Android Police

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Download: Some of the new wallpapers from the unreleased 2016 Nexus phones

Nexus wallpapers. You want them because duh. These are a handful of the new static wallpapers that Google will unveil with the new Nexus phones later this year. We don't know if this is all the wallpapers, but it's a good portion of them. We also know for a fact that Google is working on a tremendous number of new live wallpapers with varying animations and functions (yep, functional LWPs, from Google), and we'll share more about those when we have it.

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Exclusive: This is Google's new "Nexus Launcher" that may debut on the 2016 Nexus phones

According to multiple reliable sources, we believe that Google plans to debut a brand-new launcher for Nexus devices some time in the near future, likely on its 2016 Nexus (if they are Nexuses) smartphones Marlin and Sailfish.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether. As with all rumors, nothing is 100% until it's officially announced.

We do not have possession of any APKs we can distribute or unreleased devices, so please don't ask for them.

Confidence level

We give this rumor a confidence level of 9 out of 10.

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PSA: Google Album Archive shows you all your photo albums in one place [Update]

Google has a lot of products and services that involve photos, and it can be hard to keep track of where everything is. The company added a cool feature to the Google "About Me" account info screen recently that makes it easier to find all your photos. It's called Album Archive, and it, well, archives all your albums.

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Nexus updates with August security patches are available for download

The monthly security patches are starting to roll out, and the sideload-able Nexus files are available for download if you don't want to wait. The full system images are there so you can start fresh, but the OTA files are available too if you want a quicker method. As usual, don't expect feature updates in this OTA, but there are ample fixes for vulnerabilities large and small.

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[Trust no one] Samsung's Twitter support reps are telling people the unlocked US Galaxy S7 won't get updates, but that's completely wrong

We hear regularly from readers who were given confusing (and sometimes alarming) information by the support reps for one company or another. This is almost always a result of the front-line customer service people being misinformed or confused, but the latest Samsung support blunder is a particularly annoying example of this phenomenon. The official Samsung support Twitter account is adamant that the new US unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge won't get updates, but that's just nonsense.

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Google will start pushing Android notifications when new devices are added to your account

Google already sends email notifications when a new device accesses your account, but people are programmed to ignore email. According to Google, native Android notifications are four times more effective at getting your attention, so that's what it's going to show you from now on when devices are added to your account.

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[Update: Rolling out] Facebook Messenger "Secret Conversation" encryption appears in beta app

A few months after WhatsApp started encrypting all conversations by default, and a few weeks after Facebook announced encryption was coming to Messenger too, Facebook has turned on the security feature, with 'Secret Conversations' available to beta testers of the app.

Secret Conversations do have a few caveats users should probably be aware of. They are not turned on by default, and neither is end-to-end encryption. A normal Messenger conversation can be made secret by a toggle - more on that in a minute - and these conversations will be encrypted.

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LG says the V20 will be released in September with Android 7.0 Nougat [Update]

LG has been having problems in the wake of poor LG G5 sales. The Korean smartphone maker has already given some execs the boot, moved others to different areas, and formed a new smartphone oversight group. LG is pinning its hopes for turning 2016 around on the V20, which it has now officially acknowledged on its Korean site. The V20 will be out in September with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

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Weekend poll: How long have you owned your current smartphone?

Smartphones are getting better, generally speaking. There's little doubt of this. Cameras, displays, computing performance, and connectivity see improvements with each passing generation. The adoption of common standards - some that you may not even think about - has helped a lot, too. Everything from the super obvious (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) to the formerly obscure but increasingly necessary (NFC, USB-C) continues to cause smartphones as a whole to commoditize and, on some basic level, homogenize. As a result, intercompatibility of smartphones and content is likely at an all-time high, reducing the incentive to upgrade your device as often. And as the experience has gotten better in most areas (perhaps less in battery life!), the frustrations that caused people to upgrade yearly or even biennially have also probably decreased as a function of that general betterment.

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Flow, Microsoft's cloud automation engine, gets an Android beta app

Microsoft wants to get in on some of that sweet action that services like If This, Then That and its competitors have been working on for years. To that end they've created Flow, a new web tool that automates actions across some of the major web services available at the moment, most of which (shocker!) aren't even owned by Microsoft. Flow allows users to set up automated "recipes" to complete tasks in Twitter, Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack, OneDrive, Github, Facebook, YouTube, and more.

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