Android Police

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Be My Eyes asks sighted volunteers to help visually impaired people

I often forget how easy things are for me because I can see the world around me and recognize objects and read words. But for those who are blind or partially visually impaired, simple tasks like knowing the expiry date on the milk carton can be very complicated.

That's where the Be My Eyes service comes into play. Already available on iOS, the app has landed on Android and connects sighted volunteers with visually impaired users who need help with something. It uses an audio-video call to share what the blind/visually impaired person is seeing and allow them to talk to the sighted person and ask them questions.

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Google Assistant now sounds more natural thanks to DeepMind's WaveNet technology

When Google acquired British artificial intelligence startup DeepMind back in 2014 nobody was really sure why. It was a secretive company without any consumer-facing products, but it clearly had some technology of interest in Mountain View. DeepMind is now part of the wider Alphabet structure, and now a little bit more is known about what goes on there, including the work it does for Google.

One of the latest projects to come out of DeepMind is called WaveNet, a deep neural network for generating more natural artificial speech recordings, and its use case at Google is obvious. Google Assistant should sound much more human now that WaveNet has been incorporated into it.

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[#JustGoogleThings] Google broke setting reminders in Search yet again

At this point, I'm pretty certain that there's a switch somewhere in Google's code for its Search algorithm that someone keeps flipping on and off inadvertently... or maybe they like toying with people's workflows and feelings.

Two months ago, we reported that setting reminders in Search on a desktop was not working anymore. The feature had been introduced in 2015 and worked by simply typing, "remind me to something" in Google Search on a desktop. It was quite handy since it blended in with your workflow while on your desk, not requiring you shout at your phone or manually type it in.

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Google Play Store may start showing an app's top chart ranks in its listing

Among the craziness of last week, we received one tip about a minor but welcome change in the Play Store that was showing up for some users: when browsing an app's listing, you might see a new line below the Install/Uninstall button that displays its current top chart rank, as shown for Spotify in the screenshot above.

That is useful when you reach an app's listing from the Play Store's search and you're not sure how popular it is. You might be more convinced to download it or buy it if you knew it was in the top 10 or 20 or even 100 in its category on the Play Store.

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BlackBerry unveils the fullscreen Motion with IP67 rating and 4000mAh battery

The leaks for BlackBerry's next fullscreen smartphone have been going for a few months. What was first known as the BlackBerry Krypton then referred to as the Motion is now official under the latter name. The phone is still manufactured by TCL, but unlike its predecessor, the KEYone, it doesn't sport a full QWERTY keyboard but goes with the more predominant full touchscreen form factor.

As leaked earlier, the Motion has a 5.5" 1080p display, a Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of RAM, what seems to be 32GB of storage, Dual SIM support, an 8MP front camera and a 12MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture.

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[Deal Alert] Get the dual-SIM Galaxy S8+ (G955FD) for $629.99 ($187 off) on eBay

Most people in the US don't mind only having one SIM card slot on their phones. But if you absolutely need two card slots, or you're just looking for an Exynos-powered device instead of the usual Snapdragon versions sold in 'Murica, the dual-SIM Galaxy S8+ just keeps dropping in price. Now you can buy it for $629.99, about $187 off the MSRP and $36 less than the last time we reported on it.

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Hands-on: Food for All lets you buy restaurant meals that would otherwise be thrown away

What if there was an app that got you half-off food at some of the best restaurants in town, and all you had to do was place an order earlier in the day, and pick it up a bit later than usual? Well, there is, and it's called Food for All. Even better, the grub you grab was destined for the trash can, so you get to feel good about helping decrease food waste too. 

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Weekend poll: Which of the products from Google's event do you find the most interesting?

This has been an exciting week. Now that the dust has settled from Google's event on Wednesday, we've been digging into the details of each product a bit more, and there's a lot to look at.

Google's announcement wasn't just about the new Pixels. The company presented a broad portfolio of first-party products during the event. Some of them were a bit more exciting to hear about than others. But everyone has their own opinion.

With all that in mind, which of the products from Google's event do you find the most interesting?

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Xposed Framework now available for Android 7.0/7.1 Nougat

Xposed Framework was extremely popular in the KitKat and Lollipop days for heavy system modification, but until today, it lacked support for Android 7.0 Nougat. While the developer shared status updates every once in a while, progress was slow thanks to major changes in Nougat's app runtime. At long last, Xposed is finally available for Android 7.0 and 7.1 devices.

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