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[Update: Now 4 more nations] YouTube Kids expands to 13 new European countries (including the return of Croatia)

When it comes to watching YouTube Kids you'll need to be in one of the countries officially supported by the app. That's because if you download while in an unsupported nation, the app will disable itself and keep you from watching. Today there's good news for six new countries in Europe who don't have to worry about that anymore, as YouTube Kids has expanded again, bringing the total number of countries covered up to 53.

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Qualcomm's new X55 modem will make 5G phones thinner and more widely available... in 2020

While the first 5G smartphones won't even be on the market for months, Qualcomm isn't wasting any time announcing its next-generation 5G modem (yes, already), the Snapdragon X55. The X55 is, basically, going to be the first globally viable 5G modem on the market when it begins shipping at the end of 2019, because it's the first one to support all the various known incarnations of 5G and offer 4G LTE, 3G, 2G, and CDMA in a single chip.

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Tidal follows Spotify's lead and lets users mute unwanted artists

Tidal tries to stand out among streaming services by offering both hi-fi music quality and access to artists you can't find on Spotify, like Prince and Beyoncé. But in addition to bringing you music from acts you might have forgotten you were missing out on, that also means more exposure to artists you may not want to hear from at all. Now, thanks to the app's latest update, you can mute those artists when listening on Tidal

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Very bad news site says Pixel 4 "could be" modular because you'll click on it

It's early, but my least favorite news story of 2019 so far is this awful garbage from T3, a tech news site from the UK, about the Pixel 4 potentially being "modular." I won't link to it (nice try, T3!), but I will give you the title and a synopsis.

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Louisville becomes the first city to lose Google Fiber

Google Fiber is the tech giant's answer to overpriced, sluggish internet access, provided you live in one of the few areas where it's available. While Fiber has expanded to 9 states, Louisville, Kentucky has the unpleasant honor of being the first market to lose access to Google Fiber.

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YouTube Music now lets you add existing playlists to a new one

YouTube has already been the place many people go to build playlists and listen to their favorite new songs. With the addition of the YouTube Music app, it made finding and saving your favorite artists easier than ever. But building playlists wasn't always so easy, though, since you could only add one song to a playlist at a time using the add button through the app. That's been updated, and now you can add entire existing playlists to one of your own creation.

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[Update: 11 more banks] Google Pay extends its US reach with support for 44 new banks

Google Pay works with a jaw-dropping number of financial institutions, with more coming online all the time. Recently we've been seeing a dozen or two new banks join the Pay club nearly every week, and just because it's the holiday season doesn't mean that Google's in the mood to slow things down. Today's update continues to push that list to new heights, with the addition of 15 new banks.

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T-Mobile's John Legere promises no rate-hikes for at least three years if the Sprint merger is approved

The road to merging two large carriers isn't an easy one. For Sprint and T-Mobile to merge into "New T-Mobile," a lot of hearts need to be won over. In October 2018, company shareholders approved the merger and in December, "Team Telecom" and the Committee on Foreign Investments green-lighted it too. The next two hurdles to cross are clearances from the Department of Justice and FCC. Yesterday, T-Mobile CEO John Legere penned a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai asking for approval. In this, he promised to keep rates "the same or less" than the current plans by T-Mobile and Sprint, for at least three years.

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All roads lead to Gmail: Google is shutting down the classic Tasks web UI

Keeping track of everything on your to-do list can be stressful, but Google Tasks has made that easy for plenty of people over the years. However, classic Google Tasks is at the end of its lifespan and will be disappearing soon. 

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Google releases Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier apps to improve Android for the hearing-impaired

Google's focus on making Android more accessible has been evident — it opened last year's I/O keynote with morse code input on Gboard. In addition to that, Android Pie brought with it an array of new accessibility features, letting motor-impaired users easily jump to nine common interactions on their phones. Today, the Android Accessibility team announced Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, two new apps that look to materially improve quality of life for deaf and hard-of-hearing users. The apps are currently being tested on the Play Store and will be pushed to all Pixel 3 users in the next update.

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