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Google Earth View has more than 1,000 new wallpaper images for your phones and PCs

Some people fly on planes. Other people fly in their dreams. And while we'd have some idea of how it'd feel to be up there looking down on the world, thank goodness for the advent of camera-equipped satellites to give us the best views of our planet. And if you happen to like a good satellite image as your phone's wallpaper, you're now spoiled for choice as Google Earth has added over a thousand high-quality images available for download from its Earth View Gallery.

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18

Google Assistant's 'What's on my screen' makes a surprise comeback after disappearing last May

Google Assistant has become quite notorious for its fickle features. One day something works, the other not. An excellent example of that is "What's on my screen?" which has disappeared and reappeared so many times we've nearly lost count. The last time it went away was in May of 2019, and now nine months later, it's making a surprise comeback.

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2

Google will require two-factor authentication for Nest accounts starting this spring (Update)

Account security is always important, but that's especially true when you're talking about security cameras. These devices offer a window into your home, and you don't want anyone else peering through them. Camera hacks resulting from lax password security often make the news, and Google is looking to avoid that with a new account security measure. Starting this spring, all Nest accounts will require two-factor authentication.

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0

Google prevented 1.9 billion Android malware installs in 2019, still has a long way to go

With recent scam apps incidents in mind, it might look like Google isn't very good at keeping malware and fraud out of the Play Store, but the company is hard at work to allow as little in as possible. It has shared today that thanks to security advancements, it could keep more than 790,000 policy-violating apps from entering the Play Store, and has also prevented more than 1.9 billion malware installs from sources outside of its distribution platform in 2019.

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30

New 'ultra low power' mode spotted in Android source code, could be tied to future Pixels

A new, even lower-power mode may be coming to Android phones in the future. XDA Developers' Mishaal Rahman spotted a commit made to the AOSP (Android's source code), which adds a new "ultra-low power state" to future versions of Android, and circumstantial details indicate it might be destined for an upcoming Pixel phone.

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26

Google Assistant Ambient Mode is rolling out to recent OnePlus phones

Google made it possible to have a Nest Hub-like experience on your mobile screen—be it phone or tablet—using the Assistant-based Ambient Mode. The feature was released with support for a handful of devices, but it soon expanded to include some popular Nokia and Xiaomi phones, plus some the Lenovo tablets. Today, OnePlus announced that it is rolling out this Ambient Mode to its range of flagship handsets released after 2016.

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4

AR Live View for Google Maps broken for some Pixel 4 and 4 XLs, but a fix is rolling out

Google rolled out its augmented reality "Live View" navigation for Google Maps last year, but it looks like not everyone has been able to enjoy it. For some Pixel 4 owners, the feature doesn't appear, leaving many with Google's own flagship unable to use one of Google Maps' coolest features.

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56

Ok Google, don't be derpy: Assistant plays a song every time this guy tries to turn off his lights

As Google crams more and more capabilities into Assistant, we've noticed a bit of a decline in the virtual helper's "intelligence." Things that used to work well have become hit-and-miss, others that seem obvious to our human brains are handled in a ridiculously dumb way, but at no point in time has Assistant shown off its true cluelessness better than in this latest bug, which is affecting one of our readers. Each time he wants to turn off the lights, he gets a YouTube video of a song about turning off the lights. Genius.

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18

Google Pay (Tez) for India gets a Material Design makeover to improve usability (Update: Broader availability) (APK Download)

The Indianized version of Google Pay has cornered the largest chunk of India’s UPI market, piggybacking the username-based P2P payment system. Launched as Tez, Google rebranded the app to Pay following the global consolidation of its payment solutions, though the app retained its distinct functionality that contrasts with its stateside counterpart. About two years into its existence, the app is now getting a design change under Google’s refreshed material guidelines, tidying up some of its UI elements.

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6

Bahasa Indonesia and Thai now supported on Google Home and Nest speakers (Updated)

Google Assistant has supported the Indonesian language on phones and TVs since March 2018, but since not all Assistant devices are created equal for languages and features, that meant smart speakers were left out of the loop. That's changing now.

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