Android Police

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Google is demoting Hangouts to "optional" in the Google Apps package for Android, to be replaced by Duo

In an email sent to Google Mobile Services partners on October 5th, Google outlined a significant change to the core GMS package (AKA gapps) for telephony-enabled Android devices (basically, smartphones). As of December 1st, Google will no longer require Hangouts to be bundled with new hardware. An excerpt of that email follows.

Today, we are announcing that Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products. This change will take effect on December 1, 2016.

This does not mean Hangouts, or Hangouts for Android, is dead. It does mean that manufacturers may opt to stop including it on smartphones released in 2017, so you'd have to download it from the Play Store after initial setup.

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Upcoming Pokémon GO update will bring big changes to gym training and capturing rare Pokémon

While the Pokémon GO hysteria has mostly died down, there are still a lot of people playing. Those who have stuck with the summer's hottest mobile game will soon be able to enjoy significant improvements to training Pokémon at gyms and the way rare Pokémon are caught.

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OUYA brings 4-player brawler Gurgamoth to Android TV

OUYA may have been a bust as an Android-powered game console, but after being sold to Razer and focusing on software, it has cultivated an impressive specialization for local multiplayer. The publisher's latest release for Android TV is Gurgamoth, a 4-player 2D brawler that landed on Steam back in February. It's available on the Play Store now for five bucks with no in-app purchases.

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It's time to talk about Google, the Pixel phones, and feelings of abandonment

First, I'd like to invite everyone to take a deep, calming breath. I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically: Google's Pixel phones have proven rather literally to be an emotional topic in the tech community over the last few days. In looking over Android Police's comments, the sentiment around these phones has been a veritable tidal wave of negativity - and not all of it is unwarranted. There are clear and legitimate reasons to find Google's new smartphones uncompelling as a consumer.

But much of the anger, the frustration, the rage seems directed not at the Pixel phones themselves. And of that which is, is often through the lens of Nexus, not of the Pixel phones as products in their own right.

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Google Wifi is powered by USB Type-C

If you check out the listing for Google Wifi, you'll see that it doesn't say much about the power adapter—just that there is one. According to Google's USB Type-C Tsar, Benson Leung, it's actually a Type-C power adapter very similar to the one that comes with the Pixel C. Neat.

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AT&T LG V20 pre-orders start tomorrow (10/7), hits store on 10/28

The LG V20 is perhaps the best phone released by LG in recent history. Instead of the modular functionality of the LG G5, the V20 was designed as an all-in-one solution for power users. It even has features rare on flagship devices, like a removable battery and a fantastic headphone amp. The V20 is also the only non-Google phone to currently ship with Android 7.0 Nougat.

AT&T has announced pre-orders for the V20 will begin tomorrow, although unfortunately neglected to provide a shipping date.

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[Deal Alert] Save money on Seamless and Eat24 orders through Android Pay this month (US only)

The UK had a pretty good Android Pay deal recently, so now it's the US's turn to save some money. Not just one deal, but two, from Seamless, where anyone using Android Pay can save $15 off orders this month, and Eat24, in which $5 comes off every order above $10 until October 15.

The prerequisite to this is you need to use your Android phone to order, and download either the Seamless or Eat24 app, obviously depending which deal you're using. When paying, simply use Android Pay as the payment method and the deal will come into action. For Seamless, after ordering you will receive a $10 voucher off the next order, and after the second order, a $5 voucher.

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Pixel phones on Verizon include some bloatware, can be uninstalled

Verizon is known for bundling large amounts of pre-installed applications with little value, hence the term 'bloatware.' Unfortunately, it seems like the Verizon-sold Google Pixel phones are no exception.

According to a page on Verizon's website, the Pixel includes eight "Preloaded Play Store Apps," besides the usual Google-made apps bundled with most Android devices. The included apps from Verizon are My Verizon, Go90, and VZ Messages. There are other Google apps pre-loaded outside of the usual bundle as well, including Allo, Duo, Android Pay, Docs, and Keep.

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Dan The Man from Halfbrick Studios is live in the Play Store

After being listed only for pre-registration, the latest game from Halfbrick Studios has finally dropped on Android. Dan The Man is a classic action platformer with lots of punches, kicks, and bad guys just begging for the liberal application of both. It's free to play, but the IAP system doesn't seem too offensive.

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[Update: Officially released] Giphy publishes beta 'Cam' app on Play Store, increasing your meme efficiency by 1000%

Giphy is one of the most popular repositories of GIFs on the web, and the site has published their newest app to the Play Store - Giphy Cam. The application allows you to either record video from your camera, or shoot five images in burst mode. Once your content is recorded, you can apply all the effects and stickers your heart desires. The app description states that Giphy plans to add new filters weekly, "to help you keep your GIF game on point."

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