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Broadcasting messages to a single Google or Nest Home is rolling out again to some users

It's been more than a couple of years since Google added a broadcast functionality to its Home speakers, but the feature was an all-or-nothing approach. You could either send the message to all speakers in a home or none at all. Now, and for the second time in a few months, it seems that Google is rolling out to some users an option to broadcast to a single speaker or room, an improvement we've wanted for more than two years.

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Google Nest Hub and Nest Cam Indoor get permanent price drops in Europe

When Google rolled out its updated Nest Aware subscription pricing last month, it celebrated by giving two products permanent price drops in the US. Similar reductions are now live across Europe, too, so more people can grab a Nest Hub and/or Nest Cam Indoor for a new low price and upgrade their smart home security.

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Apple Music gets gapless playback on Android (APK download)

A few months after Apple Music expanded to more than 50 new countries, the service's Android app is in for some treats. An update to version 3.3.0 adds some features that music lovers will be happy about, like gapless playback, enhancements to downloads, and the usual "improved overall app performance."

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New Google accounts will have stronger default location and web privacy settings

Last year, Google users could start limiting how long the company could hold on to their activity on apps, the web, and with location logging. But from today, the company will turn on these so-called auto-delete controls by default when people create new accounts and use its services. This is but one of a slew of changes it is making to improve user comfort on its platform.

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YouTube Music now lets you swipe on album artwork to change songs

YouTube Music has picked up a familiar feature: the ability to swipe on album art in the Now Playing interface to change tracks. It's a surprising omission, and it hasn't rolled out to everyone yet, but customers coming from Google Play Music and other streaming services like Spotify will appreciate it.

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OnePlus 'Nord' might be the name of the long-rumored budget phone

The "Nord" name seems to be attached to an upcoming OnePlus product — likely the rumored mid-range phone we've heard so much about recently. A since-deleted post on the company's "onepluslitezthing" Instagram account included an image with the "Nord" and "OnePlus Nord" names, with text that said it was "almost ready for launch."

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Samsung's first-gen Galaxy Buds are now just $76 on eBay

The Galaxy Buds+ are the hot new audio product on the block, but the first-generation Galaxy Buds are still an excellent buy (especially at recently-reduced prices). Last month, you could get refurbished Galaxy Buds from Best Buy for just $60, but now they are available new from eBay for only a bit more money.

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Xiaomi publishes its Calendar app on the Play Store (APK Download)

One of my favorite things about how Android handles apps is the streamlined process of updating them through the Play Store. Rather than waiting for a full system update just to fix a small bug in an app, phone-makers can push fixes through the Play Store as soon as the software is ready. Following its file browser, launcher, and many other apps, Xiaomi's Calendar is now available on the Store as well.

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Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) review: The good, cheap Android tablet Google won't build

I think it's fair to say that Amazon's lineup of Fire tablets don't have the best reputation, particularly in the tech community. Fire tablets have historically paired bottom-of-the-barrel hardware with outdated versions of Android, and Amazon's extensive changes to the operating system aren't widely loved. The tablets also don't ship with the Google Play Store, though that at least is a quick fix.

Amazon has been selling the same Fire HD 8 since 2018, but the company finally released a new model last month. It brings most of the improvements from last year's Fire HD 10 to the 8-inch lineup, including USB Type-C and faster performance, and I think it's a pretty great buy for $90.

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Oculus discontinues the Gear VR-based Go headset

Virtual reality company Oculus used to have a tight partnership with Samsung, to the point where both company's devices shared the same software ecosystem. The Oculus Go was released in 2018 as a self-contained VR headset, with a Snapdragon 821 processor and full compatibility with games built for Samsung's Gear VR. Sadly, it's now time to say goodbye to the headset.

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