Android Police

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Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari, the latest casual game from the makers of Crossy Road, mixes endless runners with park managers

How do zoos procure the exotic animals that they care for and exhibit? In the real world it's a complex process of identifying wild animals that can be captured without danger to themselves or the environment, often requiring cooperation with conservationists, universities, and private dealers. In Rodeo Stampede, you rope them like a three-day-old calf, jump on their backs, and try not to run into a wall.The latest game from Crossy Road developer publisher Yodo1 and developer Featherweight Games isn't claiming to be anything close to authentic, but it's a lot of fun.

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Google Maps v9.31 Beta promises SD storage for offline maps, installs to N Preview 4 with fix for Android Auto, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

A brand new update for Google Maps just started rolling out last night and it's definitely a big one. Perhaps the most important detail is that this is the first installable on the Android N Developer Previews. The Timeline screen has also gone through a partial redesign and gained a couple of new tricks. However, the really interesting things are coming in the teardown. In fact, there's so much stuff that the teardown portion is going to be split into a second part. Let's get to the good stuff.

Note: according to a post on the issue tracker, this could be a beta release.

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Huawei is reportedly working on its own mobile OS as a 'contingency measure'

Huawei is working toward making its Android software more palatable for a western audience before it goes all-in on the US market, but that's not the only mobile project the Chinese OEM is undertaking. The Information reports that Huawei is also running a secret project to build its own mobile operating system as a hedge against Android. The new EMUI software layer is expected this fall, but the mobile OS might never see the light of day.

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Chinese mega-firm Tencent acquires controlling stake in Clash of Clans maker Supercell

The next time you wonder why in-app purchases are so popular, you can think back to this day when the company behind Clash of Clans was valued at $10.2 billion. Chinese internet firm Tencent is acquiring 84% of Supercell, giving it majority control of the game developer. Don't expect anything to change right away—Supercell is making oodles of money as is.

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Has the "affordable" smartphone let us down? (opinion)

I consider myself an advocate of the affordable smartphone. 2015, and the years before it, seemed to paint a picture of promise for the mid and low-end smartphone, a noble future as the no-frills alternative to the $800 wonder-brick. I cannot help but feel we have failed to watch that potential emerge in a way that we can really say has served consumers well.

Who’s to blame for the promising ZenFone turning into a bloatware-ridden pile of bugs languishing on Lollipop, seven-plus months since Marshmallow was released? What’s the reason Alcatel’s relatively unbloated Idol 3 took nearly as long to get Marshmallow itself (mine still doesn't have it)?

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Google Maps in Japan will get translated business type descriptions in the maps view soon

Google Maps is my go-to tool for finding local businesses, but it isn't always the most transparent way to see them at a glance. For example, I'll search for a café in a major retail hub, but half the results will be from the Starbucks inside Target or the little deli inside a grocery store - not exactly what I'm looking for in a quiet meal. Things might soon get a little easier on that account: the Google Asia Pacific blog says that upcoming versions of Google Maps will list business types right in the map view... but only in Japan for now.

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Snapseed 2.6 update brings neutral color picker and presets to RAW white balance editor, blue filter for black and white options

The latest Snapseed update brings a couple of things that the development team says have been oft-requested by users. For those tweaking RAW images, you get two new handy ways to get the white balance. For all image types, an additional color filter has been added to the existing choices in the black and white editor.

You already could adjust the color temperature for RAW images with Snapseed, but this isn't a foolproof method since it requires you to be able to eyeball the photo to figure out when you have correctly set the temperature. This update lets you do what the pros do, which is use a color picker to tell Snapseed what to use as a reference for a neutral color.

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Sony Xperia X, X Performance, XA, and XA Ultra are beginning to arrive at US retailers for pre-order

For Xperia fans in the US, getting the phones is not as straightforward as it is for other major brands like Samsung or HTC because you won't be buying them through a carrier. That means interested buyers need to look to electronics retailers. Well, the search is almost over for the newly-released Xperia X series in the US.

It's worth making clear that you can't take these home just yet. Some retailers will allow you to put in a pre-order, others just have placeholder, out of stock listings. Below is the release day pricing along with links to each retailer's listing.

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AT&T finally releases Android 6.0 Marshmallow for Galaxy Note 5 and S6 edge+

If you have an AT&T Galaxy Note 5 or S6 edge+, start checking for an OTA update - oh, and make some... time for the download. Around 1400MB of Marshmallow are headed your way, and knowing AT&T's ultra-slow OTA servers, it's going to take you an hour or two to actually get them. AT&T has posted the update pages - for the Note 5 here and S6 edge+ here.

What's packed in this OTA? Hopefully a heaping helping of idle battery life-saving doze mode goodness, along with Marshmallow's granular permissions model, and a whole lot of smaller changes. While many of the UI-facing updates from Android 6.0 won't affect TouchWiz, there are some feature changes lurking that you should be aware of, so check out our feature spotlight series here for a refresher course.

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OnePlus says Dash Charge binary for ROM builders will be released by end of July

OnePlus managed to integrate a fast charging solution into the OnePlus 3, but it's a non-standard one called Dash Charge. It's a licensed version of Oppo's VOOC, so it requires special code on the device and hardware in the adapter. Some OP fans were bummed that custom ROMs would not be able to support Dash Charge, but that will change next month when OP releases the code.

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