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27

Android adds Focus mode in Digital Wellbeing to curb distractions when you're working [APK Download]

Digital Wellbeing's features are being heavily emphasized since Android Pie. During I/O 2019, Google announced several enhancements to the embedded service including parental controls (which are already live), per-app grayscale settings (not yet), and Focus mode. The latter is now available in the latest Digital Wellbeing beta v.1.0.263.

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10

Oops: Google listed the wrong phone number to its product advice hotline for months

Back in May, Google rolled out a new product consultation service to help folks in their smart home deliberations — and maybe point them at a few Google/Nest products. While you could arrange for an in-home appointment in parts of southern California, most of us had to make do with the toll-free hotline. There was just one catch: Google had the wrong number for that hotline listed on product pages for months. 

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5

Google publishes Play Store policies for personal loan apps

You might have noticed a proliferation of personal loan apps in the Play Store as of late. Sure, a lot of them have innovative ways to dress up a loan, but they still encourage people to borrow money. Google has published new rules in the Google Play developer policies aimed at preventing predatory loan apps from taking root in the store.

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16

How to add a homescreen shortcut to your Google Assistant reminders

A few weeks ago, Google rolled out an update to reminders that switched the interface from a native in-app one to a web-based UI (presumably only for the English language). As a result, we've been discovering several related changes, some of them good like the unbundled notifications, others bad like the reliance on Assistant and lack of support for G Suite users. Today's discovery falls on the positive side of the scale: reminders can now be accessed through a browser and can thus be pinned to your homescreen.

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4

Pick up a Pixel 3a XL for just $380 ($99 off) at Rakuten

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL are pretty much already a steal at full price. For the XL's $479, you get one of the best cameras in mobile photography, fast software updates, and a big ol' six-inch display. Right now, Rakuten members can get it for even less: just $380.

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28

Google is killing another redundant chat service, YouTube messages

One of Google's most hidden messaging "clients" is the one built into YouTube. The feature was first privately tested as shared videos in May of 2016, but took more than a whole year to be available to everyone. It was then renamed to Messages and bundled with notifications in YouTube's Activity tab, but remained mobile-only until 2018 when it started showing up on the web. Now, the feature has been officially put on life-support and will be pronounced dead on September 18.

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135

Every new Android Q feature [Updated with Beta 6]

It's that time of the year again. Google has pushed out betas for its latest, greatest, as-yet-unnamed version of Android: Q. Your eagle-eyed Android Police editors have been combing through looking for new features, changes, improvements, and even setbacks. We've enumerated everything we've found here, together with a brief description of what's new since the last Beta. So, let's take a look at Android Q.

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21

YouTube Music is now integrated in Waze

Many of us use a phone for navigation in the car — the benefits of apps like Waze can't be overstated to commuters in busy cities. Waze is especially useful since the app even integrates controls for other music apps directly, so you don't have to swipe between apps or pull down the notification tray just to pause or skip tracks. Fixing a noteworthy and somewhat embarrassing omission, YouTube music now joins the ranks of other music apps which can integrate directly with Waze's controls.

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5

Google Lens will likely come to Chrome for Android in a future update

In one form or another, Google Lens has been a useful companion to Android users for quite some time. Just as Google is trying to integrate Assistant with each and every service it offers, the company is also looking to expand the reach of Lens. On Tuesday, Chrome Story noticed evidence pointing to Lens integration in Chrome for Android that we can expect to see in a future version of the browser.

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12

Beware: Using Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri to call businesses could connect you to scammers instead

Voice assistants make our lives easier for the most part. Instead of having to get up to turn on the lights, we can simply ask them to do it for us. Similarly, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa allow you to call businesses via voice, with no need to input a phone number anywhere. There are risks associated with blindly calling unknown numbers, though. According to the Better Business Bureau, some scammers have apparently gamed Google and Amazon's phone number ranking systems. Unsuspecting users could end up talking to an imposter instead of the desired business.

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