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Google Maps will soon let you directly message businesses inside the app

Long a staple of popular business directories like Yelp and Facebook, communicating directly with a business has been a curious omission from Google Maps for years now. While an attempt to integrate such functionality via the ill-fated Allo chat platform began last year, that obviously didn't pan out, and prior to that Google only allowed rudimentary messaging via business profiles on Google+ (which is also dying). Now, direct messaging support is coming inside the Google Maps app, which is really the only place it should have been to begin with, if you ask us.

Announced on Google's blog today, the functionality will be limited select regions for the time being, and businesses must opt in to messaging via their business profile settings in order for the feature to be exposed to customers.

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Google announces Wear OS 'H' update with Battery Saver changes, Smart App Resume, and more

Google has pushed several updates to Wear OS in the last few months, making the case that it hasn't completely give up on wearables after all. Wear OS now looks nicer, has better navigation, and makes it easier to check your notifications. Google has a few more changes to deploy, and they're coming your way in the oddly named "H" update.

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[Update: France, Spain, Russia too] Google One's storage plans start rolling out in the UK and Canada

After tentatively launching in the US in May, Google One, aka Google's new unified storage plans and service, has been shyly expanding. It didn't become available to "everyone" in the US until August, and even then, there were plenty of exceptions that meant not all users were able to migrate to the new plans. After that, it was announced for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico as well as India. Now, users in two more countries are getting emails notifying them of an upgrade to Google One.

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[Update: Fix coming] Some Pixel 3 XL owners are complaining of buzzing/distorted speakers

Pixel season wouldn't be complete without a bunch of complaints from early adopters of possible hardware and software faults. Last year, the main controversy surrounded the terrible LG OLED panels used for the Pixel 2 XL. This year, there are a few early contenders, including what we may be calling 'buzzgate.'

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[Update: Plus £50 Google Store voucher] Google Pixelbook starts at just £699 in the UK right now, with £300 off every model

The Google Pixelbook is the Chromebook of dreams. It runs Chrome OS, sure. And it doesn't run proper Photoshop or Lightroom, sure. But it's a beautifully made convertible with a keyboard to die for and it also has a touchscreen so you can make the most of Android apps. Right now, in the UK, you can get it for £300 off in every configuration.

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Pixel Night Sight also works in daylight, reducing noise and boosting resolution

Turns out that Google's new Night Sight mode for Pixels, formally released just earlier today, has some non-night utility. In a bit of a twist, you can use it in the daytime as well for "denoising and resolution improvements" inherited from another Google Camera feature: Super Res Zoom. The results demonstrated look pretty good, so long as you're willing to hold your Pixel steady.

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[Update: Fix due soon] Some Pixel 3 users have noticed that their text messages are vanishing

You've may have heard about the bug affecting Pixel phones whereby photos taken with the camera are not saved — well now it appears there's a similar issues with texts as well. According to a tip we've received, the latest security update (Nov 5th) could be causing text SMS messages to disappear for some.

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Google's Night Sight launches for all Pixel phones today - get it now [APK Download]

At the Pixel 3 launch event in NYC, Google showed off what it called "Night Sight," a feature that produced incredible looking photos in a near-absence of light. Modified versions of the Google Camera app gave everyone willing to sideload them an early taste at the feature, but the wait is now over. And according to Google, Night Sight is rolling out for all Pixel devices, past and present, in the coming days.

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These are the Google Store's Pixel 3 and 3 XL Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals

Couldn't afford a Pixel 3 when it first came out? Google's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals significantly reduce the overall price of Google's latest smartphone in the US. Beginning with pre-Black Friday offers, Google has shared several new deals on its latest smartphone and other Made by Google products.

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[Update: Also in Gmail] Google contact cards get a new look in Hangouts and Google+

Hangouts and Google+ may not be the hottest apps they once were (or not) a few years ago, and one of them is going to be shut down soon, but there's still (very) slow development affecting them. In the latest change, the contact card has been redesigned to fill up the entire screen and better fit with the more modern Material aesthetic.

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