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Google's Pixel survives durability tests, including a bend test, that last year's Nexus 6P succumbed to

Ah, the iPhone 6 Plus. Not only was it Apple's first phablet, but after many owners realized that their shiny, huge new iPhones were bending in their pockets, it also became the phone that truly introduced bend tests to the world.

YouTuber Zack from JerryRigEverything performs durability tests on almost every flagship smartphone that gets globally released, and when the world saw him do one (and then another) on a Nexus 6P, it was shocked at the Huawei-built device's seemingly twig-like snapping. Now, Zack has posted a video of himself testing the Google Pixel's durability, and its performance in this arena is definitely more impressive than last year's Google flagship's.

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Chrome 55 Beta adds Download Manager, offline pages, media player changes, and more [APK Download]

Chrome 54 was just released, bringing a substantial amount of changes for both users and developers. Now the first Chrome 55 Beta has been released for all platforms, and there are some exciting changes in store for Android users.

Download Manager

Chrome's built-in download manager first appeared in Chrome Dev early last month, but only now has made its way to the Beta channel. The Download Manager doesn't just serve as a simple list of all your downloaded files (or dozens of APKs, if you're like me), it's also how you get to saved pages.

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By tapping the new Download icon in the overflow menu (where the back/forward buttons are), you can save a page for offline use.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Spigen Rugged Armor case for your Pixel or Pixel XL on eBay Daily Deals for just $13-14

With prices starting from $649, the new Pixel phones definitely can't be considered inexpensive, and fixing or replacing a cracked screen or rear glass panel could cost a decent bit of change. To protect your shiny new investment, why not grab a high quality case? Spigen, one of the most reputable case manufacturers, is offering its Rugged Armor case for the Pixel and Pixel XL at just $12.99 and $13.99, respectively, via eBay's Daily Deals.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Phone app switches to Do Not Disturb while on a call, new call notification, and more

If you think Chrome's rapid updates are annoying, Google's Phone application might send you over the edge. The last 4.0 update came in August, then 5.1 was included with Pixel devices, then another 4.1 update for non-Android 7.0 users, and now we are at 6.0. So what warrants a major version bump? Not much.

Google Phone 5.1 actually added most of the UI changes you might notice (check out our post about it). The first noticeable change here is when receiving a call, the notification now has larger Answer and Decline buttons. This is also on the Phone 4.1 APK, but it is worth mentioning here.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Google Camera actually takes a photo on voice command

Trying to set a timer on cameras, both on smartphones and dedicated units, can be a pain. Google Camera 4.2, which currently can only be installed on Android 7.1 or higher, allows you to take photos with the "OK google, take a picture" voice command.

Once you say the magic words, the Camera app will open (if it isn't already) and start a 3-second timer. After the time is up, the photo will be taken. Previously, using that command would only open the camera - not actually take a photo. You can also say "OK google, take a selfie" to take a picture with your device's front camera. This should make using a selfie stick much easier.

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Verizon launches the Pixel and LG V20 today

It's a big day for Nougat-powered Android on Verizon. Starting today, you can mosey into your local Verizon store and buy a Pixel or a V20. The V20 is available through a few channels, but this is the only place you can go in the real world to get a Pixel.

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Chrome 54 adds background media playback, colored tabs in tab switcher, and more [APK Download]

It's time for a new Chrome release, and as always, there is both new features for users and new abilities developers can use. Let's take a look at what's new.

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Chromecast Ultra and Daydream View now available in the Google Store, but won't ship for 2-3 weeks

Google announced the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra and Daydream View VR headset at the October 4th event, but only said they would ship sometime in November. Now, we've got that narrowed down. Both devices are available to purchase right now on the Google Store, but they won't ship right away.

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The Pixel and Pixel XL are guaranteed Android version updates for at least 2 years

Updates are still a huge pain point for many Android OEMs, but Google's usually been okay with them. Historically, devices with the Nexus nameplate have received around two years' worth of updates; for instance, the LG-made Nexus 5, which was released in late 2013, is stuck (officially) on Marshmallow, which was released in late 2015. That trend seems to be continuing with the Pixel phones.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: The notification panel now has room for an extra Quick Settings tile and easier access to Settings

The Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview 1 just came out for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Pixel C, and we're already seeing quite a few improvements over 7.0 Nougat. Some of the most noticeable changes are in the notification panel; not only are there now six mini Quick Settings toggles, but Settings is easier to get to.

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