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[Update: Now available] Dead Zebra releases Android Mini special edition for Year of the Dog

If you're an Android fan, which is not that far a stretch considering you're reading this, you've probably looked at Dead Zebra's Android Mini figurines and wished you had all the money to buy every single one. And now there's a new one for you to fawn over and maybe make you click that purchase button: a special edition Chinese New Year one for the Year of the Dog.

More than last year's Golden Rooster, the design is very reminiscent of Chinese culture and that bright red is gorgeous to look at. The figurine measures in at 3" in height and has antennae in the shape of dog ears plus a gold painted medallion collar, and it comes in a box with reflective gold foil.

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InBrief
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Google Drive users can now comment on MS Office files, PDFs, and images

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[Update: Probably being revamped] Google might be scrapping plans for the 'Chrome Home' bottom address bar interface

For over a year, Google has been testing an experimental interface in Chrome for Android, nicknamed 'Chrome Home.' It first appeared in October, and at that point, the only change was the address bar being at the bottom of the screen (instead of at the top). Then the New Tab Page was revamped with a bottom tab bar, and in August of last year, the UI was changed again.

Despite the interface being in development for so long, it has never been widely rolled out. It has been enabled by default in Chrome Beta, Dev, and Canary, but only a very small number of Chrome stable users have it.

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Nest is being swallowed up by Google's hardware team

Google acquired Nest about four years ago, but it kept the company at arm's length. Nest products are still designed and managed by Nest, an Alphabet company. That may be changing soon. Google says it's merging Nest with the Google hardware team to "supercharge" Nest's mission.

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'Secret upcoming 4K Chromebooks' mentioned in Chrome OS commit

The Pixelbook sports a 12.3" 2400x1600 display, and nobody's complaining about it. In fact, we even praised it in our review for being nice in basically every aspect. But companies are constantly seeking to cram more and more pixels into their devices' screens, and Google is no different. According to a recent Chrome OS commit, we'll be seeing 4K displays on Chromebooks in the near future.

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[Update: Coral Blue, too] Galaxy S9 and S9+ leak in Lilac Purple, show off different camera setups

We know a decent amount of information about the upcoming Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ by now, though we hadn't seen full press renders of either phone - that is, until now. Evan Blass has just posted images of both the S9 and S9+ in an eye-catching Lilac Purple color. More interestingly than the color, the rumors of the single camera on the S9 and the dual cameras on the S9+ have been confirmed.

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Google may get into game streaming with 'Yeti' subscription service and its own hardware

According to The Information, Google might be preparing for a big move into gaming. The company is reportedly working on a game streaming service called Yeti, which would leverage the success of its Chromecast platform to deliver games without a download. This is all still very much rumor and speculation, but it could be a big business if Google gets it right.

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Google Photos gets new sharing previews for users who don't have the app installed

Towards the end of 2016, Google introduced an API called App Preview Messaging. It debuted with Allo, where it lets you message anyone regardless of whether they have the app installed. They receive a preview message, handled by Google Play Services, which they can respond to as though they do have the app.

Duo recently added support for this, too, so you could receive and answer a video call from a contact even if you've never heard of the app. Next to add the feature is Google Photos, which now lets you share media with friends or family members who don't have the app via their phone number.

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Google Calendar reaches 500 million installs on the Play Store

We like celebrating milestones in download and install numbers here on Android Police. It's a silly little habit we got into that makes us reflect on the history of a certain app and its number of users, and see if we can glean any insider information from it. Just last week, Google Calculator reached 100M installs and a few days ago, more niche and recent apps Google Classroom and YouTube for Android TV got to 10M. Larger numbers are a little tougher to achieve unless you're part of an elite and this is the case with Google Calendar today: it has reached 500M installs.

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Google Play Services 12.2.09 appears to fix Android's 'Check for update' button [APK Download]

For the longest time, we've suspected that Android's "Check for update" does nothing to actually get you the update. If you were in the group that is supposed to receive the update, the button simply sped up the process instead of waiting for the next automatic check to reveal it, but if there was an update and you weren't in the group, it did nothing to push you forward in the waiting line. Then in September, we were promised that manually pushing the button on Nexus and Pixel devices will get you an available update even when a passive background check wouldn't, and it worked momentarily.

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