Android Police

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Google Maps finally gets real-time location sharing, including navigation routes

It's been a long time coming, presumably, but finally (and I don't use the 'F-bomb' lightly here), today Google announced that Maps is receiving a real-time location sharing feature. You'll be able to share your location directly inside Maps, in real time, including navigation routes. How we've managed to go without this in Maps given how long Android and smartphone GPS have been things, I'm not sure.

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Android O feature spotlight: The Files app now shows up in the app drawer, has a few new features

Android has included a built-in file manager since 6.0 Marshmallow called Files, but it hasn't had an app drawer icon. Instead, Android shows a 'Downloads,' app, which is technically just a shortcut to the Downloads folder in Files with some functionality removed. Starting with Android O, the Downloads shortcut has been replaced by the full Files application.

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How to add permanent left/right cursor buttons and other neat keys to nav bar in Android O

One of the many new features in Android O is a revamped UI tuner with control over the navigation bar. If the layout of the buttons isn't right, you can change it. Want more buttons? Oh, it's got that too. In fact, you can add some useful things there, like left and right cursor buttons. Here's how.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 835: The first benchmark results - comparisons to Pixel, OnePlus 3T, Galaxy S7, and more

Last week, I had the privilege of visiting Qualcomm's San Diego campus to check out the new Snapdragon 835 chip and run some benchmarks using Qualcomm's reference platform for the SoC. You'll never guess what happened next (you will: benchmarks).

Full disclosure: Qualcomm paid for me to ride the train to San Diego, which was very pretty, put me up in a great hotel next to Qualcomm HQ for two nights, and took me out to a very nice dinner... with an open bar. There was a taco station with really, really good Mahi-Mahi. The guacamole was also totally solid. We played cornhole.

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Google News & Weather v3.1 adds 'More Headlines' section to put even more news on the front page [APK Download]

Google has been making the news quite a bit news since yesterday's announcement of Android O. But the company isn't just determined to make news, it's also trying to help you read more of it. The latest update to the News & Weather app is dedicated to exactly that. Google is adding a new section to the stream with the purpose of placing more news stories into view.

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Android O feature spotlight: Granular battery usage for system-level items and services is gone

What's the opposite of a feature spotlight? I think we should call this an "Android O feature regression" post, because that's what we're looking at here. If you've installed the first Android O dev preview and you've been monitoring battery usage to see if all that fuss about the improved battery management and new background limits is true, then you may have noticed one thing missing: you can't see granular usage anymore for system-level items.

Previously, on Nougat, when you went to Settings>Battery, you could tap on any item in the list below the graph to see its usage details since the last full charge.

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Android O feature spotlight: The navigation keys go dark when pulling up the Pixel launcher's app drawer

As far as features go, this one is a pretty teeny tiny change, but we know you, dear Android Police reader, like to check out the nitty gritty of every Android release, and that's what we're here for.

On Android O, when you pull up the app drawer in the Pixel Launcher, you may notice one change: the navigation buttons no longer float still float on top of the drawer in a translucent overlay, but they switch to dark icons and ditch the translucent bar beneath them when scrolled to the very bottom.

Left: Android O on a Pixel. Right: Android N 7.1.2 on a Nexus 5X.

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[Deal Alert] Grab these free and 10 cent apps, games, and icon packs

The recent change in the Play Store policy to allow apps and games to be set momentarily free has been a very popular decision among devs and users alike. The former get to publicize their work at no cost to the consumer and the latter get to benefit from decent to excellent software without cracking open their virtual wallet. Each day or two, we see new titles on the Play Store taking advantage of these short-term deals and in today's round we have a very balanced selection of apps, games, and icon packs. Oh and the 10-cent deals of the week as well, let's not forget about that.

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LG Pay should go live in Korea in June, first supported device is the LG G6

Sometimes it's hard to defend LG and its "me-too" strategy of always trying to launch the exact same thing Samsung does, but several months or years later. This case is another example, although the details do appear a little encouraging in LG's favor.

The company has officially announced today that it made an agreement with Dynamics Inc., a US-based company that has developed a Wireless Magnetic Communication technology that's similar to Samsung's MST but with a different algorithm, to start using said tech in LG Pay. The service is supposed to launch in South Korea in June, with the first official phone being the G6 since it already has all the necessary hardware. A firmware update may bring LG Pay to other devices later in the year as well.

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Samsung officially launches Samsung Pay for everyone in India

After weeks of teasing Samsung Pay in India, the service was made available to testers earlier this month, but today it's been officially announced for everyone.

Owners of supported Galaxy devices in India will be able to install the Samsung Pay app today and add VISA, Mastercard, and American Express cards issued by Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, and Standard Chartered Bank, with Citibank India to follow shortly. Digital wallet Paytm is also supported, as well the Indian government's new Unified Payments Interface.

Then, users will be able to tap to pay at various retailers using either NFC or Samsung's Magnetic Secure Transmission technology, which is the most prevalent across POS machines in India. The announcement doesn't say which Galaxy devices are supported, but your best bet based on previous countries' Pay launches are flagships from the last year or two and high midrange devices from the last year.

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