Android Police

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Google Earth adds stunning crowdsourced photos from users around the world

The ever-impressive Google Earth saw a sizeable update earlier this year that included new features like guided tours, knowledge cards, and 3D views. Allowing us to see the world from the comfort of our own home is the goal of the Google Earth team, and to that end, it's added another viewpoint with beautiful images crowdsourced from users around the globe.

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OnePlus releases new OP3/OP3T Open Beta, complete with awful new boot animation

I normally like covering the Open Betas that OnePlus puts out for its devices. Ever since the program launched last year, it's shown that the "underdog" Chinese manufacturer is cleaning up its act regarding updates (the OP2 incident notwithstanding). However, this time around, I'm left facepalming. Why, you may ask? Aside from the normal bug fixes and optimizations, OnePlus decided to change the boot animation... and I think that it's pretty terrible.

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Play Music v7.12 adds an option to prevent external devices from auto-playing music [APK Download]

Smartphones have become a critical component for many of the things we do in our lives. There are still plenty of bugs and weird little things that don't quite work right on our phones, but it's when they have to connect to other devices that many of the strangest behaviors start to crop up. For years, one particular issue has been plaguing users as they connect a phone to their car stereos, headphones, or other audio output devices. Moments after a connection is made, the phone will suddenly and unexpectedly begin playing music – and anecdotally, they're always quite loud. Google Play Music is often blamed for this behavior because it's the app most likely to respond, but there's now a toggle to prevent that from happening.

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SparkFun publishes app to detect gas pump/ATM card skimmers

Generally speaking, a skimmer is a small device used to steal credit/debit card information. Thieves will place them on top of card insertion slots on unwatched payment terminals (example), like those on gas station pumps and outdoor ATMs. When you insert your card, the card passes through the skimmer, which captures the magnetic strip data. Later, the thief will return and collect the recorded data, sometimes allowing them to make purchases using the stolen card information.

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'Aire' is a hovering robot with Alexa that will definitely scare your pets

Robots on Kickstarter or Indiegogo usually are slow-moving and expensive products, with little or no real utility. I don't think 'Aire' is anything different, but it's certainly... special. For $699 (or $749, once the base tier runs out), you can have the privilege of owning a hovering upside-down lampshade with the Alexa voice assistant built-in.

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Here's a thing: Google Maps now plays nice with multi-window

This flew under our radar for a while, but Google Maps was updated a while back to add some extra support for Android's multi-window. Now when you've got Maps open together with another application, it will continue to work, updating your location and orientation even when it isn't the application in focus.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus on sale for $499.99

Samsung is currently pushing the Galaxy Note 8, but it's extremely expensive. The Galaxy S8 Plus is a good alternative if you want a big Samsung phone, and it just so happens there's a refurbished model on sale right now. For $550, you get a Verizon GS8 Plus, which is also unlocked for use on GSM networks. Add a coupon code, and it's $499.99.

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Google app v7.12 confirms squeezable sides on Pixel 2, prepares for multi-step shortcuts, resuming podcast episodes, and more [APK Teardown]

As we close in on Google's October 4th launch event, a new beta release of the Google app itself is rolling out with hints about some of the things we may hear about during the presentation. In this update, we find further confirmation that one or both of the new Pixels will include pressure-sensitive sides that wake up Google Assistant. There are also clues about customizable search bars and interchangeable voices for the Google Assistant. And we can look forward to routines, which are basically shortcuts capable of taking multiple actions.

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Some users are experiencing random reboots on Android 8.0 Oreo

Usually, updates improve an experience, but that isn't always the case. For some, the recent upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo seems to have come at the cost of stability. A large number of people have reported frequent random reboots occurring since they made the jump, including some of us here at AP. 

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Chainfire launches firmware.mobi, a database of stock boot, recovery images, and firmware links

Finding stock firmware for phones can be a pain, but Chainfire is here to help. He's launched a new website at firmware.mobi, where you can find official firmware for a variety of devices. It also simplifies the process of using CF-Auto-Root, if that's your goal.

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