Android Police

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The Android Police Podcast LIVE (8/25/16)

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Canadian Chromecast 2015 and Chromecast Audio owners can claim $20 of free Play Store credit

Google is an American company, as in the United States of America. That means that sometimes - okay, a lot of times - its new programs and promotions are first and often only available to Americans. But today our neighbors to the north finally get something that we don't. And it's pretty sweet: twenty bucks of free credit in the Play Store for owners of the Chromecast 2015 and/or the newer Chromecast Audio! That's better than a free Tim Horton's run.

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Remote for Google Play Music Desktop Player controls Play Music on your computer

I've long dreamt of a way to control Play Music on my desktop with my phone. It's one of those things I'd basically given up on, until I found out about Desktop Remote, for Google Play Music. It uses a "wrapped" web Play Music interface so your phone can control the music playing on your desktop PC.

I've been using this today and I can say it works really well. Much like Radiant Player for macOS or the official Chrome extension, it controls the function keys so the play/pause/skip buttons work for Play Music. The remote control feature is almost instantaneous - the app can play and pause music, skip tracks, scrub forward or backwards, and switch shuffle or repeat on/off.

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CrossOver for Android runs Windows programs on x86 Android tablets and Chromebooks

If you have ever used Linux, Mac, or another *nix operating system, you've probably heard of Wine. No, not the beverage - it's software that allows Windows programs to run on platforms that aren't Windows. Wine is one of my favorite open-source projects, under development since 1993 and having a massive community of developers and testers. Wine also maintains a database of compatible programs, which should give you an idea of the impressive compatibility.

CrossOver is essentially a commercial version of Wine, offering technical support and easier configuration of programs. Almost three years after development started on CrossOver for Android, CodeWeavers (the company responsible for CrossOver) is finally sharing a working preview on Google Play.

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YouTube is getting a new UI and animation for video description and actions

It would appear that Google is rolling out yet another tweak to the YouTube app's interface. This time, there's a new layout and a slick animation when you expand the video description. This is also where you'll find most of the video actions now.

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The most (and least) popular devices used to browse Android Police (Aug. 2016)

Several of you - there are dozens of us! - have asked on a number of occasions that Android Police list off some of the most popular mobile devices used on the site by our readers. Using Google Analytics, we actually have pretty granular insight on this, and so I figured I'd share with you the top devices in the last month as well as some of my obscure favorites and their respective positions on our list. Ready? We'll start with the top 12 (more on why in a second), in order of popularity.

  1. Google Nexus 6P
  2. Apple iPhone*
  3. Google Nexus 5X
  4. Google Nexus 6
  5. Google Nexus 5
  6. Galaxy S7 edge
  7. Apple iPad*
  8. Galaxy S6
  9. Galaxy S5
  10. Galaxy S7
  11. Galaxy Note 5
  12. Galaxy Note 4

The reason I used a list of twelve, you may have guessed, has to do with those Apple asterisks.

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Google's useless Device Assist app is shutting down

If you are one of the small number of people who use Google's Device Assist app, I have some bad news. Support for the app is being dropped effective immediately. Users are being notified of the app's demise via a "detected issue" card that directs them to Google's online tips site instead.

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Sony Xperia X Compact image leaks as Sony's website confirms its existence along with Xperia XZ

Sony released the Xperia X series earlier this year with a few different screen sizes. However, none of them were "Compact" variants like Sony has offered for the last few years. Now, @evleaks has dropped a render of the supposed Xperia X Compact on Twitter. It certainly looks legit, and it turns out Sony's own website might have outed this device along with the Xperia XZ.

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HTC's broken 15-day update promise for the One A9 is a small symptom of a larger malady

Last year, HTC promised that the One A9 would receive Android OS updates within 15 [business] days of the first Nexus device to get that update. HTC almost immediately failed to meet its self set goal with security patches, and last I checked, my One A9 was rocking a June 1st security update in early August (it does now have the August security patch, though). Now HTC is seemingly implying the One A9 may not get Nougat until 2017, or: at least not until well after the end of August it would have under its 15-day no-longer-a-rule.

Given very few people bought the One A9, this should not surprise you in the least.

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Google Maps v9.35 Beta adds Plus Codes to dropped pins and an arrival screen to navigation, prepares for speed limits, ordering food online, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

Out of the entire list of apps in Google's lineup, Maps is probably the most consistent about delivering new and interesting features with almost every release. Version 9.35 began rolling out to users signed up to the beta channel yesterday and it's no slouch. Regular drivers can look forward to a new screen to welcome them when they arrive at their destinations and there's dropped pins now contain Plus Codes so it's extremely easy to convey fairly precise locations to people through text, IM, and even over the phone. Moving over to a teardown shows that speed limits and current speed are going to be shown during navigation.

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The pink gold Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are coming to the US as Best Buy exclusives [Update]

Samsung announced the pink gold (or as I like to call it "shiny pink") version of the Galaxy S7 back in April, but that was only for international models. Now, the pink gold version of the phone is finally coming to the US. It will be exclusive to Best Buy, though.

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