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Google adds a recipe carousel UI to your culinary search results

I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of football, but I have been to some Super Bowl parties that were actually fun. As I am sure most will agree, good food is crucial to the success of most any gathering. Being the host comes with a series of challenges, one of the largest being what to cook. Google has people like you in mind, and it is rolling out an update to Search that brings a carousel of culinary suggestions and full recipes.

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Open GApps can now optionally install Google Assistant

Google Assistant was introduced at Google I/O last year, as a more personal voice assistant than Google Now. Since then, it has been made available on several platforms - Pixel phones, the Google Home, Android TV, and Allo. But Assistant is still unavailable on non-Pixel phones without a special build.prop tweak. Now the Open GApps team has made enabling Assistant a little easier.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Pro (2017) available for $299.99 at various retailers

NVIDIA's SHIELD gaming set-top box is the hottest news in Android TV this year. The console was announced at CES at the start of 2017 and the regular version with 16GB of storage started shipping in the middle of January. But if you were waiting for the Pro version and its expanded 500GB of storage, you'll be happy to know that it's now available for sale.

Beside the larger 500GB storage, the Pro version has a MicroSD slot and a MicroUSB port (both of which can't be found on the regular 2017 SHIELD) and ships with the new controller but the old remote in the box.

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Android 7.1.2 adds the fingerprint swipe gesture for notifications on the Nexus 5X

Android 7.1.2 started rolling out a few days ago with bug fixes and cryptic "enhancements" for Pixels and Nexuses. One of the more visible changes you'll notice if you own a Nexus 5X is a new option under Settings -> Moves. There's a new Swipe for notifications toggle that enables you to swipe down on the fingerprint sensor on the back of the 5X to drop down the notifications. It's a nice gesture that lets you check notifications without removing your index from the back of the phone or trying to reach the top of the display with your thumb.

You might remember that there was a bit of controversy over the feature back in November.

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Samsung Pay Mini to launch in South Korea for all Android smartphones

The web component of Samsung Pay has long been rumored to be coming, so it's no real surprise to see it formally announced today. The service, which sees Samsung attempting to broaden its services offerings in response to Google, Facebook, and Apple, will go live in South Korea before the end of the first quarter.

Samsung Pay Mini is comparable to how Android Pay works to pay for items online. E-tailers opt in to the service, which means as long as the dedicated app is downloaded, users can easily and quickly pay for products or services without needing to fill in forms or get cards out.

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New Google Artworks Live Cases feature Opening Ceremony designs worn by the New York Ballet

The simulation hypothesis is a scientific proposal that the world in which we live is, in fact, a massive and incredibly complex computer simulation. Many people in the United States are being won over by this theory, because lately it feels like we're all tiny characters in an increasingly cruel game of The Sims, right about the time that the omnipotent player-god gets bored and starts to screw with us. In completely and totally unrelated news, here are some fresh Live Case designs from Google. Enjoy.

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Google is shutting down the Hands Free pilot test on February 8

Ever since March of last year, Google has been testing a new payment method called Hands Free. The premise was that you could pay for goods with your smartphone without ever having to remove it from your pocket. The pilot was limited to the Bay Area and to only a few businesses. But now, the experiment has hit its end of life for the time being.

As of February 8, Hands Free will shut down.

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Google Messenger RCS support is likely not in public testing for T-Mobile after all

Yesterday, we reported that T-Mobile was in the process of testing Google's/Jibe's RCS implementation. T-Mobile has had its own version of RCS (called Advanced Messaging) since 2015, but like most implementations of the RCS technology, it is not compatible across carriers like SMS.

T-Mobile implementing the Jibe Universal RCS Profile, which Sprint and (soon) Rogers support, would certainly be better for users than the current Advanced Messaging system. Unfortunately, there is no substantial evidence that it is happening at this point.

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Source: The first new smartwatch with Android Pay, the LG Watch Sport, will cost $349

After revealing late last week that LG's Watch Style will come in at $249, today we can confirm via one of our trusted sources that its bigger, LTE-enabled brother will cost $100 more. The LG Watch Sport will have an MSRP of $349 here in the US, though it is unclear if color or band options could raise that price for certain configurations.

As a reminder, the Watch Sport brings a lot of features that the Watch Style will lack: LTE for true standalone functionality, NFC for Android Pay, GPS, a heart-rate monitor, a bigger, denser screen, and more buttons.

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[Update: Now ~$260] Deal alert: Grab the Gear 360 for $273 at many retailers, $77 off its original price

360 cameras are awesome. I love my LG 360 Cam and find it is perfect for encapsulating a moment in time into one shot and letting you sort of travel back in time and immerse yourself in everything around you during the second the picture or video was taken. If you haven't bought a 360 camera yet and you're wondering what the fuss is about, there's a nice deal on Samsung's Gear 360 today at several retailers dropping the price down to around $273 from its original MSRP of $350.

The Gear 360 has dual 15MP f/2.0 fisheye lenses for 3840 x 1920 360-degree (horizontally and vertically) videos and 30MP still images.

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