Android Police

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Google seems to have locked the Pixel Launcher's install count to '1-5' in the Play Store [Update]

The Pixel Launcher comes pre-installed on Pixel phones, but it's also listed in the Play Store for easy updates. However, Google appears to have made an unusual change to the app listing there. It no longer shows the actual number of installs. Instead, it's locked to the smallest "1-5" group.

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Google Backup & Sync for desktop gets a big update with ignored file types, photo/video-only sync, and more

Google completely revamped the desktop Google Drive client this year with the move to Backup & Sync. The initial rollout was a bit of a mess with Google essentially breaking Drive for some people. It eventually worked all that out, and Backup & Sync has been running smoothly since then. There haven't been many feature additions, but there's a big one rolling out now. In the latest version, you have more control over which files are synced, and it's easier to add new folders to Drive.

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AUKEY has you covered for all things USB Type-C [Sponsored Post]

It's hard to get excited over something as simple as a charging port, but USB Type-C definitely makes using technology easier. I can have just one cable for my phone, laptop, and tablet - that's pretty fantastic. Even though the older USB-A and microUSB ports are still far more prevalent right now, USB Type-C will eventually replace them both.

AUKEY is one of the best technology accessory manufacturers around, selling a wide range of chargers, portable batteries, headphones, computer gear, and more. The company has a several chargers, batteries, and hubs for USB Type-C devices. Whether you're looking for a useful holiday gift for someone else, or you want to stock up on chargers for your own devices, AUKEY has some great accessories in stock.

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[Update: Releasing December 20th for $4.99] Aperture Laboratories will make a return in Headup Games' recently announced 'Bridge Constructor Portal' [Video]

Imagine a world where Bridge Constructor combines its bridge-building gameplay with Valve's puzzle-platformer Portal. Well, imagine no longer as apparently Headup Games have been secretly working on just that very thing. That's right, Bridge Constructor Portal is a thing and it's coming to Android really soon. There is even a trailer available for your viewing pleasure, so hit that "Read More" button and check it out!

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Here are 31 temporarily free and 21 on-sale apps for your Wednesday, including Star Wars: KOTOR

Wednesday is already here. This week is flying by for me, but that's usually the story around finals time. Today's list of app sales is a bit longer than usual, and it includes the (admittedly shoddy) Mega Man ports. The big one here, highlighted in bold, is Star Wars: KOTOR, one of the best games around (especially in the Star Wars franchise).

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Google PhotoScan version 1.5 adds automatic saving to Google Photos [APK Download]

It's been a while since we've seen an update to Google's handy photo digitizing app, PhotoScan. Back in April, version 1.4 brought with it in-app sharing and the ability to turn off the glare removal feature – although I'm not sure why you'd want to do that. Version 1.5 is now available on the Play Store, and it now saves your creations to Google Photos automatically.

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Most Wanted: The best smart home products you can buy

One of the biggest trends in consumer technology over the last few years has been the rise of the smart home. The number of different device categories that now make up the 'Internet of Things' (IoT) has grown immensely, with connected appliances now found in many households across the US and beyond.

The smart home was once an expensive hobby for tech-fiends only but has now become an affordable aspiration for normal people. You can get started for less than $30 these days, with some lights or a smart switch that can connect to your Wi-Fi network and be controlled with your phone.

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Google Maps Go shows up on the Play Store for Go phones, but you can give it a try anyway

Android Go, the lightweight edition of Android made for low-end hardware, officially launched about a week ago, and promised to come with several optimized versions of apps to make better use of the limited resources. We've already seen Files Go and Google Go but the Android Go site says there are more apps, like Assistant, Gmail, and Maps. The latter has just showed up on the Play Store, though it may have been available for a while but invisible.

If you try to download Maps Go, you'll likely see that all your phones and tablets aren't compatible. Even Artem couldn't find one device compatible in his humongous list, and Cody said it didn't show up for his Nexus 4, which is the oldest phone he has in his arsenal.

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You can follow hashtags on Instagram now, not just people

If you have a few favorite hashtags on Instagram that you keep your eye on, the only way to do so until now has been to search for them and see what's newly tagged with them (unless a third-party app had the option to follow them). Now Instagram is giving you the option to follow tags, just like you would people. It's one of the Instagram features that were leaked a few weeks ago.

Either search for a hashtag you're interested in or tap on one from a post in your timeline and you'll see a pop-up telling you that following hashtags is now possible.

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HTC releases U11+ kernel source code

HTC and Motorola are two of the few companies that we often see releasing kernel source codes for their devices in a relatively timely manner. Today is no exception with HTC publishing the kernel code for its forty-two-days old HTC 11+. The code clocks in at 417MB and there are 4 versions for different carriers. It joins the U11 in being the second Oreo 8.0 kernel code from HTC.

If you're wondering why the fuss, the answer is you shouldn't technically care if you keep your phone running stock firmware. But if you're a custom ROM enthusiast, kernel source codes help developers create more stable ROMs in less time.

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