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Experimental 'Chrome Home' interface is now 'Chrome Duplex,' address bar is back at the top

For over a year now, Google has been working on an overhaul of Chrome's interface on Android, called 'Chrome Home.' It moved the address bar to the bottom of the screen, and pulling up on the address bar would reveal an updated New Tab Page. Despite it being mostly ready for release, Google canned it earlier this month for reasons unknown.

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[Deal Alert] Check your email - some 'loyal Nexus owners' are getting 20% (up to $190) off Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Were you not enticed enough by the $529.99 refurbished Verizon Pixel 2 deal we posted earlier today? Well, we might have some good news for you; provided that Google has deemed you worthy, you might actually be able to get a brand-new Pixel 2 for less than that. In fact, depending on what configuration of Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL you buy, you might be able to save nearly $200 over MSRP - quite a significant amount. But it all comes down to whether or not Google thinks you're a "loyal Nexus owner."

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Xperia XA1 family's Oreo updates will ditch built-in blue light filter, meaning that zero Sony phones will come with any form of 'night mode'

These days, many manufacturers include some sort of blue light filter or "night light" in their phones' ROMs. Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and some other companies are on the list, and Sony was as well with its "Good night actions" function in Xperia Actions for phones in the XA1 family. However, following the impending Oreo updates, no Sony phone will have a built-in blue light filter.

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[Update: Amazon version, too] Oreo update now rolling out to unlocked Moto X4 in non-Android One form

The Android One version of the Moto X4 began receiving its Oreo update a few days before Christmas, but as expected, it took some extra time for Oreo to hit the standard model. A "Senior MotoAgent" on Motorola's (well, now technically Lenovo's) forums announced yesterday that Oreo has begun to roll out to the X4.

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Huawei Watch 2's Oreo update disables Android Pay for users outside the US and UK

If you've got a Huawei Watch 2, you may want to hold off installing the new Oreo update for now. According to users on reddit, the update appears to disable the Android Pay app on watches that are outside the US or UK, even though Android Pay works in several other countries, including Australia and Canada.

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[Update x7: Huawei Watch 2 and 5 others] Google announces which Android Wear watches will get Oreo update, and which already have it

As the name implies, Android Wear is simply a variation of Android specifically tailored to smartwatches. This year's Wear 2.0 update ran on top of Android 7.0 Nougat, and while some components can be updated through the Play Store, the underlying system can only be updated through normal OTAs.

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Google Assistant may support 38 more countries and 17 more languages in 2018

Google's Assistant and Assistant-powered hardware are a huge convenience, but the limited markets and languages for both have been anything but convenient for many. While Google has been slowly rolling out new countries for Home hardware and more languages for the Assistant over the last year or so, it looks like the company is gearing up to expand its footprint significantly. In a leaked slide from a presentation at the DNI (Digital News Initiative) summit in Amsterdam, Google revealed a literal map of its upcoming plans.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Pixel 2 on sale for $529.99 (64GB) and $579.99 (128GB) via Woot ($120-170 off)

Google's Pixel 2 is a great little phone, but the $650 asking price is a little steep for some. You can get a solid discount on the device today if you don't mind a refurbished phone. Woot is selling the Pixel 2 for $529.99 (64GB) and $579.99 (128GB).

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Essential Phone announced in three new colors — Ocean Depths, Stellar Gray, and Copper Black — for $100 extra

The day before yesterday, we received word by way of a Twitter teaser that Essential was finally planning to release its hotly-anticipated Ocean Depths color. It turns out that Andy Rubin and friends actually had even more in store, with a Stellar Gray and a never-before-seen Copper Black also coming onto the scene. Unfortunately, these will cost $599 apiece — a full $100 over the price of a Moon Black or Pure White unit, and significantly more than the going rate.

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Project Fi now has coverage in 170 countries

Google's Project Fi would already work in 135 countries around the world, but today that number balloons to a whopping 170. In newly added countries like Belize and Myanmar, you pay the same $10 per gigabyte of data, and data after bill protection kicks in is free (but slow). You'll even know if a country is covered before you go just by opening the Fi app.

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