Android Police

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WiFi Assistant can secure manually connected non-secure networks as of Play services 9.6

After rolling out to new countries and devices without a Project Fi SIM just under a week ago, Google has made Wi-Fi Assistant even more useful. The Assistant can now connect to non-secure public networks that are connected to manually, instead of only being able to secure networks that it connects to automatically.

This solves one of those caveats mentioned in the post last week. Without this functionality, WiFi Assistant could only secure a network if it identified it was open and could connect automatically, which is by no means certain. However, as of Play services 9.6, if you're hunting for open WiFi networks and connect manually, Assistant will now offer to secure it with the VPN, meaning you can browse the web, check emails, stream music, or anything else without worrying if your connection is going to be compromised.

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Animation Throwdown is available to all after geo-limited beta

Fans of animated things on the Fox network and in-app purchases have reason to celebrate today. After a geo-limited test period, Animation Throwdown is live in the Play Store for everyone. It's a collectible card game with all the animated characters and in-app purchases Fox can legally cram into a single product.

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CloudMagic rebrands as Newton Mail, adds $49.99 yearly subscription fee

CloudMagic has long been one of the most popular third-party email applications on Android. Today, the developers are really testing the loyalty of their users by changing the name and payment model of the app. It's now called Newton Mail, and it will cost you $49.99 per year after an initial 14-day trial. Thus far, people do not seem pleased with the change.

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Amazon announces cheaper and better $49.99 Echo Dot, will issue $10 Alexa Shopping credits to first-gen owners who order

Amazon's Echo has been a surprising hit product for smart home integration and its Alexa feature-rich Assistant has definitely grown since its introduction to become more capable and more interesting. Today, along with the announcement that the Echo is coming to the UK and Germany and is now available in white, Amazon has unveiled a new Echo Dot, the tiny puck version of the Echo.

The first generation Echo Dot was introduced in March this year, but you could only order it through Alexa, i.e.

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Google says Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE Nougat updates will be rolling out "in the coming weeks"

Android 7.0 Nougat was officially released over three weeks ago, and people instantly went insane over the lack of any factory or OTA images available for the Nexus 6 (but not so much for the Nexus 9 LTE, since they didn't sell too many). We reached out to Google, and it seems like you guys are gonna have to wait for just a few more weeks.

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Amazon bringing Echo to the UK and Germany this fall, white model coming to the US

Echo! Echo! Echo! This sound reverberated around the UK and Germany (sorry, Germans, I'm unsure what 'echo' is in German) as Amazon announced it would be releasing its Echo speaker in the two countries this fall, along with a new white model that will also be coming to the US.

For the UK release, Alexa has some new skills, partnering with world-renowned cook and school dinner ruiner Jamie Oliver, Sky Sports, National Rail, The Telegraph, The Guardian, the BBC, Uber, and Spotify. Want to know the train times for your trip? Ask Alexa, she'll tell you. Want a fantastic recipe for your hot date?

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Onkyo's NCP-302 is a Bluetooth and Google Cast-enabled speaker that also supports Play-Fi, Airplay, has a 3.5mm input

Google Cast has been pretty heavily in the news in the past couple of weeks. We had the new JBL Playlist speaker followed by Vizio's SmartCast Crave 360 and Crave Pro, all of which come with Google Cast capabilities built-in, then we got the Chromecast Preview Program announcement, followed by news of Sony's speakers finally getting multi-room and Hi-Fi audio support. Now there's another speaker joining the fold: the Onkyo NCP-302.

Behind that sexy name lies one of the most interesting Google Cast speakers we've seen to date. We knew Onkyo was a Google Cast partner (it has been listed on the site for a few months already), but we didn't expect it to come out swinging with its first product.

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Sony's SRS-X77, X88, and X99 Cast-enabled speakers get firmware update with Multi-Room, Hi-Fi Audio, and Mirroring

Sony was one of the first companies to offer Cast-enabled speakers. Instead of buying a regular speaker and then plugging in a Chromecast Audio, you could save on power outlets and wires and just grab one with Google Cast capabilities built right in. The problem with these speakers, as some of you have discovered, is that their software updates seem to be totally reliant on the manufacturer.

So when Google's own Chromecast Audio got an update to support Hi-Fi audio and multi-room (aka grouping) back in December of last year, owners of some of these speakers had to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait a bit more to get the same functionality on their own speakers.

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Audible offers free Channels and audiobooks to Amazon Prime members

Audiobooks are a great way to 'read' when you're driving, cooking, or doing some other activity in which you want listen to something that isn't your favorite musical act. Good thing, then, that Audible is offering free streaming audio books and Channels to Amazon Prime members as part of the 'Prime Benefits' scheme.

The number of audiobooks is upwards of fifty, with the selection changing every so often, so there'll likely be something in that list for even the most picky of readers. In addition, Amazon is offering Audible's newest feature, Channels, to Prime customers, which includes things like ad-free podcasts, comedy shows, non-fiction, and narrated articles from some of the world's biggest and most well-known publishers.

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Nixon's Mission Android Wear watch is up for pre-order for $400, will be available October 10

The Nixon Mission was announced back in March as an Android Wear watch for extreme sports enthusiasts. With a stainless steel and polycarbonate chassis, a waterproof rating up to 10ATM, shock-resistant body and raised bezel to protect the touchscreen, it's certainly built to look the part. It also works with the Mission app and the Trace app to track skiing, surfing, snowboarding, and provide weather conditions for these activities. It's certainly one of the most niche Android Wear watches released to date, but these options are nice for those who are passionate about this kind of sports.

The display is a 400x400 AMOLED one with an ambient light sensor although it's a full circle (whaaaaaat!).

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