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Google officially splits Hangouts into 'Meet' and 'Chat,' new apps and @meet chat bot coming soon

After the announcement of Duo and Allo, the newest in a long line of Google messaging apps, Google made it clear that Hangouts would be re-positioned for corporate use. Last month, a new 'Meet by Google Hangouts' app appeared on the iOS App Store, revealing that a major reworking for Hangouts was nearing completion. Now, Google has officially announced Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat.

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Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge Nougat updates start appearing in Europe

If you've been waiting with bated breath for Samsung to fulfill its promise to upgrade the Galaxy S6 series to Android 7.0, you can stop waiting... assuming you have one of the GSM unlocked models of the S6 and S6 Edge, that is. According to German tech site Giga.de, users in Europe are starting to see the Nougat update sent out to their phones, starting with at least one S6 Edge owner in Switzerland and continuing in the comments. That means that mainland Europe and the UK are probably looking at updates sometime soon, with the usual delays for localization and server rollout.

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Samsung Pay makes its way to Sweden in beta form

Samsung has been steadily adding more countries to its list of supported Samsung Pay markets — we just saw India get added not too long ago. The contactless payment service functions like the Apple and Android counterparts, but adds in the benefit of being able to work with older terminals via Magnetic Secure Transmission, which is especially awesome here in the U.S. But now, Sweden is getting Sammy's payment solution. It should be noted, however, that this is in beta for now.

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Google's new Invisible reCAPTCHAs won't show a checkbox to humans

Various CAPTCHA systems have been in existence over the years, often as a source of frustration (and jokes) to actual humans trying to complete online forms. Google's own implementation, called reCAPTCHA V2, replaces the old squiggly-word boxes with a simple checkbox. Now the company is taking reCAPTCHA a step further, by ditching the checkbox all together - in most cases.

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BlackBerry announces the Aurora smartphone in Indonesia

There's a new BlackBerry smartphone, but it's not the recently announced KEYone. BlackBerry fans in Indonesia will soon have access to a BlackBerry device developed exclusively for them. It's called the Aurora, and pre-orders are available now.

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[Update: Emoji suggestions] Gboard 6.1 includes revamped voice typing, GIF suggestions, and even Google Doodles

We already wrote about Gboard 6.1 Beta, which adds a few notable features including Google Translate integration and an improved theme picker. Since that post, we've received tips about more changes in the update, so let's take a look at a few of them.

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[Update: Firmware released] LG responds to user complaints, will add Google Home and multi-room support to Music Flow speakers

LG released its Music Flow speakers back in 2015 as one of the first third-party systems to take advantage of Google's Cast framework. However, LG has been slow to implement new features, and buyers were beginning to fear LG had abandoned the products. Now, it looks like all your complaining has worked! LG is adding multi-room audio and Google Home support to the Music Flow speakers.

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[Update: Official] Feature or Fluke: You can now purchase items on any other country's Google Store

I'm 99% sure I shouldn't be writing this article because it might be a bug and it's one I personally, really, really, really do not want Google to fix. But on the off-chance that it is indeed a new feature and for the sake of journalistic integrity (and at the expense of my own benefit), I'm going to tell you that something has changed in the Google Store recently and it's definitely for the better: you can now make purchases in any country's Google Store*.

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Some Pixel and Pixel XL owners experiencing failing microphones, Google recommends warranty replacements

When the customer threads over on the Google Support Forum start to get hundreds of replies deep, you know there's a serious problem afoot. This one is affecting the Pixel and Pixel XL, and apparently occurring to a large enough subset of owners that Google is taking its response more seriously than the usual bug. Owners are reporting complete failure of one or more of their microphones, sometimes causing a total audio input block, sometimes occasionally working with the camera app while recording video.

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Nest finally adds two-factor authentication

Nest recently announced that two-factor authentication is here, finally adding in the often asked for option of secondary security. There does appear to be one caveat in regard to this new security measure, but isn't there always?

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