Android Police

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[Update: Now being populated] Google Play Store shows a new Notifications section for some users

It appears that the Play Store team is testing another new feature in the Android app, though you may like this one more than the new tab bar that's been rolling out to more and more devices. In the side menu of the Play Store, some users are seeing a new Notifications section, right below My Apps & games.

Tapping on it opens a dedicated Notifications screen, where both of our tipsters have only seen the below "You're all caught up" graphic.

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Tip: How to stop websites from displaying that annoying notification prompt in Chrome

Chrome notifications are great in theory, but now that virtually every site supports them, that constant, nagging banner under the URL bar can get annoying fairly quickly. Of course, you can always block each site individually, but that doesn't really solve the issue, since you'll still get the pop-up every time you visit a new site that supports Chrome's notifications.

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2018: New year, new emojis 😲

Last year Unicode announced that the upcoming Emoji 11.0 Beta had 130 new candidates, meaning up to 130 new emoji could be joining the ranks of 🤨, 🏩 , and 🍖. Now that they've had the time to sit and deliberate over which are to be included, Unicode has somehow come up with 27 additional emojis that merited inclusion. Unicode's Emoji 11.0 characters for 2018 will bring 157 new faces/foods/animals.

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Google has killed the shortcuts at the top of the Feed

Remember those shortcuts at the top of the Feed in the Google app for things like weather and restaurants? They've been missing from the app for the past week or two. Turns out, their absence isn't an oversight. Google has intentionally removed those shortcuts from the Feed. 

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Google opens the door to on-demand, personalized movies, adds Valentine's Day theme

Google's been playing around with its "Movie Concepts" montages in Google Photos for a year and a half now. In that time the app has brought us cats, smiles, holidays, and more, all based on the photos we take. But that's all been an automatic process almost entirely outside our control, with some people never even seeing these videos. All that changes today, as Google has now given us the ability to make our own themed movies in Google Photos. It's also introducing a new Valentine's Day theme for the upcoming holiday.

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Google rolled out the Maps traffic layer to 10 more countries

You might take for granted that you can just open Google Maps and see what traffic is like, but that feature isn't available everywhere. There are still numerous countries that don't have live traffic, but today ten more of them do. Google has updated its support docs to call out the newly added markets, but not all of them will get the same features.

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[Update: Now available] Dead Zebra releases Android Mini special edition for Year of the Dog

If you're an Android fan, which is not that far a stretch considering you're reading this, you've probably looked at Dead Zebra's Android Mini figurines and wished you had all the money to buy every single one. And now there's a new one for you to fawn over and maybe make you click that purchase button: a special edition Chinese New Year one for the Year of the Dog.

More than last year's Golden Rooster, the design is very reminiscent of Chinese culture and that bright red is gorgeous to look at. The figurine measures in at 3" in height and has antennae in the shape of dog ears plus a gold painted medallion collar, and it comes in a box with reflective gold foil.

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InBrief
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Google Drive users can now comment on MS Office files, PDFs, and images

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Long Hat House's metroidvania 'Dandara' is officially out on Android

The beauty of Long Hat House's Dandara lies in its controls. Since it exists as a metroidvania title that includes plenty of platforming gameplay, the use of a unique shooting mechanic for its movement makes it that much more palatable on touchscreen devices. It's refreshing how well this mechanic lends itself to mobile-centric gaming thanks to how precise your movements can be. And honestly, it allows Dandara's level design and gameplay to shine just as much as they would on any other platform.

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[Update: Probably being revamped] Google might be scrapping plans for the 'Chrome Home' bottom address bar interface

For over a year, Google has been testing an experimental interface in Chrome for Android, nicknamed 'Chrome Home.' It first appeared in October, and at that point, the only change was the address bar being at the bottom of the screen (instead of at the top). Then the New Tab Page was revamped with a bottom tab bar, and in August of last year, the UI was changed again.

Despite the interface being in development for so long, it has never been widely rolled out. It has been enabled by default in Chrome Beta, Dev, and Canary, but only a very small number of Chrome stable users have it.

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