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Play Store teardown reveals automatic install for pre-registered titles may be coming

According to a recent teardown by the folks at XDA Developers, the Play Store might be picking up a new feature someday that allows it to automatically install titles, like apps or games, that you pre-register to be notified about. That could mean that the next time you want to check out an upcoming mobile game, instead of just being sent an easily-dismissed notification when it finally comes out, it could just be installed on your phone automatically.

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15

Hangouts Meet will now let you use your phone as a mic while your computer handles the video

Yesterday it was revealed that Google was planning on merging several of its corporate-facing products into yet another messaging service to take on the likes of Slack, and today one of those pieces is getting updated with a new feature. Hangouts Meet just picked up the ability to use different sources for audio and video.

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11

Nest thermostats are learning to warn you before your furnace dies

A lot of smart home gadgets are little more than internet-connected versions of the "dumb" things we already had, but Google's Nest thermostats push the envelope with features like automatic scheduling, geofencing, and various weather-aware energy-saving options. Now, Google is testing a feature that could warn you before a small issue in your HVAC system becomes a major emergency. It's rolling out now, and you probably already have it enabled.

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44

Google is killing Google One Today, gives supporters only a week's notice

Today Google has announced that it's killing its One Today service. This isn't the renamed Google Drive paid storage program, but an app-based donation system you've probably never heard of, haven't used, and won't miss. Those still using it have a week before it shuts down.

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29

Google's Area 120 team has created a Pinterest clone called Tangi

Google is a big company with a lot of different projects and groups developing "experimental" products that may never see the light of day. Google's Area 120 division is one such incubator for experimental products, and it has a new thing to show off. It's a Pinterest clone called Tangi because one Pinterest is apparently not enough.

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1

Google's bug bounty program handed out $6.5 million in 2019 following payout increases

Last year, Google seriously stepped up the payouts and categories for its bug bounty programs, and that investment appears to be paying dividends — not just for Google, but for security researchers, too. The company is currently celebrating its most prolific payouts ever for the Vulnerability Reward Program (read: Google's bug bounty), handing out over $6.5 million in rewards. Google claims this is twice as much as the company has ever given out in a previous year — not quite true according to 2018's numbers.

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65

Google app tests a darker shade of gray, shows a few signs of AMOLED black

This post is dedicated to some of our Android Police readers and the most passionate commenters who have repeatedly argued that dark gray doesn't count as a proper dark mode and that absolute black is the only AMOLED-friendly color that matters. I won't dare discuss this further — I once tried, it was futile. Anyway, just for you, AMOLED lovers, the Google app is now testing a darker shade of gray across the app header, though sadly it still counts as gray and not black. However, if you look closely, you'll notice some full black elements have started popping up in the Google app.

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13

Add to playlist button appears in Google Podcasts for some, but it doesn't work yet

A new "add to playlist" button is appearing for some in Google Podcasts. As of now, trying to actually use the button doesn't do anything, but its inclusion is likely an indicator that playlist/queuing functionality will eventually come to the app, a frequent complaint against Google Podcasts since it launched.

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76

Google wants to take on Slack and Microsoft Teams by making another messaging service

Google has so far had a love-hate relationship with messaging services, as it threw several of them against the wall, but only a few stuck, and that too not for long. But this didn’t deter the company from renewing its efforts to make another attempt, this time for businesses. A report by The Information suggests that Google could unify its existing communication services into a workplace-oriented app to stand against Slack and Microsoft Teams.

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30

Native call recording seems almost ready for launch in latest Google Phone app beta

Google has offered call transcriptions as part of its call screening service on Pixel phones for some time already, but we know the company is also working on native actual call recording in its Phone app. Following hints in the form of code strings in versions, XDA Developers managed to activate and use call recording for the first time on the current Phone beta, 44.0.291987060, which has also received a minor icon facelift.

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