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What We Use, 2018 Edition: The stuff Rita can't live without

It's been four years since I shared with you all the gadgets and quirky things that I own and love in my previous What We Use post. In the time since, a lot has changed in my personal life. I met the most awesome, weird, and pun-loving man. We got married, moved into an apartment of our own, and started traveling a little more frequently.

But a lot is still the same. I still pull double work duties: I own and manage my pharmacy, and I work here at Android Police, obviously. In between selling drugs and counseling patients, I sit back at my desk, clean up hundreds of emails a day, write a few posts, virtually shout at the entire team if they miss an Oxford comma, and come up with silly or inappropriate jokes.

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[Update: Fix is out] Google Podcasts is failing to refresh or display data for some users

Some users are experiencing issues with Google Podcasts. Upon launching the app, only one podcast loads, but no trending lists or suggestions show up, no list of downloads or progress either, or anything else really. If they tap to open the podcast in question, the episode list stars loading infinitely but never does.

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OnePlus starts a silly new "Unlock your speed" challenge for those who have too much free time on their hands

October 30 can't come soon enough. If the previous weeks are anything to go by, OnePlus will milk the hype machine for its upcoming 6T until the very last drop, trickling down one small announcement every day. It's too much, and personally, I'm starting to feel dirty every time we cave in and cover these antics. But OnePlus fans would burry us in tips if we didn't, so here we are. The latest OnePlus 6T news, however, is nothing short of a majestic clickbait — in all meanings of the term.

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[Update: Again, again, again] Google testing a colorless shapeless Play Store redesign with large Install button

You know those beautiful bold colors that were supposed to make out Material Design? Yup, we've been kissing them goodbye for a long time now and it looks like they might be stripped away from one more app on your phone: the Play Store.

A couple of users have started seeing a new Play Store interface that takes away the green title and notification bar, replaces them with a white one. It also takes away the green background behind the What's new section for changelogs and replaces it with white.

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Motorola lists all devices getting Android 9 Pie

While Android Pie rolls out to phones from Google and Essential, most OEMs haven't announced which devices will receive the update. HTC revealed a few days ago which of its phones are being updated, and now it's Motorola's turn.

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Final version of Android 9 Pie hits AOSP


Most of our readers are probably aware that Android is an open source effort, with much of code that comprises a working image being publicly accessible—in fact, that openness is a big chunk of why people like me prefer it to other platforms. So I'm especially happy to see that the current/final Android 9 changes are hitting AOSP.

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Google Home now understands room context, only adjusts nearby lights

Controlling smart home devices by voice can feel almost like magic. If you've got a Google Home and compatible connected lights, all you have to do is ask, and bam, illumination. Up until recently, any command involving smart lights translated to "do this to every light in the house;" not particularly intuitive. But lately, such commands have started applying to only the lights in the room you're currently in.

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[Update: Working again] Deal alert: Lenovo's 10" Smart Display is already $200 at Costco ($50 off)

Yesterday, Google and Lenovo formally announced the unimaginatively named Lenovo Smart Display after teasing us with it for months. The assistant-powered screen and speaker combo was set to go on sale today, with pricing revealed to be $199 for the 8" model and $250 for the 10". Humorously enough, you can already pick up the larger model for the price of the smaller thanks to Costco, which has it for $50 off/$200 a mere day or so after it was revealed. 

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Snapchat's payment feature is shutting down August 30

Snapchat introduced 'Snapcash' in 2014, as a way for users to send each other money. The feature wasn't a great idea from the start, especially when combined with Snapchat's popularity for sharing explicit photos. Now it appears Snapchat is dropping Snapcash entirely.

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Searching '420' in Google Photos does exactly what you think it does

Google Photos knows everything about you, and by "everything" we mean everything. Yes, including your 4/20 activities. Your smoke vapors have gone all the way up to its cloud servers and it can find every single one of them. You must have thought this is pot-entially harmless, but knowing Google, that weed be a little naive. 

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