Android Police

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Dubious report says Google will release non-Nexus phone this year - take it with a grain of salt

Given the number of tips we've now received, it no longer seemed prudent to ignore a rather questionable rumor published by The Telegraph yesterday, claiming that Google plans to build a phone that is not a Nexus and release it by the end of the year. And yes: the report acknowledges that there are rumors HTC will build 2016's Nexus phones. The Telegraph claims this is something else. But the moment they started discussing reasoning, I became suspicious.

Although Android runs on the majority of smartphones sold globally, Apple still dominates the lucrative high-end of the market. The proliferation of Android device makers, many of which apply the software differently, means Google has struggled to ensure consistency, with some smartphone owners waiting months for updates, and some manufacturers relegating Google’s own internet services which are included in Android.

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Samsung's updated 'Grace' TouchWiz UI for the Note 7 leaks

Samsung has traditionally made some minor UI tweaks to the Note devices every year, which are then adopted on the Galaxy S phones in subsequent updates. The Note 7, however, is expected to see more substantial UI changes. The so-called "Grace" interface for that phone has now leaked on video courtesy of HDblog.it.

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LG G5 Friends review, take 2: 360 Cam! 360 Cam! 360 Cam! Oh... other modules too

When I published my review of the LG G5, my personal take on the device itself was positive and divergent from David's more criticizing review. However, there is one aspect both David and I agree on almost to the letter: the Friends. They are, in my opinion, fun to try, but you can tell they were rushed, with a poorly executed mechanism, and some highly doubtful usefulness factor. Well, all but the 360 Cam. That one is pure awesome bundled in magic and wrapped in 360 degrees of cool.

Here's how some of the modules work. The G5's bottom chin can be removed with a small button/latch on the side of the device.

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Google Now's reminder system gets a speedy interface makeover

One of the handier voice commands that users can give to Google Now is "remind me to [whatever]," which will automatically start a function that adds a reminder and alarm to the cards. Follow that up with a specific time or day, and it will make the necessary adjustments to your command. Now it's even faster: the dialogue used to create a short countdown in the form of a blue line. But if you try the same command today, it will create a card instantly.

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[Deal Alert] The third generation Nest thermostat is down to $199 ($50 off) until July 4th

If you've been waiting to get your hands on one of Google's oh-so-special Nest thermostats, but balking at the super-high price, now's your chance to get one at a (slight) discount. The connected home gadget is on sale at major US retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Newegg. Customers can pick one up for $199.99, fifty bucks and twenty percent off of the retail price. That's still quite expensive for a thermostat, but not bad for someone hoping to dive into the connected home ecosystem.

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Case maker Incipio adds Skullcandy, seller of allegedly fashionable headphones, to its stable of companies

Casual observers of the electronic accessory scene will probably recognize Incipio as a seller of respectable if somewhat unremarkable cases for flagship phones and tablets. Incipio makes other accessories too, but cases and other protective add-ons are their bread and butter... which is probably why the company has left acquisitions like Braven to do their own things even after acquiring them. Observers will also know Skullcandy as a seller of remarkable if less-than-respectable headphones, lining Best Buy and Target shelves all over the US. As of this week, Incipio owns Skullcandy. How about that.

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Weekend poll: Android N's notifications, love 'em or hate 'em?

Android N has made some significant, nay, major changes to the notification cards compared to the outgoing L. For one, notifications now just look a lot more same-y: your Hangouts notifications don't look much different than your Inbox notifications which don't look much different from your Gmail notifications and so on and so forth. Small icons, little border separating individual cards, and a whole lot of white space can make Android N's notifications more difficult to visually parse, particularly if you're getting a huge number of notifications.

The collapsible notifications - aka bundling - are also something of a mess at the moment.

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Review: The Braven BRV XXL - If Thor, the God of Thunder, were to design a Bluetooth speaker, it would probably look and sound a lot like this

Here at Android Police we've tested devices of all different shapes and sizes. Well, the Bluetooth speaker I'm reviewing today is the largest and heaviest portable speaker I've ever used – by a lot! This is the Braven BRV XXL ($350), and it lives up to its name in both size and sound. Let's have a look, shall we?

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Qualcomm files a patent complaint against Meizu in Chinese court

Meizu is using technology that violates Qualcomm's patents without the usual licensing rigmarole, and Qualcomm isn't gonna take it anymore. So it is alleged in Qualcomm's press release, announcing a complaint against the up-and-coming Chinese manufacturer in the Beijing Intellectual Property Court. Qualcomm says that Meizu has refused to negotiate "in good faith" to license particular patents, especially those related to 3G and LTE radio standards, though the precise patents in question aren't delineated.

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[Deal Alert] Best Buy offers the Fugoo Sport XL Bluetooth speaker for $200 ($100 off) today only

At this point Bluetooth speakers are so thick on the ground that you can find them for anywhere between thirty or forty bucks up to several thousand. But any way you slice it, one third off of the retail price is a good deal. That's the discount that Best Buy is offering on the Fugoo Sport XL, a high-end Bluetooth speaker that's equipped with water and dust resistance plus a "shockproof" frame. It's normally three hundred bucks, but Best Buy's deal of the day is offering it for $199.99.

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