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81

Google Play Music's desktop uploader 'Music Manager' is down for many users (Update: Working again)

Despite the launch of YouTube's streaming service, many music fans remain attached to Google Play Music because of one feature: the option to upload up to 50,000 songs from your own collection and listen to them on any device. Over the past days, however, several users have complained about their inability to do just that because the desktop app needed to upload songs, Music Manager, isn't connecting to Google Play.

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32

'Motorcycle mode' in Google Maps is popping up for many in India (Update: More countries)

There are a lot of people in the world who ride motorcycles, especially in more crowded areas where cars don't fit especially well. India is one of those places, and many users there are now noticing a 'motorcycle mode' showing up in their Maps alongside car, train, and walking options.

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43

Arabic support comes to Google Assistant on phones (Update: 15 more Arab countries)

Google Assistant's language support was expanding quickly toward the end of 2018, but since the beginning of this year, the rate of additions slowed down considerably. As Google I/O nears, we're sure to see those pick up pace a little. Case in point, Assistant now supports Arabic (Egypt) and (Saudi Arabia). The former appears to be in open beta and available to all, while the latter is in closed beta and only showing for a few people.

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30

Bug in Google Photos removes tap-and-drag gesture for multiple selection (Update: Fixed)

A recent update to Google Photos is annoying a lot of users by removing the super handy tap-and-drag for selecting multiple images. Not all users are affected and it's not clear if this is a server-side bug or a sign of things to come, but if the latter's the case, then it sure is not a wise decision, Google.

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6

Google and Santa are teaming up to bring the festive spirit to your devices (Update: APK Download)

Christmas Eve is only 20 days out, and as such, Google has teamed up with Santa's Elves just in time to spread the festive spirit around the world. Google Assistant will offer you fresh broadcasts from the North Pole Newscast every day, and the Elves have polished up the Google Santa Tracker, which lets you explore Santa's village starting today.

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9

The unlocked Pixel 4 is down to $599 on eBay ($200 off)

Despite the many things the new Pixel 4 phones do well, one of their more criticized qualities has to be the price tag. Early adopters have grown used to shelling out hundreds of dollars on launch day just to be scorned by steep discounts one month later. If you were't able to grab a Pixel 4 on Black Friday, you're in luck, because you can pick one up on eBay for only $599 ($200 off) right now.

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9

Gmail will soon let you attach multiple emails to a message, save you from forwarding hell

Gmail lets you attach all sorts of things to emails; images, documents, and anything else you can package up as a file on your computer. That's not all—Google heard you like emails, so now you can send an email inside another email (yo dawg). Yes, you will soon be able to send email threads as attachments in Gmail.

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20

Google Fi brings spam protection, VPN encryption, and Wi-Fi calling to more phones

Even after a major rebranding last year that made most Android devices compatible with Google Fi, users have to choose either a Google phone or a specially adapted one from the likes of Motorola to get the full Fi experience. That's because "designed for Fi" phones have unique modem and firmware tailored for the company's MVNO network to enable special features like automatic networking switching. Today's announcement from the Google Fi team, however, should make non-Google phone owners feel less left out, as the company is rolling out some hitherto Fi-only features to more Android devices, such as spam call warnings, Wi-Fi calling, and VPN protection.

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4

Get a free Nest Hub or Nest Mini with the purchase of select Nest products on the Google Store

In addition to the awesome Google Nest Hub with Nest Mini bundle that you can still grab on the Google Store and at other retailers for $79 ($99 off), Google is extending more savings to its entire family of Nest products. Right now, you can snag a free Nest Hub with the purchase of a Nest Hello doorbell for $229 ($129 off) or get a free Nest Mini when you buy any Nest item for $99 or more.

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181

The Pixel 3a is our 2019 Smartphone of the Year

2019 hasn't been what you'd call a huge year for smartphones. In many ways, our phones are more alike than they ever have been, and the things that set them apart are, similarly, less consequential than ever. But that doesn't mean there wasn't a phone that stood out in a really noticeable, important way to the Android Police editorial staff.

That also doesn't mean we all agree on which phone that is. In a vote among Android Police's seven editors (plus Artem), it was a very close race. The winning phone took away four votes to the runner-up's three, and strong arguments were made for both.

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