Android Police

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Andy Rubin's Essential raises $300 million, investment valuation set at around $1 billion for the startup

Essential, Andy Rubin's new phone company, was able to raise $300 million in a recent financing round. Investors must have been impressed by Essential and its future projects, such as the PH-1 and Essential Home. The total valuation for the company determined during financing was set somewhere between $900 million and $1 billion. These are all pretty big numbers for a company that hasn't actually made anything yet, but the weight of Andy Rubin at the helm must have been a contributing factor.

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Amazon's new Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 are shipping today

Amazon announced the two new tablets for the popular Fire series last month, and as of today, they have started to ship. If you live in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, or Spain, and you happened to pick one of the new devices when they went on sale, it should be in your hands sometime soon. They might not be at the high-end, but the Fire tablets fill an affordable niche.

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MyScript Nebo is a handwriting recognition and note-taking app for devices with active styluses

MyScript, the makers of the very popular MyScript Calculator, have just pushed out a new app called MyScript Nebo. It is a note taking application that seems to use the same handwriting recognition tech that MyScript Calculator does, but now you can apply it outside of mathematical equations. It only works with devices that have an active stylus like the recent Note series devices or Galaxy Tab S3. The current release is labeled "preview," so don't expect a finished product quite yet.

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Google wants to make it easy for carriers to have interoperable RCS messaging

Last week Sprint and Rogers announced that users sending messages between the two carriers will be able to make use of RCS. RCS, of course, is the new standard to replace SMS that Google committed to back in 2015. So far each carrier seems to have its own idea for how RCS should work. But Google's recent work in cross-carrier communication is a big step towards ubiquity, and thanks to the tech behind this latest interconnect other carriers can more easily get in on the RCS action.

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Google app v7.4 beta prepares for Google Home calling, manual rerouting of voice commands, and more [APK Teardown]

There's another version of the Google app floating around in the wild, and as we've probably become accustomed, it doesn't appear to make any notable changes upon installation. However, there are some interesting elements floating around in the apk. In this update, we can see the first signs of support for making calls with Google Home and a new action that allows users to manually reroute voice commands to the device in their hand. There's also a new feature that looks at your notifications in an effort to give easier access and suggests about your contacts and messages.

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Google's new Home commercial is like O-M-G totally, dude

Google has made some pretty great commercials in the past, like the first Pixel ad and the Google Gnome April Fool's joke. The company has created a series of ads for the Google Home, mostly to highlight the Home's temporary price drop, and one of them is... not good.

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Sprint and T-Mobile Galaxy S8 and S8+ receiving updates that bring the May patch, an updated Bixby app, and improved SD card stability

Samsung may not have the best reputation for keeping all of its phones on the latest OS versions, but it's usually pretty good with its latest flagships. Case in point: an update with the May security patch, as well as improvements to Bixby (no, it's not Bixby Voice) and microSD card stability, is being pushed to the T-Mobile variants of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Sprint models are also receiving an update, and we'd expect it to contain the same things.

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[Deal Alert] Today's Amazon Goldbox includes deals on SanDisk microSD cards, Type-C flash drives, and more

Having more storage is never a bad thing, but that doesn't mean you should buy it on a whim. It's smarter to wait for a big sale, like we have today on Amazon Goldbox. A variety of SanDisk cards and flash drives are on sale for up to 71% off.

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TWRP now supports the HTC U11, Xiaomi Mi 5s, and more devices

It doesn't take long for TWRP to show up on a new major phone or tablet. For example, it took almost no time at all for the custom recovery to become available for the Exynos Galaxy S8 and S8+. Now TWRP fully supports HTC's latest flagship, the U11, plus a handful of other phones.

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[Deal Alert] It's Wednesday, so why not take a break from your mid-week and peruse 25 temporarily free and 32 on-sale apps, plus both 0.10 Apps of the Week

It's Wednesday, and I am still here covering for Jordan for the app sales post. Just like Monday's roundup, I have retained the formatting that Jordan uses. That means Free, and Sale apps are still split into two sections. It also means that any bolded text you see is there to highlight the apps that I have found personally interesting or worthwhile. Even the WTF section headed with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is here in all of its glory. Oh, and good news for all of you game lovers, you can see that there are quite a few standouts on sale today. So without further ado, go ahead and dig on in!

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