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This week’s top stories: Chrome to alter ad blockers, Huawei & Android Q, more

In this week’s top stories: Google stands firm on major changes to Chrome which will adversely affect the functionality of ad block extensions, the Huawei Mate 20 returns to the Android Q Beta, Huawei themselves are reinstated to the SD Association, and more.

The most controversial news this week was Google’s decision to not back down on changes to Chrome, proposed in January, that will hamper current ad block extensions, despite strong community feedback. Instead, Google announced that the blocking functionality ad block extensions currently use will be deprecated for all but enterprise users. Everyone else will need to use extensions that use Chrome’s newly created ad blocking APIs, though this system is currently considered inferior by extension developers.

One of the original concerns of switching to this system was the fact that Chrome currently imposes a limit of 30,000 rules, while popular ad blocking rules lists like EasyList use upwards of 75,000 rules. In the response, Google claims that they’re looking to increase this number, depending on performance tests, but couldn’t commit to anything specific.

Last week’s major event was the disassociation of Huawei from US tech companies, including Google, due to the Chinese company’s inclusion on the US Entity list. For reasons that haven’t quite been made clear yet, Huawei has begun to see a restoration to various places they had been removed from.

Notably, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has returned to the Android Q Beta’s list of compatible devices, and the company has been placed back in the good graces of the SD Association. The restorations may be related to a 90-day license granted to Huawei by the US government to continue developing updates.

On the Chrome OS side of things, Google has discounted the Pixel Slate by $200 all weekend long. Six months in to the device’s lifespan, the Pixel Slate has begun to take on a new life, thanks to various fixes in Chrome OS. Even our own Stephen Hall has been changing his mind about the Pixel Slate, since his review.

Several major retailers have also discounted the Chrome OS tablet, including AmazonBest Buy, and B&H Photo. Unfortunately, Google has not discounted the $199 Pixel Slate Keyboard or the $99 Pixelbook Pen. The Brydge G-TYPE Keyboard is also still $159.99. For the complete experience as a productivity device, the keyboard is a needed accessory and it’s unfortunate Google did not go all the way.

The Google Play Store’s Material Theme redesign, originally discovered by our APK Insight team, is finally rolling out to devices everywhere. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for it to roll to your device, as Redditors discovered a trick to force enabling the new design.

The rest of this week’s top stories follow:

Android |

Apps & Updates |

Google |

Google Assistant |

Google Pixel |

Videos |

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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