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Fitbit welcomes back steps streaks and adds goal celebrations to its app

The fitness tracking company says the updates may take time to roll out to all users

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Fitbit helped revolutionize the wearable fitness tracker industry, making exercise a more social experience. Suddenly, people were challenging friends and family to reach their activity goals while achieving some of their own. However, the user experience has significantly changed since Fitbit’s wearables first launched onto the scene. Now, the company is restoring some of the features it dropped along the way in an attempt to appease its customers.

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Google is testing profiles and wallpaper options for Messages

The options would allow for more personalization within the Messages app

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Google has a large suite of products and services, meaning it has to put forth a large effort to ensure that they all meet the wants and needs of users. When it comes to ones like Messages, the UI is critical to keep people coming back, given the stark competition in the instant messaging space. Now, an update to Messages seems to indicate that Google could be developing tweaks to enhance personalization.

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Google busted for paying Apple 36% of search revenue derived from Safari

The company has paid Apple to remain the default search engine in Safari

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Google and Apple have been doing business together for years, but the details of their dealings have remained largely undisclosed — until now. An antitrust trial that began in September 2023 brought Google to court, stemming from allegations of anticompetitive practices brought on by the US Department of Justice. Now, more information on Google’s track record is coming to light, and it seems that Apple may be profiting more than originally speculated.

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The Fitbit app's battery indicator is officially back

Limited to the iPhone version for now, though

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The Fitbit app's redesign was long overdue, and reports of the overhaul first emerged as far back as September 2022. Then, the Google-owned fitness accessories manufacturer revealed the redesign in August this year, rolling it out a month later. However, some of the UI decisions taken by the company didn't go down well with the large community of Fitbit owners. As a result, Fitbit said it would bring back some of the features that were removed during the redesign, including easier visibility of your connected device's remaining battery percentage via the Today tab. This key attribute is now back on the Fitbit app for iOS, suggesting an imminent arrival on its Android counterpart.

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The Google Nest Wifi Pro debuted in October 2022, just as we were preparing for the official unveiling of the Pixel 7 series. Although some speed-related trouble initially plagued this Wi-Fi 6E router, Google quickly acknowledged it and later fixed the issue. This August, trusted resource 9to5Google stumbled across code within the Google Home app, indicating that a second-generation model of the Nest Wifi Pro could be in the works. We've now obtained additional information on this front.

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Google wants Photos to be the only app you need to manage your documents

An auto-archiving feature can also hide older documents after 30 days

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There are several different digital photo management options on the market, which means that companies like Google have ample competition. While Photos is a go-to option for many Google Suite users, the company knows that there is still a whole world of photographers — professionals and amateurs alike — who could be using its product. To tap into this potential, it seems to be developing significant updates for Photos. If you find yourself struggling to organize digital documents, these changes might be especially helpful to you.

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Google Home just got a lot better at handling sensors and smart fans

Fan speeds are rolling out just as we all say goodbye to summer

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If your house is full of smart home devices, you may already be using an app like Google Home to manage them. Having a centralized location to adjust everything from your thermostat to light bulbs can streamline the process. That being said, the Home app has its flaws, with limited user controls and functionality near the top of the list. Now, Google is rolling out changes to the app that could remedy many of these problems.

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Samsung and Google need to work together to build the best Apple Watch competitor

To build a smartwatch that can go toe-to-toe with the Apple Watch, Samsung and Google need to team up

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The best innovations and features on Android devices have often been refined through key Android makers working together. Multitasking features once found only on Samsung phones have been built into the OS so that any large screen can take advantage. Manufacturers launched many camera features that have now been adopted by the core OS. Even the refreshed Wear OS was built in partnership between Samsung and Google.

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Every Android bugdroid change so far

The history of Google’s iconic bugdroid Android mascot

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The official Android mascot, casually known as bugdroid, has been with us since 2007 - and like all of us, it’s gone through changes over the past 15 years. It’s no longer a flat image, it’s more three dimensional, and its green hue has altered throughout its history.

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Gmail: What is Help Me Write and how do I use it?

Gmail's Help Me Write feature is an AI composer that could help your email strategy

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Google is including more AI tools into its suite of consumer-facing products, including platforms people use daily, like Gmail. Complex AI models are behind this work, but the result is simple. Gmail helps you tweak important emails you write from your Android phone, computer, or other device.

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Court documents show Google offered Netflix a deal to stick with Play Store billing

Court documents show Google tried to cut a deal with Netflix in 2017

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Google has been spending a lot of time in the courtroom as of late. The US Department of Justice has taken it to court with an antitrust lawsuit, which has dominated headlines since the trial began in September 2023. Now, a long-delayed battle between Epic and Google has finally made it to trial as well. The tech giant is under fire for its app store practices, and court documents are revealing even more shady business that occurred just a few years ago.

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Every day, it seems like there’s more juicy information coming out of the massive antitrust lawsuit and current trial directed at Google by the US Department of Justice. To catch up on the why's and what's of the trial, we’ve got you covered. In short, Google has been accused by the DoJ of utilizing anticompetitive practices to achieve the current near-monopoly it has over numerous technology sectors in the United States, specifically. Just recently, it came out that Epic Games was offered $147 million by Google to put Fortnite on the Play Store, and that’s caused quite a stir.

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Google is ending Fitbit sales in over a dozen countries

Software support will carry on

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Fitbit had established itself as one of the best wearable tech brands across the landscape before Google swooped in and purchased the company back in 2021. In just over a decade, its innovative health-tracking smartwatches yielded the $2.1 billion pickup, which both excited and frightened its users. Now, almost three years later, and after Google has begun to make good on its promise to require a Google account for any sign-ups on the Fitbit platform, prospective buyers and current Fitbit owners in over a dozen countries around the world will no longer be able to purchase new devices.

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Google's AI chatbot, Bard, was late to the party compared to OpenAI's ChatGPT. Nevertheless, the search giant has expanded generative AI capabilities into some of its products, with Google Search being one of them. Under Search Labs, the company has opened up these experimental search features for thousands of people, enabling them to check out the power of generative AI on Google Search. Despite its wider expansion out of the US, Search Labs and Search Generative Experience (SGE) were still somewhat limited. That changes now with Google announcing support for its experimental AI-based search functionality to 120 countries and territories, deeming it SGE's "largest international expansion yet."

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Comfortably among the top-ranked cloud storage services out there, Google Drive has evolved over the years, and so have its desktop and mobile apps. We keep a close eye on all the new changes coming to the Android version of this essential Google Workspace app, and there have been a few interesting ones over the last few months, including a push to enhance the Google Drive experience on foldable phones. A minor and seemingly under-development visual redesign of the Drive app for Android has now leaked, courtesy of a well-known source of Google leaks.

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Best early Black Friday Google deals: Pixel phones, Tablet & more

Shop early Black Friday deals on our favorite Google products

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Google makes some of the best Android phones, wearables, and smart speakers on the market today. Its products are known for being well-designed, easy to set up, and pleasant to use. They can also be a bit expensive, compared to competition from Amazon and others, so we always have our eyes peeled for good deals on Google gear. Fortunately Black Friday is just around the corner, and retailers are already getting in the holiday shopping spirit. Below you'll find the best Black Friday deals we've seen thus far on everything from Pixel phones to Watches, to smart home devices and beyond.

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WhatsApp Web aims to make chat searches less complex

Thanks to a new calendar

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Among the myriad instant messaging apps available today, WhatsApp stands out thanks to its massive user base, coupled with the backing of social media juggernaut Meta, which acquired the platform almost a decade ago. We routinely cover the newest feature additions to the app, with betas giving us a good idea about what to expect from future versions. Over the years, the platform has improved the functionality of WhatsApp Web, too, a browser client meant to give easy access to chats on the web. The latest beta of WhatsApp Web now reveals a calendar functionality within chat search to filter chats based on a specific date.

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Google Slides is gaining a long-overdue media feature

Search for GIFs and stickers without leaving the app

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Google Slides is part of the company's extensive suite of Workspace products, which includes the likes of Docs, Sheets, Gmail, Meet, Calendar, and others. It's an excellent tool for educators and for those who make frequent presentations. However, Slides has been lacking one aspect that we usually take for granted on other apps — stickers and GIF integration. While Slides allows users to paste GIFs and stickers from other apps, native support was lacking. That changes now with Google adding a nifty sidebar for GIFs and stickers within the web version of the app.

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YouTube is testing a mystery button that starts playing random videos

But it’s not widely available yet

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We all use YouTube in some form, whether it's to kill some time with informational clips or to check out reviews of some of the best phones in the market. The streaming juggernaut is usually busy testing new features, though it seems like the platform's goals have somewhat changed over the past few months, given the renewed push to curb the use of ad blockers. But in between these controversial changes, YouTube has also added some other features to the web and mobile versions of the app to test the waters. One such change has popped up rather discreetly, wherein a mysterious new video button appears on the bottom right of the screen.

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Google Password Manager could soon pick up a new design

Material Design 3 on full display

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The Google Password Manager has seen several functionality-related improvements since its arrival on Chrome in 2022, such as the addition of biometric authentication for desktops and laptops earlier this year. More recently, we learned that Google is working on prompting users to switch to passkeys wherever possible as part of a Play Services update. The developers aren't stopping here, as a new leak has now revealed Google's plans to give the Password Manager a visual overhaul on Android.

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