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AMP Stories will roll out to mobile Google Search soon

Love it or hate it (I hate it), Google AMP is expanding faster than ever. It's no longer just an optimized way to make mobile web pages, as it now powers interactive content in Gmail. 'AMP Stories,' a way of creating interactive news stories, was announced over a year ago and it's about to roll out to everyone.

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Google tests Material Theme icons for desktop search menu filters

Google began a Material Theme refresh of its desktop search UI last fall comprising tweaks all users see now, including a search "box" with rounded corners, more white, and a persistent search bar. The next step may be nigh, as the search engine is testing the addition of Material Theme icons that sit beside each search menu filter (e.g., News, Maps, Images, etc.) and are colorized when their corresponding filter is active.

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IMDb's new filters help you find the exact movies or TV series you want to watch

The IMDb app is one of the first I installed on my Android devices, way back in 2010 on my Galaxy 5 (not S). But over the years, the need for the app has fallen, especially when Google added IMDb scores to its search cards. Now, I just Google the name of a movie or show and open the IMDb site from the results, if needed. But the app's recent search filter addition has made me reconsider installing it and giving it a permanent spot in my app drawer again.

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Messages 4.1 adds revolutionary ability to search for a contact and start a chat with them [APK Download]

Some features are just groundbreaking — there's no other way to say it. Like seeing borders on a map or tracking sleep with a health service, there are plenty of amazing things your apps could do that you never thought might even be remotely possible. Have you, for example, ever imagined, being able to search for a contact in a messaging app to start a conversation with them? I bet it never occurred to you, but that's exactly what the Messages app has just added.

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YouTube will soon tell you that the world isn't flat, vaccines work, and other obvious truths

According to BuzzFeed, YouTube is testing out a new feature which shows fact-check warnings when searching for content known to spread misinformation. The feature is currently live for some users in India and shows "information panels" on search results (not videos themselves) which provide disclaimers acquired from YouTube's fact-checking partners.

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Pixel phones can now toggle devices settings right from search results

Slices are one of the lesser-known feature additions in Android Pie, offering shortcuts to features inside apps. You've probably seen them in the app drawer on Pixel devices. Now, Slices are popping up in another place. Google is using Slices to surface settings controls inside the search UI on Pixel phones—no more digging into the settings.

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Chrome testing search-friendly omnibox with faster URL copy and share actions

Part of the changes introduced with Chrome's Duet interface (previously known as Duplex) is a new search button in the bottom bar that lets you jump to the address bar and perform a Google search. But until now, it wasn't clear that you could start typing a new query immediately, as the URL was still there and highlighted. A new Chrome flag has been added to clarify things, plus make it easier to share or copy the current page's URL. 

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Google is testing stripped-down news results that comply with imminent new EU copyright law

In September 2018, the European Parliament approved new copyright legislation that could change the way the internet works forever. One aspect of the new directive would force websites to pay for snippets they use from an external source, and Google is wisely already testing a stripped-down version of its news search results in anticipation of the law change.

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Google Search now scrolls to relevant featured snippet on AMP links

One of many useful features in Google Search, 'featured snippets' pulls answers to common, simple questions from relevant web pages and puts them front and center when you enter a query. Usually, tapping through to the article Google got the answer from does nothing other than take you to that page, but new behavior has been observed whereby it will scroll you to the snippet on that page.

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Google's censored Chinese search engine Project Dragonfly is reportedly dead after internal conflict

When news first broke in August about Google's plans for a censored Chinese search engine, there was immediate backlash both internally and externally. As details regarding Project Dragonfly continued to leak over the ensuing months, that pushback only grew more vehement, with executives fielding questions on the subject from US senators and Google employees launching a petition decrying the project. Now, according to The Intercept, Dragonfly is effectively dead after a massive internal rift formed between the project and the company's privacy team.

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