Android Police

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Pixel 2's Visual Core chip now enabled, and developers can use it

One of the new features in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL is the 'Visual Core.' As we covered before, this is a custom chip developed by Google to improve photo processing. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL shipped with this chip disabled, with Google promising that it would be activated "in the coming months."

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Verizon will stop throttling your video if you pay an extra $10/month

There's a reason we here at AP have a dedicated Verizon hero with devilish features grafted on: the company consistently makes changes that are unfair to its customers. After limiting video quality to 480p and 720p depending on the tier of unlimited plan back in August, Verizon has now brought full-quality streams back - for an extra $10 per month.

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Death Road to Canada just made a pit stop on the Play Store on its way to the Great White North

Back in April Rocketcat Games announced that Death Road to Canada was finally coming to Android. After a 6-month wait, it would appear that it's officially landed on the Play Store with a price tag of $9.99, a whole $5 cheaper than its PC counterpart. You can expect all of the same pixel-based zombie killing gameplay where you are tasked with managing a car full of jerks as they venture forward to the zombie-free Great White North.

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Samsung's new Galaxy Tab A launches November 1 for $229.99

There aren't as many tablet options as there once were. Consumers don't buy tablets like they used to, but Samsung can still afford to dabble in Android slates on occasion. Today, it's reviving an old name for a new device. The new Galaxy Tab A is set to launch in a few days, and it clocks in at a reasonable $229.99. You won't get particularly powerful hardware for that price, though.

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Four LG phones added to Amazon Prime Exclusive lineup: G6, G6+, Q6, and X Charge

Mobile phones are ridiculously expensive these days, and consumers are often backed into a corner by carriers and retailers. There is a way of bringing the cost down, however, so long as you don't mind a few lock screen adverts and offers. That's the essence of Amazon Prime Exclusive Phones, which can be bought for considerably less than retail price, with the caveat being that Amazon kind of owns your lock screen, and can use it to try to sell you things.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Status bar icons are now rounded and have padding on the left and right

Google had rounded status bar icons in its phones' marketing materials for the Pixel, though the devices came with regular, squared-off icons in reality. But with the introduction of 8.1, we're finally getting legitimately rounded icons in the status bar, even if the change is extremely hard to notice. There's also now padding on the left and right sides of the status bar icons, regardless of whether it's necessary for your particular device.

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'Toolbox for Google Play Store,' our web browser extension, adds Firefox on Android support and more with v2.0

Back in December, we released a Chrome extension called 'Toolbox for Google Play Store.' It was designed to make the Play Store website much better, with direct links to APKMirror/AP/AppBrain for each app and the ability to sign up for beta programs with one click. A few months later, we released it for Opera, and later Firefox.

But all that time, there wasn't much in the way of new features or major improvements. Today, I'm excited to announce that version 2.0 of Toolbox for Play Store is rolling out to Chrome and Firefox users (Opera should get it in a day or two).

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Toast messages are now white to better match the rest of the UI

Those of you who are fans of darker themes on software won't be happy with this change we've discovered in the Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview: toast messages now have a lighter, inverted theme. This was likely done in order to match the rest of the much whiter user interface, which the gray toasts didn't really go with.

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Add history to the Pixel 2 'Now Playing' song identification feature with this app

Just before Google's Pixel 2 launch event, we learned of a great new always-on feature that listens for music and displays the song name and artist on the lock screen without even being asked to do so. Now Playing even works without an internet connection, as it keeps a local file containing identification data for nearly 20,000 songs. It won't be able to name everything you hear out and about, but anything vaguely popular should be picked up.

What if you hear a song you like, but you aren't able to look at your phone before it's finished and a new song is playing?

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WhatsApp beta 2.17.397 adds new emojis for fantasy, facial expressions, and yes, T-Rex

While I'm sure very few people have yearned for a broccoli or a cricket emoji on WhatsApp, there are plenty of other emojis that were still missing from the app compared to the Android 8.0 emoji set and Apple's latest set. The monocle, star eyes, swearing face, vomiting face, shushing face, exploding head, and many more were still missing from WhatsApp even when the app revamped its entire emojis early this month and introduced its own set.

With the latest beta 2.17.397, WhatsApp brings all of these missing emojis to the table. It's true that you could receive these before in conversation, but you couldn't send them and now you can.

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