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Google apps may cost EU phone makers as much as $40 per phone

Two days ago, Google unveiled new licensing terms for Android phones and tablets in the European Union, following the EU's record $5 billion fine. Device manufacturers can now sell phones with heavily-modified builds of Android while also producing normal Android devices with the Play Store, and some apps (like Chrome and Google Search) are now separate licenses. According to a report from The Verge, device makers are still strongly incentivized to ship Search and Chrome, or they could pay as much as $40 per device for access to the Play Store.

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Google is splitting up Chrome, Search, and Android for the European Union

Google Search has been a key component of Android since the OS was first released, and Chrome has become increasingly important in recent years. All three products are now intertwined, but the European Union wants them to be separate. Google recently was hit with a $5 billion fine from the EU, and to avoid more fines while the company challenges the EU in court, it is now complying with new regulatory rules.

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Google breaks Settings Suggestions out into its own app [APK Download]

The Settings menu/app on Android phones has evolved quite a bit in recent years. Starting in Android 8.1 it got a search bar that made digging for individual settings a bit easier, and in Android N it got suggestions to help encourage you to enable things like a lock screen, finish the setup process, or explore additional customization options. Google even reserved some secret sauce for search and suggestions on its Pixels, and now it's breaking that out into its own app called Search Suggestions.

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Google Search is testing a mobile scroll overlay featuring relevant subtopics

Google recently revealed new Search features that mark, in its words, a "fundamental transformation" in the way users look for and find content on the web. The updates all focus on a shift towards more tailored, personalized results. One major addition is activity cards, which surface pages you've already visited related to your current search. Another is a new "dynamic organization" of search results that provides users with relevant subtopics specific to their inquiry. For instance, when you search "pug," you see subtopics like "buy or adopt," "health," and "how to train" in a row along the top of the primary result.

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Google estimated to be paying $9 billion to be Safari's default search engine

For search engines, there's nothing more lucrative than being the default provider on a popular web browser. In the past, companies have paid massive amounts of money for the position; Yahoo gave Mozilla over $300 million to be the default engine for Firefox, but the company was later outbid by Google. A new report estimates that Google's place as the default iPhone search engine is costing the company $9 billion this year.

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Google Search will make trip planning even easier with more personalized information

Travel is not a new area of interest for Google, with lots of customized cards in Search aimed at getting you the best deals on flights and hotels, as well as the dedicated Google Trips app to bring all of your bookings together and offer additional recommendations and guides. Further enhancements to Google Search are going to make it even more convenient for planning trips.

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Android Messages 3.6 brings richer search interface, better automatic previews, and an updated icon [APK Download]

Yesterday, Google announced an update to Android Messages that would bring a new richer search interface with people and categories front and center. Today, the new version of Messages is starting to roll out with that change and a few more things in tow.

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Android Messages' search feature is getting an overhaul this week

Android Messages is getting a big upgrade to its searchability. You can already search in Messages using the magnifying glass icon at the top of your conversation list, but right now, the functionality is limited to text. Soon, that icon will access a much richer search function, allowing you to easily find photos, videos, and places you've shared in text messages.

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Google Feed is now 'Discover,' and it's coming to the mobile Google homepage

Today Google announced that it's rebranding its well-known Feed — a source of news for consumers and referral traffic for providers like Android Police — under the new name "Discover." With the change in name comes the formal announcement of the redesign that's been in testing for a while now, plus more granular control on topics, and multi-language support for different types of content. By far the biggest change, though, is the addition of the new Discover to the Google homepage on mobile.

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