Breaking: It's not just you, a bunch of Google services are down right now

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[Update: File size confusion] Clear gigabytes of cached Chrome storage you probably forgot existed

If you're like me using an Android device, you probably browse the web with Chrome because it exists in plain sight and does the job you want it to do (and if you're not me, we've got an article for you). What it doesn't do a good job of, though, is telling you just how much stuff the sites you visit are caching into your phone — which will be particularly stressful for those surviving on 32GB, 16GB, or even 8GB disks. Fortunately, you can do something about it.

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Chrome experimenting with 'back/forward cache' that speeds up web browsing

When you navigate to a new page in a web browser, the previous page you had open is usually discarded from your computer's memory. There might be cached images and other data left over, but if you press back, your browser has to load most of the page again. Google Chrome's developers are experimenting with a new 'back/forward cache' that would make loading the previous page instant.

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Spotify separates downloads from cache, lets you delete only the latter

The list of small things that are wrong with Spotify seems to get longer instead of shorter with passing time. But today, we're opening your eyes to a small improvement that happened in the last few weeks. Spotify added storage management inside its settings and now finally lets you delete cache without removing your offline downloads too.

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Google Photos will now cache videos you've watched to avoid using more data when replaying them

There are a handful of Google services that virtually everyone uses, and Google Photos has managed to squeeze into that select group. Over the two years it's been out, Photos has accumulated over 500 million users as of May 2017. Although the service still isn't perfect, it's getting there. The latest update enables watched videos to be cached so that they won't use up more data when replayed.

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Tip: Turn On This Chrome Flag To Enable 'Show Saved Copy' Button And Load Cached Pages When Offline [Updated]

Loading up a website without a connection established is a real shame. Instead of the information you were looking for, Chrome shows you a dinosaur and an error message. You're left sitting there, out of luck.

But if there's a cached version lying around, Chrome can display that instead. There's an experimental flag available that turns this feature on. Just look for the "Enable Show Saved Copy Button" that you can find at chrome://flags/#show-saved-copy

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Elusive Google Support Page Confirms Play Store Gift Cards Will Be US-Only At Launch, Reveals Available Denominations

It looks like the biggest leak of the Play Store's soon-to-launch gift cards may be coming from Google itself. A support page showed up in search indices (that has now been pulled) which confirms the cards will be US-only at launch and will come in $10, $15, $25, and $50 increments. Through some Google-fu, we've also learned your Google Play balance will have a $2000 limit and cannot be used on subscriptions or devices. So, sorry about your plans to buy a hundred $50 gift cards and then buy 25 Nexus 7s. That's forbidden.


Below is what we've been able to piece together of the currently-unavailable page.

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Kongregate Makes A Few Tweaks To Its App, Submits It To The Android Market Once More

Having your app unceremoniously pulled from the Market just a few short hours after it launches can certainly be discouraging, but the developers behind Kongregate Arcade didn't let that stop them from trying again.

Indeed, Kongregate Arcade has returned to the Android Market, albeit with a few tweaks intended to please Google. Most importantly, the app no longer downloads game data to users' SD cards; instead, the information is stored in the standard browser cache (Kongregate Arcade is actually a WebKit-based browser with some heavy modifications). Additionally, the address bar is visible when the app is loading a game (though it switches back to full-screen mode shortly afterward); in the original version, the URL was completely hidden from the user.

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Google Maps Update Bringing 3D Buildings, Offline Caching "In A Matter Of Days"

After Andy Rubin showed off a Honeycomb-running Motorola tablet, he proceeded to demo the latest version of Google Maps. The update promises a 3D viewing mode, compass orientation, and offline caching of maps. But, perhaps best of all, Rubin claimed that "it'll be on cellphones in a matter of days."

The biggest change is the ability to render 3D buildings at the street level. Because it will render vectors instead of tiles, maps will supposedly load several times faster, no matter how fast your connection is. Vectors are also easier to store than tiles, which will allow offline caching of maps, even entire cities.

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HTC Sense Will Support Map Pre-Caching In Its Latest Upgrade

Yesterday, Engadget got some hands-on time with the brand new HTC Sense upgrade that will debut on the Desire HD and the Desire Z. It will support all kinds of crazy stuff we've been waiting for like remote wiping, phone location, and backing up to and restoring data from Another cool feature is map pre-caching, which means that the phone will have pre-loaded maps on it.

The end result is a much more responsive map experience, allowing you to zoom in and out and pan around with "no waiting". It also means that you don’t need a data connection to get around, a notable foible of the otherwise excellent Google Maps.

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