Android Police

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Instagram starts showing activity status in direct messages

In its quest to become the only app where you share photos, moments, and messages, Instagram is adding one new feature to its direct messages: activity status. Just like you'd see when a person was last active on WhatsApp or Telegram or plenty of other messaging services, now you can do the same on Instagram and chide them for not replying with "oohs" and "aahs" to the preettay pic of a sunset that you just posted or the kissy face you messaged directly to them. Or you know, there's one more way to track every online activity of your significant other and get many more proofs and reasons to pick a fight over "Are you still checking out your ex on Instagram?"

I guess this kind of feature isn't for me since I never started an Instagram DM with anyone, like eveeer, and my latest reply to anyone was about 16 weeks ago.

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Huawei endorses Google Jibe RCS, will start including Android Messages on phones

Adoption of RCS, the successor to the SMS/MMS standard, has remained relatively slow among carriers and devices. Google has spearheaded the effort by building its own 'Jibe' RCS hub and integrating it into its Android Messages SMS app, making it easier for carriers to support it. Samsung opted to build its own RCS hub, but Huawei has decided to get behind Google's technology.

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It's Wednesday, so here are 29 temporarily free and 22 on-sale apps

Wednesday is here, and the week is more than half over. It's a slim list today, about the same as Monday's, but that's okay. Dig through and see if you find something you like, and I'll see you all Friday.

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Google could block access to hidden and undocumented APIs in Android P

We're probably just a few months away from the first developer preview release of Android P, but there are some hints of what Google's cooking in AOSP. According to a report at XDA, Google might be planning a move that'll upset some developers. New commits suggest Google will remove access to unofficial APIs in the next big Android release.

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Google designer Ivy Ross shows off prototypes of Pixel 2, Pixelbook, Home Mini, and more

Prototypes are always cool to see, but us consumers don't often get to do so. It's nice to take a look at how the designs of products evolve from the drawing board all the way to our homes, pockets, and backpacks. An interview with Google hardware designer Ivy Ross recently went up on The Keyword, and embedded within are photos of several Google products' prototypes.

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Essential Phone Oreo Beta 3 now available for download

It's been almost a month since Essential rolled out the second Oreo beta for its phone. If you were hoping for a final release, that's not happening yet. Essential has, however, released a third Oreo beta for the Essential Phone. It includes new security patches and minor fixes.

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Google Photos v3.12 prepares to redeem free storage codes, better support SD cards, and lets us know Austin is up to his most mystery-er feature yet [APK Teardown]

With that other major news event out of the way, it's time to move on to more interesting news – Google app updates. Late last night brought us a version bump to Google Photos. While there haven't been any notable changes popping into view yet, a teardown does present some pretty interesting revelations for the future. Fans of the free original storage promotion might soon have some options to enjoy that with other phones. If you've felt like SD card support wasn't up to snuff, there's reason to think that might be getting better soon. And finally, Austin has reappeared with the my curious of features yet.

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Discogs adds in-app purchasing to its latest beta

If you're big into vinyl (records), then you probably recognize the name Discogs. If you aren't, it's a music marketplace for cataloging your collection and buying new albums. And, today, Discogs has released a beta that allows you to make purchases from inside the Android app itself. 

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Taking a page from Kindle, Amazon’s Alexa is everywhere—can Google's Assistant catch up?

When Amazon upended the publishing industry with the advent of the Kindle, it also paved the way for an approach to luring consumers into a larger sphere of influence, a strategy that is now being successfully adapted for the new age of smart speakers and digital assistants. Both the Kindle and the Echo provide consumers with valuable services, encouraging them to shop and receive content within Amazon's ecosystem. Most of the experiences of its Kindle and Echo hardware also come in the form of apps or services that appear on other manufacturers' devices without additional charge to the consumer, making that connection even stronger.

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World of Warships Blitz has officially launched on the Play Store

World of Warships Blitz is billed as a free-to-play mobile action MMO. It is from Wargaming World, the publisher of the hit mobile World War 2 military tank shooter World of Tanks Blitz. The Blitz line of Android games are of course smaller scale mobile-friendly versions of Wargaming's range of free-to-play PC games.

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