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Android Oreo feature spotlight: You can force Android's new background limits on old apps

Android 8.0 Oreo includes several changes to how background processes work, in order to squeeze even more battery life out of your device. One of these is the Background Execution Limit, which imposes new rules on what apps can do in the background. By default, the new limits only apply to apps targeting Android 8.0, but you can force it on older apps as well.

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Owners of certain Sony phones could get 50% refund from water damage class action settlement

Sony was one of the first OEMs to focus on designing water-resistant phones, but they weren't always resistant enough. Consumers were brushed off by Sony when their water-resistant phones and tablets showed evidence of water damage. Now, there's a class action lawsuit wrapping up that could result in affected Sony owners getting a 50% refund on their devices.

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Google introduces Chrome Enterprise subscription for businesses

Chromebooks have become increasingly popular in education, thanks to their ease of use for both students and IT staff. Google is looking to expand Chromebook usage in another market - businesses. Today, the company announced Chrome Enterprise, a subscription service for managing large amounts of Chrome OS devices.

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Verizon splits unlimited plan into three tiers, throttles video on all of them

Verizon ruffled some feathers last month when it was caught throttling Netflix on its LTE network. At the time the carrier said it was merely testing video optimization technology, and now we know why. Verizon has done away with its standard unlimited data plan, replacing it with three tiers of unlimited data. All of them include video throttling—in fact, you can't get 1080p video on phones on any of them.

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Chrome on Android adding support for third-party search engine logos

Earlier this year, an anti-trust lawsuit in Russia led Google to make some changes with Chrome on Android. The settlement required Google to develop a search widget that uses any search engine, which shipped as part of Chrome 60. Chrome also now asks users in Russia to pick a search engine when first installed. In a related move, Google is adding support for custom search engine logos in Chrome for Android.

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Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is coming to Android later this year

We already have some Final Fantasy games on Android, but the only good ones are ports of old games. That FFXV: A New Empire spin-off barely counts as a Final Fantasy title. Square Enix just announced a new mobile game that might actually be worth your time. Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition will bring content from the full FFXV to mobile devices, and you'll be able to try it for free.

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WhatsApp Web shows new Status, supports Slack-like emoji insertion

We don't often cover WhatsApp Web here since it's not exactly Android, but it's related enough to the Android app that we do make an exception every now and then when there's something worth talking about. Today is one of those examples, but it's worth pointing out that some of these changes aren't new and have been there for a while — maybe even for a month or two. But again, we had to wait until there was enough news to warrant a post.

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Android Oreo feature spotlight: Rescue Party might save bootlooping devices from an early death

The user facing features of Android 8.0 were mostly already known before yesterday's grand reveal of the Oreo name and the final version, but there are usually other tweaks that only become apparent after a bit of time looking through the documentation. One interesting new discovery is a feature called Rescue Party, which is designed to combat a much publicized recent Android problem, the infamous boot loop.

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AT&T Galaxy S8 and S8+ receiving updates with navigation bar auto hide, August patch, and more

Most Galaxy S8 and S8+ variants are receiving updates every one to two months, and today, it's the AT&T versions' turn. This latest update for S8s on the Death Star carrier include "navigation bar auto hide," the August 2017 security patch, and quite a few more miscellaneous improvements.

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Samsung Bixby's voice commands are rolling to more than 200 countries

Samsung's controversially received assistant, Bixby, has rolled out its voice command features in Korea and the US, but if you've been just dying to try out in other countries, you're now in luck. Samsung says that the voice commands are available in 200+ countries worldwide including the UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and more.

You will still be limited to speaking in US English and Korean — tough luck if you wanted to use it in other languages — and you will need to own a Galaxy S8 or S8+ to have Bixby in the first place, but once those requirements are met, you just have to press and hold the Bixby button to activate the feature.

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