Android Police

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Chrome will completely remove Flash support at the end of 2020

The web has changed quite a bit over the past few years. All major browsers now release updates on a strict schedule, HTTPS is becoming the norm rather than the exception (before you ask, we're working on it!), and web plugins like Adobe Flash and Java are on their way out. Browser vendors and Adobe itself have been working to transition Flash-based content to HTML5, and Chrome even started displaying HTML5 content by default last year.

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Google Maps v9.58 beta prepares to add crowdsourced Q&A sections and user-contributed videos [APK Teardown]

There's a new version of Google Maps making the rounds through the beta channel. So far, no major changes are showing up with regular usage of the app, but there is evidence of a couple really huge new features on the horizon. A teardown of the apk reveals that the Maps team is preparing to launch a Q&A section for places that would allow users to ask and answer questions for each other. Also on the schedule is the addition of video to the types of media users will be able to contribute. These are some pretty huge features, so let's get straight to it.

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Fleksy keyboard is back with a new owner and dev team

The Fleksy keyboard app had a dedicated group of users who were dismayed when the developers seemed to vanish last year. At the time, Fleksy announced that its development team was acquired by Pinterest, but the fate of the actual keyboard app was uncertain. Now, Fleksy is back under a new parent company called Thingthing, and there's an updated version in the Play Store for the first time since April 2016.

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Google adds SOS alerts and disaster info to search results and Maps

Back in 2014, Facebook introduced 'Safety Check,' which allows users to verify they are safe after a natural disaster or other terrible local event. Google has been working on something similar, but more geared towards keeping people informed if they're in the midst of a crisis. The feature is called 'SOS alerts,' and it's being rolled out today.

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Motorola announces Moto Z2 Force and 360 Camera Mod

The Z2 series was kicked off last month with the Moto Z2 Play, and now the step-up version is official. The often leaked Moto Z2 Force is coming on August 10th, and you can preorder it now. Unlike last time, you'll be able to get this phone on and carrier—AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. There will also be an unlocked version. The pricing is really getting up there, though. You're looking at $799.99 for the phone, and then there are mods. Motorola is also announcing a new 360-degree camera Moto Mod, and that one will set you back $300.

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Android O feature spotlight: Text-to-speech has an experimental always-on language detection option

Google's Text-to-speech (TTS) is an accessibility feature that's long been a part of Android. It's a screen reader that can read aloud anything currently on display, a vital utility for users who are blind or partially-sighted. TTS isn't updated very often, but when it is it's usually to add something meaningful. The last update added support for new languages, as well as pronunciation and intonation improvements. We've now been made aware that there's an also an experimental always-on language detection switch, available to those using Android O.

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InBrief
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Google's Trusted Contacts app updated to include custom timeouts and Google Maps integration [APK Download]

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AutoTools 2.0 is now available, featuring web screens, HTML read, and more

Late last year we saw the introduction of a useful little app called AutoTools, dubbed 'Tasker Plus" by its developer, Joaomgcd. The AutoTools plugin adds to Tasker's already large feature set, with the ability to change certain system settings and control different toggles. Joao has been busy working on an upgrade, and now version 2.0 is upon us, which includes web screens, a navigation drawer, and HTML reading capabilities.

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[Deal Alert] Get an HTC U Ultra for $499 ($200 off), an HTC 10 for $399 ($100 off), and more as part of HTC's summer sale

One of the biggest criticisms about HTC smartphones as of late has been about their prices. For instance, $749 is kind of a lot for a U Ultra when you can get a Galaxy S8 for less. But with HTC's Summer Sunset Sale, you can chop a couple hundred bucks off the MSRPs of the U Ultra, the 10, the Under Armour HealthBox, and more.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Google Home and Philips Hue Color Starter Kit for $228.99 ($100 off) at Best Buy

 

Just getting started on your project to make your home smarter? If so, Best Buy may have just the thing for you. You can now purchase a Google Home and a third-generation Philips Hue Color A19 Starter Kit for just $228.99 - a savings of about $100 if you were to buy them separately.

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