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Opinion: Google's 30% cut of Play Store app sales is nothing short of highway robbery

Congratulations: You've finally developed your million-dollar app. You took a great idea, implemented it, built it into a polished UI, and tested it until you tracked down every last bug. Now it's ready for public release, so you can sit back, relax and ... earn just 70% of what users pay for your software? That doesn't sound right. Yet it's a position that mobile app developers everywhere find themselves in, one that's perched somewhere on the intersection between wildly unfair and mild extortion.

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[Deal Alert] Google Home Max down to $349 ($50 off) at Google Store, Best Buy, Target, and more

The Google Home Max was announced last October and went on sale in December, just in time for last year's holiday season. Since then, the pricey smart speaker has mostly kept steady at its $399 launch price, but now a number of retailers are knocking $50 off that number, bringing it down about 12% to $349. Supplies are scarce at some of these places, and this price may not be around for too long.

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Toyota reportedly agrees to support Android Auto

Toyota is one of the few car major manufacturers that have refused to add support for Android Auto, along with BMW, MINI, and Lexus. However, that might finally be changing. According to Bloomberg, Toyota has reached an agreement with Google that may be officially announced as soon as October.

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Standalone Daydream VR headsets will eventually have improved controllers, see-through mode, and more

Self-contained headsets that run Google's Daydream VR platform went on sale earlier this year, and Google has continued to improve them since. Chrome for Daydream became available in July, and now the company has revealed what's next for the platform.

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Dragonfly memo details Google's tracking measures for Chinese search engine

Google's plans for a Chinese search and news service, known internally as Dragonfly, continue to leak and create controversy. In August, it was revealed that Google would soon reenter the Chinese marketplace, which Google CEO Sundar Pichai denied, calling it "an exploration stage." Then on Sept. 14th, it was reported that Google would track users using their phone number.

Now a new memo gives further details regarding the extent of Dragonfly's tracking. The memo was created and circulated internally by an engineer who was asked to work on the project. It details the methods in which Dragonfly tracks a user, first by requiring them to log in.

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Google Maps' group planning Shortlist starts showing up for some users

Summer is over and most Googlers are back at their desk working on releasing features we were promised at I/O 2018 (and making our lives, especially Cody's, a lot more busy). Just in the past couple of days, we've seen Photos' Color Pop effect and Assistant's new visual responses, and now, there's something new in Google Maps too: Shortlists.

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The Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL are still leaking, this time in both live and render forms

We're less than three weeks away from Google's October 9 NYC event, but the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL leaks haven't showed any signs of stopping. This time around, we've got two separate leaks to show. Some more in-the-flesh photos of the Pixel 3 XL have surfaced on Twitter, and Evan Blass has posted a side-by-side shot of Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL renders.

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uBreakiFix offering free Pixel repairs for areas affected by Hurricane Florence

uBreakiFix is Google's main partner for device repairs, and last year the company offered free repairs to anyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. The United States east coast is still recovering from Hurricane Florence, which caused widespread flooding around North & South Carolina. If you live in the affected areas, uBreakiFix will repair your Pixel for free.

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Google is testing manual bokeh and Color Pop effects in Google Photos

You might remember a few months ago when Google announced Color Pop effects in Google Photos. A few people got neat Color Pop photo suggestions in the Assistant tab, but a wide rollout never happened. Now, it looks like Google is again testing Color Pop, and it brought manual bokeh effects along for the ride.

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