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Google offering consultations to people who are considering buying Google and Nest products

Google wants to sell you a phone. And a speaker. And a thermostat. Maybe a stick for your TV, too. Not convinced? The company is trying to get you to let it convince you to buy its wares with a new product consultation hotline. And if a service rep isn't breathless enough for you, customers in Southern California can even book in-home appointments.

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[Update: Now live] Google extending mail-in repair service for out-of-warranty Pixels to Europe

Here in the US, Google has had its own mail-in repair center set up for Pixel phones for around eight months. In the rest of the world, though, Google offers nothing of the sort, instead pointing customers to recommended walk-in and mail-in service centers via a support page. These support pages have just been updated, indicating that official mail-in services will soon be offered in a number of European countries.

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Google faces first GDPR investigation in Europe

Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is more than a scheme to add another pop-up to every site you visit. It's a framework of regulations that govern how companies can use the data collected about people online. As perhaps the largest handler of personal data online, Google would inevitably face GDPR inquiries. Today, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has initiated the first GDPR investigation of Google, probing whether or not it misused data in order to target advertising.

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InBrief
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Google search results on mobile now placing URLs above page titles

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[Update: It's official, APK Download] Google Drive dark mode is showing up for some users

Google in 2017-2018: "Whiten all the things!" Google in late 2018-2019: "Darken all the things!" Things have evolved from the eye-searing white and every few days, we see a new app embrace its darker side and offer a black or dark grey mode for sensitive eyeballs and AMOLED displays. The latest to test the waters of a dark mode is Google Drive.

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[Update: Up for pre-order] The long-awaited Lenovo Smart Clock will likely go on sale imminently

When the Lenovo Smart Clock was unveiled at CES in January, it was hard not to want one despite the $79.99 price tag. It's a tiny smart display with a 4-inch screen made specifically for your nightstand and it's undeniably adorable. It's been pretty much radio silence since the announcement, however, with only a vague Spring arrival touted. New pages just added to the Lenovo support site suggest we won't have to wait much longer.

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[Update: 18 more banks] Google Pay adds 16 US banks and credit unions to its already enormous support list

Even though Google Pay is already supported by around 2,000 banks, Google somehow keeps finding new banks and credit unions to add. 14 more banks and credit unions in the US have been added with this update, though we fully expect to see even more in the coming weeks.

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Android Q Bluetooth settings and notifications will focus on battery levels, Find My Accessories coming to Fast Pair

Google's streamlined Bluetooth pairing protocol for Android devices, Fast Pair, is about to support way more devices — not just Chromebooks, as previously promised, but more headphones, earbuds, speakers, and even smartwatches — and get a lot more useful for people who have lost a wireless earbud around the house. The company is also preparing a UI revamp for Bluetooth settings in Android Q.

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Mysterious Bluetooth-only Google device gets FCC approval

It's not uncommon that we learn about new products through FCC filings — just about anything that communicates wirelessly has to get the Commission's approval before going on sale in the US. Usually, the filings give us some inkling of what the product may be. Not this time, though: the FCC has approved a new Google product, and all we know about it is that it communicates solely via Bluetooth.

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Google Assistant rolls out to several Bose speakers and soundbars

Back in August last year, Bose unveiled two soundbars and a smart home speaker that came built-in with Alexa. This move was somewhat surprising given the company chose to integrate Assistant into the refreshed QC35, but the manufacturer did say other voice assistants would make their way to its speakers at a later stage. This is now the case, as an automatic software update brings Google’s digital helper to the Home Speaker 500, Soundbar 500, and Soundbar 700. The feature will also be available on the Home Speaker 300, a new compact product that will be available this summer.

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