Android Police

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Android Pay v1.7 reveals upcoming support for debit cards in Canada [APK Teardown]

As many people can attest, Google hasn't always been particularly quick or consistent to bring wanted–or needed–services to countries outside of the United States. Some have been slower than others, and perhaps the ones feeling it the most are our neighbors to the north, Canada. Among the absentee services is Android Pay, leaving both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay as the primary contenders in that market. However, that appears to be changing as Google prepares to support Interac, a network of banks providing most of the debit cards in the country.

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Pixel and Google Fall event rumor and leak fact check: Where were we right, where were we wrong?

Android Police has posted a rather exhaustive set of rumors over the past few months about Google's Pixel phones and other hardware that was unveiled at Google's October 4th event. We think that, now that we have most of the details, it's time to do a post-mortem on our coverage, and pull it all together into one place. We'll be going through this [roughly] chronologically and by two categories: Pixel phones... and everything else. Let's get started with the Pixel phones.

Pixel and Pixel XL

Marlin and Sailfish "Nexus" phones

Our rumors regarding these phones begin way back in April, nearly six months ago.

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Play Store v7.1 adds a round launcher icon and an app shortcut in preparation for the Pixel Launcher and Android 7.1, and more [APK Teardown]

Google is rolling out the red carpet for the upcoming Pixel phones, ensuring that its core lineup of apps are dressed the part. An update to the Play Store began rolling out yesterday with a new round launcher icon for the Pixel Launcher and an app shortcut (formerly known as launcher shortcuts) for Android 7.1. Also joining the list of upcoming features will be support for purchasing 4K movies and TV shows, a marker to indicate if a device is certified, and a new icon for promotions and gifts.

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Google Announces the Android 7.1 developer preview will start later this month, final release expected in December

There was a great deal of consternation earlier this month when it was revealed the Pixel phones would ship with Android 7.1, but Nexus phones were going to lag behind. Today, there's a little less reason to be upset with the announcement of the Android 7.1 developer preview. It's coming later this month, but not to all the same devices we saw in the last preview.

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Google Keyboard v5.2 from the Pixel system dump has new Pixel themes and other minor tweaks [APK Download]

The Google Pixel phones aren't coming out for a few weeks yet, but some system dumps are available for closer inspection already. Among the myriad of APKs pulled out of that, there's a new version of Google Keyboard. It's version 5.2, and includes two new Pixel themes, as well as a few little tweaks.

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Project Fi launches group plans, Nexus 5X and 6P will continue to be available on Fi

Last month, an APK teardown revealed that Project Fi, Google's wireless network, was preparing to offer group plans. Now group plans are official, and admittedly, the pricing isn't spectacular.

Project Fi already offers $20 a month for Fi Basics, which is unlimited talk and text. Every GB of data is $10, but Fi credits back any data you don't use. Now you can add up to five additional people to your Fi plan, who each pay $15/month for Fi Basics and the same $10 per GB. So by going with a group plan, you're saving $5 per person.

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EA's FIFA Mobile Soccer shoots into the Play Store after a long soft launch period

There was a time back in 2000 when I loved playing FIFA on my computer. I'd mastered the art of the keystrokes so it was quite easy for me to win any length of match against any opponent on any level of difficulty. But as time passed and I got more busy with school and work, I didn't have enough time to learn the new tricks and options of new versions of FIFA and I fell behind. Now, I can't have my player run for 2 seconds without being tackled by someone on the opposite team. Oh well...

If you're better than me at playing FIFA or you have enough time to learn how to coordinate a corner kick with a header shot, you're in luck.

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Panoramio shutdown scheduled for November 4, 2016; Google details image export options for its users

Before Street View and PhotoSpheres and Local Guides programs with millions of user-submitted photos, there was Panoramio. The site launched in 2005 as a way for users to share geotagged photos around the world and was later acquired by Google in 2007. Its Google Earth and Maps layers boast nearly 100 million user-contributed images, with many locations around the globe offering more pictures than what's available from Maps user submissions.

However, back in 2014, Google had decided to shut down Panoramio and fold it into Maps. That decision was met with some push back from the community, and thus resulted in the delay of the final doom and Google working to implement more social features and contributions in Google Maps to make the Panoramio shutdown more tolerable.

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Google Assistant can be enabled on non-Pixel devices running Android Nougat

Perhaps the most interesting feature exclusive to Google Pixel, at least officially, is Google Assistant. We have a review of Assistant's current functionality, but in a nutshell, it's essentially a conversation-based version of the former Google Now. XDA user brianelv has posted a short guide on enabling Assistant, and it should work on any Android 7.0 (or higher) device with the Google app 6.5.35.21 or newer.

If you have those prerequisites, the actual guide is fairly short. All you need to do is change your build.prop file, reboot, and clear Google app cache. Either root (to manually edit the build.prop) or a custom recovery (if you want to flash the zip) is required. In our own testing on a Nexus 6P, switching to the Google Now Launcher might be required to trigger the Assistant setup.

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[Deal Alert] Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is down to $0.10 in a few countries

If you like well designed games with engulfing graphics, appropriately adapted to mobile gameplay, gamepad support, and dozens of unique characters and environments, you'll love Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath. The game was first released on Android back in 2014 as an Amazon exclusive, then made it onto the Play Store for all. It has since been downloaded over 100,000 times and managed to keep a 4.5 star rating with nearly 17500 reviews. Impressive.

Stranger's Wrath first cost $4.99, but it has been hovering between $0.99 and $2.99 over the past few months. Now though, it's down to an even lower price, just like Munch's Oddysee was a few weeks ago.

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