Android Police

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Opinion: Software updates shouldn't just be faster, they should be better

The software update giveth and the software update taketh away - it’s a tale as old as updateable tech. On the one hand, updates come bearing gifts: exciting new features intended to breathe new life into our devices, as well as the essential security patches necessary to ensure they are protected from exploitation. On the other, every new software build is also an opportunity for the update deliveryman to enter your home unannounced, pick up a metaphorical hammer, smash your device to a practically useless pulp, and leave - with little to no recourse available once the warranty period has expired.

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OnePlus confirms design of the OP5, officially reveals dual back cameras

Two days ago, OnePlus announced the announcement of the OP5, which is scheduled for June 20th. Later that day, we leaked what the OP5 would look like. Now OnePlus has confirmed the leak with an image posted to the company's social media pages.

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The BlackBerry KEYone meets JerryRigEverything—it doesn't go well

It's becoming something of a tradition for a new phone to be subjected to durability tests on the JerryRigEverything YouTube channel. We've seen phones like the Galaxy S8 and Pixel come through the testing okay, but phones like the Nexus 6P and HTC U Ultra haven't fared so well. Today, it's the BlackBerry KEYone going under the knife/lighter/hands. Despite a strong start, the KEYone doesn't last.

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Wink introduces two new lighting control features alongside the Wink Bright starter kit

There are increasing numbers of people looking into smart home products and services, and Wink provides a pretty robust option for them. "Powerful, but fun and easy to use" was how we described the Wink Home Hub 2 in our review late last year. Since then, compatibility for a variety of products and services has been added, including control of lights and thermostats through Google Home. Now, Wink is introducing a new light bulb starter pack and two new automation features in the app.

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Google launches 'Be Internet Awesome' program to help kids be smart online

Some people use the anonymity afforded by the internet to be jerks. Meanwhile, other people share too much personal information or get taken in by fake news. Google is looking to help the next generation be better at using the internet than we are, and it's doing it with the "Be Internet Awesome" campaign. It's a program that includes resources for parents and educators, and some games for kids. Well, they're educational games, but that still counts.

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Andy Rubin's Essential raises $300 million, investment valuation set at around $1 billion for the startup

Essential, Andy Rubin's new phone company, was able to raise $300 million in a recent financing round. Investors must have been impressed by Essential and its future projects, such as the PH-1 and Essential Home. The total valuation for the company determined during financing was set somewhere between $900 million and $1 billion. These are all pretty big numbers for a company that hasn't actually made anything yet, but the weight of Andy Rubin at the helm must have been a contributing factor.

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Amazon's new Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 are shipping today

Amazon announced the two new tablets for the popular Fire series last month, and as of today, they have started to ship. If you live in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, or Spain, and you happened to pick one of the new devices when they went on sale, it should be in your hands sometime soon. They might not be at the high-end, but the Fire tablets fill an affordable niche.

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MyScript Nebo is a handwriting recognition and note-taking app for devices with active styluses

MyScript, the makers of the very popular MyScript Calculator, have just pushed out a new app called MyScript Nebo. It is a note taking application that seems to use the same handwriting recognition tech that MyScript Calculator does, but now you can apply it outside of mathematical equations. It only works with devices that have an active stylus like the recent Note series devices or Galaxy Tab S3. The current release is labeled "preview," so don't expect a finished product quite yet.

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Google wants to make it easy for carriers to have interoperable RCS messaging

Last week Sprint and Rogers announced that users sending messages between the two carriers will be able to make use of RCS. RCS, of course, is the new standard to replace SMS that Google committed to back in 2015. So far each carrier seems to have its own idea for how RCS should work. But Google's recent work in cross-carrier communication is a big step towards ubiquity, and thanks to the tech behind this latest interconnect other carriers can more easily get in on the RCS action.

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Google app v7.4 beta prepares for Google Home calling, manual rerouting of voice commands, and more [APK Teardown]

There's another version of the Google app floating around in the wild, and as we've probably become accustomed, it doesn't appear to make any notable changes upon installation. However, there are some interesting elements floating around in the apk. In this update, we can see the first signs of support for making calls with Google Home and a new action that allows users to manually reroute voice commands to the device in their hand. There's also a new feature that looks at your notifications in an effort to give easier access and suggests about your contacts and messages.

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