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[Free Alert] Paula Abdul ICON, jazz sampler, and more albums are gratis on Google Play Music

Google recently started handing out free music via Play Music again, and we're glad to see the trend back. Almost none of the music is the kind that most of us usually listen to, but hey, free is free. This time around, we've got a pretty wide variety, from jazz to Dutch pop.

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Assistant-launching microphone button removed from Pixel launcher in Android P DP5

Moving the Google search box to the bottom of the Pixel launcher was a divisive change, although it makes complete sense to me. From the moment the first developer preview of Android P was released, Google began messing around with unimportant things like the transparency of the launcher dock, but one useful little addition was that of a microphone icon in the search widget that could be used to summon the Assistant. As of the latest (and final) developer preview, the mic has vanished.

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Android P gets a new auto-rotate icon in Developer Preview 5

Google just dropped the fifth developer preview of Android P and there aren't an awful lot of changes for us to pick through. That makes sense since it's the last beta before the final release later in the year, which we can expect to look very much like it does right now. The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed one small change, however, in the shape of a new auto-rotate icon.

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[Update: Yet another four more] Free alert: ICON albums from Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, and KISS are complimentary on Play Music

Free music seems to be making a comeback on Google Play Music. Once a relic of the past, free albums made a reappearance last week with Ariana Grande's "My Everything" and an ICON album featuring The Beach Boys. Four more ICON albums with Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, and KISS can now be picked up for $0.00 from Play Music as well.

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[Free Alert] Ariana Grande and The Beach Boys albums are gratis on Google Play Music (probably US-only)

Google Play Music used to offer free albums every few weeks. It looked like a win-win for everyone: users could get some free tunes, and Play Music would attract people who might not have used the service otherwise. Perhaps Google didn't feel that it was worth doing anymore, as we hadn't seen anything of the sort for over two years. But now, albums from Ariana Grande and The Beach Boys are just $0 from Play Music.

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Twitter trying new share button on Android in server-side test

Twitter is no stranger to server-side tests, and now the company appears to have another in the wings. AP's own Artem noticed a bit of a tweak in Twitter for Android in recent days, with a new three-dot share button appearing at the bottom of tweets. All the sharing options previously present in the arrow menu to a tweet's top right have been relocated to this button, and the previous "send privately" option is now gone. 

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Android System notifications have a new Oreo icon

Android 8.1 has quite a few minor changes, ranging from a new easter egg to the new dimming navigation bar. Another small tweak is the icon for Android System notifications, which are used to display messages about updates, debugging, and other similar functions.

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Icon Pack Mixer lets you build your own custom set of icons from your favorite packs

One of the best things about Android is the ability to customize it. You aren't locked into a particular look, from replacement launchers to icon packs, you can change things to fit your tastes quite extensively. With the new Icon Pack Mixer, a recently-launched app from the developer of Adapticons, you can even take that a step further. It lets you mix and match individual icons from various packs into one. Now you can pick and choose different ones from different sets without compromising, even if your launcher doesn't natively support it. 

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Chrome now uses Android O's adaptive icons for home screen shortcuts

As you might know, Chrome for Android allows you to save websites on your home screen for easy access. The first Android O Developer Preview added support for a new 'Adaptive icons' feature, and Chrome now appears to be taking advantage of it for home screen shortcuts.

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[Deal Alert] Over a dozen icon packs are temporarily free on the Play Store

Customization is one of the best parts of Android. Even if you have the same phone as someone else, your home screen, icons, and perhaps system theme can look entirely different. While I haven't personally used icon packs in a while (my launcher of choice is the Pixel Launcher), they still remain very popular.

Now there are at least 13 icon packs temporarily free on the Play Store, from several different developers.

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