Android Police

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BLU makes the super-cheap R1 HD official, as low as $50 with Amazon ads

BLU has long been known for making low-cost Android phones, but this is getting ridiculous. The company has made the R1 HD official with a $100 base price tag. However, this phone is included in Amazon's new unlocked phone deal, so you can get an R1 HD for as low as $50 with Amazon ads. Without ads it's $100.

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AnDevCon, the best place for Android developers to sharpen their skills, is coming up this August in Boston [Sponsored Post]

Serious developers are never done learning. And when it comes to Android development, there's no better place to keep up with the latest and greatest than at AnDevCon. The 2016 meeting of AnDevCon is happening in August, just over a month from now, at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston. Interested? Well, Android Police readers get an exclusive $150 discount on an all-access.

Classes

What do you get at AnDevCon? To start with, you have your pick of over 75 classes led by the experts to help you add new skills and freshen up on older ones. The topics are so varied that there is no doubt that AnDevCon has something for what you're looking to improve.

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Google Maps for Android is finally rolling out multi-waypoint directions

As we discovered in our teardown of Maps v9.31 beta last week, Google has been working on implementing true multiple waypoint directions in the Maps app for Android. Unfortunately, we couldn't actually get the feature to, well, work. But according to multiple tips we've now received, the feature appears to be going live for end users. Multiple waypoints will allow you to set "stops" along your route, as shown in the hero image and the screenshots below, a very handy feature indeed.

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CyanogenMod 13 nightlies land for Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy Tab S2 9.7

The march of CyanogenMod continues as nightlies hit two Samsung devices. The Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 and the Galaxy Note 8 are receiving CM13 nightlies, with both the WiFi and the LTE variants of the Tab S2 9.7 included.

The Galaxy Note 8 was released in April 2013 with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, while the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 hit the market less than a year ago, in September 2015, running Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Galaxy Note 8 is only upgradeable officially to 4.4 KitKat, so getting 6.0 Marshmallow support, albeit through CyanogenMod, will be a big boon to owners of that device.

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[Deal Alert] Moto G4 16GB $124.99 and 32GB $154.99 with Amazon offers and ads for Prime members ($75 off)

The Moto G4 is about to launch in the US on July 12 for prices starting $199.99. However, you can get it much cheaper today if you are an Amazon Prime member and you don't mind seeing ads on your lockscreen. How much cheaper? How about $75 less? Yes, that covers 75% of the cost of a yearly Prime membership and puts the Moto G4 at a ridiculously cheap price.

This is possible thanks to Amazon's newly announced Prime Exclusive Phones venture, which basically subsidizes the price of new unlocked phones by putting Amazon apps and ads on your lockscreen. It's the Kindle Fire approach applied to non-Amazon devices.

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Amazon is now selling unlocked phones at a discount in exchange for giving you bloatware and ads

I can't say I saw this coming: Amazon is getting into the unlocked smartphone business in a big way starting today. By selling you phones for a lower price... in exchange for bloatware and lockscreen ads. Yep, seriously.

Amazon announced today that the BLU R1 HD and the Moto G4 (not the Plus, though) are the first Amazon Prime Exclusive smartphones in the US. Both phones are $50 off their standard retail prices, making the BLU R1 HD just $49.99 and Moto G4 just $149.99 (the 32GB is $179.99). Amazon is even offering an additional $25 off the Moto G4 with offers and ads today as part of a special launch promo, bringing it down to $124.99 for Prime members.

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TWRP comes to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek), LG L90, and Android One 3rd Edition (General Mobile 5 Plus)

Midrange devices are really the perfect target for something like TWRP. They're capable devices, but they usually suffer from intolerably bloated interfaces and/or get updates way too late or not at all. A custom recovery is the starting point from which any enterprising user can start flashing mods and custom ROMs onto their device to get over any of the previously mentioned hurdles.

And so it's nice to see TWRP come to 3 Android phones that count somewhere in the midrange category. The first is the MediaTek version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (the Snapdragon version got TWRP a couple of months ago).

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SanDisk launches two new 256GB MicroSDXC cards with transfer speeds up to 100MB/s

I could have sworn that SanDisk made 256GB MicroSDXC cards already, but it seems like it didn't. It just announced them though, so I'm not awfully wrong anymore. There are two new cards in SanDisk's portfolio of super duper ultra high capacity: the SanDisk Extreme MicroSDXC UHS-I and SanDisk Ultra MicroSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition.

I know that sounds confusing so I will break it down to you. Both of these cards can hold 256GB of storage and both are Class 10 cards for great Full HD video capture. They're both super fast too, and very resilient to shock, water, temperature changes, and X-rays, but the difference lies in one aspect.

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Android fragmentation may not be as pronounced as Google's distribution numbers would have you believe, Apteligent report says

Fragmentation is the flaming torch we have to face each time a discussion about Android updates or development is started. Google releases monthly distribution numbers of its operating system, which detail the percentages of devices running a certain version of the OS that have visited the Play Store in the past 7 days. They're usually met with collective groans as Froyo and Gingerbread cling on to dear life month after month.

But as Apteligent's monthly data report points out, Google doesn't take into consideration two important factors: devices that don't have the Play Store installed (ie Chinese handsets mostly) and device usage. A phone may access the Play Store, but it may not be actively used.

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Flipboard adds Google Smart Lock for Passwords support

For quite a while now, Google has been waging war against the age-old password. Whether that be with fingerprint readers, face unlock, or the Trust API, it's something many of us take for granted. News magazine reader Flipboard has added Google Smart Lock support to its app, meaning your account's password will be automatically remembered by Google Play Services. Therefore, as long as you use Chrome or Android connected to a Google account, Flipboard will not require a password to log in, instead remembering it from before (hopefully).

In practice, Smart Lock for Flipboard works almost exactly the same as it does for services like Netflix, which has had Smart Lock since last year (I seriously thought it was longer than that).

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