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InBrief
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Google Drive and Docs on the web add support for Burmese and Welsh

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Google to bring free Wi-Fi hotspots to the Philippines

Google Station is a program in developing countries, where local partners and Google tie up to bring free Wi-Fi to high traffic locations like railway and bus stations. Piloted in India in 2016, the program then expanded to Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Thailand, even rolling out to college campuses and hospitals. It's now coming to a sixth location: the Philippines.

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Report: Google's 2019 hardware plans include Pixel 'Lite,' Home refresh, new Nest cameras, and wearables

Google's first-party hardware options may be set to ramp up this year according to a recent report. Based on the details, we might see new product lines as well as refreshes of existing ones. In addition to the already knownupcomingcheaper Pixel "Lite," Nikkei is reporting that Google plans to release its own wearables (plural), a Google Home refresh, and security cameras this year.

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The Pixel 3 and 3 XL are $150 off right now from Google Fi

The Pixel 3 is a great smartphone, especially now that most of the annoying bugs present at launch have been fixed. Both the small Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL are now $150 off from Google Fi, reducing the starting price of the former to $649, and the latter to $749.

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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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Google gives up on Android Things as an IoT platform, now will just be for smart speakers and displays

Google's operating system for lightweight Internet of Things devices, the fittingly-named Android Things OS, was originally intended to run on a wide array of hardware. It has seen the most success in Google Assistant-powered smart displays and speakers, and now that's the only product category Android Things will be certified for.

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Google's Android antitrust troubles reportedly spread to India

Looks like Google might be in some hot water again on the international stage, this time in India. Reuters reported that four sources claimed that the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the country's antitrust watchdog, is investigating accusations against the tech giant that allege that it is abusing Android's dominance in that market to crush other competition.

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Five improvements we want from the Google Home 2

The original Google Home speaker launched all the way back in late 2016. A lot has changed since then — Assistant has become more powerful and multi-lingual, the Home Mini has been a wild success, the Home Max became a great option for audiophiles, and dozens of third-party Assistant speakers have hit the market.

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Losing Cast support could be the final nail in BeyondPod's coffin

In more bad news for users of once-popular BeyondPod, the app it has now lost cast functionality. It's been using Google Cast API v2 that was deprecated back in 2017, but since that has finally been sunsetted, casting from the app is no longer possible.

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Google Maps will use your camera to determine your location more accurately

Have you ever come out of the subway running late for a meeting with no clue which way you're supposed to go? Sure, Maps will tell you how to get to your appointment, but only if it's aware of where you are and what direction you're facing. Sometimes it "thinks" it knows these, even though the data it's being fed is inaccurate. You're then in for some impromptu outdoor trivia: Try to figure out which path to follow by checking if the blue dot is moving in the same direction you're supposed to. If it's not, it probably means your compass is not calibrated, so you can start frenetically shaking your phone in an 8 shape to see if it'll eventually point the right way.

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