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Has Google acquired HTC? We’ll find out soon

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The rumors that Google is looking to buy part of stumbling Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC might be confirmed or denied very soon. On Wednesday, the Taiwanese Stock Exchange (TWSE) said it will halt trading in HTC shares, starting Sept. 2017, pending an important announcement. 

This does not necessarily confirm an acquisition by Google or anyone else—the trading of company stock can be halted for a number of reasons. 

But given the dire state HTC is in, something needs to happen, and an acquisition is the most likely scenario. 

HTC shares have fallen 94% since the glory days of April 2011pic.twitter.com/CNMOezekFI

— Tim Culpan (@tculpan) September 20, 2017 Read more…

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Leaked images show a new Google Daydream View headset priced at $99

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Google is probably soon releasing an updated version of the Daydream View, its VR headset that is powered by a phone rather than a computer.

According to Droid Life, the new model looks to be made of a nylon-like fabric, better able to withstand sweat than the jersey-like material of its predecessor. The new version will also feature better color options: Charcoal, Fog, and Coral.

Here is the New Google Daydream View, It’ll Cost $99.https://t.co/Opj8Do2qA5 pic.twitter.com/Yyevo618sU

— Droid Life (@droid_life) September 19, 2017 Read more…

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Pics of Google’s Pixel 2 phones just leaked, and they look pretty ‘meh’

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We’re just a couple weeks away from Google’s big Pixel 2 event so, naturally, the leaks have kicked into high gear.

Leaked images of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL appeared on the Android blog DroidLife, which show Google’s new Pixel lineup in fresh colors, including “Kinda Blue” and “Just Black.” The Pixel 2 will start at $649 and the Pixel 2 XL at $849, according to the site.

They report the smaller Pixel 2 will come in three, not-so-subtly-named color variations, Clearly White, Just Black, and Kinda Blue. Other than the colors, the backside of the handset, made by HTC, looks a lot like last year’s Pixel.   Read more…

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Google may have accidentally leaked details about its Pixel 2

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Google may have accidentally let us in on some details about the Pixel 2 a little early.

Code buried within the Google app has revealed what appears to be a series of features slated for the Pixel 2, including the so-called “squeezable frame” and new ways to use the company’s Assistant feature. 

Some of the new details, which were first reported by 9to5Google, aren’t entirely new to those who have been paying attention to the Pixel 2 rumor mill, but the fact that signs of them were found in Google’s own app makes the features much more likely to appear in the phone. Read more…

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Gmail is rolling out a new update that will (finally) turn contact info into links in emails

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Gmail is finally getting with the times.

For its latest update, the email service is making a long-awaited improvement by turning key information in emails — such as addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses — into clickable links.

In a blog post shared on Monday, Google explained that both Gmail and Inbox by Gmail on Android, iOS, and the web will start detecting and converting the above information into hyperlinks. The feature’s full roll-out is expected to take up to three days.

Image: gmail

Now, clicking on email addresses will prompt a new email composition window using your default mail app, and, as you probably assumed, tapping phone numbers on a mobile device will start a new call request. Read more…

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Bose’s Google Assistant headphones reportedly appear in the wild (but you can’t buy them yet)

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Google is expected to bring its voice assistant directly to headphones — and the first pair of cans with the AI helper might have accidentally hit store shelves before an official announcement could even be made.   

Multiple pairs of Bose QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones have been spotted at Best Buy stores, according to 9to5Google. The headphones aren’t even listed on Bose’s website yet and the story didn’t allow anyone to buy the headphones, so the fact that these headphones were on store shelves clearly wasn’t supposed to happen.   

The biggest news here is that the packaging claims the headphones will have a new Google Assistant capability, and a picture of the headphones on the box’s rear shows off a new button on one of the earcups that could be used to control the AI.      Read more…

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Bing launches Google-like fact-checking label

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Bing is taking action against fake news, in a similar fashion to what Google has already done. 

Microsoft’s search engine is adding a “Fact Check” label to the search results “to help users find fact checking information on news, and with major stories and webpages within the Bing search results,” it said in a blog post

The label could be used on both news articles and web pages from fact-checking organisations, such as Snopes or PolitiFact, to quickly identify whether the claim is true or false. 

See this example provided by Bing on a hoax about Florida Governor Rick Scott’s critical condition after Hurricane Irma:  Read more…

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Google goes big in Asia with mobile payment app for hundreds of millions of people

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Google is going big into Asia’s mobile payment scene.

The tech giant has launched a new mobile money app called Tez in India — a country with a smartphone user base of over 300 million, which has been named the world’s fastest growing smartphone market.

“Tez” which means fast in Hindi, lets users link up their bank accounts to their phones, allowing them to use the app to pay merchants in stores, and instantly transfer money to friends.

Google’s app isn’t just another of the many mobile payment apps out there. To make Tez count, Google made sure it worked with India’s national Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a payment system backed by the government and 19 major banks in the country. Read more…

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