Android Police

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Google Street View goes round and round, reaches 1 Billion installs on the Play Store

I still remember when Google Street View was that pre-installed icon that I wished I could remove from my device but couldn't because it came as part of Google Maps. Now the exploration service is all grown up, living independently, and thanks to the spread of 360 cams and user-generated content as well as the addition of dozens of interesting photosphere collections from real to fictional, has reached 1 Billion total installs on the Play Store.

While many of those downloads will have resulted from the app being pre-installed on devices for the longest time, 1 billion is still an impressive milestone to reach.

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Sony Xperia Z5 range, Z4 Tablet, and Z3 Plus start getting Android Nougat 7.1.1 OTA

When it comes to software updates, Sony is on the job. The company is always one of the first to release updates for its recent flagship devices and is great at updating even relatively older-generation devices quickly too. Take the Xperia Z3 Plus, Z4 Tablet, and Z5 family which were announced sometime between May 2015 and September 2015, making them nearly 2 years old. They got the update to Android Nougat 7.0 back in February and they're now following the footsteps of the XZ and X Performance and getting upped to the more recent Android 7.1.1.

The update bumps the build number from 32.3.A.2.33 to 32.4.A.0.160 and doesn't seem to hide many noticeable changes according to the comments on the post, but it should technically have most of the official non-Pixel Android 7.1 things detailed in this changelog as well as a switch to API Level 25 which brings new capabilities for devs.

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Facebook celebrates 2 billion monthly active users

This is a little bonkers. Out of the 7.5 billion people living on the planet, give or take a few hundred million, 2 billion visit Facebook at least once a month. On a conservative estimate, that's 1 out of any 4 people alive right now... any 4 humans, be it newborns, kids, teenagers, adults, elderly people, those without internet access, those in war-torn countries, those sick and unconscious, those living in the hidden nooks and crannies of our planet... literally one out of any four persons.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the news on his Facebook feed and it was later followed up by a post on the official Newsroom blog with more stats and a couple of new things.

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American Express is now supported by Android Pay in Canada

Android Pay has barely been available in Canada for a month, but it already has a good selection of debit and credit cards signed up to use the service. The latest to get on board is American Express, adding the first card that isn't a MasterCard or Visa to Android Pay in the country.

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Google News desktop site gets a Material redesign, with new Story Cards and more customization options

The Google News & Weather app for Android has been updated semi-regularly since it was re-branded in 2014. But during that time, the desktop site remained mostly unchanged. Today Google took the wraps off a brand new Google News site, which not only has a fresh coat of Material Design, but also adds some major new functionality.

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Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 450, a major update to the 400-series platform

It's been some time since Qualcomm issued the 400-series Snapdragon chip a generational update, but it looks like we're finally getting one today. The new Snapdragon 450 sees Qualcomm's mid-range smartphone platform move to a 14nm process, a change that should bring very significant efficiency gains, as current 400-series chips are on a 28nm process.

Like the outgoing Snapdragon 435, the current most-powerful 400-series chipset, the 450 still utilizes Cortex A53 cores, but on a smaller 14nm process. Qualcomm is also very substantially raising their max clock speed, up to 1.8GHz on the 450 versus a max of 1.4GHz on the 435.

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Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon Wear 1200 for entry-level wearables and LTE IoT devices

Qualcomm announced at MWC Shanghai today that it's releasing a new wearable chipset, Snapdragon Wear 1200. The chip is actually a pretty major advancement over the previous generation Wear 1100, in that the overall package size is a whopping 45% smaller while adding support for LTE Cat M1 connectivity, a technology designed to allow ultra-low-power electronics to connect to an LTE network with minimal power consumption. LTE Cat NB1, also supported by Wear 1200, offers similar benefits.

This chip isn't something that will ever make it into an Android Wear device, but you could see it in internet-connected accessories and basic fitness or tracker wearables.

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It's happening: Qualcomm is building fingerprint scanners that go inside your phone's screen, coming in 2018

We've been waiting years for this moment, and it looks like Qualcomm will be the first one to deliver on our dreams: fingerprint scanners that go directly underneath your phone's display panel. At MWC Shanghai today, Qualcomm announced that it will be supplying these futuristic scanners - a new business for the company - starting in Summer 2018.

Qualcomm's design utilizes the company's previously-announced ultrasonic fingerprint detection method. Because of its use of ultrasonics - as opposed to capacitance - Qualcomm says this fingerprint scanner design makes it much easier to "see" through your smartphone's display panel to take a fingerprint read...

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Never Settle: OnePlus dodges questions on the company's Reddit AMA

After months of rumors, leaks, and hype, the OnePlus 5 was released earlier this month to mostly-positive reviews. However, the numerous missteps OnePlus has taken over the past years have put into question if the phone is worth the $479 asking price. Yesterday, OnePlus hosted an AMA ("Ask Me Anything") on Reddit to discuss the phone, but the end result wasn't pretty.

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Sony adds Xperia XZ Premium to Open Devices program

Sony's latest phone, the Xperia XZ Premium, launched in the United States last week. As the name implies, it's a rather expensive phone ($799.99), but offers a few unique features like a camera capable of recording 960FPS slow-motion video. Sony has now added the phone to its Open Devices program, making it easy for developers to build AOSP for the device.

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