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You can now enroll in Google's Advanced Protection Program using just your phone, no backup key required

The Advanced Protection Program is arguably the best way to secure access to all of your documents and information you've stored in your Google account. Until now, though, you were required to consign two security keys in order to get those extra safety measures and only one of them could be an Android phone. Those requirements seem to have changed today as Google has started allowing iOS devices to act as keys and letting users enroll into the program with just their mobile device, no backup key needed.

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47

Tech giants including Amazon, Apple, and Google come together to establish new smart home standard

Modern "smart" home standards have more than a few dumb things about them, like the fact that certain hardware often locks you into a specific ecosystem of supported devices and software. If something works with Alexa, it doesn't always mean that it will work with the Assistant or Siri, and that's not even mentioning the whole obnoxiousness of "hubs." Thankfully, a new open standard is being developed by some of the biggest names in the smart home industry, with Amazon, Apple, and Google all backing a new open-source approach via the imaginatively titled "Project Connected Home over IP." It's a complicated-sounding name, but what really matters is the fact that future smart home products will be more inter-compatible and secure.

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14

Samsung and Huawei come out on top as global smartphone market grows for first time in two years

Ever since the global smartphone market started to decline back in 2017, it has stubbornly remained stagnant. Surprisingly, the trend has finally reversed itself as the global smartphone market has managed to eke out a 1% growth in Q3 2019, just barely reversing the two-year-long decline. The resurgence was led by market share leaders Samsung and Huawei, who experienced double-digit annual growth rates from Q3 2018. On the other hand, two of the top five smartphone vendors — Apple and Xiaomi — experienced single-digit declines in market share, while the number five Oppo saw some minor growth.

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34

YouTube Music adds Siri support on iOS, while Assistant integration remains laughably inconsistent

YouTube Music is slowly spreading its tentacles and establishing itself as Play Music's successor. While the service still lacks many essential features for some users, it's good enough for others. Its most recent addition is Siri support on iOS — while Android integration with Assistant is still iffy.

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125

Google aware of free original quality HEIC photo backups for iPhones, says it's a 'bug'

After the Pixel 4's announcement, we were surprised to discover it didn't offer free original quality backups on Google Photos like its predecessors. The next day, a Redditor made things even worse for Pixel users by explaining that the new iPhones do get unlimited original quality backups on Photos because they use the HEIC format. We've reached out to Google and got confirmation that this is indeed the case, but it's a "bug" that'll be fixed.

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20

Google Voice adds proper Siri support before Google Assistant

Google Voice is quite a convenient service letting you call and text internationally for cheap. It's even a proper phone line replacement for some. There's one thing that we've been waiting for the service to implement forever, though: using your voice to initiate a ... Voice call. That's changing, but only if you have an iPhone or an iPad: In a collective slap in the faces of Android and Nest users, you can now talk to Siri to make calls or send text messages through Google's service.

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48

Is Google Play Pass worth it? Depends on who you are

I have 500 words to tell you whether or not I think you should get Google Play Pass for $5 a month or if you're better off with an alternative solution. Frankly speaking, if you're the type that constantly uses a wide array of apps and games and are always curious enough to try just one more every so often, you should pull the trigger. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, here.

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60

[Update: Now in stable] Apple Music beta adds Chromecast support and 100,000 radio stations

Earlier this month, Apple Music received a beta update that added a new dark mode and synchronized lyrics with the music. While that did cross off two of the most wanted features in the app, there was still one request that Apple hadn't yet answered: Chromecast support. Now, nearly four years after the service launched on Android, it can finally play our tunes on Chromecast speakers.

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340

On iPhone day, Google's big Pixel phone problem looms large

Today, Apple will announce some new iPhones. Before the year is through, it will sell tens of millions of these phones worldwide, with each sale averaging a price any other smartphone maker could only dream of. Around a month from now, Google will offer its retort, in the form of the Pixel 4. The Pixel 4 will not be the source of any grand claims about sales figures, because Google will probably be lucky to even crack a million units before 2019 ends, if the Pixel 3's struggles are any sort of evidence.

After three years and soon four generations of Pixel smartphones, Google has failed to generate meaningful marketplace traction for its in-house smartphone brand.

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