Android Police

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Google phasing out 'Google Cast' name for connected TVs, speakers

Google Cast or Chromecast? That, my friends, is the question. Seems like today Google is providing an answer, with reports that the Google Cast name is being gradually phased out in favor of Chromecast.

Speakers and TVs with Cast seem to be the main victims (if you can call them that) here - rather than, say, a Vizio TV being 'Google Cast enabled,' it now has 'Chromecast built-in.' It's the same for TVs by Toshiba, or speakers by Sony - they now have Chromecast built-in instead of Google Cast. I suppose that Google has found that the Chromecast brand has more relevance and strength than the Google Cast brand, and that's what has been the driving force behind this change.

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Amazon Echo Dot 2nd gen review: A delightful and cheap way to get started with voice assistants

Amazon's Echo success took me a little by surprise. It seemed like we went overnight from questioning the idea of a voice assistant in a speaker to almost everyone owning an Echo and companies rushing to add Alexa support for their services and products. Part of what seemed like a quick success is due to the Echo Dot, the smaller cheaper version that you can sprinkle around the house in places where you don't care about excellent sound quality.

The second generation Echo Dot builds on that. Unlike the first one, you can order it directly from Amazon without having to use another Echo.

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Niantic adds Ditto to Pokémon Go, tweaks 'Nearby' feature and brings it to more regions

Niantic has been taking flack ever since it removed the tracking feature in Pokémon GO a few days after launch. Then the developer started to roll out a new feature, named 'Nearby,' which showed Pokémon if they were near to Pokéstops. After feedback from users, that has now been tweaked a little, and it's on a slightly larger roll out.

The new, improved "Nearby" feature will only appear if you are close to a Pokéstop. This supposedly means that someone cannot look for a Pokéstop, find the Pokémon close to it, then go and catch them.

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Phone 7.0 appears with a tweaked swipe up to answer [APK Download]

Version 7.0 of the phone app for Nexus and Pixel devices has arrived, with... you guessed it, no major changes at all. There are some minor updates and re-workings, but this one most likely will not blow your socks off.

Firstly, a 'block/report spam' option has been added to the long press dialog in the call log - in previous versions, only 'Copy number' and 'Edit number before call' were present.

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Me, a Daydream View, and a 5-hour flight: My first in-air mobile VR experience

Google's Daydream is what I would call the most travel-friendly VR solution yet. Its simple but elegant pointer-style Bluetooth controller means you aren't reaching all over the place to work the VR interface, its comfortable fabric design is tolerable for long periods of wear, and sliding the phone into the viewer is a simple no buttons, no switches affair.

So, I decided to put these qualities to test on a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York last week. I had a variety of games (I didn't play any), interactive experiences (many require an active internet connection), and a few movies I'd downloaded from Play Movies to watch.

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Telegram updated to v3.14 with 'Instant View' links, interface improvements, faster camera, and more

Telegram updates are always fun. Not only do the developers tend to release substantial new features, but the changelogs and blog posts are amusing. Such is the case with v3.14, which is rolling out now in the Play Store. The Android version is getting some wide-ranging updates to bring it closer in functionality to the iOS app, and there are some all new features like Instant View links. It's like viewing links, but you know... instant.

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Google Pixel NPF26J OTA in Canada adds double-tap and lift to check notification [Update: OTA links]

In what appears to be an accidental rollout of a preview build, according to 9to5Google, Google is updating Pixel and Pixel XL devices in Canada to a new version of Android 7.1, build number NPF26J. The "P" after the N generally would denote a preview, as Google uses the second letter in its build system to indicate the branch the update is sourced from (e.g., "R" for "release"). (Update: Upon further investigation, it's unclear if this is true, or if it's merely a coincidence. The build may be an official rollout, though it would be odd considering Google hasn't updated its factory image or OTA file pages yet.)

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Re-Volt3 hits the Play Store with frantic, competitive RC racing

Remote control cars are great fun, so game developer WeGo Interactive has brought a form of that to Android, with the release of Re-Volt3, a sequel to the popular Re-Volt2. The 'official launch' of the game is today, with different items on offer every day until November 27. Previously, the game has been a in geo-restricted, limited launch, but now it is available worldwide on the Play Store.

screenshot_20161122-191048 screenshot_20161122-191429

The premise is pretty simple - work your way up through the ranks of RC racing until you're the best. It's a good game, although because the main viewpoint is from behind the car, it feels just like any other, 'normal' racing game, except the cars are more sensitive than they would be normally.

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T-Mobile announces a second round of Black Friday deals including more free phones, $200 for switching lines, and more

T-Mobile was not content with a single round of Black Friday deals. That's what regular carriers do, and as we are constantly reminded, T-Mobile is an un-carrier. Tmo is giving away free in-flight WiFi, $200 for switched lines, and more (sort of) free phones.

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[Update: Live on stable build] Latest Spotify beta brings back a redesigned bottom nav bar

I am certainly not the first to say it, but I do not like the bottom navigation bar thing. Perhaps because I have been trained to like the slide-out navigation in my years of using Android. Who knows. Regardless, it is a trend and we are seeing more apps toying with the idea. A few months ago, the Spotify beta app introduced this change. You had five tabs with which to navigate and that was that.

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