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20

Google will answer developers' burning questions about Android 11 on July 9

Android 11 isn't a boring update, especially when it comes to under-the-hood changes. Scoped Storage for limiting access to internal files will be enforced, a new 'Block Store' API will make logins easier, and apps will get to use bubble notifications for the first time. If you have any burning questions about the update that you would like the Android team to answer, here's your chance.

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33

Gmail's spam filter has been repaired

Spam filters are a thing we rely on every single day to protect us from an overwhelming amount of unwanted messages, but we rarely think about the technology behind them when everything works. When the algorithms do break, all hell breaks loose, as we suddenly realize how many emails get filtered regularly. That's an experience some Gmail users have been going through over the last few days, as Google's spam filters appear to have been on strike for them. Google confirmed the bug is now fixed.

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85

Chrome for Android is finally going 64-bit, giving it a speed boost in benchmarks

The first Android version to support 64-bit architecture was Android 5.0 Lollipop, introduced back in November 2014. Since then, more and more 64-bit processors shipped, and today, virtually all Android devices are capable of running 64-bit software (excluding one or two or more oddballs). However, Google Chrome has never made the jump and is only available in a 32-bit flavor, potentially leading to some unnecessary security and performance degradations. That's finally changing: Starting with Chrome 85, phones running Android 10 and higher will automatically receive a 64-bit version.

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32

Google is offering Stadia Premiere Edition for just $79 to select Chromebook owners

Stadia Premiere Edition launched last year for the price of $129. It was a lot of fun when we reviewed it. Since then, it's been discounted down to just $99. But if that wasn't enough to sway you, Google is currently offering Stadia Premiere Edition for a mere $79 — as long as you've got a Pixelbook, Pixelbook Go, or Pixel Slate handy.

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19

Google's Fitbit acquisition is being criticized for privacy and competition concerns

Google set out to acquire fitness company Fitbit in November of last year, but the deal hasn't gone through all the required regulatory approvals yet. There have been concerns that the acquisition could lead to reduced competition and Google extending its apparatus of data-collecting for targeted advertisements, and now advocacy groups around the world are urging governments to closely investigate the deal.

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24

YouTube Music is getting four new personalized mix playlists

YouTube Music is due to become Google's only music service by the end of this year. In anticipation of taking the spotlight, the platform has been rapidly adding features and making tweaks lately, such as the ability to swipe between tracks and start playback directly from the album art. Last month, four new Mix playlists were spotted in the wild, and now it looks like those are becoming more widely available.

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42

Chrome OS will get Steam as part of new Linux virtualization environment

Back in January, we exclusively reported that Google wants to add Steam to Chrome OS and introduce more powerful Chromebooks, possibly running on AMD silicon. Now further details have emerged. 9to5Google found a new Linux emulator in the Google's Chromium Gerrit codenamed "Borealis" that includes a pre-installed copy of Steam. It might even replace the current Linux implementation in the long term.

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39

Gawk at the boatloads of cash Google is throwing at Apple to maintain its search monopoly

According to a recent report by the UK Competition and Markets Authority, Google paid £1.2 billion (or around $1.5 billion) across 2019 to secure its place as the default search engine in devices across the market, the "substantial majority of which" was paid to Apple. That's a huge sum, and rival search engines claim it makes competition impossible — they simply can't afford to be in contention with numbers that high.

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144

Google confirms the Pixel 3a has been discontinued

In a statement provided to Android Police, Google has confirmed that its Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones are now discontinued. No more stock will be made available on the Google store, and the phone will only remain available through a handful of 3rd party retailers as remaining units sell through. Google's full statement, via a Google spokesperson, follows below.

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3

YouTube Studio picks up Smart Replies

In a post to its (always fascinating) AI Blog, Google has just revealed that its Smart Reply feature, previously present on apps and services like Messages and Gmail, has come to comment replies for YouTube content creators. Built right into YouTube Studio and with support for both Spanish and English, the feature will make it easier for content creators to churn out generic, low-effort replies to comments. (Like and subscribe, brah.)

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