Android Police

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Monday app and game sales: Kingdom Rush Origins, Tiny Planet FX Pro, Death Worm, and more

A new week has just begun, and that can be sort of a bummer. The weekend is like forever away. You know what's not a bummer? Getting apps and games on sale. We've got some of those listed below to help you start the week right.

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HP announces $189 Chromebook 11 G5 with ability to run Android apps, 12.5 hours of battery life, and optional touchscreen

Today HP announced its latest Chromebook model update, this time with a budget focus. The Chromebook 11 G5 will, most notably, run Android apps and will cost just $189. Another headlining feature of the new laptop is its claimed 12.5 hours of battery life, which is top shelf in general and quite good for a laptop that costs considerably less than most of the phones our readers have. An optional touchscreen, which will increase the price by an unspecified amount, will make Android apps even more usable at the cost of just one hour of battery life.

For those who are reluctant to make the jump to Chrome OS, both Google and HP hope that Android app compatibility will ease your fears.

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[Update: Out of beta] Developer Joaomgcd lets you control your Arduino from Tasker with new AutoArduino Tasker plugin

João Dias — better known to the world as joaomgcd — has just announced the beta version of a new Tasker plugin called the AutoArduino. The AutoArduino is just the latest in a series of over a dozen apps from the developer, and it lets owners of the programmable circuit board use Tasker to control any one of its countless digital and analog pins with nothing more than an Android phone or tablet.

The video published by joaomgcd shows a fairly basic demo of the plugin being used to light up an LED in various colors, but in principle there's no reason an Arduino-savvy user couldn't use the AutoArduino to carry out more complex tasks like pouring an espresso or controlling the window blinds in their house.

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T-Mobile Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge get Marshmallow updates

Marshmallow is making its way to Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge owners in the US. If you're on T-Mobile, you're next on the list. The Un-carrier is now sending out OTA updates to people on its network.

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Google releases sharper satellite images in Google Earth and Maps

The Landsat 8 satellite was launched by NASA in 2013 to snap photos of Earth in higher detail than was possible before. This is an open project, so you can dig through all the data if you want. Today, we get to enjoy the benefits of Landsat 8 in a more convenient way. Google has rolled out improved worldwide satellite imagery in Google Earth and Maps using the data acquired by this satellite.

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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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