Android Police

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Motorola releases Mods Manager and projector Mod app in the Play Store

The Moto Z and Moto Z Force have launched today as Verizon-exclusive devices. The Moto Z will come out as an unlocked device in the not too distant future, but the Droid phones are the only game in town when it comes to Moto Mods. And there are settings apps for the Mods in the Play Store—two of them, in fact. I guess that's cool.

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Latest YouTube update removes notification button to close background play

Google does a lot of smart things, but it also makes some very bizarre (dare I say, dumb?) decisions. Case in point, YouTube recently changed the way it handles background play, making it harder to end playback from the notification. The "x" used to be tiny, but now it's just gone.

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Republic Wireless launches new smartphone portfolio today including Nexus 6P, Galaxy S7, Moto G4, and more

For years, Republic Wireless has offered inexpensive plans and interesting WiFi calling features, but the selection of phones was extremely limited. That changes today. After announcing a new GSM network partner and smartphone portfolio, both are live today. You can pick up devices like the Nexus 6P and Galaxy S7 for use on Republic Wireless right now.

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Moto Z DROID, Z Force DROID, and their Mods are now on sale at Verizon

Pre-orders for Moto's new flagships went up last week, but today is the day the phones go officially on sale. Both the Moto Z DROID and the Moto Z Force DROID are available for purchase at Verizon's website and the prices are like we discussed earlier.

You'll have to pay $624 for the regular Z or divide that up into $26 monthly installments over 30 months. As for the Z Force, it's about a hundred dollars more, costing $720 upfront or $30 per month for 30 months.

You can also grab a Mod if you want that, but you'll have to be ready to shell out serious cash for some of them.

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[Update: Brazil court freezes $11.7M of Facebook funds] Judge in Brazil orders WhatsApp blocked once again

WhatsApp is hugely popular in Brazil where mobile subscribers pay high rates for cellular calls and messaging. WhatsApp isn't getting as much use today as a Brazilian judge has ordered the country's five wireless providers to block access to the service. Unlike past blackouts, this one does not include an end date—it's intended to continue until WhatsApp complies with a court order to turn over information. However, it says the requested information doesn't exist.

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Samsung posts big profit for Q2 2016, largest in over two years

Bolstered by surging sales of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, Samsung has announced its second quarter earnings for 2016, showing that profits, 8.14 trillion won ($45.2 billion), are up almost 18%, with revenue, 50.94 trillion won ($7.22 billion), also up by 5%.

These are big, big increases for Samsung - the biggest profit the South Korean company has made in over two years. This is no doubt thanks to, at least in part, a hugely profitable IT & Mobile Communications division, which has the smartphone department as part of that. Profit for the IM division was 4.32 trillion won ($3.83 billion).

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LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens beeps and bops its way onto Android

The LEGO games are great - a little repetitive, maybe, but very good, especially for mobile devices. For the Star Wars fans out there (and boy are there a lot of you), your time has come: LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens has hit the Play Store, almost a month after release on consoles and PC.

We all know the LEGO formula by now: run around with a character, collect as many coins as possible, and advance through the game. This is tried and tested, so I'm not going to doubt it, but the gameplay does feel a little tired now.

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YouTube Gaming v1.5 adds chat overlay to full-screen videos, landscape orientation, watch history, a new easter egg, and more [APK Download]

It has been about six weeks since the last YouTube Gaming update rolled out, and it's clear the developers have been keeping pretty busy on making changes. The latest update has quite a few improvements to be found throughout the app, not to mention at least one feature that might be considered pretty huge. Topping the list is a new live comment stream that overlays gameplay videos so you can see the action and watch the commentary at the same time. A few features have been moved to more convenient places and a video history is now available. Finally, there's a new easter egg, and it's pretty awesome.

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Chromecast's Fast Play Content Prediction feature has been delayed, still being worked on

Remember Chromecast's "Fast Play" feature? Well, some of it is out there in the wild now: for example, apps now can be pre-fetched by the Chromecast when they're loaded on your phone (this works for all Chromecasts). But the one feature a lot of people were looking forward to - video prefetching, aka Content Prediction - still isn't released.

Content Prediction is one piece of the larger Fast Play puzzle, but it's an important one. Content Prediction lets the Chromecast start to buffer a video before you even press the play or Cast button on your smartphone, with the idea that the video will start playing, essentially, instantaneously once you start it.

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ZTE Axon 7 available for purchase today at $400, ships August 17th

ZTE's latest attempt at breaking into the premium smartphone market is the Axon 7, and it's available for pre-order today. You have to drop $399.98 to secure your Axon 7, which offers some rather high-end specs for that price. One catch, you'll have to wait a few weeks to actually get your phone.

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