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Satellite view added to Google Maps on Android Auto head units

Google Maps has had a satellite view available for many years on multiple platforms, but for some reason, it never made its way to the Android Auto app - that is, until now. A reader sent in a tip showcasing satellite view while navigating with his Android Auto-equipped head unit, and it looks exactly as you'd expect.

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ZTE signs escrow agreement with U.S. to lift trade ban

After the U.S. Department of Commerce banned ZTE from importing US-made components, due to the company violating an agreement it made in 2017, ZTE shut down most operations while it fought to lift the ban. The Commerce Department told ZTE it had to pay over a billion dollars in fines and replace its entire senior leadership for the ban to be lifted, which ZTE agreed to last month.

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HTC hopes collectible 'CryptoKitties' will ease your U12+ buyer's remorse

It's no secret that HTC isn't doing too well these days. Between lackluster overall sales and the U12+'s lukewarm reception, the former OEM heavyweight is in a tight spot. Earlier this spring the company revealed a set of nebulous plans for a blockchain-powered phone that sounded more like an act of marketing desperation than a consumer product (complete with a "Decentralized Chief Officer" and promises to "Take back the internet"). Following all this, today HTC has announced exclusive support for CryptoKitties, a Beanie Babies-esque set of Ethereum ERC-721 token-powered collectibles. 

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[Update: APK Download] Google Pay is finally getting boarding passes, event tickets, and peer to peer money transfers

Google Pay's feature set has long lagged behind Apple's Wallet in terms of support for virtual tickets and boarding passes, but that finally appears to be changing (as we recently spotted in teardowns). Today, Google announced on its blog that the Pay app will be getting support for virtual boarding passes, event tickets, and peer to peer money transfers. Boarding passes and tickets have been in soft launch for some time, but that last bit was previously - and quite strangely - relegated to an entirely different app called Google Pay Send, likely a result of it having previously been the Google Wallet app.

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[Update: It's back] YouTube TV goes ded in the middle of fancy soccer game

Yes, you read that right: YouTube TV has gone down amidst a major sports game yet again. This last happened during Game 2 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals, and it seems like Google's streaming service just isn't built to handle all of the World Cup fans either.

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Project Loon and Wing become full-fledged Alphabet companies

As part of Google's big 2015 reorganization, many of the divisions tucked away inside Google became their own companies under the Alphabet umbrella. For example, the Google X's self-driving car project became Waymo. Now, two more wacky former Google projects are getting the same opportunity. Project Wing and Loon are both becoming Alphabet businesses.

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T-Mobile keeps jumping the gun on premature Galaxy flagship updates, most recently with the S9/S9+

Most of us get pretty excited when we see a new update announced for our phones. But for Samsung Galaxy flagship owners on T-Mobile, that excitement is often short-lived. John Legere and co. are beginning to build a track record for prematurely announcing updates that aren't available, primarily for Galaxy phones.

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Chrome OS gets Android app shortcuts in the dev channel

Google has worked to make Android apps feel at home on Chrome OS, and we've certainly come a long way. Your apps will be even more integrated soon with support for app shortcuts on the Chrome OS desktop. This feature is only in the dev channel right now, but it should eventually filter down to beta and stable.

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Sony announces mid-range Xperia XA2 Plus, with 18:9 display, Snapdragon 630, and Hi-Res Audio

At the start of the year, Sony unveiled two new mid-range smartphones in the Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra. They offered familiar Sony stylings, with chunky bezels and squared off corners, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chips and rear fingerprint sensors represented a considerable improvement over their XA1 predecessors.

Today, Sony has announced another entry in the lineup, the Xperia XA2 Plus. It features the same Snapdragon 630 SoC, and many of the same specs as the XA2 Ultra, but is the first in the series to include an elongated 18:9, 6-inch FHD+ display. This phone will sound better, too, with Sony's High-Resolution Audio technology and DSEE HX audio upscaling.

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