Android Police

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Hangouts v14 adds app shortcuts for 7.1 Nougat, changes setup steps for group chat, and reorganizes several chat settings [APK Download]

Earlier this year Google's VP of Communications, Nick Fox, declared Hangouts would be refocused on the enterprise market where it had found much more adoption. Ironically, the couple of updates since that statement haven't exactly screamed professionalism, or even added much of anything particularly relevant to the workplace. That changes with v14, which cleans up and improves various aspects of group chats. This version also enables app shortcuts (formerly Launcher Shortcuts) for use on Android 7.1 and makes a few other tweaks, as well.

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Google comments on why fingerprint swipe gestures aren't supported on last year's Nexuses


Many Nexus 5X and 6P owners were understandably annoyed after discovering that several of the headline features announced for the new Pixel and Pixel XL would not be coming to their own devices. The Nexus line had always been synonymous to getting the latest and greatest directly from Google, and suddenly realizing that wasn't entirely true in a post-Nexus era left some users with a bad taste in their mouth.

To add insult to injury, it had recently come to light that both the Nexus 6P and the Pixel shared the exact same fingerprint sensor, triggering the habitual witch hunt on Reddit because of the former's lack of fingerprint swipe gestures.

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ZTE's Axon 7 makes the notification bell optional in the latest software update


One of the more annoying things about buying a non-Nexus (erm, non-Pixel) device is that sometimes you have to put up with the OEM's weird and whacky software quirks. Sometimes these genuinely add to the experience, other times... they don't. An example of one that falls into the latter category is the tiny notification bell on the lockscreen of ZTE's otherwise perfectly good Axon 7.

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[Deal] Get 20% off a Pixel or Pixel XL from Verizon with a promo code


It seems like everyone is trying to get customers to buy the new Pixel phones, with Google buying out full-page ads, to T-Mobile offering $325 in bill credit to anyone who registers their Pixel with the carrier. For someone who's willing to spend a little time looking for a good bargain, it's relatively easy to knock off a few hundred bucks off the price of a Pixel.

One of the nicer deals around is Verizon's 20% discount on the retail price of any phone when you use the promo code SAVE20 at checkout. The offer applies to other phones besides the Pixels, though they're likely some the largest savings you'll find in terms of absolute dollars.

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Flow, Microsoft's IFTTT competitor for power users, is out of beta

Microsoft has a treat for you power users this Halloween. Their automated actions service, Microsoft Flow, is finally out of beta. Flow is part of Microsoft's new "power trio," combined with the company's PowerApps and Power BI tools. While those are mostly only useful to companies, Flow has definite use for normal people. In fact, after just an hour of playing with it, I'm convinced it's better than the popular IFTTT service.

With Microsoft Flow, you can make Buttons (a user-triggered set of tasks) or Flows (automated set of tasks, much like IFTTT recipes). As far as I can tell, you can only create new Flows and Buttons from scratch on the desktop site - on mobile you have to start from a template.

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T-Mobile's $325 off Pixel promo is now available to customers with Simple Choice Unlimited plans too

John Legere is well-known for being a rather unconventional CEO, and the Pixel promo that T-Mobile took the wraps off of last week had Legere stamped all over it (it was essentially the equivalent of spitting in Verizon's face). The $325 bill credit for having a Pixel on T-Mobile seemed like a sweet deal at first glance, but it required customers to be on the carrier's controversial, "unlimited" ONE plan.

We first heard about T-Mobile extending the offer to non-ONE customers when a reader tipped us with a thread from the Pixel subreddit (thanks, Alex!), but nothing was official. However, T-Mobile has just updated its promo's press release to indicate that Simple Choice unlimited customers are now eligible for this offer as well.

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[Boo!] Google shares the spookiest Street View locations from around the world

Do you want to go trick-or-treating but don't feel like getting off your couch? Don't worry, Google's got you covered. With Google Maps and Google Street View, you can visit some of the spookiest places on Earth from the comfort (and safety) of your home.

Roaming around in a virtual world is the perfect excuse to use a VR headset like Google Cardboard or Daydream View — which is too bad since we still don't know when it'll begin shipping.

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20 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (10/18/16 - 10/31/16)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

DigiCal Calendar Agenda

Today's roundup is presented by DigiCal Calendar & Widgets from Digibites. DigiCal is the full-featured calendar app that offers a ton of features that aren't available in Google Calendar, like seven different calendar views, light and dark themes, multiple widgets, integrated weather forecasts, an invitation management system, and over fifty thousand public calendars for integration with personal or corporate planning.

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Blue Coral Galaxy S7 Edge is coming to US carriers later this year

When the Galaxy Note7 was discontinued, Samsung lost a big chunk of change and consumers lost the opportunity to buy that really lovely Blue Coral version of the phone. Blue Coral isn't dead, though. After announcing a Blue Coral version of the Galaxy S7 Edge in Asia, Samsung now confirms it's coming to the US too.

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Xiaomi seriously considering a US phone launch in the next year or two, hints Hugo Barra

The Chinese smartphone upstart known as Xiaomi has had its sights set on the United States for quite a while, but only now is that really coming to a head. In a recent interview with Engadget, Xiaomi's Global VP, and former Googler, Hugo Barra revealed that Xiaomi phones are being actively tested in the US in preparation for a launch sometime in the next two years.

For a US launch, if the respective phone manufacturer wants to partner with the carriers, a lot of very rigorous device testing is required beforehand, in the lab and in field tests, both of which are notoriously tough.

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