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Google Assistant displays get a new UI, a dark theme, and more features

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Google’s been on a roll lately. After announcing new hardware and major updates to search, the company today introduced a bunch of new features coming to Assistant-powered displays soon, including a new, more intuitive UI and a dark mode.

The new UI is meant to make it easier to interact with the display and access the information you’re looking for without having to summon the Assistant. Previously the displays features a long list of functions would could scroll through, and it could be difficult to access the exact feature you wanted. Now the displays will divide functions into a few different pages.

The first of these pages is called ‘Your Morning,’ ‘Your Afternoon,’ or ‘Your Evening,’ on which the assistant will serve up some recommendations based on what it thinks would be most useful to you. For example, the Your Morning screen might show “a reminder for your first meeting, a run down of the morning news and a glance at the weather ahead,” according to Google.

The ‘Home Control’ page give you one area to access all your smart thingamajigs like lightbulbs and cameras. ‘Media’ is handy for starting a YouTube video, podcast, and the like, while ‘Communicate’ makes it easy to start a Meet or Duo call (Zoom support arrives “later this year”). Lastly, ‘Discover’ helps you learn about the different features accessible on your smart display.

The other most visible new feature is the ability to active a dark theme on these displays. It makes just as much sense on a smart display as it might on your phone, making the panel easier on your eyes, especially at night. You can also set the display to change automatically depending on the time of day, should you prefer something brighter while the sun is out.

Other updates include the ability to run both personal and work accounts on smart displays — useful for meetings and calls — the ability to auto-frame your webcam image on the Nest Hub Max, and the ability to raise the brightness of your screen before your alarm goes off.

The features are rolling out now, though some might take longer to arrive. For more on these features, you can check out Google’s post at the source link below.

For more gear, gadget, and hardware news and reviews, follow Plugged on Twitter and Flipboard.

Published October 19, 2020 — 21:19 UTC

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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