Android Police

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HTC posts RUU for unlocked U11's Android 8.0 Oreo update

Hot on the heels of the U11's Android 8.0 Oreo OTA update, HTC has published the RUU files for it. If you haven't yet received the update or can't install the OTA for whatever reason, you can now flash 8.0 Oreo onto your phone manually.

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[Science goes too far] Furby made into an Alexa-powered eldritch horror

For a lot of us kiddos back in the late 90's, Furbies were something of a craze. I know I had at least one of the retrospectively terrifying gadgets—though I'm at a loss to remember why, exactly, I thought it was cool. Whatever my youthful motivations may have been, enterprising hobbyist Zack of howchoo fame has turned our collective childhood memories into an intelligent Lovecraftian abomination. Meet Furlexa. 

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Google Home Mini is crashing and rebooting for some when playing certain songs at high volume

The Google Home Mini may not be a very powerful speaker, but it's still a speaker that people use to listen to music with. However, some people are having their Home Minis crash and reboot when certain songs are played at too high a volume. We've got a couple of songs that you can try playing to see if your Home Mini is affected.

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Most Wanted: The best tablets and Chromebooks you can buy

The giving season is almost upon us, and if you didn't get your holiday shopping done during the sales running from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, then you might want to start now. Thankfully, if someone on your list is interested in a big-screen device for running apps, we're here to help. Here's a nice simple list of our favorite Chromebooks and tablets for your consideration.

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Google reportedly wants to absorb Nest into its hardware division

Nest, maker of home automation and security devices, was purchased by Google in 2014 for $3.2 billion in cash. The company remained a Google subsidiary until 2015, when Google restructured and created a parent company for itself called 'Alphabet.' Nest and Google became sister companies under Alphabet, along with other former Google subsidiaries (like Waymo and X).

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Duo v23 hints at new 'Drishti' camera mode, extends video messaging with re-record, and removes some previously spotted camera effects [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Duo began rolling out to users this morning, but there haven't been any visible changes popping up in the live app. As is tradition, especially with Duo, a teardown does turn up a few of the changes we can look forward to in the future. This time, we're looking at yet another camera effect, but this one may actually stick around and make it to users. There is also follow-up on some previous camera effects and the voicemail / videomail feature discussed in previous teardowns.

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[Deal Alert] Google Home Mini and Wemo plug bundle on sale for $43.99 at Target ($40 off)

'Tis the season for things to go on sale, and sometimes more than one sale. The Google Home Mini is already discounted $20 for the holiday season, and Target will also knock $20 more off if you also pick up a Wemo smart plug. It's quite a festive deal.

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You can now assign Android TV devices with Assistant to specific rooms

Early last month, we started seeing the option to include Google Homes and Assistant-enabled speakers in rooms inside the Home app, just like you would for your lights and switches and thermostats. Now it seems that option has propagated to Android TV devices as well.

Artem spotted it this morning: in his Google Home app, his two SHIELD TVs appear in the Home control tab, under the Assistant section. Tapping on them lets him assign them to a room. Technically, that should allow him to turn on and off the TV along with the lights for example. That's one advantage I can think of.

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Google finally bans apps that include shady lock screen ads from the Play Store

Ads are just a fact of life in mobile apps. You can't completely avoid them, but there are some ad implementations that are so annoying that Google has explicitly disallowed them from the Play Store. Remember Airpush? The current advertising scourge is ad-infused lock screens, which have shown up in previously safe apps like ES File Explorer, Peel, and Hotspot Shield VPN. Google has finally listened to our pleading, and lock screen ads are no longer allowed in the Play Store.

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Tip: Turn on your Christmas tree with Google Home and a smart plug

Two years ago, when I started getting into smart home stuff, I had a small epiphany when I heard a podcaster say they set up their Christmas tree to turn on and off with their iPhone. Until then, I had considered smart plugs completely useless for me, since we use recessed ceiling lights a lot here in Lebanon and rarely have floor or desk lamps. But a Christmas tree and one you can turn on and off without kneeling, ruffling half the tree, and dropping several decorations in order to unplug and replug the lights?! That was a light bulb moment, if ever there was any.

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