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artem made me write this


Chromebooks managed through Google Family Link can now install any extensions

Earlier this month, Google whitelisted a few extensions for kids' Chromebooks managed via Family Link, like Zoom, Hangouts, and some educational tools — only installable with parental permission, of course. This makes life easier for those who need to rely on video conferences for learning during these stay-at-home times, but it's still a tiny selection. To improve the situation, Google is now testing support for all extensions on managed Chromebooks in Chrome OS 83+ (we tested using Dev 83 and 84).

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Phones keep getting faster and the Play Store still runs like trash

Google's Play Store has a few different negative associations, even among Android users, depending on who you talk to. Some developers find they don't get enough support from the company when they run into issues, and less savvy customers have to wade through piles of low-effort and low-quality app clones loaded with ads at best, and malware at worst. But pretty much everyone can agree that the Play Store app itself could be better. While the experience varies, switching between sections, updating apps, and even just scrolling can be a janky, stuttery experience, even on the fastest smartphones.

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Sony just released a phone running Android 9 Pie

Sony's mobile division has made some curious decisions in recent years despite still making some decent hardware. Cinematic 21:9 displays are the Japanese OEM's current design differentiator, but it's last few models have failed to capture consumer imagination or claim much market share. The last thing you'd advise the company to do in this moment is launch a phone worthy of ridicule — but alas, that's what it has done.

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Android stability flaw is causing some phones (mostly Pixels) to freeze up completely

Several of us at AP, myself included, have noticed a concerning stability issue on Google Pixel devices in recent weeks that causes the whole system UI to become unresponsive. According to the many replies to Artem's tweet on the subject (below), users of phones from other OEMs also complain about the issue, so it might be a more widespread Android bug rather than one limited to Google-made devices.

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Credit Karma picks up support for Pixel 4 face unlock


BART rolling out in-app payments for daily parking starting with 5 stations

As a Bay Area-based website, this story might be a bit inside baseball to a lot of you, but screw it, Silicon Valley is The Best Valley. And if you work around here, you probably know what parking at a BART station lot is like — if you're not on the EZ Rider program, it's rather time-consuming. Fortunately, the official BART app has just been updated to support in-app payments for Daily Fee parking at five stations right now.

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SwiftKey ruins its toolbar by removing scrolling and forcing a permanent support button

SwiftKey has been working on a new design in its beta that completely rethinks its toolbar and makes it less customizable, but we have always hoped the developers wouldn't push the update to stable in that form. Unfortunately, the new Play Store release of the keyboard includes the dreaded changes to the toolbar that remove scrolling and thus limit the total amount of custom functions to five while adding a useless permanent support button.

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Wealthfront adds face unlock biometric API, joining the Pixel 4-friendly club


QuakeAlertUSA might become your early earthquake warning app of choice

Anyone who lives near what's called the Ring of Fire is aware of "the big one" coming. Earthquakes are some of the most devastating natural disasters to occur in a short span of time. And while scientists have been able to develop an early warning system, it can only give people a moment's notice to take shelter — but every second counts. One such app that has recently come out is QuakeAlertUSA from Early Warning Labs.

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FYI: Find My Device doesn't need to be on in 'Device admin apps' to remotely wipe or lock your phone on Android 10

If your Android phone is lost or stolen, the platform's built-in Find My Device functionality can help track down, lock, or remotely wipe it, though a change in Android 10 has led to some confusion among our readers. Find My Device has a setting in "Device admin apps," which grants it extra privileges it claims are required to remotely wipe and lock devices, and it appears to be disabled by default on many Android 10 devices, including the Pixel 4. Don't worry, though, you don't need to turn it back on. It turns out, Find My Device doesn't need it to work on Android 10.

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