Android Police

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The 5 best things about the Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL are great smartphones - there's no doubt. But what makes them so great, exactly? Well, here are five things that I think help make that case with conviction.

#1: The camera

This is my favorite smartphone camera, full stop. No other smartphone camera captures images as quickly and reliably as this one - because the Pixel's camera starts capturing images the moment you launch it, and continuously does so in order to all but eliminate any shutter lag. It really does make the camera's shutter button feel completely instant, no matter the light level or if the phone's been sitting idle in your pocket for an hour.

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The unlocked Moto Z Play launches today for $449.99

There are three members of the Motorola Moto Z family, and the cheapest one is undeniably the best overall device. The Moto Z Play launched first as a Verizon exclusive, and now it's available as an unlocked phone with full support for AT&T, T-Mobile, and other GSM networks.

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Googler confirms neither night light nor fingerprint reader swipe gestures are coming to Nexus devices

The Android 7.1 developer preview is rolling out, so Nexus phones are getting their first taste of the software shipping on the Pixel. Since it's a dev preview, it can be hard to know if missing features are missing because they're not done, or if they just aren't going to be included at all. Googler Ian lake has clarified that two features not listed as Pixel-exclusive still won't be coming to existing Nexus phones—night light and fingerprint reader gestures.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Tapping the security patch date loads the security bulletin in your browser

Google started including the security patch version in the About Phone menu last year in the wake of the Stagefright vulnerability. This is simply a date that tells you which patch level a device runs. As of Android 7.1, that line in the settings is more than just a date. It's also a link to the security bulletins.

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Verizon launches the Pixel and LG V20 today

It's a big day for Nougat-powered Android on Verizon. Starting today, you can mosey into your local Verizon store and buy a Pixel or a V20. The V20 is available through a few channels, but this is the only place you can go in the real world to get a Pixel.

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Chrome 54 adds background media playback, colored tabs in tab switcher, and more [APK Download]

It's time for a new Chrome release, and as always, there is both new features for users and new abilities developers can use. Let's take a look at what's new.

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Chromecast Ultra and Daydream View now available in the Google Store, but won't ship for 2-3 weeks

Google announced the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra and Daydream View VR headset at the October 4th event, but only said they would ship sometime in November. Now, we've got that narrowed down. Both devices are available to purchase right now on the Google Store, but they won't ship right away.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: The new system update check denies you cathartic button mashing

We've all done it—a big OTA is rolling out and you want it right this minute. So, you open the OTA update checker in settings and mash the button a few times in an effort to will the update into existence on your phone. It never works, and as of Android 7.1, you can't even go through this pointless ritual anymore. There's a timeout between checks and no button.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Smart Storage helps you make space by deleting old stuff

Even though most devices some with at least 32GB of space these days, there are still plenty of times you run low and need to clear out some junk. In the Android 7.1 dev preview, there's a new storage cleaner that makes it easy to find the old stuff without all that tedious digging around in file managers. It can even automate the process.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: App shortcuts are supported in the Google Now Launcher

There were some interesting features announced as part of the launch of Google's Pixel phones. While some are exclusives to the new handsets, others are a part of the new Android 7.1 Nougat. One of the headlining features for the new OS version is the App Shortcuts API, a way for apps to offer fast access to select screens and functions. If you've been looking forward to trying it out, the Google Now Launcher in combination with today's developer preview fully supports app shortcuts and there's already plenty of examples to try out.

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