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SMS Returns In Latest Facebook Messenger Beta

A few months ago, it appeared SMS support was being tested in the Facebook Messenger app, with some sporadically seeing SMS show up in the settings, allowing them to turn it on. It seemingly disappeared, though, with no trace left for many people. Now, however, it's back in the latest beta for Messenger.

The implementation is a little different compared to before. To enable SMS, you don't go through Messenger's settings but Android's settings (I assume the process will be different on anything less than Marshmallow, but I don't know how). Head over to Settings > Apps > Advanced (the little cog in the top right) > SMS app and enable it there.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Hands-On And Initial Impressions

Now that the primary Galaxy S7 series has regained its water-resistant powers, one might wonder why we need a ruggedized "active" version. And the answer is that, while the S7 and S7 Edge are some damn fine phones, all that delicately curved and exposed glass isn't exactly what you'd call durable. If the general tank-like construction of the Galaxy S7 Active isn't enough to turn your head, consider that it has almost exactly the same capabilities as its more mainstream brother (which is fairly unusual for rugged phones), plus an even bigger 4000mAh battery.

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Google Releases App For iOS That Turns Video Clips Into Motion-Stabilized GIFs, And I Want It Now

Taking photos is fun, and so is taking videos. But what about that magical area in-between the two - something that is much more than a photo, but still substantially less than a full-on HD video clip with audio? We all, of course, are aware of the existence of GIFs and their imperfections, but they occupy this niche quite nicely, in particular because they're highly portable and easy to view on any device.

Google has released a new app for iOS recognizing this, but it's gone further yet, and made GIFs even more awesome. Remember HTC's Zoe? Remember when Apple basically ripped it off with Live Photos?

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[Editorial] Now On Tap's Image Recognition Is Quickly Becoming The Google Goggles I Always Wanted

Google's Goggles is all but abandoned now. We've seen Google resurrect apps from the dead and update them after years of neglect, but it's hard to imagine the company putting a fresh coat of paint on Goggles at this point. If only because the app has been superseded by others from Google, with its functionality cut off into little pieces and moved to various places inside the ecosystem.

But that doesn't take away from the fascination and respect that Goggles deserves. It could recognize landmarks before Google Photos, read and translate text before Google Translate, use OCR on images before Now on Tap, and even solve sudoku puzzles, scan and add contacts from a business card, and find and suggest similar products — all options that have yet to be transplanted into any other Google app.

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How to Play New And Classic Console-Caliber Games On Your Big Screen HDTV [Sponsored Post]

NVIDIA has been serving up Android-based hardware for years now, but the SHIELD Android TV Box lets you play games and access the broader Android TV ecosystem from one device. And just as you would expect from NVIDIA, the SHIELD is no slouch when it comes to gaming performance and selection. What you might not know is how great the selection of games you can play on SHIELD is. Here are some of the best.

One of the titles you won’t want to miss is Portal, the instant classic in which you must deal with GLaDOS to teleport your way out of each level.

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Amazon's Alexa Has Over 1,000 Skills, But Discoverability And Quality Remain Issues

Amazon's Echo has become the de-facto standard of home voice control, at least until Google Home is released and we find out whatever Apple is planning. To emphasise Amazon's market-leading position, the company has published a press release saying Alexa has over 1,000 skills and integrations - we counted roughly 1,150 (115 pages with 10 items on each page). For such a young platform, this is mightily good news, and says wonders about the battleground that the home will be for technology companies in the future.

Screenshot_20160603-102403 Screenshot_20160603-102543

Left: the skills list, showing the filters and sorting options. Right: some other skills that are installable on the Echo.

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ARM Unveils The Mali-G71 Graphics Processor And Cortex-A73 Processor With A Focus On Virtual Reality Performance

Have you recently stopped to think about what modern smartphones can do? It's amazing how much power is packed into these small little devices that we carry around all day, and it's even more amazing that most of that power resides in teeny tiny chips that are lodged somewhere between the huge screen and the big battery.

ARM is one of the companies that provide the building blocks for modern smartphone SOCs. It makes graphics and application processors that companies like MediaTek and Samsung use in their Helio and Exynos chips, respectively. Now ARM is unveiling new processors for the 2017 flagships that will push their performance even further.

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ZTE Announces The Axon 7's BMW Design And Endorsement From Pianist, Oh And Also A Phone

Is a key point of consideration for your next smartphone whether or not it has been endorsed by a world-renowned pianist? Great! The all-new ZTE Axon 7 is, in fact, endorsed by world-renowned pianist Lang Lang. This apparently has some sort of value. The Axon 7 also received design input from BMW's Designworks (yes, that BMW, the one that makes cars), audio consulting from a team of music conservatory professors (I am not making this up), and Dolby's Atmos surround sound. This phone is a veritable partnership tour de farce.

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NimbleBit Re-Releases Tiny Tower On Android In Celebration Of Five-Year Anniversary

In true Throwback Thursday fashion, Tiny Tower has been released on Android. What is this, 2011? No, it's still 2016, but this is a new version of Tiny Tower with a new listing in the Play Store. Do you dare dive back into this addictive tower builder?

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Yes, Please: Google Allegedly Tracks Stats For Manufacturers' OS Update Speeds, May Publish Them

According to a Bloomberg article published this morning, Google has been actively tracking the time it takes Android device manufacturers to update their handsets to a new version of the Android OS. Better yet? There are supposedly discussions happening inside Google as to whether or not to make the stats public, as a sort of "name and shame" directive to encourage manufacturers and carriers alike to update their handsets more quickly. To which I respond: oh god yes please, do this, Google.

The report also mentions a few other tidbits that are interesting, and we'll get to those, but let's focus on what I will now call The Android Update Wall Of Shame, which should very much be what it is called if Google does, in fact, publish it.

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