Android Police

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Samsung Galaxy Note7 global recall due to exploding batteries could be imminent

We've been seeing reports of Galaxy Note7 devices exploding while being charged, but that regularly happens with so many different models and brands, especially due to faulty chargers, that we didn't pay much attention to it. However, it seems that the story is different and really serious this time.

A Samsung official speaking to Yonhap said the company estimates that less than 0.1% of Galaxy Note7 devices sold were affected and that the root of the problem was traced back to the battery. But at several millions sold, even this small a percentage can be a hazardous risk and one Samsung is not ready to gamble with. Since the Note7 doesn't have a removable battery, the official says that the company is about to issue a recall of all its new Galaxy Note7 devices sold at home and abroad.

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Genius 2.0 lets you save lyrics for offline, adds slick animations in redesigned song page

Genius, which started out as Rap Genius, is a cool Android app for music lovers who want to not just discover the lyrics to their favorite songs, but also the stories and trivia behind them. With version 2.0, the app is getting a couple of nifty new features, none more important than the slick animation on the redesigned song page.

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Sony's Xperia Ear is coming to select markets starting in November

An ongoing issue with smartphones is that they pull people out of the world around them. Instead of interacting with others face-to-face or being aware of our surroundings, we increasingly spend our time tapping out tiny screens.

During Mobile World Congress, Sony announced a series of concept devices aimed at alleviating this issue. The idea is to keep us connected in a way that doesn't require staring down at a screen. Products include an earpierce, a clip-on camera, a projector, and a tiny robot. Only the first, the Xperia Ear, is coming out this year.

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Google Now is testing search shortcuts in a new circletastic UI

Google is always trying something new with its different apps. Our personal nightmare is YouTube — ask Cody, trying to monitor the dozens of tips we get each week about a new YouTube UI are his personal nightmare. But Google Now might be an exception. The app's stream of cards has looked the same for a while and it's rather consistent between users. Not anymore.

The server-side switch plague has claimed another victim. Some users are seeing a series of blue circle icons on top of their Google Now stream for weather, dining, movies, and shopping. Others, like me, are not.

google-now-circles-search-hints-1 google-now-circles-search-hints-2

The icons don't do anything beside launch a search — and thus trigger smart cards and results — for their respective purposes. They're basically glorified search shortcuts, or maybe big hints for those who don't know what exactly you can search for on Google Now.

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Huawei's MediaPad M3 has a slim 8.4" body and stereo speakers co-engineered with Harman-Kardon

Beside the new nova and nova plus phones, Huawei introduced a follow-up to its MediaPad M2 today at IFA. The MediaPad M3 is a sleek new tablet from Huawei with a focus on a premium audio experience. Its stereo speakers have been designed and fine-tuned in collaboration with Harman Kardon, and the tablet ships with AKG H300 earphones that are specifically designed for it.

The 8.4" 2560x1600 display can filter out the harmful blue light in dark conditions and takes up most of the front of the device, at an 82% screen-to-body ratio. The rest of the tablet is encased in an aerospace-class aluminum body.

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Huawei unveils new metallic 5" nova and 5.5" nova plus with obvious Nexus 6P inspiration

Today at IFA Huawei introduced two new Android phones, one of which might look a little more than familiar. The nova and nova plus are now part of Huawei's high midrange smartphone lineup and you'll find that the first one carries one controversial design element from Huawei's lauded Nexus 6P.

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Xiaomi introduces mobile payment solution Mi Pay with support for cards from 20 banks in China

The mobile payments solution market is quickly becoming crowded and complicated. Depending on the country you live in, the device you carry, the smartphone OS it runs, the bank you get your cards from, and maybe even your operator, chances are you have to use a very specific payment solution. And vendors, banks, developers, are left to figure out a way to make it work for the largest number of customers.

Chinese users with a Xiaomi phone will have one more option now: Mi Pay. Launching today with China UnionPay, a large payment network similar to Visa and Mastercard, Mi Pay supports credit cards from 20 banks and debit cards from 12, including Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Communications, and China Merchants Bank, as well as public transportation cards from six cities (that's another known payment method in China). The Mi Wallet app can tie up to 8 cards to one Xiaomi device and its users will also benefit from promos and rewards.

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Chrome Dev adds a downloads manager and the ability to save a page for offline viewing

On both mobile and desktop, downloading things from the internet is pretty obviously a big deal. Since it launched in 2008, Chrome has had a download manager, and now the Android version is following suit, with a Download menu appearing in the latest version of Chrome Dev, version 54.0.2840.6.

'Downloads' is in the overflow dropdown menu. It's basically exactly what it says it is: a manager for files downloaded through the browser. However, it seems like it's a bit broken at the moment, as some files don't show up in the UI while others do. I downloaded an MP3 file and it didn't appear despite being on my phone, while a picture did show.

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HTC One A9s is official with more iPhone similarities and worse specs than the A9

We only heard of the new HTC iPhone One A9s a couple of days ago when Evan Blass leaked the first render of the phone. Thankfully, we didn't have to go through weeks of more torturous rumors over the existence and purpose of this device, as HTC has just officially announced it at IFA.

The "successor" to the One A9 pushes its iPhone inspiration to new levels (yes, we know HTC introduced the general look first, but this is more of a blatant copy than the iPhone ever was of the One series) thanks to a top left rear camera and LED flash, removed HTC logo from the front, and smaller earpiece.

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Google adds 11 new countries to Google Patents

Google Patents might not be the most exciting of Google's search products, but it's one that's essential in realizing Google's mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful. However, the world is made up of more than just a half-dozen countries, which is why Google has just announced that it's adding 11 new countries to its patent database, bringing the total to 17 patent offices around the globe.

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