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Google announces Android Pay holiday reward promo in the UK, plus holiday animations for everyone

'Tis the season to shop, and Google hopes you'll use Android Pay to do it. For users in the UK, Google is sweetening the deal with virtual crackers. Well, not only virtual crackers (it's a regional thing). The crackers might come with gift cards worth up to £500. If you don't live in the UK, your consolation prize is a series of holiday animations in the Android Pay app (they get those in the UK too).

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Verizon posts details on Pixel update (NMF26O) rolling out today, possibly Android 7.1.1

It's getting to be the time of the month when we watch our status bars with increasing intensity. Monthly security patches are all well and good, but this time we're also expecting Google devices (including the Pixel) to be bumped up to Android 7.1.1. Verizon has posted some details of the NMF26O update, which should start rolling out today. We believe this may be 7.1.1.

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CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies arrive for the Nexus 5, Moto X Pure Edition, Nextbit Robin, and more

CyanogenMod is virtually the best-known custom ROM out there, and for good reason: it brings the newest version of Android to devices that would otherwise have to wait much longer to receive it, or would never receive it at all. This week, quite a few popular devices have received CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on Android 7.1 Nougat.

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The Google On app gets a UI revamp and becomes Google WiFi in latest update [APK Download]

Google released the Google On app last year alongside the OnHub, but the OnHub is yesterday's news. The hot new router in town is Google WiFi. Devices are going to be hitting virtual and physical store shelves in a few days, and the On Hub app is being updated to prepare. It's no longer called "Google On," though. It's Google WiFi now.

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Google app v6.9 beta is preparing to offer smarter autocomplete suggestions, search offline maps, and introduce a custom image viewer [APK Teardown]

Android Auto users were given a pleasant surprise when v6.9 of the Google app enabled the 'OK Google' activation phrase while driving (for many people). We haven't spotted any other visible changes with this release, but there are some interesting things buried in the apk that are also worth checking out. It looks like the search bar's autocomplete is about to gain some new tricks and there's a new (or at least improved) native image viewer in development that appears to have custom support for some of Google's custom search results.

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Google Daydream View headsets in Crimson and Snow colors available for pre-order, shipping on December 8th

The Daydream View headset launched several weeks ago with just a single option—the "Slate" color. I like to call it gray. Now the more stylish Crimson and Snow colors (right and left above) are available for pre-order. They cost the same $79 and will ship on December 8th.

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Google is rolling out 'OK Google' hotword support for Android Auto [APK Download]

Android Auto has existed for almost two years now, but it's improved only slightly in that time. One of the more vexing inadequacies in Android Auto thus far has been the lack of OK Google support. With the latest version, the hotword trigger is finally a thing.

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Google updates Snapseed with improved image tuning UI and more accurate RAW colors [APK Download]

Snapseed is one of those rare apps that Google acquired and actually kept improving over time. The latest update to v2.13 adds more accurate display of images in RAW photos and a change to how image tuning tools are accessed. It's just starting to roll out, but we've got the APK handy too.

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Lenovo Phab2 Pro review: A phone-like object wrapped around Project Tango

The Lenovo Phab2 Pro is not the first device to have Google's Tango augmented reality platform, but it's the first one to be aimed at consumers. It's also the first Lenovo-branded smartphone to launch in the US. With the Phab2 Pro, you can see virtual items overlaid in the real world, or explore virtual worlds by moving around in the real one. But let's not forget, this is a phone too. People will presumably buy this product to carry around with them on a daily basis, but it's only available as a $500 unlocked device. So, it's up to Lenovo to make a good pitch to US phone buyers who have more choices than ever before.

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CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies are coming to the Nexus 4, available for the Nexus 5 on CAF, T-Mobile LG G3, and more

Cyanogen Inc. may be dying as a company, but the voluntarily-maintained CyanogenMod ROMs are still alive and kicking. Case in point: seven more devices are joining CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on Android 7.1 Nougat. Six of these Android-powered machines have builds already up, but one doesn't yet.

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