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Official Google Wallpapers app hits the Play Store, runs on non-Google devices too

A feature that we first associated with the Pixel Launcher was the wallpaper picker. And since the Pixel Launcher is exclusive to Pixel phones, you might have thought the same would go for its wallpaper feature. Well, in that case, you would be wrong. Google has broken it off into an app called Wallpapers and it is now in the Play Store, available for download on all manner of non-Pixel, non-Nexus devices.

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Google Pixel review: A very good phone by Google

Google's new smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, are a watershed moment for the company. They're Google's attempt to define itself as a hardware manufacturer worthy of comparison not just to Apple's iPhone, but the very products its Android operating system has allowed to flourish over the past eight years. Or, as the refrain goes: Google is finally going to compete with other smartphone manufacturers.

This narrative can get in the way of discussing the Pixel for what it is (a smartphone), so I'll try to avoid confusing what this phone means to Google as a company and what it means to you as a consumer.

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Qualcomm says it made a device with its partners that reaches gigabit LTE speeds, also a 5G modem

Together with Australian network Telstra, Ericsson, and Netgear, Qualcomm announced today at the 4G/5G summit in Hong Kong that it has developed the first device that can reach gigabit LTE speeds. The resulting product, the NETGEAR Mobile Router MR1100, is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon X16, the first modem with gigabit LTE class speeds, which was announced back in February. As a bonus, Qualcomm has also announced the first modem that can reach 5G speeds, the X50.

The network which will use the device, Telstra, will now conduct "comprehensive device, network and user testing," preparing for a commercial launch in the coming months on its gigabit network, which is developed by Ericsson.

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AndroidN-ify Xposed module brings Google Assistant to Marshmallow devices

Bless you, Xposed Framework. Thou art the last refuge of power users whose hardware has been forsaken by manufacturer and ROM developer alike. The root-enabled tool has a new module that back-ports a bunch of Android Nougat features to earlier versions of the OS. It's called AndroidN-ify, and the latest update includes a tweak that exposes Google's fancy new voice-controlled Assistant search tool to users on Android 6.0. An earlier build.prop tweak allowed Android 7.0 users to try Assistant on non-Pixel phones, which won't be officially supported when the new hardware launches.

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Pixel and Google Fall event rumor and leak fact check: Where were we right, where were we wrong?

Android Police has posted a rather exhaustive set of rumors over the past few months about Google's Pixel phones and other hardware that was unveiled at Google's October 4th event. We think that, now that we have most of the details, it's time to do a post-mortem on our coverage, and pull it all together into one place. We'll be going through this [roughly] chronologically and by two categories: Pixel phones... and everything else. Let's get started with the Pixel phones.

Pixel and Pixel XL

Marlin and Sailfish "Nexus" phones

Our rumors regarding these phones begin way back in April, nearly six months ago.

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Facebook at Work is now Workplace by Facebook, available for all companies

Over a year ago, Facebook began testing their internal communication tool, Facebook at Work, with a number of organizations. Not only has Facebook renamed the platform to 'Workplace by Facebook,' they are finally publicly releasing it. Starting today, any company can use Workplace.

In the same vein as Google+ for Work, Workplace tries to adapt social networks for internal use at businesses. Facebook's news feed, search, trending posts, live video, and more have all made the jump. Workplace also features unlimited file, photo, and video storage, monitoring tools, team and project groups, and Single-sign on (SSO) support. Integration with G Suite (the new name for Google Apps for Work), Okta, OneLogin, Ping, and Windows Azure AD is also supported.

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Runtastic and Google Play Music team up to bring you the tunes

While I enjoy working out, I will admit that going without my favorite music makes it much more difficult — especially with cardio. For me, good music equals gains. Equally important, though, is keeping track of progress, but that can often require switching between two or three apps. That is, unless you go old-school and carry a notebook.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Alexa-powered Triby portable speaker only $99.99 on Amazon (50% off)

Tell me your thoughts on the Amazon Echo. Do you like the product but don't buy into the Amazon ecosystem? Are you into the concept but don't want a black plastic cylinder taking up shelf space in your home? In case of the former, you might want to wait for Google Home. But if you're feeling the latter, then maybe you should check out the Triby portable speaker that comes with Alexa built-in.

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You can now control your Blink security cameras with Amazon Alexa

Lately I've been looking at security cameras for homes and small businesses. Among the different options, Blink makes a very compelling proposal. Forget about wires and always-on connectivity, forget about monthly plans and limited server storage, the system works wire-free, hassle-free, and well, completely free after the hardware purchase. You just need to put in 2 AA batteries and they'll last up to 2 years, getting triggered only when motion is detected and uploading 5-10sec clips to the cloud.

The one problem with Blink though? Until today, it didn't integrate with any other smart home product. That summarizes most of the complaints on its online reviews: users say that you have to manually arm/disarm each camera separately in the app.

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Amazon adds Reading benefit to its Prime membership to satisfy the book and magazine nerd in you

There are a lot of benefits to being an Amazon Prime subscriber, other than the obvious free 2-day shipping. Beside Prime Video, Prime Music, and Prime Photos, the yearly plan caters to readers too by offering Audible Channels and a selection of free Audiobooks, Kindle First for a chance to buy an upcoming book before its official release, and Kindle Owners' Lending Library which is limited to one book a month and only works on Kindle and Fire hardware.

However, those benefits were still poor compared to the full Prime Video and Music access, and they didn't hold a candle to the separate Kindle Unlimited plan that offers access to hundreds of thousands of titles and Audiobooks.

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