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[Update: Allo for web is live] Allo v16 prepares for hotword detection, sporting events, birthdays, and more

A new update to Google's Allo app began rolling out to users today, bringing it to version 16. We're still looking for new features that may have gone live with this release, but nothing has turned up yet and the Allo team still hasn't posted anything about what to expect from this update. While we keep looking – and waiting for that web client – there is quite a bit in this update that warrants a teardown. There are a lot of small tweaks and features on the horizon, so let's get straight to it.

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Many Happy Returns: Google+ Is Four Years Old Today

Love it or loathe it - and plenty of people seem to do both - it doesn't look like Google's most recent attempt at a social network is going anywhere soon. Today marks four years since Google+ was first introduced as an invite-only beta, after which it rapidly expanded with an Android app and hooks into nearly every Google web and mobile service. Google continues to update and refine Google+ on a regular basis.

Estimated users of Google+ are over 500 million, though those numbers are deceptive - there are close to a billion users of Gmail, which automatically creates a Google+ page for new accounts.

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[Birthday] Google Maps Turns 10 Years Old Today, Let's Take A Look Back

It might be hard to believe, but the Google Maps we know and love launched 10 years ago today. Before Android, Chrome, Google Plus, Youtube, and most of the other services that make up the core of the Google experience, we had Maps. And while it might be saying too much to argue that Maps led the way to Google's recent successes, it is certainly under-appreciated for its role.

The Beginning

Google Maps wasn't the first online map service. It also didn't obviously relate to Google's claim to fame: search. It's important to remember that by 2005, Google was no start-up anymore.

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