Android Police

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Google's next Pixel phones are likely codenamed 'muskie' and 'walleye'

Corroborating information provided to us by a source, we can share the first public sighting of Google's next-generation Pixel phones: in the Android Open Source Project gerrit (and yes, that means it's running Android). We've only seen one of the phones - walleye - which we believe will be the smaller of Google's new Pixel devices. Muskie, the larger of the two, has not yet appeared. (For reference, last year, we only ever saw Marlin in the AOSP gerrit - there's no guarantee Muskie will ever show up there.)

At this point, we don't have any more information about the devices that we are yet confident enough to share.

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Google introduces background tab throttling in Chrome 57

Chrome on Android already heavily throttles (or outright kills) background tabs, but Chrome on the desktop has mostly allowed inactive tabs to do whatever they want. Unfortunately, having several tabs open using performance-intensive JavaScript code, like timers, can cause Chrome performance and battery life (if you're on a laptop or other portable device) to suffer.

Google originally planned to start throttling background tabs in Chrome 56, but due to some concerns it would break a large amount of web pages, it was put off. Now the feature has finally arrived, as part of Chrome 57.

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Microsoft Teams is now generally available to Office 365 users worldwide

Microsoft has announced a global, general availability for its Slack competitor, Teams. The internal chat service released in a preview form back in November for Enterprise/Business customers. It is deeply integrated with Office 365, which is perfect for organizations mired in the Microsoft ecosystem.

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You can now send and request money through the Gmail app using Google Wallet

Online payments are bigger than ever before, with more and more people utilizing services such as PayPal, Venmo, or Google Wallet to transfer money; the convenience just can't be beat. You've been able to send payments through Gmail on the web for nearly four years, but now, Gmail is introducing the ability to send and request money through the Gmail app via Google Wallet.

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Tag Heuer's new Android Wear watch is modular, still super-expensive

Android Wear devices mostly hover around $250-350, depending on the specs and features they offer. Tag Heuer has no use for "conventional" pricing. Its first watch, the Connected, was priced at $1,800. Now, the second one is a little more reasonable (but only a little). The Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 starts at $1,650. You can spend over $6,000 on one if you want.

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Waze and Spotify partner up to bring your music and directions together on the road

If you enjoy listening to music or podcasts while driving, you may be using Android Auto and Google Maps in conjunction with Google Play Music, Pocket Casts, or Spotify. But those of you who prefer Waze for directions and traffic updates may often find themselves juggling it alongside their audio app throughout the drive. That's neither easy nor safe, but it's about to get better.

Spotify and Waze are partnering up to make each app's main features easily accessible in the other. You can start a Waze navigation and see turn-by-turn directions within Spotify, and you can access your Spotify playlists and control playback within Waze.

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BQ releases Android 7.1.1 OTA for the Aquaris X5 Plus (while most of us still haven't received 7.0)

I still don't have Android 7.0 on my top-of-the-line Galaxy S7 Edge in Lebanon, and that makes me fume each time I see another device being updated to Nougat while I'm stuck on Marshmallow. But it also makes me appreciate OTA updates even more when they're issued for lesser known devices and by lesser known companies.

A great example is the Aquaris X5 Plus, a Snapdragon 652 phone with 5" Full HD display and 2/3GB of RAM released in Europe in July of 2016, that perfectly embodies the midrange market. You wouldn't expect a device like this to be updated from Marshmallow to Nougat 7.0, let alone 7.1.1, but here we are talking about this very topic.

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Mazda is gearing up to add Android Auto (and CarPlay) to its vehicle lineup

Even though it seems like it's slowed down since launch, Android Auto has picked up another car manufacturer to add to its repertoire. The latest is Mazda, which announced that it will be bringing both Auto and CarPlay to its vehicle lineup. 

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17 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (2/28/17 - 3/13/17)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Accu Battery

Today's roundup is presented by Accu Battery from Digibites. Batteries today are ubiquitous with just about every device we use, as they play a critical role in our day-to-day that is difficult to dismiss. This means that it is pretty important to stay on top of your battery usage.

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Samsung is switching to a monthly security update schedule for US-unlocked Galaxy phones

When the US unlocked models of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were released, many were overjoyed to have a variant that wouldn't be tied to a carrier, yet would be fully compatible with all four major carriers here in the states. Despite these unlocked versions' higher price tags, many picked them up in hopes of less bloat and quicker updates.

Unfortunately, while the unlocked models did come with fewer pre-installed apps, buyers were extremely let down in terms of updates. Not only did they not arrive more quickly, but they were actually being sent out more infrequently and much later than carrier models'.

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