Android Police

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Google Maps v9.55 adds notification channels for Android O and might add offline maps for whole countries [APK Download + Teardown]

If you're on the Google Maps beta channel, you probably received an update to v9.55 in the last day or so. After hunting for a while, we haven't seen any notable changes on most devices; except if you're running Android O, in which case the latest version enables a full array of notification channels. The hunt for features also brought out a teardown with a hint that users may finally have the option to download offline maps for whole countries.

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[Deal Alert] 6-pack Choetech assorted length USB-C to USB-C cables for $11.99 on Amazon w/ coupon ($8 off)

Do you still have drawers around your place filled with dated microUSB cables? It's 2017, and USB-C has been proliferating down the phone spectrum. It won't be long now until even low-end devices are sporting the world's newest and best USB connector. You had better get prepared, and the first step is replacing all those old cables. Here's a 40% off deal ($11.99) via coupon code for a 6-pack of assorted length Choetech USB-C to USB-C cables at Amazon. Welcome to the future.

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Switftkey Beta updated with GIF input, hashtag prediction, and new languages for transliteration

Today is the 30th anniversary of the first GIF, and it looks like SwiftKey knows it. The Swiftkey Beta on Google Play was updated today with GIF support. Other new features include hashtag predictions and transliteration support for some new languages, as well as a few bug fixes. So if you need to insert a GIF in your transliterated Punjabi or Bangla messages, well, now you can. 

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ZTE Quartz review: Missing a few features, but an impressive value

It's getting increasingly hard to justify a smartwatch purchase when so many of them are launching with such high price tags. Paying $400 or $500 for a watch that works the same as one that costs half as much is a tough sell, not that a cheaper watch is an easy sell either. That's what makes the ZTE Quartz intriguing. This is an Android Wear device that costs less than $200 and has a dedicated cellular connection on T-Mobile.

The Quartz is a bit large and clunky, and it's missing some of the features you get with more expensive watches. However, the design is solid considering the price, and it runs Android Wear just as well as more expensive watches.

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Locked phones and unlocking fees will be banned in Canada starting December 1st

Here in the US, unlocking policies are pretty lackluster. Sure, they've improved over time, but these regulations still aren't something we can be proud of. But up in the Great White North, the CRTC (Canada's telecom commission) is hard at work. Starting on December 1st, 2017, all mobile devices will have the capability of being unlocked for free, and all new devices will be unlocked out of the box.

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Android Things Developer Preview 4.1 is out, with improvements to Play Services and more

The first Developer Preview for Android Things OS was released at the end of 2016, as a lightweight version of Android intended for Internet of Things devices. Since then, it has been updated multiple times to support more hardware and fix bugs, and today Google has released Developer Preview 4.1.

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Google adds Play Store support to more Chromebooks from Acer, Dell, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung

Google promised that all Chromebooks shipped in 2017 and beyond would support Android apps, but the company has been a bit slow to deliver on that claim. However, Google has just updated its list of Chrome OS devices compatible with the Play Store, and a whopping 16 more devices can now run Android apps officially.

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T-Mobile plans to start 600MHz rollout this summer

We learned a few months ago that T-Mobile spent big in the FCC's recent 600MHz spectrum auction. The carrier dropped $7.99 billion on the spectrum licenses, which it has now officially been granted. It's wasting no time putting them to use. T-Mobile says it will begin rolling 600MHz coverage out to select markets over the summer.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Goldbox Deal of the Day offers savings on Anker Quick Charge 3.0 chargers and more

Having fast charging is a godsend when you're in tight situations. Whether you've forgotten to charge your phone overnight or you just need a quick top-up while you're driving somewhere, quick chargers are guaranteed to get your phone juiced back up in no time. If you're in need of one, Amazon's Deal of the Day for today includes a few powerful Anker quick chargers, both for your home and when you're on the go.

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LG extends the warranty of all G6 phones to two years

Let's face it - LG phones have had problems with long-term use in the past. Many former phones from the company experienced the famous bootloop issue, which plagued the G4, Nexus 5X, G5, V10, and others. This was especially a problem for phones outside the warranty period. LG wants you to know that it's confident in the G6's longevity, and as a result, the company has extended the phones' warranty period to two years.

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