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Google Updates: Mostly Star Wars and free apps, if we’re honest

SO OUR Clearinghouse for Google News that missed the cut this week starts with Google Inbox, that rather curious version of Gmail that uses AI to bolster its usefulness.

It’s added a proactive unsubscribe feature. If you haven’t opened a particular sender’s emails for a while, it’ll offer you the chance to unsubscribe. Simple yet brilliant.

If you’re waiting (or like us couldn’t get tickets) for The Last Jedi, the last thing you need is spoilers. Fortunately, there’s a Chrome extension for that. Force Block has been updated to cope with revelations from the new movie, and ensure that your socks are knocked off when the big song and dance number starts. Oops. Sorry.

Speaking of Star Wars, Pixel users now have a variety of virtual stickers they can use to “Force-Up” their photos. It uses some of the tech first seen in Project Tango. If you’re recording video they will actually appear right there in the video with you, using AI to “read” where the floor is.

Pixel apps in the Google Play Store are now restricted to 5 installs a piece. This seems a bit weird, but apparently, it’s so they can use the number of active installations as a way of seeing how many active devices there are. Could get a bit annoying at a later date though.

Google Maps Go has arrived for the less well powered Android phone user. It sits alongside Files Go as a lightweight version of the app you know and love. The app claims that others like Gmail Go exist. They don’t as far as we know, so we’d assume that means they’re imminent instead.

Your three-for-free apps this week – what better place to start than with more must-see-movie shenanigans? Star Wars Pinball 5 (£1.89). It’s been made free to tie in with the film opening and what a spiffing bargain with character cameos and Force friendly noises. Worth noting, however, there is some in-app purchasing for extra tables.

A collective freebie this one. We mentioned earlier this week that there was some new photo software from Google Research. Well, right on queue, XnView who quite often offer up one of their apps as a freebie, has decided to do the whole ruddy lot. Usual prices vary, but with everything from gif makers to black and white art cameras, there are loads of good reasons to take a look.

If you’re all done with learning French and German, Mosalingua has another free language for you to learn – this time its’ Learn Brazilian-Portuguese. Could have done with it before the Olympics to be honest, but it’s never too late to learn. And saving a fiver, well you can’t complain eh?

That’s it for this week. Next week, we’ll do our Google Updates review of the year – you lucky people. µ 

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