Android Police

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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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Nest is being swallowed up by Google's hardware team

Google acquired Nest about four years ago, but it kept the company at arm's length. Nest products are still designed and managed by Nest, an Alphabet company. That may be changing soon. Google says it's merging Nest with the Google hardware team to "supercharge" Nest's mission.

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'Secret upcoming 4K Chromebooks' mentioned in Chrome OS commit

The Pixelbook sports a 12.3" 2400x1600 display, and nobody's complaining about it. In fact, we even praised it in our review for being nice in basically every aspect. But companies are constantly seeking to cram more and more pixels into their devices' screens, and Google is no different. According to a recent Chrome OS commit, we'll be seeing 4K displays on Chromebooks in the near future.

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Google Wifi adds app shortcuts, prepares batch testing and something called port opening in BV10144 update [APK Teardown]

If your home or business is keeping wireless devices connected through a Google Wifi, you'll be getting an update to the companion app today. The new version brings a pair of app shortcuts for those of us using it on Android 7.1 or above, but that's about it for visible changes. A teardown adds to the subject with hints of a new batch testing feature and settings for something called "port opening."

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[Update: Coral Blue, too] Galaxy S9 and S9+ leak in Lilac Purple, show off different camera setups

We know a decent amount of information about the upcoming Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ by now, though we hadn't seen full press renders of either phone - that is, until now. Evan Blass has just posted images of both the S9 and S9+ in an eye-catching Lilac Purple color. More interestingly than the color, the rumors of the single camera on the S9 and the dual cameras on the S9+ have been confirmed.

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