Android Police

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[Update: faulty chargers] Barnes & Noble is apparently pulling its latest Nook Tablet from store shelves

Before November of last year, we had thought that Barnes & Noble's Nook line - one of the first real Android tablets when it launched back in 2010 - was more or less dead. The bookstore had been selling Nook-branded Samsung tablets as ostensible loss-leaders for its digital bookstore, but the $50 Nook Tablet 7" was the first truly unique device under the brand in years. Now, according to an unverified Reddit post, it looks like there might be something seriously wrong with that new reader-tablet.

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Motorola has an MWC event scheduled for February 26

It feels like we just put CES behind us, yet our sights are set on the next big event. Mobile World Congress is coming, held at the end of February in Barcelona as always. Various companies will be sending out event invites and announcements in the coming days and weeks. Motorola is no exception. We received our graphic and while obviously not detailed as to the specifics of the event, I am sure that most of us can guess what we are going to see there.

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Andy Rubin's unannounced company, Essential, is developing a bezel-less smartphone

If you're familiar with the history of Android and Google, you likely have heard about Andy Rubin. He co-founded Android, Inc, and when the company was acquired in 2005 by Google, Rubin continued to work at Google until 2014. Bloomberg reports that Rubin is preparing to announce a new consumer hardware company, named 'Essential,' with one of the products being a bezel-less smartphone.

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An unknown LG Android Wear smartwatch passes through the FCC

LG has not launched an Android Wear device since the troubled LG Watch Urbane 2, but it appears to be prepping one now. A mysterious new LG watch has passed through the FCC with support for cellular connectivity. LG has requested confidentiality for the external device photos (of course), but there are a few details available in the reports.

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App.net is shutting down on March 14, source code will be put on GitHub

App.net, caused quite a splash when it launched in 2012, with its ad-free, subscription-genereated revenue model causing waves in the industry, at a time when many were worried about Twitter's increasing reliance on advertising to make money. However, the founders announced today that the service will be shutting down on 14 March, with user signups suspended immediately.

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The Guardian alleges that WhatsApp has a "backdoor" that could be used to spy on users [Update]

In what I am sure was on purpose due to it being Friday the 13th, some mild form of privacy panic has hit the world due to The Guardian's article this morning about a critical backdoor in WhatsApp. It postulates that, due to how encryption keys are handled when a device goes offline and messages are not sent (for whatever reason), WhatsApp or its parent company Facebook can intercept user communications. Meanwhile, Gizmodo has reported that this is not the case — how WhatsApp handles encryption is a feature and works as intended.

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Rumor: The Galaxy S8 will have a headphone jack after all

Last month, we published a story citing Sammobile as claiming the new Galaxy S8 would not have a headphone jack. Sammobile has since reversed its position at least partly on the basis of a leaked case render for the phone, a source of information we are loathe to trust for a number of [good] reasons. However, the story caught fire quickly, and we began working with our own sources to figure out just what was going on.

We can now say with a high degree of confidence that the Galaxy S8 will have a 3.5mm headphone jack. This information, I assure you, is not based on phone cases or renders thereof.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon lightning deal - Grab a two pack of Anker USB Type-C to MicroUSB adapters for just $5 ($4 off)

Amazon currently has a two pack of Anker USB Type-C to Micro-USB adapters on sale for just $5. That's a great price on some very handy charging accessories from one of the best names in the phone accessory business. With the adapters you can convert your existing MicroUSB cables into USB Type-C cables.

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5 things I'd like to see Google improve on in the next Pixel phone

I'm coming up on month three of near-uninterrupted use of the Pixel (specifically the Pixel XL), and as I've spent more and more time with Google's chosen phone, I think I've got a solid list of areas where I think Google could improve the device when a successor is released. While I still think the Pixel is quite easily the best Android phone currently on sale, it's not without compromises, some of which were not readily apparent to me until well after I started using it. Here are five areas I think are ripe for improvement on the Pixel, and that I hope are addressed when we see a new Pixel (again, hopefully) later this year.

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[Because that doesn't sound ridiculous] HTC has an app to update the firmware of its USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

What was wrong with 3.5mm audio jacks? They have been standard for many years, they worked reliably, and you could find tons of headphones that supported them. But no, companies have to sometimes invent reasons to change things around and here we are with the 3.5mm jack mysteriously disappearing from modern smartphones to be replaced by USB-C digital audio. Yes, I know that size constraints matter, but so far, the released phones with no jack don't make a good case for that argument and don't provide any new hardware that uses the additional empty space favorably. And for the record, I am ranting even though I use Bluetooth headsets 99% of the time; I just like having the 3.5mm plug option for that 1%.

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