Android Police

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[Weekend Poll] Did You Buy The New Chromecast Or Chromecast Audio?

The new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio are here! We want to know: did you buy one? The new video Chromecast now supports 5GHz Wi-Fi and has a much-improved antenna array design allowing superior Wi-Fi signal. It also just seems faster generally, and that's got fans of the cast platform quite pleased. Aside from that, though - it's the same basic deal as the last one, albeit with a completely revamped app that Google released to coincide with the announcement of the device.

The Chromecast Audio fills a different niche, essentially offering a way to smarten up old stereo systems and/or speakers by getting them on your local Wi-Fi network instead of using clumsy and annoying Bluetooth accessories or expensive all-in-one systems like Sonos (which admittedly still have their own merits!).

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BaconReader For Reddit 5.0 Includes Material Design Update, User Interface Tweaks, And Bugfixes

Reddit may or may not have its official Android app ready any time soon, but third-party developers are still more than willing to pick up the slack. BaconReader, one of the most popular Reddit client apps, has just been given a major update. The 5.0 release includes a much-belated Material Design user interface adjustment and no small amount of other changes, both user-facing and behind the scenes. Here's a quick comparison of the older version to the spiffy new Material Design layout:

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HTC A9 'Aero' Makes Another Leaked Appearance Ahead Of Possible Announcement Later This Month

HTC needs a hit. Desperately. According to ComScore they held less than 4% of smartphones in the US in the second quarter of this year, and IDC's worldwide statistics didn't even record the company, lumping it in with "others" and presumably rating it well below Lenovo's 4.7% marketshare. The leaks of the HTC (One?) A9, also known as the Aero, indicate that the company is hoping a slim, stylish, and undeniably derivative design are going to help it win new customers with its next major release.

The latest set of leaks come from Twitter, where OnLeaks posted a series of photos of what appear to be a near-finished version of the phone in black, though it's labeled as a dummy unit.

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Obama Administration Backs Away From Legislation That Would Give Law Enforcement Access To Encrypted Data

Since the Snowden leaks began back in 2013, there has been a justifiable increase in public scrutiny of the US federal government's attitudes towards surveillance and information access. So when President Obama voiced the opinion that encrypted files should be accessible to law enforcement (presumably via some kind of backdoor or exclusive decryption method), privacy advocates joined security experts in a nationwide groan. Thankfully the administration seems to have changed its tune nine months later.

According to a report by Reuters, White house spokesman Mark Stroh said that the administration is no longer looking to introduce encryption-weakening legislation to Congress.

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Some Users Are Seeing A Pull To Refresh Animation In The YouTube App For Android

Check the YouTube app on your phone or tablet, user interface aficionados - you might spot something new. Like the other official Google apps have been doing for a while (quite a while), YouTube is getting a pull-to-refresh animation for relevant pages. It doesn't seem to be tied to any particular version of the app or of Android, and in fact we've only seen it active from one reader so far, so it seems like it might be a server-side switch.

nexus2cee_pull-to-refresh-in-yt-app-1 nexus2cee_pull-to-refresh-in-yt-app-2

The animation allows users to scroll up to the top border of the interface and beyond on the Home tab, channel pages, subscription pages, and more, with the familiar circular arrow icon indicating a refresh.

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Archos Enters The Niche 'Secure Phone' Market With The $850 GranitePhone

Despite some interesting tablet hardware in the earlier days of Android, French manufacturer Archos hasn't had anything notable to show for several years. Perhaps that's why the company is jumping into the small but growing niche of ultra-secure cell phones, like the Blackphone and the Turing Phone. Archos has partnered with SIKUR (read: Secure), a vendor of encrypted company-focused communications apps, to create the GranitePhone. It's available to purchase today for a whopping $850.

Thanks to the GranitePhone's Android-derived "Granite OS," basically everything on the device is encrypted, even the custom homescreen that eschews a conventional grid layout for a modified version of the SIKUR inbox.

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Stylish Platform-Puzzle Game Contrast Arrives On The SHIELD Android TV For $15

These days it's rare to see a game praised for graphics alone - with incredibly powerful hardware available on consoles, PCs, and yes, mobile hardware, it's more about what you can do with what you have. A prime example is Contrast, a combination platformer and puzzle game that first debuted on PC and console download services just under two years ago. It's a perfect intersection of unique art design and compelling game mechanics. Today it's available on Android for $14.99, but only if you have NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV box.

Contrast takes place in a sort of steampunk-burlesque universe, following a very personal story about a mother and daughter.

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[The Android Police Podcast] Episode 180: A Type C Situation

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: Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, a bit more Nexus discussion, NVIDIA's GeForce Now, the new Fire TV, and more of your questions answered (or not)!

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[Deal Alert] Google Is Giving Out 'Aquarius' By Tinashe For Free In The Play Store

Fans of R&B, here's another one for you. Tinashe's debut album Aquarius is now available for free from Google Play.

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[Update: Everything's Back] Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, And Keep Are Currently Down For Many

Uh oh. Many users signing into Google Drive on the web are running into a little setback. The site loads, but that's it. Instead of a list of files, we're seeing a loading wheel that spins forever.

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