Android Police

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Alexa can now double-check if you actually said a wake word

My Google Home isn't the best at figuring out if me (or someone else) actually says "Hey Google" or "OK Google." Sometimes I'll be watching a video where no one says anything remotely similar to those phrases, and the lights on my Home flip on. But I have noticed that most of the time, the lights turn off a split-second later, as the Home actually realizes that no one called for it (presumably once the voice clip is processed by Google's servers).

Amazon appears to be giving Alexa a similar ability, with the introduction of 'Cloud-based wake word verification.'

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5 new and notable Android apps from the last week (5/9/17 - 5/15/17)

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 week 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

DigiCal Calendar Agenda

Today's roundup is presented by DigiCal Calendar Agenda from Digibites. DigiCal is a powerful and customizable calendar app that offers a plethora of features not normally found in your device's default calendar. You can select from seven different calendar views, a light and dark theme, multiple widgets, integrated weather forecasts, an invitation management system, and over fifty thousand public calendars for integration with personal or corporate planning. DigiCal Calendar Agenda is free to download and use, but you can also pick up DigiCal+ Calendar, which is a premium key that unlocks extra features such as a year view, even more monthly widgets, extra customization options, and an ad-free experience for a $4.99 one-time payment.

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YouTube TV adds AMC, BBC America, and five other channels to the base $35/month subscription

After months and months of rumors and speculation, YouTube finally unveiled its live TV service back in February. For $35/month, you had 44 channels (plus Fox Soccer Plus and Showtime as extra packages) with support for six user accounts and DVR storage for up to a year.

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CNN app for Android adds Chromecast support and reader mode

Coming off its recent redesign, CNN has just updated its app for Android to support Chromecast streaming of video clips, and a new "reader mode" that condenses the size of headline listings for more information at a glance. If you are interested in increasing the efficiency behind your consumption of news, these changes are sure to make a difference.

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[Deal Alert] Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 on sale for $689.99 via eBay

The Galaxy S8 just launched a few weeks ago, so the discounts are nothing like you see with phones that are months old. Still, there are some deals to be had on the GS8, including this one on eBay. For $689.99, you can have the unlocked international GS8 (G950F). That's about $100 cheaper than most retailers.

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Google is building full-on Android for the car with Volvo and Audi

Today Google has revealed more info on its new standalone Android platform for cars. Unlike Android Auto, which just casts info from your phone onto whatever software your vehicle maker has tossed together, the new system is based on Android and brings some of the same tools Android Auto had natively. Google revealed this initiative at last year's I/O, but there hasn't been much news apart from Chrysler's concept back at CES. Both Audi and Volvo will be making use of the new systems in future vehicles.

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Motorola officially announces the Moto C and C Plus, won't be available in the US

Pretty much everything about the Moto C lineup has been leaked already. In fact, the last leak was yesterday, where the C and C Plus were shown alongside Motorola's other (unannounced) 2017 phones. But now both phones are official, and will be available "in various countries across Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific."

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HTC U11 leaks on video, confirms Edge Sense and no headphone jack

HTC launched the U Ultra early this year, but the reviews were largely negative. Now, the company looks to be preparing for its "true" flagship in 2017 with the HTC U11. We've seen a few leaks of this device, but nothing as good as this. It seems someone who attended a briefing with the phone jumped the gun and posted their hands-on. We get plenty of angles on the phone and a demo of the new Edge Sense feature.

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Asus is reportedly done with Android Wear and the ZenWatch line

In one of those not-so-surprising pieces of news this morning, Digitimes reported that Asus might be throwing in the towel on Android Wear. Despite the slight revitalization we've seen throughout this year, the sales numbers for the ZenWatch line are not looking good.

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Android O feature spotlight: SMS authentication process gets streamlined

With each new version of Android, we all look out for the big, front-facing changes that alter the way the OS looks or works in a big way. But for every major new feature, there are countless smaller ones behind the scenes that altogether add up to a better experience. One such change that seems to be heading our way with the upcoming release of Android O is an improved SMS authentication process for use by third party apps.

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