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19

Google Assistant continues to mean well with socially relevant, utterly cringeworthy songs

Google Assistant continues to mean well with socially relevant, utterly cringeworthy songs

The Google Assistant team seems to enjoy coming up with little ditties that its AI voice helper can sing to you, whether it's about washing your hands, Halloween, New Year, or wearing a mask. This latest number is all about encouraging us to take the vaccine — an important topic, but it's not Google's best musical work, I must say.

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5

Samsung’s Bixby assistant has been busy learning Indian English

Samsung’s Bixby assistant has been busy learning Indian English

Samsung is not only notorious for shipping duplicate apps but also packing its own voice assistant along with Android's default Google Assistant. If you live in India and wish Bixby could understand you better, you might be happy to learn that Samsung is finally adding support for Indian English.

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44

Samsung continues to update more devices to One UI 3.1 — here's the complete list

Samsung continues to update more devices to One UI 3.1 — here's the complete list

One UI 3.1 has been rolling out to older Galaxy devices quickly in the last few months. Despite only being an incremental upgrade over 3.0, it carries over several useful features from the Galaxy S21 to its older siblings. Over the last few weeks, One UI 3.1 has arrived for several mid-range devices and some T-Mobile variants.

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36

Google Pay India adds new cards for tap and pay — these are all the banks it supports so far

Google Pay India adds new cards for tap and pay — these are all the banks it supports so far

Google Pay in India (formerly Tez) quickly rose in popularity to become almost synonymous with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) — the very platform it’s based on. Last September, the company announced plans to expand beyond UPI payments to support tokenized cards, but nothing materialized even months after that initial teaser. It looks like Google Pay India is finally adding credit and debit cards as a supported payment option, though it isn't live for everyone yet.

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23

YouTube is testing Premium music controls for those who won’t switch to YouTube Music

YouTube is testing Premium music controls for those who won’t switch to YouTube Music

Even though Google offers a dedicated music application, a good chunk of people still can't shake the habit of catching their favorite tracks on YouTube. Google previously tried to prompt users to switch to YT Music, but it seems like it's tired of doing so as it's testing a new YouTube interface that's meant to improve the music listening experience.

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7

Google plans to overhaul Chrome media controls to mimic Android 11 even further

Google plans to overhaul Chrome media controls to mimic Android 11 even further

Not too long ago, Google introduced global media controls to Chrome on desktops. It adds a button with media playback controls to the right of the address bar whenever you watch or listen to content on any website. While it's already incredibly helpful in its current state, Google is looking to improve it even further, as an avid Redditor found out.

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22

Google would really like you to start using its Photos print service, pretty please

Google would really like you to start using its Photos print service, pretty please

Google Photos is one of the best cloud backup services you can find today, even if it's about to lose its most valuable feature. It's a great photo management tool, with or without unlimited free backups. If you already have your entire collection stored in Google's cloud, you should make sure you're taking advantage of all of the other tools available. Some new UI changes are coming to Photos that bring sharing and ordering prints into the spotlight.

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101

False alarm: Google isn't planning a new free Photo backup plan for Pixels

False alarm: Google isn't planning a new free Photo backup plan for Pixels

Google Photos is dropping its free unlimited "high quality" backups for non-Pixels at the end of this month. Apparently, the company decided it's time to start cashing in on one of its best products and pushing more customers to paid Google One plans. While Google's current stance doesn't make any future Pixels eligible for free unlimited backups, a new "storage saver" tier was seen in a teardown by 9to5Google. While they first thought it could be a new unlimited photo storage plan, Google has since confirmed it's just a name-change being considered for the existing "high quality" option.

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2

Samsung's best smartwatch is at an all-time low price on Amazon right now

Samsung's best smartwatch is at an all-time low price on Amazon right now

Samsung's Tizen watches are a great pick for Android users who don't care about access to the Play Store. Among those watches, the Watch3 is both the newest and the best. It's a pricey sucker, though, with MSRPs approaching $500 for the highest-trim option. Today, though, Amazon's got great deals on both the 41- and 45-millimeter Bluetooth models, starting at $230.

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34

Your Google account is going to take two steps to sign in whether you want it or not

Your Google account is going to take two steps to sign in whether you want it or not

Google wants all of its users to add a second step to authenticate their logins and it's ready to impose this security hurdle on as many people as possible at once. The company has announced that it'll do just that sometime soon.

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