Android Police

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Alexa, Guess What—Amazon Echo Is Now Compatible With SmartThings

Dear hyper-connected gadget lover who happens to own both a SmartThings Hub (or some of the company's many other products) and an Amazon Echo, these devices can now talk to one another.

This is pretty cool, and here's why. If you have your hub controlling a bunch of other devices, you can now use Amazon's device to boss them around. Alexa, turn on the television. Alexa, turn off the lamp. Alexa, have your way with whatever else is plugged into my SmartThings Power Outlet (okay, maybe this command won't work exactly as written).

Maybe you're seeing this and you're thinking: Gee, maybe I'd like one of these Echo things after all.

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Ninja Snap Trolls Friends Who Swipe Through Your Photos With Instant Selfies And Kanye... Lots Of Kanye

We all have that friend or relative who can't help but swipe through dozens of photos when we hand them our phone to check one pic. It's an involuntary reflex, a primal need to just see what's after and before that photo, because what if they were better than the one they're looking at? And why do those photos have to stay hidden and undiscovered, they should be seen by more eyes — that's their destiny as photos.

Android's screen pinning feature isn't that useful in that instance because nosy voyeurs still have access to your entire gallery. Focus is an alternative app that lets you lock viewing to a single photo, but that's a paid upgrade and there's no real fun in using it.

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Play Games And Google Talkback Both Join The 1 Billion Installs Club

Every couple of months the members of the exclusive billion installs club have to roll out the red carpet as they introduce another app into their ranks. This time, they're welcoming two. The likes of Gmail, Facebook, and WhatsApp now have to say hi to Play Games and Talkback.

Play Games (which only launched in 2013) isn't as old as other Play apps such as Music, Movies, and Newsstand —but that hasn't stopped it from beating all three to the one billion installs mark. Now, before anyone gets too excited, that doesn't mean a billion people have all gone out of their way to install the app.

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Samsung Appears To Be Pushing Notification Ads To Some Users

Have you heard? Samsung has announced new phones. In case you have not heard, here's an ad in your notification shade. It looks like this has happened to at least a few people thanks to the Samsung Push Service. In a separate incident, I myself have been served an ad by the bundled Peel remote app. Is nothing sacred anymore, Samsung?

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[Update: The Drop Test Part Was A (Dumb) Joke] Project Ara Will No Longer Use Electropermanent Magnets To Connect Modules Because They Don't Pass Drop Tests

Speculation is rampant about the future of Google's incredibly ambitious Project Ara modular phone after news broke a few days ago that the planned 2015 test run in Puerto Rico had been cancelled. Now the Project Ara Twitter accounted has shared a tidbit of news that might offer a partial explanation of the delay. The electropermanent magnets that were supposed to hold the hardware modules in place don't pass drop tests.

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[Deal Alert] New Unlocked LG G3 (D851) On Sale For $279.99 Via eBay

LG would probably like to sell you a G4 right now, but the G3 is still a perfectly nice phone. Today you can pick one up on eBay for the downright reasonable price of $279.99. This is a new unlocked phone that should work on any GSM/LTE network in North America.

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The Lenovo-Backed ZUK Z1 Will Be Sold Internationally With Cyanogen OS Starting Mid-October

Lenovo's ZUK smartphone brand got off to a great start in China when the recently announced Z1 managed over 2 million pre-orders in a week, but surprisingly, they aren't stopping in China. An international version of the Z1 is planned, and it's going to run Cyanogen OS (lens flair optional).

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[Pitchforks Down] Pushbullet MMS Pictures Not Being Deleted Along With History Was A Bug And It's Fixed Now

The internet does not thrive on peace and understanding. It's a place where a small issue can quickly become the flash point for a mob armed with pitchforks and torches, ready to storm the castle and kill the monster. Today's monster was Pushbullet, that wonderful terrible app that connects your devices steals your data for nefarious purposes. Put the pitchforks down, though. The un-deletable photos were a bug, and it's fixed now.

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AdSense Gets Material Makeover, Spiffy Icon, More Report Types, New Metrics, And Custom Date Ranges In Version 3.0 [APK Download]

Most of us are more familiar with seeing ads than managing them, but those with Google AdSense accounts will be pleased to know that the latest version of the Android app has gone material. And that's just the beginning.

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Google Photos Opt-In 'Rediscover This Day' Feature Now Rolling Out To Mobile Devices And The Web

Remember that photo you took a year ago today? Probably not, but Google does, and today it has publicly called attention to a feature in Google Photos that will bring these past memories back to light.

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