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113

Google gifts Maps a new icon and redesigned interface for its 15th birthday (Update: Rolling out widely)

For many, Google Maps has become an indispensable tool for finding restaurants, exploring new cities, sightseeing, and navigation. Some younger folks probably can't imagine a world without the service, but yet, Maps has only turned 15 today. To celebrate the occasion, Google has refreshed its product with a new icon, a redesign, and improved bottom bar categories.

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108

Here are 371 apps and games available on Google Play Pass right now (Update: 31 more)

People have been wondering about the full roster of launch titles featured in Google Play Pass — supposedly, we've got over 350 of them to go through. Here's the thing: Google doesn't make it easy to suss out all of the apps participating in the program, whether through the Play Store or external documentation on associated Google sites. Great. Well, guess what? We're gonna give it a try and list as many apps on Play Pass as possible.

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33

Amazon stocks Google Fi SIMs now, too (Updated)

In all the years that Google Fi (formerly Project Fi) has existed, you had to order SIM cards online from Google to activate your phone. Now, there's another way to get them. Just swing by your local Best Buy store, and you might be able to pick up a Fi SIM for a couple of bucks.

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7

The FTC is looking into Google's acquisitions over the last decade

The FTC has decided to look into some past acquisitions made by Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, going back to 2010, asking them now to provide information that wasn't previously required under existing anti-trust regulations. The Commission claims it wants to deepen its understanding of these sorts of smaller acquisitions to better determine if they could be preventing competition in previously unanticipated ways, though it doesn't currently claim any of the companies involved were engaging in anti-competitive behavior.

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17

Try these 8 Google Assistant commands to spruce up your Valentine's

Hello Android Police readers, here is your host with an important announcement: Valentine's Day is only two days away. For the forgetful ones among you who like to celebrate the occasion, that means there's just enough time to catch up and plan a good surprise or get a decent gift. To further help you with your romantic endeavors, Google has added a few special commands to Assistant — no, we're not talking about "Hey Google, play Get Lucky," even if that might work too.

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49

Get a Pixel 4 for as little as $400 at T-Mobile

The Galaxy S20 is the hot new smartphone on the block, but if you're on T-Mobile, you can get get a brand new Pixel 4 for less than half the price of the Galaxy S20. Both the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are $400 off at T-Mobile, dropping the base model to $400 and the XL version to $500.

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51

Google officially introduces emoji mashup stickers on Gboard as 'Emoji Kitchen' (Updated)

Gboard is constantly under construction as Google keeps finding ways to improve one of the most used tools on our phones. The latest experiment looks extremely similar to an earlier test that added GIF and sticker suggestions for emoji last year. This time, the company is experimenting with stickers that put one emoji's emotion on another emoji's shape, and the results can be hilarious.

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19

YouTube lets you donate to creators and videos you like by buying a $2 applause

YouTube creators can make money in several different ways: video ad monetization, channel memberships, Super Chats and Super Stickers in live broadcasts, merchandise sales, sponsored product placements, affiliate links for purchases, etc... But if most of these felt too impersonal for you and you just wished you could tip your favorite creator, no strings attached, you'll have a way to do this soon.

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16

Google says Galaxy Z Flip's split-screen mode will be available to other OEMs

Yesterday, Samsung launched its second foldable, the Galaxy Z Flip, which could shape up to be a more than worthy competitor to the Motorola Razr. In cooperation with Google, the company has added a nifty split-screen feature to the phone that divides apps' interfaces into top and bottom halves when you fold it into a laptop-esque "flex mode." This innovation turns things like Duo video calls into hands-free operations with quick access to the mute option, the end call button, and the camera switcher. Now Google has shared with The Verge that future foldables from other manufacturers will be able to implement this mode, too.

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25

Samsung is baking Google Duo into the Galaxy S20's dialer app

Out of all of Google's recent messaging efforts, at least one has been an actual hit, reaching near-ubiquity for Android users: Duo. The video messaging app/service has also caught Samsung's attention, and the company has just announced that Duo will see direct integration into Samsung's Galaxy S20.

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