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Waymo app comes to the Play Store, but you probably still can't use it

Waymo grew out of the self-driving car project at Google X, but it's now a separate company under the Alphabet umbrella. Waymo's service still isn't available to everyone, but it's in semi-open trials in the Phoenix area. Now, those testers can get the Waymo app from the Play Store.

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Google reportedly drops plans to open Chicago retail store

Google makes more hardware than it did in the past, so it has naturally considered opening retail stores from time to time. The company has purchased shipping containers and renovated lofts, only to cancel its plans. The only initiatives that have come to fruition are a few pop-up stores. Last year, we heard Google was on the verge of opening its first permanent flagship retail store in Chicago. Now, it looks like the deal has fallen through.

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Google addresses developer concerns with promises to improve Play Store appeal processes

There are many problems with the Google Play Store, but two primary issues have become more apparent than ever over the past few months announcing breaking changes to popular apps with little-to-no warning, and not communicating with developers after their apps or accounts are disabled. Today, Google revealed a series of changes that will (hopefully) address both of those problems.

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Google Maps is asking commuters how crowded their trains are

Google Maps offers a lot of crowdsourced information. Some of it is based on user input and some other info is calculated automatically by Google's algorithm, such as the crowdedness of an attraction, difficulty to find parking, and more. While it's relatively easy for an algorithm to tell if you'll face traffic on your drive — and with decent accuracy — it's much more difficult for it to know if your underground subway will be crowded or not. You need a reliable source for that info, and Google seems to be working on that.

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Play Store tests simultaneous downloads, internal app sharing, more

The Play Store is a breeding ground for Google's A/B tests. Every couple of days, the app shows different interfaces and options for some users, and it's tough to stay on top of them all. Recently, the Play Store started showing a dedicated Events tab for gaming, rolling out Pixel updates on Android Q, and we know it's working on a Material Design revamp. But there's much more in the works. In the past couple of days, app updates started behaving a little weirdly for some users, with the most important sign being the appearance of simultaneous downloads.

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Google Pay can now automatically import loyalty cards, tickets, and offers from Gmail

Google Pay has been able to store things like loyalty cards and coupons for some time, but now the process has been simplified. A new toggle has appeared in the app's settings, letting users choose to automatically add certain items scooped up from Gmail to Google Pay.

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More Avengers AR Playmojis arrive just in time for the Endgame [APK Download]

The highly anticipated grand finale of Marvel's Avengers series is just around the corner with its US release on April 26, and the hype train is fully deployed. Google has jumped right on it and published new Playmoji characters to hop around in your Pixel camera's viewfinder: War Machine, Thor, Black Widow, Rocket, and Captain Marvel.

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InBrief
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Google Assistant commands can now disarm ADT Pulse security systems

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Google starting to roll out Pixel system updates through Play Store

Last week, evidence was uncovered that Google planned to distribute system updates using the Play Store. System updates have been accessed through the Settings app for Android's entire history, so moving them to the Play Store would be an interesting move. Now it appears the rumors are true, as multiple Pixel owners have reported seeing a 'Google System Update' notification on Android Q Beta 2.

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Verizon's Google Pixel exclusive finally appears to be ending - it's about time

Following a report from 9to5Google this morning, we were able to independently corroborate that T-Mobile plans to sell Google's current Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones, as well as add that the upcoming (and still unannounced) Pixel 3a and 3a XL will also be available in T-Mobile stores. The exact sale date is unclear, but my guess is that it will be timed against the launch of the new 3a devices, which we're expecting on May 7th. T-Mobile being added to the Pixel roster isn't just news in the sense of T-Mobile, though - it's a pretty big deal in regard to the larger strategy with the Pixel brand and what the end of Verizon exclusivity means, as well.

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