Android Police

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Wallpaper-based themes include tinted notification and power menu shadows, just like the Pixel 2 [Update: Lock screen, too]

The Pixel 2 and 2 XL include a number of small tweaks that other 8.0 devices, even the OG Pixels, don't have. For example, the home screen's theme changes based on your wallpaper. We already knew that was coming to more phones in 8.1, and there's another theme feature from the Pixel 2 that's in 8.1 as well. Accent colors are pulled from your wallpaper for the notification and power menu shadows.

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Just in time for Halloween, Warner Bros. has released 'IT: Escape from Pennywise VR'

IT: Escape from Pennywise VR is a new Daydream virtual reality experience that directly ties into the newest movie adaptation of Stephen King's IT. But that's not all. This appears to be Warner Bros. second VR experience for IT, where the first episode IT: FLOAT - A Cinematic VR Experience was released for free on a few different video VR streaming services back in August. Why these releases are not both on Android I am unsure, but I suppose it is a way to monetize what started out as a free promotional tool since IT: Escape from Pennywise VR is priced at $0.99.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: You can hide the 'running in the background' notification without a third-party app

Android 8.0 introduced some big changes to notifications, but not all of them have been well received. The "running in the background" notification could be annoying if you always have something like a VPN active. We covered a way to get rid of that notification with a third-party app, but the Android 8.1 dev preview makes it possible to hide it without installing anything else.

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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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