Android Police

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Garmin's vivofit jr. arrives alongside its Android app

A few days ago, Garmin announced its newest wearable for kids: the vivofit jr. Despite the name being in lowercase, it sounds like a pretty neat device. Garmin claims that it is water-resistant, comfortable, durable, and that it has more than a year's worth of battery life. Like other fitness trackers, the vivofit jr. will monitor the child's steps, sleep, and physical activity.

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Mobile broadcasting app Meerkat is officially dead

Meerkat might be the app that started the live-streaming on phones trend. Released early last year, it quickly rose in popularity - even to the point of dominating that year's SXSW conference. But alas, Meerkat was not long for this world, and has officially been taken offline.

Life on Air, the company behind Meerkat, announced the shutdown on Twitter two days ago. The official reason for Meerkat's demise is for the company to focus on Houseparty, a group chatting application. Co-founder of Life on Air, Ben Rubin, spoke to TechCrunch about the shutdown:

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[Update: Also adds highlight-and-speak] Text-to-speech v3.10 adds options to change voice intonation and boost its volume above other apps [APK Download]

The Text-to-speech app doesn't see many major updates throughout the year, but when it does, there's often something interesting to see. Version 3.10 began rolling out yesterday and it comes bearing a pair of new settings to intelligently alter volume based on existing audio playback and to control the intonation of synthesized voices. As always, we've got a link below to grab the latest apk if you aren't among the first to get it straight from Google.

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OnePlus X is finally receiving stable OxygenOS builds of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow

It may have taken an extraordinarily long time, but OnePlus is finally sending out stable Marshmallow OTAs to the OnePlus X, the company's budget phone, in the form of OxygenOS 3.1.2 (and now 3.1.3). Although OnePlus did begin offering Marshmallow in the form of the OxygenOS 3.1.0 Community Build over a month ago, it had a few bugs that needed to be weeded out. At last, 6.0.1 is ready for prime time on the X.

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Dolphin emulator adds Vulkan support for Android

The Dolphin emulator is an impressive feat of software engineering. Starting as a GameCube emulator, it later added compatibility for Wii games, due to the similar architecture. Over the years, Dolphin has gradually improved game compatibility; they recently reported that every single retail GameCube game boots. Even accessories like the Wii Remote and Wii Balance Board work perfectly, and experimental Android builds of Dolphin have been in development for years.

Dolphin on Android still isn't as usable as other console emulators, but the fault mostly lies with current Android hardware. Even the Nvidia Shield console, one of the most powerful Android devices on the market, can't run games at full speed.

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EU may fine Alphabet, Google's parent company, for anti-competitive practices on Android

It's no secret that Android is heavily integrated with Google search. Google Now (soon to be Google Assistant) is the primary voice assistant, and Google search is included on every device with the Google Play Store. According to Reuters, Google also pays device manufacturers to keep Google as the only search application on Android devices, and the European Union isn't thrilled.

EU antitrust regulators are ordering Google's parent company, Alphabet, to cease providing incentives to keep Google search installed exclusively on Android devices. A 150+ page EU document outlines the issue, stating that Google "cannot punish or threaten" manufacturers for not complying with its conditions.

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[Deal Alert] HTC is offering the 10 in all models and colors for $549 ($150 off)

Although the HTC 10 is quite a nice flagship, many laughed at the Taiwanese company for pricing it at $699. However, HTC's website is now offering the 10 in any carrier model and any color for $549. That's $150 off MSRP, and it makes the 10 a much more compelling buy.

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[Deal Alert] Get a 128GB Samsung EVO microSD card for just $32.90 at Amazon

Almost every Android flagship these days has a microSD slot (we're looking at you, Google), which means that for most people, storage is easily expandable. Not only are microSD cards simple to use, they're also getting more and more inexpensive. Case in point: this 128GB Samsung EVO microSD card retailed for $109.99 less than two years ago, and now you can pick one up for just $33 on Amazon.

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Data from the US Department of Education's College Scorecard is now available in Google Search

If you're a student, you've probably used Google to look up information about colleges and universities. You've also likely noticed that most, if not all, schools have their own personalized cards with figures such as acceptance rate, tuition, total enrollment, and endowment. Now, Google is partnering with the US Department of Education to integrate statistics from the College Scorecard into Google Search.

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Alexa now supports scenes for Smart Home Skills

Amazon took to its developer blog today to announce that Alexa, its very successful smart home speaker, will be supporting scenes. These will allow users to speak simple commands to set predefined conditions on various connected devices. Prior to this announcement, interaction with them was limited to specific manufacturer apps.

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