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Facebook Portal Just Got a Huge Update

Facebook's Portal smart display just gained several new features, including news-video apps from ABC News and CNN, along with CNN's Great Big Story.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Additionally, the Portal now has a web browser (Facebook hasn't specified which), which you'll be able to use to watch YouTube videos and stream additional content. A browser was previously a key, unique feature of Amazon's Echo Show, so such a browser is a big step up for its Facebook competitor.

And while it was previously possible to watch compilations of videos from apps provided by services such as the Food Network on the Portal, a web browser gives users a lot more flexibility in what they watch and browse. 

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A selection of Facebook's Instant Games is now also available on the Portal as well, including such classics as Sudoku, Words With Friends, and Battleship.

Facebook is rolling out some smaller new features for Portal users as well. These include a manual mode for its signature Smart Camera, new AR effects and Story Time titles, music sharing from iHeartRadio, and the ability to call family members based on relationships listed on your Facebook profile (e.g. "Hey, Portal, call Mom.")

The new features will certainly make for new, fun activities for Portal users, though it's unlikely they'll make up for the massive privacy concerns that most people have with this device.

Monica Chin is a writer at The Verge, covering computers. Previously, she was a staff writer for Tom's Guide, covering artificial intelligence and the internet of things. You can usually find her at poetry slams, attempting to exercise, or yelling at people on Twitter.