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16

Google Waze-ifies transit in 6 US cities with experimental Pigeon app

Google has just opened up crowdsourcing's potential to improve our lives by just a pinch more. In addition to fueling traffic speed and accident reports on Waze and Google Maps, the company is now experimenting with user-submitted data for a real-time public transit tracker app called Pigeon. It's been tested in New York City and is now headed out to six other U.S. cities.

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241

Opinion: Screw the carriers, Google should roll out RCS messaging worldwide

I don’t know how many people have taken advantage of the RCS “hack” recently discovered in Google Messages, which allows almost anyone to hop onto Google’s Jibe servers for RCS/Chat messaging, but it must be a pretty insane number given the attention our walkthrough has received. For some of those folks, this last week has been a source of anxiety, too, as all of us enjoying the new “Chat” features are left wondering whether or not Google will let this carrier circumvention fly. There was even a small hiccup that stirred up some panic. But if Google really wants what is best for consumers, it should do more than just ignore this apparent workaround.

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6

Cortana can now read your emails on Outlook for iOS, Android to follow soon

Cortana may have faded into oblivion for many, but that didn’t stop Microsoft from trying to keep the virtual assistant alive. In line with this , Play My Emails has been introduced to the Outlook app for mobile devices letting you interact with your unread emails with Cortana's help. The feature is coming to Android devices in 2020, even though it has begun rolling out to iOS handsets.

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102

(Update: Now available, APK) Google says it'll soon release a new 'Android Auto for Phone Screens' app

Android Auto has experienced a major shift over the past few months. At I/O, Google announced Assistant Driving Mode and a spokesperson confirmed that this new experience would replace the Auto app's phone interface. Additional signs pointed to the demise of the standalone mode on phones, like the full Auto redesign that only rolled out for head units and the fact that Auto became a built-in feature with Android Q, not requiring an app. We were bracing ourselves for never being able to use Auto on our phone displays, but a new statement from Google brings us a little bit of hope.

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13

Chrome 78 on desktop lets you send phone numbers to your phone (Updated)

Google has only recently introduced a feature that lets you share links between your desktop and your phone. Now the company is testing a similar function for phone numbers in Chrome Beta v78. When you click a hyperlinked phone number or highlight and right-click any other number on your desktop, you can choose to call it right from your phone.

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6

YouTube app test finally lets you sort channel videos and playlists

The YouTube app is only two years younger than Android itself, but it has always lacked some features compared to the service's website. Among them is the ability to sort a channel's videos and playlists, which you could historically only view by date added. A new A/B test finally gives the app the same sorting options that have been available on the website for a long time.

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24

Ecobee launches eco+ to help you further reduce your energy bill

Smart thermostats offer plenty of energy-saving benefits by letting you schedule different modes, turn them off when you leave home, and optimize temperature based on occupancy. Ecobee is now taking these smarts further with its new eco+ mode.

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27

WhatsApp beta adds 74 new emojis, including yawning face and waffles [APK Download]

Unicode 12.0 was officially announced many months ago, but the emojis and changes it brought have slowly been trickling down to different platforms. Google already implemented them in Android 10, but WhatsApp, which likes to use its own cross-platform designs, is just now following suit.

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13

Google Chrome 78 has a redesigned long-press context menu

Google Chrome 78 has been rolling out to the stable channel over the last few days, and among improvements to local file management and automatic verification SMS pasting, we keep finding changes here and there. One of these is a redesigned context menu that flies towards you with a spiffy new animation when you long-press a link, image, or video. It has been available as a flag in one form or another for more than two years, but Chrome 78 seems to have activated it for most people.

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40

(Update: Rolling out again) Google Maps is testing a floating scrolling bar of category searches

Google is always trying new things with the Maps app's interface, moving items from the side menu to the floating layers button, implementing different designs of the bottom bar in various regions, and lately just dabbling with more and more changes that fall in line with the new Material Design looks. And now we have a new change: a scrolling floating bar of category searches is showing up on the top of the screen.

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