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Google

169

[Update: Rolling out more widely] Gmail's dark mode is here for some users (APK Download)

When Android 10 officially rolled out, dark mode aficionados were a bit miffed to see that several of the apps that were still white hadn't been updated yet. The Google app, Play Store, Maps, and Gmail were the biggest holdouts, but now the last one is finally getting its darkness on.

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34

YouTube Music finally gets gapless playback through server-side rollout

If you regularly use YouTube Music to experience songs, either through just the audio or with the accompanying music video, you might have lamented on its inability to properly playback songs with seamless transitions. That sucks if you're trying to sink into a full, continuous LP like Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon." But some users are now reporting that the app is starting to do so in what appears to be a server-side feature rollout.

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31

[Update: Frozen 2] Google Home can now add sound effects and music to story time with certain children's books

Some of Google Home's best features are the ones that are just for fun, like playing the "I'm feeling lucky" game show, listening to different animal sounds, and asking for interesting facts. Google is expanding on that repertoire with storytelling sound effects for certain Disney stories. Parents in the US can activate the new feature by saying "Hey Google, let's read along with Disney." Their Home device will then listen along and play appropriate sound effects and music for the chosen story, which can be selected from a library of 11, with more to come.

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21

Pixel 4 will support enhanced dual-band GPS 'soon'

Dual-band GPS — or, technically, dual-frequency GNSS — should be able to provide a better navigation experience by pulling additional data from navigation satellites. A number of Android devices have the hardware required to use this method, including the newly-announced Pixel 4. And according to Google, the feature is "coming soon."

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19

Google adds Pixel 2 as a Stadia-compatible device

At the recent Made by Google event, Google shared a bit more information about its Stadia gaming platform. One of the most burning questions people had in their minds was exactly which phone models would be supported on November 19th, the service's official launch date. So far Google has only talked about Stadia supporting Pixel 3 and 3a devices. We might have assumed that would extend to the new Pixel 4, and now Google has confirmed not only that much, but that Stadia will also be compatible with Pixel 2 phones.

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5

[Update: Live] Google Maps rolling out detailed voice guidance for walking directions

For the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, today is World Sight Day — a time to think about how we can prevent avoidable vision diseases and reducing external impacts for people living with visual impairment or blindness. Navigation in unfamiliar places remains one of the biggest challenges for those people, so the Google Maps team has decided to take the opportunity to roll out detailed voice guidance for walking directions.

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34

Google Maps expands Waze-like crowdsourcing with new incident types

Ever since Google purchased fellow map maker Waze in 2013, crowdsourced contribution features have slowly made their way to Maps. We've been seeing this support grow with the ability for users to report things like speed traps, slowdowns, and just last month, road construction. Now Google's formally recognizing that construction expansion, as well as announcing the addition of a few other obstructions.

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3

Google's 15-year-old 'Books' preservation project receives a Material redesign and added functionality

Google has steadily been bringing its newest Material Theme to an ever-expanding list of products. After hitting the more popular apps, like the Play Store and the productivity suite in Drive, Google has moved on to bringing its less popular offerings into the fold. First, Blogger received a surprise coat of Material Design paint, and now the 15-year-old book preservation project, Google Books, is getting the same treatment.

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18

[Update: It works] Headed South is a Motion Sense game for Pixel 4 from Monument Valley's creators [APK Download]

The award-winning Ustwo Studios is well known for the hit Escher-inspired game Monument Valley, and now Google has enlisted the developer to help show off the Pixel 4's new Motion Sense quick gestures. In Headed South, you play as a bird trying to flock with others while flying through brightly-colored worlds. There's only one problem I've found so far: it doesn't work.

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7

Google Home app now has seamless setup for more smart lights

Configuring smart home devices can be a royal pain, and adding them to Google Assistant can be yet another hurdle. Google streamlined the process with the C by GE smart bulbs, and now that same setup process appears to be live for more smart bulbs, including Philips Hue and Sylvania Smart+. It won't work for all the bulbs sold under those brands, though.

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