Android Police

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Google is rolling out more than 50 new family-friendly games and activities on Assistant

Google Assistant is more than a way to control your lights or find out how many miles are in a league (it's 3.45 miles). There are also some neat little games and bots with which to interact. Today, Google has rolled out more than 50 new games and activities for families with kids. Maybe just kids at heart, too.

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[Party like it's 1999] DVD Netflix app makes it easier to manage your DVD and Blu-ray queue

Netflix might be the big name in streaming these days, but some of you might remember that the service got its start via rentals of physical media. In fact, Netflix still offers both DVDs and Blu-rays to this day. Users of "DVD Netflix," as the service is called, pay a separate subscription and have to use either the companion site or iOS app to queue up films for delivery. At least, they did until the Android app was released a couple weeks ago.

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Duo v21 expands camera effect tests to include brightness, contrast, and saturation, preparing voicemail feature [APK Teardown]

There's a new version of Duo rolling out today, but it doesn't bring any huge changes for users. However, a teardown shows that the developers are still plenty active as they work on some tools to experiment with camera effects, including new controls for adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation. Also in this update are new details for a voicemail-like feature for sending voice and video messages outside of a call.

What's New

While the meat of this post is in the teardown, one visual change in this update also stands out. Missed calls have been redrawn to place the icon below a contact's name, and if the call was made in the last day, it will list the time instead of a nonspecific "today" label.

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Amazon completely revamps Kindle app with new interface, persistent search bar, and more

The Kindle app has been on Android since the early days, and it's been some time since Amazon gave it a fresh coat of paint. The busted old interface is on the way out today. A new Kindle app is rolling out with an updated look and some new features. Although, not everyone is happy with the new app.

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Unlocked LG V30 is now up for pre-order at B&H for $829.99

The LG V30 is already available at a number of carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. But if you prefer to purchase your phones unlocked for whatever reason, you were out of luck - until now, that is. The unlocked V30 is now up for pre-order at B&H for a not-insignificant $829.99.

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HTC now offers financing on purchases from its online store (again)

Fresh off the acquisition of its Pixel team by Google, HTC has announced interest-free financing on purchases from HTC.com. That means you can grab HTC's latest devices and pay nothing up front. Instead, you pay a little bit every month until the device is zeroed out. There are a few caveats, but this'll make HTC's phones much easier to buy.

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Following months of delays, Misfit Vapor smartwatch will be available October 31

It's been a long road for Misfit's Vapor smartwatch. After being announced at CES in January, it was revealed that it would run Android Wear 2.0 in March, which instantly made it one of the most attractive sub-$200 watches on the platform, then we discovered that the GPS would only be "connected GPS". Meanwhile the shipping date was pushed from late summer to October and that's where we're at now. Misfit just announced that the Vapor will be available on October 31st, honoring its own deadline by a hair.

In case you don't know the specs, the Vapor is a 44mm watch with a 1.39" AMOLED display plus ambient light sensor.

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Android Oreo feature spotlight: Disabling Developer Options completely removes the menu from Settings

Developer Options is one of the two hidden settings menus in Android (beside System UI Tuner) and it gets enabled by tapping the Build Number in the About Phone section repeatedly. In previous versions of Android, Developer Options had one toggle up top that let you disable it and thus return all values to their default, but in Oreo, disabling the toggle also removes the menu entirely.

Up until Android 7.1.2, if you turn off the toggle at the top of Developer Options, all the different settings are restored, but if you back out, you'll still see the Developer Options menu item in your Settings, and you can still go in and enable it again.

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Google inexplicably removed the "Keep WiFi on during sleep" setting from the Pixel 2 (Updated)

File this under bug or under the inexplicable decision column. For the longest time, Android has had an option under WiFi settings that lets you change the default behavior (always on) to turn off WiFi during sleep all the time or only when it's not charging.

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Lynky is the first Google Assistant-enabled touchscreen smart home hub

Amazon may have been first to the touchscreen assistant punch with the Echo Show, but there's compelling evidence to suggest that Google is readying a Home device with a display, too. In the meantime, another company is offering the first Google Assistant-enabled touchscreen home hub, and it's called Lynky.

The diminutive device includes a 5" multi-touch display, with two far-field microphones and 2W stereo speakers. Two versions are available. One can sit on a flat surface and is powered by USB. The other is to be mounted to a wall where it can be hooked up to pre-existing light switch wiring.

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