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27

Google Photos face grouping is finally rolling out across Europe

One of Google Photos' neatest (or creepiest, depending on who you ask) tricks is its ability to recognize the same face across different angles, lighting conditions, and even ages, and let you assign it a searchable name. The feature was available in the US from the get-go, but that wasn't the case everywhere. Now, face grouping is rolling out across Europe, according to Engadget.

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11

PDF editing is coming to Google Drive app for G Suite users, but you can’t sign on the dotted line

You're out and about and you've just been emailed a contract you've been waiting for. All you need to do is fill it out and send it back. The problem is that the file is in PDF, meaning you'll be mucking around with different apps and maybe even a purchase or two to get a simple job done. Well, Google Drive is about to save G Suite users some of that hassle as it will now allow you to fill out structured PDFs on either Android or iOS.

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4

Lenovo Smart Clock update adds photo slideshows and Continued Conversation

The Lenovo Smart Clock is the first (and still only) Assistant-powered clock. It looks like a smart display, but it's not as capable as a Nest Hub or Lenovo Smart Display. The new update will bring it a bit closer, though. Google and Lenovo will help you enjoy some memories and spend less time talking to your clock.

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7

Bose announces Portable Home Speaker with built-in Google Assistant and a battery

There are a lot of Assistant-powered smart speakers out there these days, but portable speakers with the same functionality and the benefit of a battery are less common, especially from higher-end brands. But today, Bose is announcing its new Portable Home Speaker, with both Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa built-in, plus AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, all powered by a battery that lasts up to 12 hours. As a Bose product, sound quality is sure to please, though it comes with a Bose-appropriate $350 price tag.

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122

Android will look a little different in 2019, and the bugdroid is losing his body

After a sit-down with members of Android's brand design team in the company's new Mountain View office last month, the headline of this post was essentially what I came away with. Android's visual branding is changing as part of the release of Android 10, but that's in and of itself only a tiny part of Android, and it's really not changing a lot.

What I can tell you is it's a lot easier to give you some visuals, then explain what exactly is happening, so let's start with the pictures.

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53

Google reportedly planning a new, louder 'Nest Mini' with 3.5mm jack, wall mount, and proximity awareness

Google's Home Mini smart speaker debuted all the way back in 2017, from which point it's worked its way into almost every cheap internet giveaway or coupon deal in the last two years. According to 9to5Google, a second-generation "Nest Mini" is planned, which will bring better audio quality, wall-mounting, "proximity awareness," and a 3.5mm jack — a feature even the hotly anticipated Pixel 4 doesn't have.

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26

[Update: Google denies reports] Google Play Store silently extends app review to all submissions, fails to inform developers

The Play Store has often been compared to the wild west; which may be good or bad, depending on your perspective. Unlike Apple's App Store and the Amazon AppStore, developers have long been free to publish their apps without going through a lengthy curation stage, and only those that contained malware or used restricted APIs were blocked. However, it appears Google may have quietly instigated a more involved review process that impacts every app and update.

Back in April, an Android Developers blog post mentioned that Google would be taking more time to examine apps from devs that hadn't established a track record with the Play Store.

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194

[Update: Now official] Google rolls out new Material Play Store interface with bottom navigation bar

Last month we reported the Play Store was about to get a design overhaul, including a new navigation bar that moved to the bottom of the screen. Although this could only be activated by fiddling with feature flags when we published our initial post, Google is now widely rolling out the new interface to users.

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34

Hangouts shutdown delayed for G Suite users until at least June 2020

Google is delaying the shutdown of its longtime internet protocol chat and call app, Hangouts. G Suite users were originally told that Hangouts would be retired starting in October. Now, the deadline for G Suite customers to move has now been pushed back to "no sooner than June 2020."

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