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Snapseed passes 50 million downloads on the Play Store

We've covered Google's photo-editing app, Snapseed, plenty of times here. It's one of the best photo manipulation apps available for Android, especially considering it's completely free. If you needed more proof that the app is awesome, maybe the app's 50 million downloads will convince you.

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Verizon stores will have Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL display units tomorrow, October 12th

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL were announced last week, but with most variants not shipping for a few weeks, those of you who pre-ordered one are probably getting a little antsy. But starting tomorrow, October 12th, Verizon stores will have floor units of the Pixel 2s for customers (and eager tech nerds) to play with.

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Google permanently removes top touch functionality on Home Mini

Yesterday, Artem shared his personal experience with the Google Home Mini, and how his unit began recording audio at random intervals. This was due to a hardware flaw, where the Mini believed that the top touch button was being pressed, which then prompted it to start listening for voice commands and sending the audio to Google's servers. Google quickly disabled the top button via a software update while it worked on a possible solution.

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Google Photos v3.7 ends ambiguity around Pixel 2's free original quality storage offer [APK Teardown]

Google launched a pretty cool promotion in 2016 with the offer to store every photo and video taken on Pixels at original quality. The same promotion will apply this year with the release of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but it now comes with a catch: The promotion expires in the year 2020.

Unfortunately, the phrasing of the new terms left room for interpretation, leaving many people concerned that all of their uploaded photos would suddenly count against their storage quota or may be converted to lower quality once the expiration date hit. Thanks to a teardown of the latest Google Photos update, we have definite confirmation that both your photos and your storage quota will remain safe and unmolested.

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Duo and ViLTE video call integration with Google Phone, Contacts, and Android Messages is rolling out to Google-supported phones

If 1950's science fiction has taught me anything, it's that video calling is supposed to be the future. Today Google announced in a blog post that we're one step closer to that vision of reality. Integrated video calling (via Duo or ViLTE) is rolling out to first-generation Pixel, Android One, and Nexus devices, via the Phone, Contacts, and Android Messages apps. No schedule yet for ray-gun or jetpack integration. 

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Fused Video Stabilization on the Pixel 2 fixes the original models' 'Terminator effect'

The original Pixel and Pixel XL have fantastic camera capabilities. Not only does HDR+ make most still images look great, but both phones include Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) to reduce shaky video. Despite being done entirely in software, the result is incredibly-smooth video that looks almost unreal.

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[Update: Synchrony Financial] Android Pay adds 14 new institutions in the United States

Android Pay is always striving to add new banks and credit unions, and in the case of the United States there's an awful lot to get through. Just recently, 24 new institutions were added to the service, and now a further 16 have also made the cut. You should be notified by your bank when they add support for Android Pay to your card, but just in case, why not take a look at the list to see if you're one of the lucky ones.

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[Update x3: Now in Chrome Dev] Chrome's flags page is getting a makeover

Ever since the first release, Chrome has had a hidden settings page, found at chrome://flags. There, you'll find toggles and switches for hundreds of features in Chrome, ranging from in-progress experiments to completed functionality. But all that time, the page has stayed pretty much the same, progressively becoming harder to use as the number of flags continues to climb.

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Some Pixel XL owners are having issues installing the October OTA, Google is looking into it

This October's update isn't just about security patches, it also has some much-needed Bluetooth fixes. Unfortunately, some of us are having trouble actually installing this latest OTA. The difficulty seems to fall into two basic categories: those who haven't yet unenrolled from the beta and can't see the update, and those who can see the update but can't install it. The former is an easy fix (just exit the beta), but for those of us in the latter camp, Google is looking into it. 

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API.AI, Google's tool for making Assistant apps, is now Dialogflow

Back in September 2016, Google purchased Speaktoit, a company specializing in natural language technology. The company's main service at the time was API.AI, an SDK that allowed creating voice interfaces for mobile apps. Google re-purposed the tool to create Google Assistant Apps (formerly known as 'Actions on Google').

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