Android Police

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[Update: Official new languages + floating keyboard is live] Gboard v7.6 Beta adds a floating keyboard, but it might still be in testing [APK Teardown]

Back in July, a teardown of Gboard v7.4 revealed Google's intent to add a floating keyboard to the experience. With v7.6, it looks like that keyboard is ready for prime time. There are also signs of upcoming Halloween GIFs, plus quite a few new languages.

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Google app v8.33 beta gets closer to opening up notes and lists, prepares personalized news and home screen settings, and more [APK Teardown]

The latest Google app update is rolling out to the beta channel, but as usual, you're probably not going to see much in the way of changes after installing it. The version number lept from 8.27 to 8.33, which looks odd, but I assure you, it makes total sense if you think about it. Today we'll be talking about a new page for home screen settings, more about linking services to notes and lists, personalized news settings, and more.

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How to set up Live Albums and recent photo highlights on Google Home Hub (and other Smart Displays)

Live Albums were one of the most appealing features announced last week for Google Home Hub and other Smart Displays. They let you create a dynamic album from your Google Photos that automatically updates and contains photos of specific people in your life. The ability to make Live Albums rolled out to the Photos app, but it wasn't until yesterday that the albums started working properly in Ambient Mode on Smart Displays.

In the tutorial below, I'll explain how you can set these up to show on your Lenovo Smart Display, JBL Link View, Google Home Hub, or any other upcoming Assistant speaker with a built-in display.

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Google's 2018 product boxes have reflective anti-counterfeiting labels

Odds are that you won't encounter any fake Pixel 3s or Home Hubs, and if you're reading this site, you'd probably be able to identify a counterfeit Google product pretty easily. But if you're buying a piece of Google hardware off, say, Craigslist, and you want to verify its authenticity, the company's 2018 products each come with a reflective anti-counterfeiting sticker that'll let you know what's real and what isn't.

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The Pixel 3 XL is capable of 1440p60 HDR video playback

We recently learned that the Pixel 3 is pretty good at shooting video, and it turns out that it's not bad at playing video back either. The Pixel 3 XL supports 1440p60 HDR playback, a step up from the Pixel 2 XL's 1080p60 HDR maximum.

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Twitter is testing a UI change for retweet and 'more' menus on tweets

Twitter's pretty well known for silently testing major and minor tweaks to its app on a small audience, and one of our tipsters spotted such a change. It's small, but Twitter is experimenting with changing the floating window popup for additional actions into a bottom-up "sheet" menu.

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Chrome may get a new way to share tabs between mobile and desktop, plus incognito media notification changes

In the dark, dank, early days of Android, sending content from your phone to your desktop required either a third-party tool like Pushbullet or Google's Chrome to Phone and companion Chrome to Mobile extension. Thankfully Chrome switched to a convenient "tab sync" multi-device history that allows you to share sites across devices easily. Even so, it's not the most direct system, and according to Chrome Story, a "self share" feature that provides a more obvious workflow may be coming to Chrome. XDA has also spotted another upcoming change which censors the content in media notifications on Android in Incognito Mode.

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[Update x2: Statement] The Pixel 3 is the first Verizon LTE Android phone to be SIM locked in a decade, and that'll be a problem for some

Back in 2008, Verizon agreed to the FCC that it wouldn't lock its LTE phones in exchange for winning the 700MHz Upper Block C spectrum. Earlier this year, however, Verizon decided that it didn't have to follow the rules anymore, announcing that its phones would no longer be SIM unlocked out of the box. Google's Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are the first Android phones to follow this policy, which is proving problematic in some instances.

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[Update: Statement from Google] Déjà vu: Pixel 3 and 3 XL video recordings have poor audio

Google's Pixels are known for their software quality, but they're also known for launching with random issues, like last year's Pixel 2 audio quality problems when recording video. The theme continues with this year's Pixel 3 phones, and the first problem reviewers have noticed with Google's latest flagships is — you guessed it — another microphone/audio issue.

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The Pixel 3's Now Playing History is coming to Pixel 2 'soon'

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 both have a feature called Now Playing that automatically identifies music playing from nearby sources. It's a neat trick that's currently significantly better on the Pixel 3, which provides a history of identified songs. That functionality gap will be closing in the near future, though, when Now Playing History makes its way to the Pixel 2.

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