Gone is Google Cast branding, awkward “Chromecast built-in” replaces it

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There’s never a moment when Google lets consumers get comfortable with its home entertainment branding, and now the company is changing the (official) way we all view the technology once referred to as Google Cast. The technology at the core of streaming sticks, set-top boxes, speakers, and televisions has been changed to center around another device that’s popular around the world. It’s an odd move, but Google clearly wants to associate the technology with terminology more familiar with the masses.

Please re-welcome “Chromecast built-in” to your living room.

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NVIDIA Black Friday 2016 Deals

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During the holidays, it’s a great time to sit down and play a game while it’s too cold out to do anything outdoors. NVIDIA is hosting a Black Friday this week where you can pick up titles like Doom 3 and Half-Life on the cheap. Both GeForce NOW and Android games are part of what the company calls its “biggest sale of the year.”

Hit the break for the list of games discounted by NVIDIA for Black Friday.

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Gingerbread and Honeycomb to lose Google Play Services support in next update

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It may be hard to believe, but there are actually still some devices out there in the world running older versions of Android like Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The numbers are small at less that 1.5% and things may get a little bit more challenging for those users in early 2017. Google has announced they will be discontinuing support for those platforms with the next release of Google Play Services. The minimum version, or API level, will jump from 9 to 14, which corresponds to the Ice Cream Sandwich release. Read more

Nest Aware gets several upgrades for Nest Cams

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Google’s Nest unit announced several updates to the Nest Cam and their Nest Aware platform, their framework and app for making advanced use of Nest Cam devices. Leading the way is a new feature to make it possible to share clips on social media. Nest is also making it easier to view content from Nest Cams by adding support for platforms like Android TV, Apple TV and iPhones to go along with the Android platform support. Read more

4K UHD movies ready to appear on Google Play Movies

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Google has provided the market with an upgraded Chromecast device this year, the Chromecast Ultra, that supports 4K video streaming. There is also a decent chance that you may be in the market for a new television this year that supports 4K resolutions and retailers certain seem to be hoping those will be a big seller this holiday shopping season. With all of this hardware now available, users will be looking for 4K content and Google appears to be just about ready to supply that as well through the Play Store on their Google Play Movies & TV platform based on some reports that are starting to surface. Read more

Google Allo updated with Smart Smiley emoji suggestions and chat themes

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Google may be having a hard time getting enough users to switch over from their messaging app of choice, but that isn’t stopping the Mountain View company from continuing to add new features to its Google Assistant-powered chat app Allo. Today, they are announcing an update to Allo that brings in contextual emoji and sticker suggestions, a brand new Fantastic Beasts sticker pack, and new chat themes.

Join us after the break for the details.

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Google releases PhotoScan for saving your old physical pictures

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Google has launched a new companion app to Google Photos that wants to save your old physical prints and give you a digital copy to save and upload to Facebook. The premise is pretty simple; take a picture of your picture and let the app crop, zoom, and adjust the image automatically for you. Then you’ll have a copy saved in your Google Photos library to do anything with. Read more