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Google attempts to get Android messaging right (again) with Chat

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As predicted, Android is stepping up its messaging game to be on the same page as Apple’s iMessage and Facebook Messenger.

Google’s launching a new messaging service simply called Chat, and it’s the latest, and hopefully best effort by the tech giant to simplify the messaging offering on Android.

As revealed by The Verge, Chat is a rich communication service (RCS) that Google has been pushing carriers and smartphone makers to adopt.

It’s not a new app, but rather an upgrade of the existing messaging experience on Android. It’ll add features like read receipts, being able to see other people typing, full-resolution images and video, and group texting. Read more…

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Nike ramps up membership benefits with Apple Music, ClassPass and Headspace unlocks for app users

 The top line is that Nike is rolling out some membership related updates to its app for iPhone and Android today. The updates will come in the form of new unlocks with partnerships like ClassPass, Apple and Headspace. There will also be a bunch of new unlocks coming for exclusive shoes and clothing. NikePlus Unlocks, the official name for these cards that appear in the Nike+ app Members… Read More

Those huge CPU vulnerabilities, Meltdown and Spectre, explained

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By now you’ve probably heard. A large portion of the world’s computer processors are vulnerable to at least one of two exploits that render them susceptible to hackers. But what, exactly, is going on — and what can you do to protect yourself?

While the answer to the first question is complicated, thankfully the answer to the second isn’t. It turns out that companies like Google and Microsoft have been working behind the scenes to create patches for what the security community has named Meltdown and Spectre. 

But we’re not out of the woods yet, and, depending on your operating system, you still need to take some proactive measures to make sure your data is safe.  Read more…

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HQ Trivia Is Coming to Android | Crunch Report

HQ Trivia is coming to Android, Amazon Echo is the No. 1 best seller on the site and the founder of LeEco is ordered to return to China. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

BlackBerry’s KEYone ‘Black Edition’ offers more than just good looks

 BlackBerry’s most interesting phone in years – if not an entire decade – is the KEYone, an Android device with a classic BlackBerry hardware keyboard that finally answers the needs of truly dedicated thumb typists with a modern mobile OS. Now, the KEYone ‘Black Edition’ has arrived, and it’s more than just a fresh coat of paint on an older gadget. In fact,… Read More

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Watch Google unveil the Pixel 2 live right here

 Google’s big event is today. And this time, it’s all about new devices — the company should unveil a handful of new hardware products. The event will start at 9 AM in San Francisco, 12 PM in New York, 5 PM in London, 6 PM in Paris. And we already know what to expect. The big elephant in the room is Google’s new flagship Android phone, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. It… Read More

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Keyboard fans, rejoice: BlackBerry KEYone is available to buy

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Prepare your fingers: BlackBerry’s new Android-meets-physical-keyboard phone, the KEYone, is now available for purchase in the U.S.

You can get it on BlackBerry’s website, Amazon, and Best Buy online, or at select Best Buy stores, for the price of $549.99.

The phone is available in two unlocked variants in the U.S. — one optimized for GSM networks, which includes AT&T and T-Mobile, and one optimized for CDMA networks such as Verizon. Carrier-bound versions of the phone will become available this summer. 

The KEYone is probably the last chance to revive BlackBerry’s nearly non-existent market share. The phone will likely polarize customers — like it did us — as it’s a mix of cool features and annoying quirks.  Read more…

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Facebook opens up 360-degree live streaming to all

 Facebook just made live streaming 360-degree video relatively easy, provided you have the equipment to capture the content. Users of devices like the new 2017 model Gear 360 just announced at the S8 smartphone launch, or the Insta360 Nano (for iPhone) and Air (for Android), or a host of higher-end models designed for pros, you can go live and broadcast an immersive feed for your audience.… Read More

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Truecaller gets payment support and Duo integration as it trickles to feature phones

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For Truecaller, an app that offers real-time caller ID and spam protection, the past two years have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. 

On one hand, the eight-year-old service continues to grow strongly in developing markets, and has also chalked out plans to attract people globally.

On the other hand, several features that made Truecaller so popular are now shipping out of the box with iPhone and Android smartphones. 

So what does the Swedish company doing to survive in the market? Partnerships, mostly, it said today at an event in New Delhi.  Read more…

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Google says it already fixed 'many' of the security flaws from Vault 7 leak

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On Tuesday, WikiLeaks released a large trove of documents, allegedly containing CIA hacking tools and security exploits for all major software platforms, including Android. 

Now, Google has publicly responded to the leak, claiming “many” of the vulnerabilities are already fixed. 

“As we’ve reviewed the documents, we’re confident that security updates and protections in both Chrome and Android already shield users from many of these alleged vulnerabilities,” Heather Adkins, Director of Information Security and Privacy, told Mashable in a statement. “Our analysis is ongoing and we will implement any further necessary protections. We’ve always made security a top priority and we continue to invest in our defenses.” Read more…

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Google Assistant hits more Android devices today

google-assistant Your Android phone is about to get an upgrade. Google today is making good on its promise to bring its Siri alternative known as Google Assistant to more Android devices, starting today. The company announced at Mobile World Congress over the weekend that its Assistant would soon launch in the U.S., followed by English-language launches in Australia, Canada and the U.K., as well… Read More

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Sony's Xperia XZ Premium is the world's first phone with a 4K HDR screen

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The word overkill doesn’t seem to be in Sony’s vocabulary.

A year and a half after introducing the Xperia Z5 Premium, the world’s first and only smartphone with a 4K display, Sony’s now one-upped itself with the Xperia XZ Premium, the world’s first phone with a 4K HDR screen. 

The display’s not the only thing that’s bonkers on the Xperia XZ Premium. The phone’s camera is also the world’s first to be capable of recording slow motion video at a ridiculous 960 frames per second.

By “normal” standards, the Xperia XZ Premium’s 5.5-inch 4K (3,840 x 2,160) HDR screen is totally unnecessary, but I guess when you’re Sony and you have so little of the mobile pie, you’ve got to aim for the stratosphere or throw in the towel. Read more…

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Kim Kardashian would love the BlackBerry KEYone

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It’s no secret Kim Kardashian West loves her BlackBerry and nearly lost her goddamn mind last year when her last BlackBerry Bold died and she couldn’t find any more on eBay.

Well, Kim, I hope you’re reading this because everything is going to be OK again once the new QWERTY keyboard-equipped BlackBerry KEYone comes out in a few months.

Designed and manufactured by TCL Communications Technology (TCT), which now has the global rights to build and sell BlackBerry-branded phones, the KEYone (formerly codenamed “Mercury”) is the best marriage of BlackBerry and Android I’ve seen yet. Read more…

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Google wants to know what you'd like to see in the Pixel 2

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Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL are, without question, two of the best Android phones ever created.

There’s lots to love. Its “pure” Android software is fast and smooth, the camera is one of the best and sometimes even better than the iPhone’s, battery life is excellent and it’s Daydream-ready for mobile VR.

But the phones are by no means perfect.

In a post on the Pixel User Community board, Google’s Krishna Kumar, the product lead on the Pixel, asks to hear thoughts on the current Pixel phones and what Google can improve for future devices. Read more…

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Viral selfie-morphing FaceApp launches on Android after huge iOS success

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Android users will now be able to change their frowns to smiles, after a popular face-morphing app launched on Wednesday on Google Play.

FaceApp, which was initially available only for Apple iPhones, had reached one million downloads in two weeks, the app’s developer told Mashable.

Different from the filters we know through Snapchat, Faceapp instead morphs faces by blending in facial features so that it can change a closed mouth to a toothy smile.

Its handful of features allows you to age yourself or change your gender, too. Read more…

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Google just dropped the last Android Wear update before its launch

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Google’s big Android Wear update is almost ready for primetime.

After months of delays, the company pushed out the final version of the developer preview for the upcoming Android Wear 2.0 update, confirming the official release is coming next month.

The update includes support for one of the most significant changes coming to the platform: iOS support for standalone apps. As we detailed in our preview during Google I/O last year, Android Wear 2.0 has completely untethered apps from your smartphone — even for iPhone users — so third-party apps can function even if you don’t have a Wi-Fi or data connection. Read more…

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Google's Assistant might not be exclusive to Pixel for much longer

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You might not have to buy a Google Pixel or Pixel XL to get the company’s intelligent Assistant after all.

LG’s upcoming G6 smartphone might be the first non-Pixel phone to include Assistant, according to a report from BusinessKorea. LG is also said to be in talks with Amazon to possibly incorporate Alexa into future phones.

When Google launched its Pixel phones in October, it touted Assistant as one of the main selling points. Google CEO Sundar Pichai called the Assistant “your own personal Google.” In Mashable’s testing, Assistant bested Siri in a number of ways. Read more…

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Meitu's anime makeover app is a permission-grabbing privacy disaster

Meitu is one of Google Play’s “Sand Hill” apps, part of the company’s accelerator for apps with “viral potential” — take a pic of yourself and Meitu will make you over to look like an anime character, and all they ask in return is every salient fact about you that can be gleaned from your mobile device.
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Google for Android gets new feature to deal with inconsistent internet connections

google-shop12 As more of the world’s population comes online for the first time, so Google is focusing on making the web and its services more accessible. That means smaller sized apps for budget devices with limited space, and offline support to help deal with intermittent, spotty or weak internet connections. Read More

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Nokia finally returns to the smartphone market

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After years of anticipation, Nokia is finally back in the smartphone game. 

To little fanfare, the Finnish technology company HMD Global (HMD) Sunday unveiled the Nokia 6, a mid-range Android smartphone for the Chinese market. HMD owns the rights to use Nokia’s brand on mobile phones. 

The Nokia 6, which runs the newest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android Nougat, sports a 5.5-inch full HD (1920×1080 pixels) display. With metal on the sides and a rounded rectangular fingerprint scanner housed on the front, the Nokia 6 seems reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S7Read more…

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