Android Police

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App.net is shutting down on March 14, source code will be put on GitHub

App.net, caused quite a splash when it launched in 2012, with its ad-free, subscription-genereated revenue model causing waves in the industry, at a time when many were worried about Twitter's increasing reliance on advertising to make money. However, the founders announced today that the service will be shutting down on 14 March, with user signups suspended immediately.

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The Guardian alleges that WhatsApp has a "backdoor" that could be used to spy on users [Update]

In what I am sure was on purpose due to it being Friday the 13th, some mild form of privacy panic has hit the world due to The Guardian's article this morning about a critical backdoor in WhatsApp. It postulates that, due to how encryption keys are handled when a device goes offline and messages are not sent (for whatever reason), WhatsApp or its parent company Facebook can intercept user communications. Meanwhile, Gizmodo has reported that this is not the case — how WhatsApp handles encryption is a feature and works as intended.

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Rumor: The Galaxy S8 will have a headphone jack after all

Last month, we published a story citing Sammobile as claiming the new Galaxy S8 would not have a headphone jack. Sammobile has since reversed its position at least partly on the basis of a leaked case render for the phone, a source of information we are loathe to trust for a number of [good] reasons. However, the story caught fire quickly, and we began working with our own sources to figure out just what was going on.

We can now say with a high degree of confidence that the Galaxy S8 will have a 3.5mm headphone jack. This information, I assure you, is not based on phone cases or renders thereof.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon lightning deal - Grab a two pack of Anker USB Type-C to MicroUSB adapters for just $5 ($4 off)

Amazon currently has a two pack of Anker USB Type-C to Micro-USB adapters on sale for just $5. That's a great price on some very handy charging accessories from one of the best names in the phone accessory business. With the adapters you can convert your existing MicroUSB cables into USB Type-C cables.

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5 things I'd like to see Google improve on in the next Pixel phone

I'm coming up on month three of near-uninterrupted use of the Pixel (specifically the Pixel XL), and as I've spent more and more time with Google's chosen phone, I think I've got a solid list of areas where I think Google could improve the device when a successor is released. While I still think the Pixel is quite easily the best Android phone currently on sale, it's not without compromises, some of which were not readily apparent to me until well after I started using it. Here are five areas I think are ripe for improvement on the Pixel, and that I hope are addressed when we see a new Pixel (again, hopefully) later this year.

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[Because that doesn't sound ridiculous] HTC has an app to update the firmware of its USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

What was wrong with 3.5mm audio jacks? They have been standard for many years, they worked reliably, and you could find tons of headphones that supported them. But no, companies have to sometimes invent reasons to change things around and here we are with the 3.5mm jack mysteriously disappearing from modern smartphones to be replaced by USB-C digital audio. Yes, I know that size constraints matter, but so far, the released phones with no jack don't make a good case for that argument and don't provide any new hardware that uses the additional empty space favorably. And for the record, I am ranting even though I use Bluetooth headsets 99% of the time; I just like having the 3.5mm plug option for that 1%.

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Microsoft StaffHub is a workplace shift management app for Office 365 subscribers

It's almost been a few months without a new Microsoft app on Android and I'm sure we were all starting to get worried. But Microsoft won't let us send the rescue team just yet because it's showing the first sign that it's alive. While StaffHub isn't a completely new app (it was released as invite-only under nickname Project Sonoma in July), it is now officially available to everyone with an appropriate Office 365 subscription.

StaffHub is like the shifts whiteboard in the break room at your workplace, but digital. This makes it more organized, easier to trace, and very accessible to everyone including managers and shift workers.

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Popular board-turned-PC game Mysterium is out on Android

Board games are great fun: I especially like Pandemic and Ticket to Ride. Some are so good they get turned into PC games. Mysterium is one such example, and after proving popular on Steam, it's garnered an Android release as well.

Mysterium is set in the 1920s - prime detective era, think Agatha Christie - and is a little bit like Cluedo (Mrs White, in the ballroom, with the candlestick). A ghost guides a group of psychics to uncover a murder using only visual clues, leading them to the murderer, the weapon, and location. Co-operation between the psychics (i.e. players) sees the mystery uncovered faster.

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Snapchat 10 beta redesigns the interface with more accessible search and less focus on Discover

Snapchat is readying an update for its Android and iOS versions that brings a new interface with plenty of usability improvements and a few added features. The update is now rolling out to beta testers on Android so you can give it a go before it goes live for everyone — and thus feel cooler than the cool kids, I guess. Just don't use the word "thus" when you tell them that.

The new interface is more colorful with a blue title bar for chats and a purple one for stories. The Stories section also loses the Discover strip from the top. It now goes on the bottom instead, letting you focus first on the recent story updates from your friends.

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[Heads-up, devs] Managing paid orders and payment settings will move from Google Payments to Google Play Developer Console

Paid apps are quite obviously a huge part of the Android ecosystem and in particular, the Google Play Store. Today, Google's doing a bit of reorganising to ensure that, on the developer end, paid orders and settings are the easiest and simplest they can be.

'Order Management,' which developers will know handles the paid orders for subscriptions and in-app purchases, is moving from the Google Payments Centre to the Google Play Developer Console, where most things to do with the app's Play Store entry is managed from. The payments settings - bank accounts and other such things - is also going to be available in the Developer Console, in addition to being available on payments.google.com, as it always has been.

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