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Updated Android 7.1.2 factory and full OTA images (build NHG47K) available for Verizon's Pixel and Pixel XL

Verizon and Google have posted factory images today for the Pixel and Pixel XL devices on the network. The changes noted are Wi-Fi/Bluetooth fixes, Calendar, Drive, and Messenger backup, as well as SMS-related fixes (among others).

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Stuck Pixel: How Google is dropping the ball with its "consumer" phone strategy (opinion)

I admit it. I am a Google fanboy. It’s not that I love Google at the exclusion of any other company. I appreciate the merits of Apple’s business model as well as the thoughtful design of Microsoft's Surface devices. However, there’s something about that #4885ed Google Blue that spices up my life more so than #3b5998 Facebook Blue could ever do. Is it bias? Considering I am legally color blind, the answer is an affirmative yes. However, this bias has not blinded me to the fundamental difference between a company like Google and one like Apple. At Apple, the customer - the revenue generator - is you and me, the consumer.

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Google now shows 'Similar Items' shopping links on select image searches

If you need to find an image of something, you're probably going to use Google image search. This is simply the nature of the internet right now. You might start noticing a new block of images showing up in your results going forward, though. Google has rolled out a "Similar Items" feature. These images are essentially shopping links for items that are similar to the ones in the image result.

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LeEco announces exciting plan to not buy Vizio after all, everything is fine, nothing to see here

According to The Verge, LeEco has just announced that it no longer intends to buy US television maker Vizio.

LeEco announced its plans to buy Vizio last July for $2 billion. It's not the first stumble for the company - they're in the midst of major fundraising efforts after an apparent cash crunch caused by over-expansion. It's now rumored the company is looking to sell some of its Silicon Valley property holdings, as well.

LeEco cited "regulatory headwinds" as the reason for calling off the merger. It could also have been a little bit, maybe, that it just seemed like a bad idea and honestly made no sense from a product strategy perspective.

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ZTE Quartz is official and coming to T-Mobile on April 14 for $192

ZTE's first Android Wear watch has been in the rumor mill for a couple of months. We first heard about its existence in February then showed you exclusive photos and details in March. Now the Quartz is official and everything we said was right on the money.

This will be an Android Wear 2.0 watch with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 2100 processor, 768MB of RAM and 4GB of storage, cellular connectivity (3G, no LTE here), a speaker and a microphone, IP67 water and dust resistance, and a 1.4" AMOLED display with a 400x400 resolution and Gorilla Glass 3 on top. The nice surprises are the existence of a GPS chip, which should be exciting for those who want to use it for navigation or while exercising outdoors, the relatively beefy 500 mAh battery, and the interchangeable 22mm bands. All of that comes in a 46 x 46 x 14.5mm package.

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Google Play carrier billing site lists Boost in the US, plus carriers in Pakistan, Luxembourg, Vietnam, Slovenia, and more

Google Play carrier billing is expanding to more carriers around the world, as per an update to the support page. Some of the newly listed carriers may have been offering the option for a while (but weren't mentioned in the page), others may be about to add it soon, but the official word is out now.

For those of you in the US, the one added operator is Boost Mobile. But there's great news for a few more countries as well. Here are the newcomers:

  • US: Boost
  • Indonesia: Vodafone
  • Kazakhstan: Beeline
  • Luxembourg: Orange
  • Pakistan: Telenor Pakistan
  • Slovenia: Telekom
  • Vietnam: Vietnamobile, Viettel

Beside Indonesia, which adds support for Vodafone on top of Indosat, Telekomsel, and XL/AXIS, the 5 other countries are seeing direct carrier billing available for the first time through these new operators.

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Google Duo audio calling goes live worldwide

Google Duo's audio calling feature started rolling out at the end of last month to users in Brazil after the company confirmed the option would be coming way earlier last August. Today, Googler Justin Uberti announced on Twitter that audio calls are now available worldwide to all Duo users.

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LG pits a pile of G6s against the elements, showing off features in a Rube Goldberg relay-race

LG may not have the perfect track record when it comes to things like strength (or reliability), but it really looks like they're doing everything they can to turn that impression around with the new G6. They've just released a new promotional video demonstrating the device's durability in humorous but obviously controlled circumstances.

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Google rejected an icon pack for "content owned by a third party"

Icon packs are in a tricky legal gray area. Almost all of them (if not all) contain trademarked images legally owned by the original developers, and to make matters worse, many icon packs are paid. One developer recently submitted a new icon pack to the Play Store, only to have it rejected for "content owned by a third party."

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Google Assistant's shopping list is moving out of Keep and into the Home app on April 10

I love having the Google Assistant shopping list in Keep. It means that I can access it whenever I want on the phone and the web, add items to it, and share it with my fiancé while we're in the process of furnishing our apartment. It also means that we don't have to worry about using another app: everything we need is organized in Keep and so is our shopping list.

But that's about to change soon, very soon, like this-Monday soon. A new notice is showing up for users when they open up their Google Assistant Shopping List in Keep telling them that changes are afoot.

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