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Google Pay 2.96 adds a dark mode [APK Download]

Darkness is nearly upon us. With Android Q's official launch getting closer and closer, Google is still hard at work implementing a grey/black theme for its most important apps so they're ready for Q's system-wide dark mode. The latest to get this is Google Pay.

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[Update: $130 at Costco] Lenovo's 10-inch Smart Display marked down to just $140 this weekend

There sure are a lot of Lenovo smart home gadgets on sale this weekend — the Smart Clock for $50, the 8" Smart Display bundle for $90, and now the larger the 10" Smart Display on sale for $140, down from an original price of $250. That's $10 less than previous online deals we've seen.

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78

Google Maps in Android Auto adds some helpful new buttons

Android Auto's comprehensive overhaul recently rolled out to everyone, but Google isn't done with tweaking the interface. We've seen multiple reports of the navigation UI getting a few handy new buttons, including one for alternate routes that people seem to be very excited about.

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34

[Update: Resurrected with new look] Google Maps is testing a floating scrolling bar of category searches

Google is always trying new things with the Maps app's interface, moving items from the side menu to the floating layers button, implementing different designs of the bottom bar in various regions, and lately just dabbling with more and more changes that fall in line with the new Material Design looks. And now we have a new change: a scrolling floating bar of category searches is showing up on the top of the screen.

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8

LG revamping SmartThinQ app with Google Assistant voice commands for your fridge

LG is getting set to roll out an update to its SmartThinQ app that could change the way people use its smart home appliances: it will incorporate Google Assistant to recognize vocal commands for its Wi-Fi enabled laundry machines, refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, and other devices.

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24

Google Messages tests convenient microphone button for voice messages

With Allo shuttered, Google has decided to focus its messaging efforts on Messages and RCS (for the time being, at least). Since Google Messages was originally meant as a simple SMS app, the company has had to do a fair bit of work to make it a true competitor against established players like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. To reach feature parity with them, Messages is testing the addition of an instantly accessible microphone button to help you communicate via voice more easily.

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77

YouTube Music's revolutionary new feature allows you to sort albums and playlists by name [APK Download]

Google announced YouTube Music with much fanfare in 2018, pledging to reach feature parity with Play Music and eventually replacing the dusty service of old. However, despite promises, development is going extremely slow, and a lot of basic functions are still missing. The latest release of the Android app, version 3.29, coincides with a server-side rollout of a feature that gives you the revolutionary ability to sort albums and playlists by name.

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9

Google Chrome is preparing native password leak detection and less annoying notification prompts

While dedicated password managers are the way to go to stay secure online, Google Chrome has been offering basic credential management for a while. Advanced features such as password leak detection have been limited to (mostly) paid password managers or Chrome's competition in the form of Firefox Monitor (powered by Have I Been Pwned). Luckily, Google is working on feature parity with Firefox by including leak detection natively in Chrome for desktop and Android, and it's already live in Canary, the developer version of the browser. Another welcome change the company is working on are less annoying notification prompts from websites.

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15

Google Photos can now search for text in your images, then copy and paste it

A feature I've always wanted in Google Photos is text recognition. The service can parse through my pics to find a specific face, place, thing, or even more abstract concepts like "sunset" or "happy," it can even associate an emoji with images in my gallery, but it couldn't find simple pieces of text through OCR. Well, now it can.

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16

Google wants to create new 'Privacy Sandbox' standards for online advertising and browsers

There's a very delicate balance when it comes to targeted advertising and violating user privacy — some folks even think it isn't possible to have both at all — but Google would like to establish a new set of standards for browsers that can allow the former without too much concern about the latter. The company is calling this initiative "Privacy Sandbox," and the company hopes it might help prevent privacy-violating workarounds like so-called "fingerprinting."

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