Android Police

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The HTC U Ultra and U Play showcase a new design direction, both launching in early 2017

HTC has been lagging behind its competitors for years, despite some fantastic hardware and critical acclaim. So for 2017 the company is going in a completely new design direction, dumping the aluminum unibody phones it's become known for and shifting to a more generic glass front and back. The first products displaying this new direction are the HTC U Ultra, the new flagship phone, and the U Play, a mid-range model. They'll both go on sale later this year.

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New FCC documents show photos of the SHIELD Portable 2, release still seems iffy

NVIDIA seems committed to a set-top box format and Android TV platform for its SHIELD brand, revealing a slightly tweaked model of the device at CES as the first major hardware revision in a year and a half. But fans of the original SHIELD, the somewhat goofy and crazy-powerful Android portable console, have been clamoring for a new device for even longer than that. The last we heard about follow-up from NVIDIA was almost two years ago, but it looks like someone at the company has been busy between now and then.

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Vodafone now supports Play Store carrier billing in Portugal

Google has allowed paying for Play Store purchases through your phone carrier's bill for a while now, but it's not available on all carriers. Vodafone in Portugal just started supporting Play Store carrier billing, becoming the first carrier in the country to do so. In fact, the Google Play support page for Portugal hasn't even been updated yet.

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[Update: Fifth Third Bank] 46 new banks get Android Pay support including Scottrade and Bremer

Just a year ago it was rare to have support for Android Pay at your bank, but things are much better now. It's getting to the point that even small banks have support for Android Pay. Case in point: 45 new banks have been added to the supported list for Android Pay, and you probably haven't heard of most of them.

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Android 7.1 is being developed for Chrome OS, adds in freeform mode and window resizing

'This is Chrome OS's year,' people say optimistically as they think for the gazillionth time about buying a Chromebook. Hell, I'm one of those people. Will it be 2017? Maybe. With the upcoming release of Samsung's new Chromebook Plus and Pro, and the wider release of Android apps on the Chrome OS stable channel, it's definitely possible. Now, more exciting news has come our way from Chrome Unboxed, in that Android 7.1 is being actively developed and tested for Chrome OS.

What does this actually mean? Basically, it means that the apps running on Chrome OS will gain features Android 7.1 has.

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Photos on Google+ receive the machine learning treatment to help save on bandwidth usage

Machine learning is such a buzzword, or words, these days. Perhaps one of the biggest advocates of this technology, the almighty Google has been applying it to many of its services over the past few months. Now photographs on Google+ are getting some love with the addition of RAISR, which allows for low-resolution images to receive massive bumps in quality while saving on bandwidth.

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Adobe's voice-controlled photo editor concept is the good kind of crazy

Photoshop and other Adobe programs are big, complicated, and expensive, the domain of professional graphic designers and photographers. Not everyone can handle them - not even their toned-down "Elements" versions - but Adobe would very much like for everyone to still give them some money. To that end, the company has introduced a concept for what it calls "intelligent digital assistant photo editing." It's a voice-controlled photo editor, and it's kind of insane - check the video below to see what I mean.

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[Update: 2018 release more likely] Samsung may reveal production-ready smartphones with foldable screens in Q3 2017

Bendable screens sound great in theory; they allow you to choose between two different form factors, on demand. We've seen them on quite a few concept devices over the years, but according to a recent report out of South Korea, Samsung may be the first to make them a reality.

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Uber offers Calendar Shortcuts so that you can get to your events on time

After letting the redesign of its app sit for a few months, Uber is back at it with adding features to make commuting more convenient. This time, the ride-sharing service is adding "Calendar Shortcuts," which allow you to select your destination based upon your calendar entries. Whether it's a meeting, dinner, flight, or whatever it is you normal people do, these new shortcuts make getting a ride that much faster.

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Android Wear 2.0 is launching in early February

Google was supposed to release Android Wear 2.0 last fall, but there were... issues. Specifically, feedback for the developer preview was quite negative. Google decided to reassess and pushed the release to early 2017. After a few more dev previews, here we are. Google has notified developers that Wear 2.0 is coming in a few weeks, so they had better get their apps ready.

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