Android Police

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[Update: Price now $99] Deal Alert: Grab a set of refurbished Sony Extra Bass Bluetooth Headphones (MDRXB950BT) for just $75 (normally $200)

I own quite a few different sets of over-ear headphones that I use for different purposes. My Bose headphones I wear when working at the computer because they are so light and comfortable that they never cause fatigue. When I travel, I bring a set of Sony wireless noise cancelling headphones to drown out the sound of the jet engines and crying children (which are usually my own). During my lunch break at work I rock my V-Moda Crossfades, because they sound awesome and look intimidating, so no one bothers me while I listen to Audible.

I also own a pair of Sony Extra Bass headphones (MDRXB950BT) and those I wear when I am craving some sick bass notes.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Spigen Rugged Armor case for your Pixel or Pixel XL on eBay Daily Deals for just $13-14

With prices starting from $649, the new Pixel phones definitely can't be considered inexpensive, and fixing or replacing a cracked screen or rear glass panel could cost a decent bit of change. To protect your shiny new investment, why not grab a high quality case? Spigen, one of the most reputable case manufacturers, is offering its Rugged Armor case for the Pixel and Pixel XL at just $12.99 and $13.99, respectively, via eBay's Daily Deals.

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You can now gift books and comics through the Play Books app

Do you have a serious reader in your life? Maybe you know somebody that doesn't read, but you'd like to not-so-subtly encourage them to start? In the old days, you would take your carriage to the nearby village and pick out a book from a huge shelf, usually with advice from the store owner. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Forget that noise, now you can get the same thing done from right inside the Play Books app.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Verizon visual voicemail works in the stock phone app

It's the year 2016, so you really shouldn't have to dial in to listen to your voicemail like some kind of caveman. What's next? A telescoping antenna on top of your phone? As of Android 7.1, Verizon customers with Nexus (and Pixel) devices have access to visual voicemail in the stock phone app.

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Night mode enabler apps no longer work in Android 7.1

Offering developer previews is very beneficial to a platform, but it also comes with its own perils. For example, people get upset when a feature that was part of the preview is dropped before the final release. Google has been derided in many a comment section for the removal of night mode in the final Nougat release, and now the hacky night mode enabler apps don't even work anymore. Is Google doing this because it hates you personally? That must be it.

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The Google Pixel's SIM tray hides a small hardware Easter egg

Have a Pixel? Take a closer look at your SIM tray - Google's left a note. Specifically: its address. As though to make it really, really, really clear that this is the Phone by Google, Google has printed its address in Mountain View... on the SIM tray. Which is random. But hey, Google. Here's a closer look at the tray from the Quite black model.

IMG_20161021_101939

I don't know why Google's address is on the SIM tray, but it is. Also, hopefully no one sends a lost Pixel to Google because they assume this is some obscure way to identify the owner's address.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Phone app switches to Do Not Disturb while on a call, new call notification, and more

If you think Chrome's rapid updates are annoying, Google's Phone application might send you over the edge. The last 4.0 update came in August, then 5.1 was included with Pixel devices, then another 4.1 update for non-Android 7.0 users, and now we are at 6.0. So what warrants a major version bump? Not much.

Google Phone 5.1 actually added most of the UI changes you might notice (check out our post about it). The first noticeable change here is when receiving a call, the notification now has larger Answer and Decline buttons. This is also on the Phone 4.1 APK, but it is worth mentioning here.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Apps marked as Device Administrator can be easily uninstalled (Hallelujah!)

"Hey Rita, you know phones, right?"

Internal answer: "Here goes another silly question. Brace yourself." External answer: "Uh... yes?!"

"So I'm not sure if my phone has a virus or something. There's this app and I can't uninstall it."

Internal answer: "F%#$$#^@ it's Device Administrator again." External answer: "Nah, don't worry, it's just not letting you uninstall because the app has some feature that needs to be disabled first. (Low mumbling: F^$%ing Device Administrator, WHY?!) Gimme... There, uninstalled."

"Oh, thanks!"

I can't tell you how many times this has happened over the past couple of years. The first time someone told me they couldn't uninstall an app from their phone, I had to Google it because I'd never encountered something like that before, and that's when I learned that apps that set themselves as Device Administrator (most often, these are apps that can lock the screen) can't be uninstalled unless you deactivated that capability first.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Send GIFs directly from the keyboard

Sometimes a few words just don't get across the depth and range of your emotions. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what's a GIF worth? I think it's either like a million words or negative words—whatever the case, you can send GIFs directly from the keyboard in Android 7.1.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: "Android is upgrading" optimization step is now a background task, doesn't block startup anymore

For many a year, Android users have been seeing a familiar dialog saying 'Android is upgrading' when the operating system updates or in the event a new ROM is flashed, stopping them from using the device until it has finished optimizing apps. Those days are over: with Android 7.1, the 'Android is upgrading' process is now carried out in the background.

In 7.0, this dialog was sped up considerably - as Ryan says, it's almost instant. However, the Android team has gone one step further and removed it completely in 7.1, allowing the process to be carried out mostly silently, apart from a notification in the shade telling you it's doing this, and a progress bar indicating how far it is from complete.

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