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37

(Update: Official) Google Assistant Ambient Mode arrives on more phones, brings smart display features

When Google first introduced the Google Assistant Ambient Mode, it was initially limited to smart displays. Then at IFA 2019, Google introduced a version for portable devices, such as tablets and phones, turning them into something like a Google Nest Hub when they're docked or being charged. After being initially available for only a handful of tablets and phones, the Assistant ambient mode is starting to roll out to more phones. 

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9

Google adds 37 more apps to Play Pass, including Cut the Rope, Cross DJ Pro, and Podcast Republic

Google Play Pass, a service that gets you a collection of premium/freemium apps and games for free (with no ads), finally went live back in September. The service boasted over 350 apps to start with, and plenty more have been added since. Now Google has just added 37 more to the ever-growing collection.

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0

Zadarma VoIP leverages the cloud to connect your business with customers around the globe [Sponsored Post]

Whether you run a business from your personal Android device or work for a company that supplies a phone, it's important to always have access to your clients and customers whenever they need you most. Especially for younger businesses, missing a call or having a conversation interrupted by a shoddy signal could spell disaster for your brand's reputation. To help you manage your business communications from the convenience of your smartphone, Zadarma offers an intuitive VoIP telecom service backed by 12 years of evolution and proven success.

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1

9 temporarily free and 36 on-sale apps and games to start the Thanksgiving week

The holiday season is here. Thanksgiving is on Thursday here in the U.S., so be ready for a slew of deals on this site. I'll throw in my two cents with some app sales.

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3

Hyundai's connected car app overhauls design and adds Pixel 4 face unlock support

Many Hyundai owners are probably already very familiar with the MyHyundai with Blue Link app which offers many conveniences such as checking up on vehicle status, remotely starting the car, and access to helpful resources. For many years, though, the app has been kind of ugly and clunky with some features, like fingerprint security, arriving belatedly on Android long after its iOS counterpart. Now a major app update from Hyundai to version 4.2.4 corrects many of these oversights by bringing in a fresh new design and adding face unlock as optional biometric security.

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6

The new Facebook Viewpoints app will pay you a pittance to take surveys

Facebook has a history of collecting mountains of user data and doing a pretty awful job of keeping it safe. If you, for some reason, are comfortable giving Facebook even more data, there's a new app to help you do it. Facebook Viewpoints is a survey app that awards point for participation. When you get enough points, Facebook will give you a whole five bucks.

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29

LibreTorrent removed from Google Play because it looks too similar to its malicious clones

Google's history of draconian and arbitrary decisions regarding developer infractions on the Play Store is extensively documented. In this latest episode, the open-source torrent client LibreTorrent has been removed from the Play Store due to "spam," with Google claiming that the app is a low-quality duplicate of several others on the Play Store. The twist this time is that LibreTorrent is actually the original app, and it's the others that are the ad-filled "spam" clones.

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3

Facebook tests clone of Instagram’s Close Friends for more private sharing

Facebook has borrowed features from its other social media properties, and even some of its rivals, a zillion times to drive engagement on its primary app. This time, Instagram’s Close Friends feature, which was introduced last year, has become the basis for the Favorites list that the company is testing for its mobile apps.

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29

Facebook's dark mode on Android starts showing up for some users

As more and more apps are adding a dark theme, some outliers have started to stand out with their lighter colors and designs. Facebook is one of these, but we've known for a while that the service would soon implement it. It's already rolled it out to the Messenger app, the Facebook website, and is now starting to test it on Android.

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40

(Update: Official) Google Photos is getting a markup tool in the image editor

Google Photos likes to offer up automated edits of your snapshots, some of which you might even like. However, there are a few basic editing tools you you want to manipulate your snapshots in other ways. There's a new tool rolling out in Photos, and it's long overdue: you can finally doodle on your photos with markup.

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