Android Police

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Deep dive: A closer look at the Google Pixel's camera

The Pixel phones have been out for several weeks now, and a lot has been said about the camera. I will try to comment on some of the things that I’ve felt have been a bit overlooked, in a deeper dive into the Google Camera 4.2 on the Pixel XL. Most of the issues, if not all, should also apply to the smaller Pixel phone.

A note on pixel size, sensor size, and aperture

Starting with last year’s Nexus phones, Google has been advertising “bigger pixels” in their camera sensors, frequently pointing out their 1.55µm size in marketing materials. Relatively speaking, they’re larger than the ones on most other phones and should lead to lower noise, at least according to common belief.

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Google Maps gets one step closer to omniscience, adds live place busyness, average stay times, more detailed business hours

Google has announced this morning that the live place data feature one of our APK teardowns hinted at last month is now official. The feature will allow you to see an estimate of how busy a business or point of interest is right now, which, let's just stop and think about how completely insane the future is for a minute. Your phone can tell you how many people, relatively, are at a place. Just, wow.

Anyway, the rather awesome technology on display here aside, Google has announced two other features regarding places. The first will let you know how long people typically stay at a particular place, theoretically allowing you to gauge how much time to make for your visit to that hot new Asian fusion taco place that everyone's raving about (just me?

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Google publishes test results pitting Wifi against Eero and Luma, Google Wifi predictably comes out on top

While a bit odd to publish well ahead of reviews for the as-yet unreleased product, Google posted the results of independent testing by Allion today showcasing the performance of its Wifi system against similar mesh network products Eero and Luma. The results, given that Google decided to publish them, probably won't shock you: Google Wifi walks away with it.

allion

Using two devices for each system in a 3000 square foot, two-story house, Allion measured speeds of each system at four locations. At the wired access point, Google Wifi was marginally quicker than Eero, but it's at the periphery of coverage and the secondary access point, which was not hardwired to the network, where it seems Google's product is most able to outshine competitors.

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Contextual App Folder shows apps based on context triggers

We've all heard of contextual launchers - launchers which change what they do or show based on time of day, weather, your calendar, your location, or any other context. However, ts-apps, the maker of AppSales, has a new app in an unreleased, beta state, named Contextual App Folder (CAF), which is a folder that uses context to determine what to show. But what makes it special is the fact that it is a widget, for any launcher or situation.

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OnePlus 3T review: A slightly better OnePlus 3 for slightly more money

OnePlus started its existence by hyping up the Android community to a completely irresponsible degree in advance of the release of the OnePlus One. Lucky for them the OPO was a pretty good phone. However, the breakdown of OnePlus' relationship with Cyanogen Inc. made the OnePlus 2 a less appealing device. It was lacking in a few hardware areas and the software was very barebones. The OnePlus 3 was a clear improvement, but just a few months later OnePlus has given it the boot in favor of the OnePlus 3T.

As the name implies, this phone is very similar to the OnePlus 3.

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ZTE's new, "enhanced" Axon 7 features Force Touch, more RAM and storage, and a $500 price tag

When the Axon 7 launched in China in late May, a more powerful version with a pressure-sensitive display debuted alongside it. That version was only available in China - until now. ZTE has just announced the improved Axon 7 that China has had all along for the US market, and it costs $100 more than the standard model.

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Instagram announces Live Video on stories, disappearing photos and video in direct messages

Instagram, once a social network dedicated purely to posting pictures of food, has become prone to feature creep (not unlike Facebook's other properties). Back in August Instagram added Snapchat-like stories, and earlier this month Boomerang support. Today the company announced two new features for the app - Live video on Instagram stories, and disappearing photos/videos in direct messages.

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Android Pay v1.10 includes clues about a promotional "game" with real prizes [APK Teardown]

Most teardowns show a list of fairly predictable features or changes, but every once in a while something will turn up that isn't so expected. A look inside the recently released Android Pay v1.10 update is a good example. The typical things can be found, like a line about a second tier for loyalty programs and some stuff to encourage users to visit nearby vendors, but the really interesting bit is some text about a "game" that may have real prizes.

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[Deal Alert] Costco members can get a $50 Play Store gift card for just $41.99 ($5 off)

Prices for gift cards rarely go down, but when they do, people tend to go berserk for even the smallest discounts. Case in point: for a $50 Play Store gift card, a slash of $5 to $41.99 at Costco may not sound like much, but it's clearly resonating well with some Slickdeals members.

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Google Play services v10.0 prepares for Tap 'n Pay with Android Wear and makes progress on Instant Apps [APK Teardown]

As we close in on the end of the year, Google's developers are lining things up for possible late-2016 launches or preparing to test features they plan to launch next year. With the rollout of Google Play services v10.0, a couple of those things stand out as current projects. There are signs final testing has begun for Instant Apps, Google's way to give users a way to use apps without actually installing them. It also looks like some progress has been made towards enabling Android Pay to work through Android Wear.

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