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Project Fi ups international data to 3G speeds, offers $150 off Nexus 6P for new signups

Google announced today on the official Android blog that Project Fi's international data roaming speeds will be up to 10-20x faster than before. "Before" was previously advertised as around 256kbps, so this brings speeds up to or around 2560-5120kbps (2.5-5Mbps, basically), which is pretty much in line with what you can expect on 3G in most countries. This should take Fi's international data from "usable in a pinch" to "usable."

The same pricing applies as always: you pay for the data you use abroad at the same rate you'd pay for that data in the US. The new data speeds come courtesy of the addition of Three to the Fi network.

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Huawei Honor 8: A glass-backed, cheaper P9

The Honor 8 is Huawei's newest offering announced yesterday from China. It seems to compete with Huawei's own recent flagship, the P9, on every dimension except two: build quality (glass back vs. unibody construction) and price (this one is about 30% cheaper). We covered the P9 back in April, and the Honor 8 really is almost identical as you can see from the specs:

 Honor 8P9
ProcessorKirin 950 (4 x Cortex A72 2.3GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1.8GHz + always-on I5 coprocessor)Kirin 955 (4 x Cortex A72 2.5GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1.8GHz + always-on I5 coprocessor)
GPUMali T880
Memory & Storage3GB/32GB, 4GB/32GB, 4GB/64GB
Screen5.2" 1920x1080 LTPS LCD (423 PPI), 96% NTSC color reproduction
Camera (rear)12MP, F2.2, dual lens (1 B&W, 1 RGB)
Camera (front)8PM, F2.4
SD CardHybrid microSD (dual nano SIM or nano + SD)
Battery3000mAh
SoftwareEMUI 4.1 on Android 6.0
Measurements145.5 x 71 x 7.44 mm, 153 g145 x 70.9 x 7 mm, 144 g
Build"2.5D" glass front and back, metal frameAll metal unibody construction
ColorsWhite, Gold, Black, Pink, BlueWhite, Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Gray

As far as I can tell, except for being ever so slightly slower, bulkier, and cheaper with the glass back, these two phones are almost identical.

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NBC's Olympics app includes scores, schedules, news, and video of everything except the actual events

The summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro should be interesting to watch this year, if only in the same sense that a burning building is hard to ignore. As it has been for decades, NBC will be the sole media outlet for the games in the United States. Sports fans can use the official NBC app to keep up with the Olympics on their phones and tablets... though keep in mind that the results of the games, including medal winners, statistics, and a general schedule, will be available in all the usual places like ESPN and Google Now.

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Our Google I/O Recap - In 7 Minutes (Video)

Looking to get your head around the majority of the announcements at Google I/O? We've got a video for that. Our summary of all the announcements from the keynote and day one of the show will catch you up with the major happenings at I/O 2016, with our very own Mark Burstiner.

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PayPal Will End Purchase Protection Refunds For Crowdfunding Backers, Because Duh

Have you ever been part of a crowdfunding campaign gone wrong? No doubt some of you have, and some of you may well have contributed to such campaigns through PayPal for a reason that, until now, made it quite handy in the event of such a misfortune: purchase (formerly buyer) protection. PayPal's purchase protection basically is a "guarantee" that if you buy something through PayPal and never receive it, PayPal will reimburse you the cost of your purchase. So, instead of making you play a never-ending dispute resolution game of cat and mouse with an unresponsive - or in this case, likely non-liquid-asset-possessing - seller, you just get the money back, and PayPal can choose to go after the merchant.

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Minecraft: Gear VR Edition Now Available For Samsung S6, S7, And Note 5 Series Phones

Minecraft isn't the first game you think about when you hear the word "immersion." No, it's the first one you think of when you hear "surprisingly popular," or "construction-based," or "Notch made more money than Solomon's divorce lawyer." But even so, it's been tied to the new virtual reality trend more than once, most notably thanks to new owner Microsoft's HoloLens platform. That said, a little platform competition isn't going to keep them from making ungodly amounts of money, so check out Minecraft for Samsung's Gear VR headsets.

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[No Food Jokes] New Instagram UI Rolling Out For Some Users

If you're a regular user of Instagram, you may soon notice some nice changes to its look. The photo sharing service appears to be quietly rolling out a tweaked UI to some users, likely via a server-side switch. There hasn't been any official announcement from the company yet, but on the surface it looks like a lot of the blue has been toned down in favor of black, and there are new icons for the photo controls.

instagram_1 instagram_2 instagram_3

Normally this would be the point where people would put in a cliché joke about people taking pictures of their food, but I'm going to refrain because I actually love Instagram.

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[Update: APK] Google News And Weather Will Get Some Much-Needed Integration With Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Soon

Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages is a neat idea system that automatically reformats an HTML web page into a light and speedy version ripe for consumption on mobile phones and potentially strained connections. It's a sort of mix between the old dedicated mobile sites (which are often broken and lacking in features) and the newer dynamic formatting (which can be too heavy for a phone browser even when written correctly). The AMP system has been going for a few months now, and Google claims that it has "thousands" of publishers on board.

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[Update: Sprint] Verizon Is Now Offering Buy-One-Get-One-Free On The Galaxy S7 And S7 Edge

Following on the heels of other carriers, Verizon has now announced its own deal for customers looking to hook themselves, and someone else, up with either a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge. If this is you, then you can head on over to Verizon's website to get down to business.

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 6.02.22 PM

Judging from the promo rules, it works similar to other BOGO offers where you go under a payment plan on both devices, then you get a prepaid card for the full retail price of one of the phones, or about $792, within 8-10 weeks.

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Nexus 5X Update MHC19J Includes Cooler Color Temp Option, Performance Improvements, And More

Most of the monthly Nexus updates are security patches, but Google is pushing out an OTA to the Nexus 5X right now that's actually got some substance to it. While other phones are just getting the March security update, the Nexus 5X is receiving a raft of bug fixes and tweaks in the update too.

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