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InBrief
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Google adds 9 new (mostly smaller) Android Pay banks

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Researchers at MIT claim to have created a dedicated speech recognition chip that consumes a tiny amount of energy

As the years go by, I get lazier it seems. So the prospect of talking to my computing devices gets better and better as time passes (even if I have to yell across my house to my Google Home, which is amusing in its own right). However, always-on speech recognition comes at a price for battery-operated devices. Researchers at MIT claim to have to come up with a solution to this: a dedicated speech recognition chip that can reduce power consumption by 90-99% across real-world devices.

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New Nokia devices may launch at MWC, including a homage to the Nokia 3310

Nokia, much like BlackBerry, no longer manufactures its own devices. After selling its entire mobile division to Microsoft in 2014, it partnered with Foxconn to manufacture the Nokia N1 tablet, but that seemed to be a one-time deal. Now HMD Global, the Finnish manufacturer with the exclusive right to use the Nokia brand for phones, might be launching new Nokia devices at Mobile World Congress.

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T-Mobile trying to undercut Verizon's Unlimited plan, rolls back tethering and video throttling

Yesterday, Verizon announced they would start offering unlimited data plans again, for the first time in over five years. For $80 a month, the plan has remarkably few catches - speeds may be decreased in congested areas after 22GB, and you only get 10GB of LTE data for tethering. Now T-Mobile appears to be rushing to stay competitive, as CEO John Legere has announced changes to the T-Mobile ONE Plan on Twitter.

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Google's Verify Apps now shows apps that it has recently scanned

Google rolled out the Verify Apps framework many years ago to scan apps as they were installed. Then, in 2014 it added the ability to constantly scan apps to watch for malicious behavior. You were sort of taking Google at its word as a user that Verify Apps was indeed rummaging around to keep tabs on things. Now you can see some of what it's doing—the settings menu now shows which apps have recently been scanned.

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A brief history of Verizon's hatred for unlimited data

Unlimited data is back at Verizon. There's much merriment to be had throughout the land, as data-hungry power users once again return to their streaming music and video services without fear of sudden charges or slowdowns. It's been over five years since Verizon cut off access to unlimited data, and the number of customers hanging on to their grandfathered unlimited plans has dwindled down to a few grizzled veterans. It's a good day for wireless customers.

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[Deal Alert] LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes, Goat Simulator, and more are free or discounted on the Play Store

We already posted how Google is now allowing developers to temporarily make their paid apps free. The app from that post, Blaze and the Monster Machines, is just one of several paid apps that are discounted or free for a limited time on the Play Store.

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Allo v6 prepares to introduce a vote bot, notifications on Android Auto, animated emoji, and new drawing tools [APK Teardown]

Last week was pretty busy with some big app updates and even bigger product announcements. One update that slipped through the cracks was Allo v6. There aren't any obvious new features, but there's plenty for a teardown. Some of the upcoming features will include a chat bot to enable voting among members of a group chat, Android Auto support, animated emoji, and some new drawing tools.

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[Update: OnePlus 3T too] LineageOS 14.1 hits new devices, including HTC One M7, Samsung tablets, LG G3, and ZTE Axon 7

LineageOS is still a relative newcomer to the Android world, but since it's descended from the legendary CyanogenMod, builds for various devices are coming thick and fast.

In this round, there are six new devices receiving LineageOS 14.1 (based on Android 7.1 Nougat) builds: two HTCs, two Samsungs, an LG, and a ZTE. The HTC phones are both variants, Verizon and GSM, of the original HTC One, the M7.

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Google Maps list sharing is official, will start rolling out today

Using Google services as a couple or a group is sometimes a little tough. Some services lend themselves well to sharing, like Keep, Drive, Photos, and Calendar, but others are often cause for frustration. What if you have a common group of contacts you want to always keep up-to-date with others? How about an easy way to get emails from common friends and events and subscriptions without opening a common inbox? The worse though is Maps: you don't have an easy option to share your trip plans or starred places or list of attractions or restaurants you want to visit. That has been a big annoyance for me as I check different honeymoon options with my fiancé.

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