Android Police

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"Hey Google" hotword now works for some on phones too [Update]

You know how you can say both "OK Google" and "Hey Google" to Google Home and it will respond to the two hotwords without any discrimination? The same isn't true of Assistant on your Android phone: it only answers to "OK Google." Wait, scratch that, it wasn't true as the command is now working on phones too.

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Portrait mode on the Pixel 2 mimics the results of an SLR, and here's how it works

The Portrait mode on the new Pixel 2 phones is impressive. With just a single camera, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are able to mimic a convincing depth of field effect, like that created by much larger hardware. It isn't quite as good as an SLR, but it's a reasonable approximation. And if you were interested in exactly how it works, we've put together an explanation. 

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Amazon Tap is just $64.99 ($45 off) as part of Amazon's Deal of the Day

More and more Bluetooth speakers are coming out with Amazon Alexa support these days, including Ultimate Ears' new BLAST and MEGABLAST. But if you don't want to shell out $230 on a speaker, Amazon is now offering refurbished units of the Tap for just $64.99 as part of its Deal of the Day.

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The 'Made for Google' site is up with links to recommended accessories

Google is taking accessories more seriously this year with the "Made for Google" program. Products bearing this label have been designed by a certified Google partner to work with devices like the Pixel phones, Pixelbook, and more. If only there was some handy website that showed you all the accessories in the program. Oh hey, that's a thing now.

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Google raises subscription revenue for providers from 70% to 85%, but only for users retained after 12 months

Last year, there was a rumor that Google was going to follow Apple's footsteps and improve its subscription revenue split with providers by only deducting 15% instead of 30% for distribution and miscellaneous fees. At the timeRecode was optimistic that Google would make the change universal, so that any time a user subscribed to something, the provider would only lose 15% in fees.

We didn't hear anything about this until now, thanks to a bunch of changes published on the Google Developers Blog. There, we learned that subscription revenue sharing with be lowered from 30% to 15%, but unlike last year's hopeful rumor and much like Apple's terms, they will only apply for users retained after 12 months.

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JerryRigEverything rips into the Pixel 2 and exposes easily scratched plastic coating

Zack from JerryRigEverything has got his hands on the new Pixel 2, the small one, and you know what that means, right? The man is out to torture those poor little phones - What did they ever do to him? - and the Pixel 2 is no exception. So how does it fare? Not so well actually.

Starting with the display scratch test, the Gorilla Glass 5 shows shallow marks at level 6 and properly scratches at level 7 - similar to most other smartphones but not as good as those with a sapphire screen. The front camera and rear camera also have the same protection, so they won't scratch very easily.

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End the week with 34 temporarily free and 16 on-sale apps

The weekend is nigh upon us, which means that it's time for one more round of app sales. After Asmodee's sale on Wednesday, today's list feels a bit anticlimactic, but we trudge on nonetheless.

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Google says fix for Pixel SMS issue will roll out with November security patches

Reports of missing text messages on the original Pixel and Pixel XL began popping up as soon as the Oreo update rolled out several weeks back. Owners of affected devices collected their experiences in the Google Product Forums, and Google pledged to look into the matter. That was just a few days ago, and now Google says it's tracked down the cause. You can expect a fix soon.

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Google app v7.14.15 includes references to Quartz, possibly a new Google Home device with built-in display [APK Teardown]

The latest (minor) update to the Google app brought with it a surprise twist as it enabled customization in the search bar widget. As it turns out, that's not the only new thing in this update. A teardown also turned up quite a few clues relating to a new on-screen interface for Google Home or a new Home device with built-in display.

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Samsung announces the ruggedized Galaxy Tab Active2

Most of Samsung's mobile products are designed to be sleek and modern, but the Active series puts function ahead of form. You might call them clunky, but they can take more of a beating than standard Samsung Galaxy devices. There's a new active device today, and it's not a phone. This is the Galaxy Tab Active2, a rugged tablet aimed mostly at businesses.

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