including HTC One M7, Samsung tablets, LG G3, and ZTE Axon 7

LineageOS is still a relative newcomer to the Android world, but since it's descended from the legendary CyanogenMod, builds for various devices are coming thick and fast.

In this round, there are six new devices receiving LineageOS 14.1 (based on Android 7.1 Nougat) builds: two HTCs, two Samsungs, an LG, and a ZTE. The HTC phones are both variants, Verizon and GSM, of the original HTC One, the M7.

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