Google Allo 14 reveals coming zoom and blur effects for quick selfie, new Allo web & Data Usage setting pages, more [APK Teardown]

Google Allo version 14 began rolling out just yesterday, but deep in the app’s code we’ve found details on some features that are new in this version, and a few in the works for future unreleased versions of Allo. Some of these, including new zoom and blur options for quick selfies, a new Allo for web setting page, and a new Data Usage page, we’ve managed to enable ourselves…

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eBay revamps Android app ahead of holiday shopping with improved browsing, product pages, more

Ahead of the holiday shopping season, eBay today has updated its iOS and Android apps with a new, more user-friendly interface and browsing process. The update comes following the addition of Touch ID and Android Wear support over the summer.

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YouTube launches new tailored home pages in Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Google has announced that YouTube watchers in Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will start seeing a new homepage from this week. While YouTube has been available in Nepali, Sinhalese and Urdu for a while, the new pages have tailored content specific to those three countries. They also have country-specific domains.

Most-watched videos like Nai Nabhannu La 3 in Nepal, the Coke Studio channel in Pakistan and the Amazing Sri Lankan Spiderman will now show up in the top content for their respective countries, making them even easier to find.

With more local content finding their way to their viewers’ home-pages, YouTube hopes it will help inspire more local creators to get involved, and help them get discovered more easily.

While Google is keen to advertise its ‘tailored’ new home pages, there is a more interesting sub-plot here. YouTube has been banned in Pakistan since 2012, a ban which was re-inforced last February when the government said it would remain banned indefinitely. At the time, a Pakistan official said that “no tool or solution has been found which can totally block offensive content, that is why YouTube remains blocked and it will remain so indefinitely.”

With a dedicated Pakistan home page, perhaps Google is hoping it can persuade the government to lift the ban.

Google’s accelerated mobile pages launch early next year, more partners announced

The AMP Project — to speed up and improve mobile web pages — is picking up steam since its announcement six weeks ago, and now we know that it’s expected to launch in an official capacity early next year. A bevy of new media organizations and ad tech companies have announced their support and commitment to the open source project, as well.

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Google wanted to sell AI-powered robotic arms, but they failed Larry Page’s ‘toothbrush test’

Google has been using AI and neural networks to help robotic arms to learn for quite some time now. Back in March the company published a report detailing how its software-enabled robotic arms were being taught to learn how to pick up objects by themselves, and the Mountain View company further detailed this research just last week in a blog post showing off a few more different approaches for general-purpose skill learning — like opening doors.

It’s impressive tech, but as with many of Google’s other impressive tech experiments, it seems like this one is never going to actually become a source of revenue for the company — at least not directly. The Google robotics group wanted to sell the arms to manufacturers, but that plan ultimately got turned down by Alphabet executives because they failed the “toothbrush test” (via Bloomberg)…

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Google launches Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, its plan to speed up the mobile web

With the debate over ads and the speed of the mobile web growing every day, many web companies like Apple and Facebook have pushed for publishers to hand over their content in the name of a better experience for users. But content creators — for the most part — don’t want to do that, and Google knows that. So today, the Mountain View company has announced the Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative, a plan it’s leading to make the mobile web faster… more…