Android Police

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CyanogenMod 13 builds are ready for the SHIELD Tablet, Moto X 2013, Aquaris M5, and the Xperia Z, ZR, and ZL

The lads and lasses on the open source CyanogenMod Team continue to bring their Android nightly ROMs to phones and tablets that have long been abandoned by uncaring manufacturers. This week a handful of new devices get builds for CM13, based on code from Android 6.0. All of them are nightlies (so possibly not ready for primetime), but I'll bet their respective users are happy to get the attention anyway. Here they are:

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Steve Kondik: There won't be "much if any" involvement from Cyanogen Inc. on CyanogenMod 14

If a comment on a CyanogenMod commit thread by founder Steve Kondik is any indicator, rumors that Cyanogen Inc. is basically getting out of the OS development business seem to be coming to fruition. While the context of the comment is a rather specific commit thread, Kondik's frustration seems to have led to him to say a bit more about Cyanogen Inc.'s future plans than the company may have liked:

There isn't really going to be much if any involvement from the Inc this time around and I'm taking on a lot of stuff on my own to try and keep us moving forward.

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Google's Project Zero starts its own Android hacking contest with a top prize of $200,000

Calling all hackers and security researchers: Google wants to pay you money. Quite a lot, in fact. The top prize for finding a new critical flaw in Android in the new Project Zero Prize competition is a whopping $200,000, with the second prize at $100,000 and $50,000 split among additional entrants. The contest is being run by Project Zero, the company's own internal team of security researchers that documents critical flaws and bugs in wide-reaching software.

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tinyCam Monitor 7.0 released, Pro version is 50% off to celebrate

tinyCam Monitor is probably the most feature-packed remote surveillance app on the Play Store. Almost everything you could imagine is here - two-way audio for select cameras, SSL support, MP4 video recording, Google Cast and Android TV support, and even a built-in web server. Version 7.0 of tinyCam has just been released, and to celebrate, the Pro version is 50% off until September 20.

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New OTAs for the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Tablet K1 offer July security patches and bug fixes

NVIDIA is pretty good about regular updates for its SHIELD line, and the Tablet twins are the recipients of the latest bumps. Update version 4.3 for the original SHIELD Tablet (the one with the stylus) and 1.4 for the newer SHIELD Tablet K1 are basically identical, and in both cases the biggest addition is an update to Android 6.0 that brings the security patches to July of this year. The rest of the changes are pretty minor bug fixes and other small adjustments:

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Android platform distribution, September 2016: Marshmallow climbs, and not much else

September's platform distribution numbers for Android are now available, and... they're dully predictable. Marshmallow's growth returned to the levels we saw in July, gaining 3.5 points versus its position a month ago. Lollipop has returned to a net decline, with v5.0 losing a full point of the pie and 5.1's half-point increase not being able to make up for it. That means Lollipop, combined, is on 35% of all Android devices Google counted versus Marshmallow's 18.7%.

KitKat dropped 1.5 points, Jelly Bean (all versions) collectively dipped a meager 1.1 points, and Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread barely budged from their previous positions.

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Everybody calm down: that Brooklyn Note7 explosion reported by the NY Post was actually a Galaxy Core Prime

There's no denying that the Galaxy Note 7 recall is a big deal, but as with any big story, a little caution is called for when reporting on it. There are in fact other things that can catch fire besides the Note 7, including - gasp! - other smartphones. Such is the case with one of the more dramatic reports of a Galaxy Note 7 malfunction. As it turns out this New York Post article about a 6-year-old injured by an exploding Note 7 (which still hasn't been updated or corrected (update: see below)) is in fact about a Galaxy Core Prime, an entirely different Samsung phone model.

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[Not US] SoundHound Unlimited down from $5.99 to $0.10 in a few countries

SoundHound is a bit like Shazam, but on steroids. If it wasn't for Shazam's integration with OK Google, SoundHound would be the only music identification app I have on my phone, because it doesn't just do searches of music playing around you, it can also recognize songs you sing or hum. It works more often than you'd think, even with a couple of missed lyrics, out of tune notes, and even half-accurate hums.

SoundHound also has the benefit of the Hound voice assistant, which means that you can ask it to identify a song, add it to your Spotify playlist, get information about artists and releases, and more without touching a single button.

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LG, the V20 is your best chance for smartphone success in years - don’t screw it up

LG and the V20 could hardly have hoped for a more fortuitous turn of events in recent weeks. Samsung’s Note7 has been globally recalled for a serious battery defect, and replacement shipments are nowhere to be seen. The V20, by contrast, offers an increasingly rare removable battery. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone 7 duo have been unveiled without a headphone jack. The V20 proudly touts its high-end wired audio capabilities as being among the best in the smartphone world. It may be of little consequence that it will likely be the first, or at least technically first, phone to ship with Android 7.0 - but of much greater import is the fact that it will be available on all four major US carriers.

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Chromecast Preview Program lets you test drive new Chromecast firmware before they're released

Back in May, Cody unveiled strings in the Google Cast app version 1.15 that pointed to an upcoming "Chromecast Preview Program." It was clear from the code that the app would start offering an opt-in option for users to test new versions of the Chromecast firmware before they're released to the public. But for months, the Preview Program was nowhere to be found in the app.

In the last couple of days, we've received a couple of tips from users telling us that the option has now shown up for them inside the Google Cast app. And now it's finally been officially announced by the Google Cast team.

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