Android Police

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Duo calls can now be made with some users that don't have it installed, Allo chats also improved

Google recently began rolling out a slightly updated look to the contact list on the Duo video calling app. Alongside this fun rearrangement of pixels, there was also a very real, very significant change made: You can now call people that haven't installed or registered with Duo in the past. It works almost exactly like a normal Duo call, including the Knock-Knock feature.

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Magisk updated with fingerprint security option for root requests

Magisk is probably one of the most well-known and widely used root solutions these days, made famous for its root-detection mitigation strategies. Now both Magisk and the accompanying Magisk Manager have been updated to v15.3 and v5.4.4, respectively, this time bringing the convenience of fingerprint authorization to the dialog which grants root access. 

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[Update: Explanation] OnePlus 3T beta accidentally shipped with HydrogenOS China-only clipboard feature, fix on the way

An intrepid user on the OnePlus forums, v1nc, noticed a suspicious new system app "com.oneplus.clipboard" attempting to access the network after upgrading to a beta release of Oreo with the December 1st security update. Suspiciously, the IP address led to a block owned by Chinese conglomerate Alibaba. Android Police reached out to OnePlus, which confirmed that this was present in the beta.

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[Deal Alert] Logitech Harmony Smart Control on sale for $58 ($22 off) at Amazon

Your home theater system might be getting mighty complicated these days, but a smart universal remote may be just what you need to get it all under control. It doesn't have to break the bank, either. The Logitech Harmony Smart Control is on sale at Amazon for a mere $58. It comes with a remote control and works with your Android phone.

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InBrief
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Hangouts Meet's dial-in feature now works in nine additional European countries

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SMS Backup+ sees first update in two years, new beta leaves Holo design behind

SMS Backup+ was a popular app back in the day, and for many, it's still indispensable. For the unfamiliar, it's an open source app that allows you to backup your SMS and MMS messages into a simple and intuitive conversation view in Gmail, so not only are they automatically stored elsewhere, you can quickly and easily sort through them.

Up until recently, the app looked a bit dated, with a decidedly Holo-esque aesthetic and no updates since 2015, but a new beta version (1.5.11-beta8) was just released with some UI modernization and other improvements. 

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[Update: It's back] Opera VPN has disappeared from the Play Store without explanation

Opera VPN first debuted in August 2016, claiming to offer a completely free solution that would block ads and make your browsing more secure. However, Opera has undergone quite a few changes since then, including a sale to a Chinese company (that hadn't been finalized when Opera VPN debuted), renaming its Android TV browser, and more. It's now disappeared from the Play Store, and we're not sure why.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Fire HD 8 16GB 2-pack discounted to $99.98 ($60 off), 32GB down to $159.98 ($60 off)

Not many companies sell tablets in two-packs, but some of Amazon's offerings are so cheap that it just makes sense. The Fire HD 8, which normally goes for $79.99 on its own, has been discounted to $99.98 for a two-pack (or $159.98 if you need 32GB).

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Google bought a U.K. sound startup specializing in haptics and turning surfaces into speakers last year

According to a recent article by Bloomberg, late last year Google sneakily picked up a U.K.-based startup called Redux that was working on some snazzy tech which can turn surfaces—like the screen on a phone or tablet—into speakers, and even provide more focused haptic effects. The precise date of the acquisition isn't certain, but according to Crunchbase, the deal was announced last August. 

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LG will no longer release smartphones on a yearly schedule

For years, LG has released flagship smartphones in tandem with Samsung, but its devices have consistently played second fiddle. Now, LG's Vice Chairman Cho Sung-jin has confirmed a significant strategy shift at the company. LG will no longer launch phones in the G and V series on a set yearly schedule. Instead, it'll launch phones "when it is needed."

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