Android Police

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Google+ Version 7.1 Gives The Tab Bar Instant Scroll-To-Top Behavior

image: Luke Wroblewski

In case you missed it, the Google+ app for Android got updated recently to version 7.1.

The update is mostly comprised of bug fixes - 37 bug fixes to be exact - but it also offers fixes for 17 "accessibility issues," a fix for the "keep contacts up to date" setting, and one pretty handy feature that makes the bottom tab bar just a little more useful.

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AirDroid 3.2 Update Adds Clipboard And Keyboard Sharing Between Phones And PCs, Skype Notification Reply Support, And More

It's no secret that we at Android Police are huge fans of AirDroid. A big part of that is because the developer is constantly updating the app with new features. So it is with the latest version, 3.2, which adds a handful of new goodies to the remote management tool. Some of these require use with an updated version of the dedicated desktop app (instead of the more popular browser version).

The coolest addition to the program is the ability to type directly into input fields on your phone with your computer's keyboard, which is now the best possible solution for typing on Android until someone releases a mechanical keyboard five inches wide.

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[Weekend Poll] How Do You Secure Your Phone's Lock Screen?

Device security is a pretty personal thing, and we all likely have a given level of security we're comfortable with before impracticality starts to get in the way. While a secure lock screen is highly advisable, some of us still don't even do that (which is slightly scary) because it can be an annoying barrier to using your phone.

Google knows this, and features like Smart Lock have attempted to combat lockscreen non-usage by linking device security to connected devices, your face, your location, your voice, or even whether your phone thinks it's actually on your person. The idea being that if you're too lazy or encumbered by a traditional lockscreen (or don't have a fingerprint scanner), your phone can have a variety of "safe" scenarios in which it's probably OK for your device to be unlocked, only locking when those conditions aren't met.

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It Looks Like Google Has Finally Caught On To Systemless Root - Android Pay No Longer Compatible

Well, it was nice while it lasted. A few months ago prolific Android developer Chainfire introduced a method of rooting Android devices without modifying the /System partition. It had the added and extremely welcome benefit of getting around SafetyNet detection for applications that were intentionally disabled on rooted phones, like Android Pay. But it looks like Google has caught on: starting this weekend (as reported on the /r/Android subreddit ), Android Pay and other SafetyNet apps no longer work with the roundabout root method. Bummer.

Google's system uses a server-side update, so at the moment there's no way to get around the check even with older versions of Android Pay, Google Play Services, et cetera.

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The Sony Xperia M5 Gets Its Over-The-Air Update To Android 5.1, PC Companion Update Also Available

Sony has been rolling out Android 5.1 updates intermittently ever since last July... up to and past the point where Android 6.0's AOSP code has been available to manufacturers. The last few devices that received bumps to 5.1 were the Xperia C4 and C5 Ultra earlier this month, and today the Xperia M5 gets the same treatment. Users can wait for the over-the-air update alert in the usual manner, or use Sony's PC Companion computer program to download and install the update manually.

This "super mid-range" M5 was launched back in August, running Android 5.0 at launch, much to the consternation of Android fans who would have preferred the latest software.

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[Deal Alert] UE's Stellar Sounding Ultra Portable Speaker, The UE Roll 360, $30 Off On Amazon For A Limited Time

The UE Roll may be the most diminutive member of UE's proud Bluetooth speaker family, but it's also the most portable. Weighing in at just 11 oz, the Roll punches above its weight class with surprisingly loud and clear audio for such a low profile device.

In addition to sounding great, the Roll also is waterproof and has a permanently attached marine grade bungee cord that you can use to hang the speaker on things. Things like your backpack, skateboard, dog, or the side of your head (if you buy two, you can put one on each side of your head for true stereo sound).

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Blu Vivo XL Quick Review: Breaking The Boundaries Of What A $99 Phone Should Be

AT CES earlier this month, Blu announced two new phones: the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL. Today, we're taking a closer look at the lower-end of the two, the Vivo XL, which is the first one to hit the market. This one isn't a dramatic difference from some of the other more recent stuff we've seen from Blu — like the Life One X, for example — but it does continue the company tradition of offering a lot of phone for the money.

Under the hood, it's actually a lot like the aforementioned Life One X, though it does have a slightly larger, lower-resolution display.

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[Android Police Podcast] Episode 193: You've Never Seen My Earceps

Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.

On this week's episode: Galaxy S7 and HTC One M10 rumors, our review of the ASUS Chromebit, the stuff Ryan can't live without, and more!

This week's Android Police Podcast is sponsored by the Mobile Dev + Test conference!

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[Deal Alert] ASUS Zenwatch 1st Gen On Sale For $99 At B&H If You Don't Mind Waiting (It's Backordered)

The original ASUS Zenwatch isn't the best Android Wear device on the market. It does, however, happen to be one of the cheapest options available and is a great entry-level option for someone wanting to see what this smartwatch craze is all about.

The current retail price on the Zenwatch hovers in the $130 to $150 range. Right now you can grab one on B&H for a significantly lower price of $99.99. That's a good price for a smartwatch with a heart rate sensor, a premium leather band, and pretty solid reviews.

There are a couple of small caveats to keep in mind though.

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Streaming Music App SomaFM Has Gone Free In The Play Store

You have ample choices when it comes to music streaming on Android, and SomaFM has been among them for a long time. However, it's always been a paid app. Now, it's suddenly free, and in the Play Store, that means it's free forever. It's not clear what this means for SomaFM's business model, but hey, free stuff is cool.

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