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InBrief
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Google Assistant can now look up TV schedules

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YouTube TV is now live for both Rokus and Apple TVs

YouTube TV looks like a pretty sweet deal for those in supported markets. But, there are a few drawbacks. Most notable among them used to be device support, popular set-top streaming devices like Rokus and Apple TVs didn't have apps to support the service. If that was holding you back from being a YouTube TV subscriber, you should be happy to hear that Google just rolled out apps for each. 

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Pokémon GO developer Niantic just bought an AR backend company called Escher Reality

Pokémon GO is the poster child for augmented reality. Niantic didn't make quite as big a splash with its first AR game, Ingress, but our collective millennial Pokémon-themed childhood ensured that the company's second effort had a very different reception. Now Niantic looks to be making an investment for the future, as it's just purchased Escher Reality, a startup specializing in backend (read: multiplayer) solutions for VR. 

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Instagram adds 'Type' mode to Stories

Instagram Stories are getting a new feature today, and it's called Type mode. From the name, you might guess that it has something to do with text, and you'd be right. It's a way to add stylized text to your Story, and it doesn't require a photo or video.

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Google Translate v5.16 adds proper names for several regional dialects, prepares to add app shortcuts [APK Teardown]

Google Translate is getting an update today, but it looks pretty light on features. The main changes appear to center around properly labeling languages. Nine dialects are getting proper names, and it seems the term 'dialect' is going out of style, so Translate is now saying 'region' everywhere. A look through the APK also shows that we can look forward to app shortcuts in the future.

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Alphabet reports earnings: Q4 loss of $3 billion after major tax hit, but hardware shipments "double"

Alphabet reported today in its annual earnings call that the company's fiscal Q4 was a bit of a dismal one, owing to a decision to provision a new tax on foreign assets ahead into the 2017 fiscal year. Basically, Google took a $9.9 billion tax hit in the last quarter of 2017, dramatically lowering the effective net income the company earned for the whole of the fiscal year.

Google lost $3 billion in Q4, but for 2017 overall, it managed net income of $12.7 billion on revenues of $110.8 billion. While net income is down versus 2016 ($19.5 billion), revenues are way up - around 23%.

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Google app v7.20.16 beta hints at new Google Temperature feature related to Assistant [APK Teardown]

Version 7.20 of the Google app rolled out just a few days ago with an assortment of new features and minor changes. Today, a minor update to v7.20.16 hit the Play Store, and in typical fashion for an update without a major version bump, it looks a lot like a typical bug fix update. However, this one does include a few new strings that are slightly interesting. There are mentions of something called Google Temperature that might be worth watching out for.

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A Google Feed 'home' button has appeared in the Google Now Launcher

Google doesn't pay much attention to the Google Now Launcher anymore, but that doesn't mean it's dead. The Google app powers this launcher, so small tweaks show up from time to time. Today, there's a noticeable and somewhat perplexing change in the Google Now Launcher. Some users have a new home button in the search box that launches the Google Feed.

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Google Home can now set alarms with music instead of that obnoxious beeping

The default alarm tone for the Google Home may leave a tiny bit to be desired, but thankfully Google has just introduced an alternative: you can now set your next alarm to play music instead. So the next time you need to set an alarm for an impromptu nap or that bird in the oven, you can be jerked back to awareness with something a bit more entertaining.

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YouTube Go expands to more than 130 countries starting today

Google launched YouTube Go late last year in India, and then it rolled the app out to a dozen or so other nations. Today, it's pushing YouTube Go to most of the world with support for more than 130 countries. No, the US still isn't included, but it wasn't really designed for the developed world. YouTube Go includes features to make the most of a limited mobile data package.

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