You can take a VR tour of New York’s department stores thanks to Google

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If you’ve ever wanted to see New York’s fancy department store windows without having to shell out the cash to get there (and deal with the insane crowds this time of year), Google has your back. Their latest VR endeavor puts you right in front of several New York department stores, complete with a high-resolution virtual reality panorama and the sounds of a bustling city street around you.

Trusted Contacts is a new Google app to keep track of friends and family

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Google has launched a brand new app called Trusted Contacts that wants to bring a little extra peace of mind to anyone that frequently travels alone, at night, or in any other less than 100% safe situation.

The concept of the app is pretty simple; you pick a few favorite, trusted contacts, and the app shares your location with them and keeps them updated until you’ve made it home or to your car.

The best apps, games, and movies of 2016 according to Google

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While it seems that we are hurtling towards the New Year with ever-increasing speed, 2016 isn’t quite done and dusted just yet. There are still a bunch of burning questions to answer, one of which is what were the best apps of 2016? As they did in 2015, Google has helpfully compiled a list of the year’s top apps, games, movies, and more. Join us after the break for more details.

LG begins offering full refunds for faulty Nexus 5X units

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With the advent of Google’s new Pixel range of smartphones in 2016, the Nexus line has been discontinued. The Nexus 5X was one of the last models in the line-up and it seems that the LG-manufactured handset has some boot loop issues, which is reminiscent of the LG G4. With the Nexus 5X no longer being produced, spare parts are either scarce or non-existent, resulting in LG taking the bold step of offering full refunds as opposed to repairing the affected phone or replacing it with a refurbished or even new handset.

[Deal] Access Google Play Music and YouTube Red for free with 4 month trial

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Thanksgiving is the first big occasion of the 2016 festive period, and we all know what that entails; Grandma complaining because someone drank her prune juice, Uncle Bob making inappropriate comments, and usually at least two family members squabbling in a corner over a wooly jumper. It’s hectic and noisy, but one way you can escape it is to drown out the mayhem with some soothing tunes by way of Google Play Music. And, if you haven’t previously subscribed to Google’s music streaming service, you can sign up and get four months subscription to it, and YouTube Red, without paying a penny.

Get 3 months of HBO Now with every Chromecast purchase until December 24th

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Buying presents for family and loved ones can be a tricky affair, with budgets being stretched as everyone wants the latest gadgets, which usually means that compromises have to be made. Maybe not so much this year, though, because Google is getting into the festive spirit by including 3 months subscription to HBO Now, free of charge, with every Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra purchase until December 24th.

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.