Android Police

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Twitter's stable release implements app shortcuts, multi-window, and rounded icons on Android Nougat

A couple of weeks ago, Twitter updated its alpha release version to add several of Android Nougat's features. Now these options have made it onto the stable release version of the app, so you no longer need to live on the bleeding edge to benefit from them.

Version 6.22 of Twitter is the one that brings it all. There are Android 7.1's launcher shortcuts, which you can access if you're using the Pixel, Nova, or Action Launcher, as well as a rounded icon that will likely only be visible if you have a Pixel or if you're running a launcher that supports them.

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Google VR Services gets an update in preparation for Daydream VR

Daydream VR was revealed alongside the Pixel phones and Google Home last month, but while those other things began to ship, news surrounding Google's latest virtual reality headset remained sparse. However, the Mountain View-based company has just pushed an update to Google VR Services, the framework needed for Daydream VR to work with the Pixel and Pixel XL.

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Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the first devices compatible with T-Mobile's new 4x4 MIMO and 256QAM technologies for faster data speeds

Back in September, T-Mobile announced several improvements to its network's infrastructure that would help speed up data transfers significantly. There were two folds to the strategy, 4x4 MIMO and DL-256QAM/UL-64QAM, as well as two devices promised to be compatible with these options first: the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

First, 4x4 MIMO is already available in 319 cities and has the potential to double the data paths between the cell network and phones for better speeds in congested areas. It turns out that 4x4 MIMO was already enabled in the update that rolled out to the T-Mobile Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge back in September, but it wasn't mentioned in the official changelog. Cellular Insights tested out firmware G935TUVU4APIA on the S7 Edge and verified that 4x4 MIMO was working on it.

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Latest Google Play services update restores the 'Check for updates' button on Nexus and Pixel devices

With a security update looming on the horizon, we thought now would be a good time to point out that there's a small incentive to update to the latest version of Google Play services ahead of its normal rollout schedule – assuming you didn't already do it for those handy little Cast notifications with player controls. If you happen to miss repeatedly slamming on the update button after it was removed from Nexus devices with the Android 7.1 update, you'll appreciate knowing that Play services v10 restores the button to its former state of existence.

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Weekend poll: Do you use Google Photos cloud backup?

Google Photos' unlimited cloud backup is one of the best things Google's done with an app product in a while, if you ask me. Unlimited storage of intelligently compressed (or original quality for some phones) photos and videos means you can keep every moment your smartphone (or other camera) captures without ever [realistically] worrying about storage space. It's great. But other photo backup services do exist, and some people just don't like to use (or trust) the cloud for backing up their personal data.

So, do you use Google Photos cloud backup feature? If not, why not?

Do you use Google Photos cloud backup?

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[Update: B&H too] [Deal Alert] The Moto G4 Play is only $129.99 ($20 off) on Amazon

If you're looking for a good phone under $150, Motorola's G4 Play is probably one of the best options. You get a Snapdragon 410 CPU, 2GB of RAM, expandable storage, a removable battery, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow (with Motorola promising Nougat soon). This is also one of the few phones in this price range that supports GSM and CDMA, meaning it works with all US carriers.

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[Update: LeEco responds] Days after US launch, LeEco's CEO sends bizarre letter claiming company has over-expanded

According to the China-based Global Times, CEO of LeEco Jia Yueting sent a company-wide memo out on Sunday saying the company's rapid global expansion hasn't gone as well as hoped. In the memo, Jia says that "LeEco's growth pace and organizational capabilities" have been a problem, and that a lack of capital and resources resulted in poorer than expected momentum in the company's various businesses.

Jia specifically calls out "non-listed" LeEco, which are the various ventures of Jia organized through a large number of private subsidiaries not a part of the larger LeEco listed on the Shenzen Stock Exchange.

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InBrief
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'Netbanking' is showing up as a payment method on the Indian Play Store

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Fitbit Charge 2 review: The best all-around activity tracker, despite heated competition

When I reviewed the Fitbit Blaze a few months ago, one of my main complaints was its bulky design and the identity crisis over what it actually is: a smartwatch, a sports watch, a fitness tracker, or all of the above to a certain extent. That was never a question with the company's best selling tracker, the Charge HR. From the first look, you knew it was an activity tracker first and foremost, and anything else that it could do was just a bonus feature.

Now the Charge 2 is here to carry the torch. It's an all-around better Charge HR with several significant improvements that nearly put it on the same level as the higher priced Blaze.

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The new Play Store UI that Google leaked in one of its own videos is real, and it's going live for some

As many Android enthusiasts may know, Google is constantly experimenting with new features and UI changes for its apps. Just a few days ago, in a recently published Google video featuring the Pixel, we noticed a never-before-seen Play Store UI on the device. This user interface possessed a new color scheme, a larger "Install" button, and more. Now, we're starting to see elements from that video pop up on enthusiasts' devices.

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