Android Police

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Google Home and Android Things power these awesome Halloween trick or treat bowls

Halloween is over (sad face) but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy its nerdy tricks and its geeky treats. Google Home already has its own Halloween tricks, but if you're an awesome dad, you'd go above and beyond that. Case in point: this set of Halloween bowls rigged by tjudkinsYT and demoed by his daughter. He's using Android Things on a Raspberry Pi and his own unpublished Action on Google (hence the "getting the test version of Trick or Treat Bowl" you hear the nice Google lady say in reply) to trigger it through Assistant on his Home Mini.

The result is all so cute.

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Dual-screen ZTE Axon M is now available to order, exclusively from AT&T

In one of the most left-field phone releases of the year, ZTE recently announced the foldable, dual-screen Axon M. Leaks had already spoiled the surprise somewhat, but when David got it in his hands he was actually rather more impressed by the phone than he expected to be. Today, the device is available to order, and it's being sold exclusively through AT&T in the US.

Senior VP of Device and Network Services Marketing (snazzy title) for AT&T, Kevin Petersen, thinks the phone could be a success. “By letting you do 2 things at once, the ZTE Axon M is the perfect combination of wireless and entertainment and we’re thrilled to offer it exclusively at AT&T.”

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Amazon releases the Cloud Cam's app on the Play Store

Amazon announced its entry into the smart security camera business last week with the new $119 Cloud Cam. The official release date for the camera is November 8, but if you ordered one or plan on doing so, you can already grab the Android app that goes with it from the Play Store.

The Cloud Cam app is the control center of your cameras. You can add the cams you got, rename them, view the live stream if you want to drop in and check something, and activate two-way audio to talk to your kids or anyone at home, calm your pets, or scare an intruder.

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Google Voice 5.5 adds billing history [APK Download]

While I can't use Google Voice myself, I see a lot of positive feelings for the service online. And now the Android app will be getting just a little bit more approval thanks to a handy addition: billing history.

If you use Google Voice for placing calls, you'll be able to track your available credit through the app's Settings > Billing history. There, you'll find your recent activity with each call, its date and time, duration, how much it cost you, and your balance after it was over.

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The USO gets a well-designed Android application

It's always a nice surprise when an official app, whether it be for a government or an organization or a company, is well designed and built with the most modern guidelines and the most responsive elements. Given how often we come across poor apps that look clunky and feel clunkier, from those that you're dead sure have been copied straight from iOS to those that are easy to recognize as web wrappers, I've sort of lowered my expectations for official apps. And that's where the USO's new app surprises with its very modern Android aesthetics, clean interface, and responsive UI elements.

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Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt lock now works with Amazon Alexa for voice control

Schlage recently announced Android support for its Sense Smart Deadbolt lock, along with the launch of a new Wi-Fi adapter that enables remote access through the company's app. The same lock is now getting even smarter as it gains Amazon Alexa integration, which will allow you to lock or check the status by voice via an Alexa-enabled device such as the various Amazon Echos.

As well as control and checking capabilities, the Schlage Sense skill can be used in conjunction with the Alexa app to add door locking to multi-step routines – a good way to ensure your door is locked before bed by adding it to your 'good night' routine.

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Android Pay starts showing full purchase history for supported cards

Many months ago, Cody predicted through his all-seeing eye (and some strings in the app teardown, but I prefer to think of Cody's powers as absolute magic - is there a thing the guy doesn't know beforehand?) that the Android Pay app would start showing full transaction histories on your supported cards, even for those transactions where Pay wasn't used.

Now it looks like the option has started showing up through a server-side switch as reported by u/shiruken. There's a toggle to enable or disable the option for supported cards in the Android Pay app, and when enabled, it will display all your transactions on that card, regardless of how the transaction was performed: Pay, the card itself, or some other medium.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Supported devices could offload tethering to the hardware

One of the new toggles you'll see in Android 8.1's developer preview is hidden in Developer options, under the Networking category and is called: Tethering hardware acceleration. The description, "Use tethering hardware acceleration if available," doesn't do a lot to clarify the ambiguity of the new option, and the speculation from AP alumni Ron Amadeo and a few users has been that it would use a more efficient method for tethering that relies on hardware. We've been looking into it to try to understand what it does and there are hints here and there that favor that explanation.

First, there's new code in Android that's related to this new "tetheroffload.control" and I also found a few APIs in the Android HIDL related to it with explanations of the different control types.

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InBrief
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UC Browser hits 500 million downloads on the Play Store

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Google hasn't actually enabled Pixel Visual Core in 8.1 Oreo DP1, updates docs to say it'll come in DP2

The Pixel Visual Core is Google's first in-house chip, and it was supposed to have been enabled in Android 8.1 Developer Preview 1. However, developers looking to try it out were unable to do so, eventually realizing that Google had neglected to enable it for the public preview. Now, the company has updated its documents to say that Visual Core will be able to be tried out in 8.1 Developer Preview 2.

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