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Reviews

InBrief
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Google Opens Up API To Read And Reply To Play Store Reviews, Support Already Offered By Zendesk And Conversocial

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Maps v9.23 Adopts Visually Distinct Navigation Notification, Automatically Downloads Offline Maps, And Much More [APK Teardown + Download]

Google is sending out all kinds of things today. First it was Nexus factory images, then an Android Auto update some users can actually care about, and now a pretty full bump to the Maps app. There are plenty of live features to look at in this one, but there is some teardown material, as well. There's no point in wasting words, let's get straight into it.

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SCOSCHE MagicMount Pro Review - A Highly Convenient Magnetic Mount With A Couple Of Trade-Offs

Car phone mounts can be a real pain to use. Most mounts on the market use some sort of clamping mechanism to secure your phone. While a clamp can effectively hold your device while driving, it is not a very elegant solution. Access to buttons is often blocked by the arms of the clamps, phones can fall out during sudden stops, changing from landscape to portrait can be a chore, and mounting the phone is often a two-handed operation.

SCOSCHE, a car and phone accessory manufacturer, believes that magnets are the answer to all these annoyances. They have been making magnetic mounts for a long time and just debuted their new line of magnetic mounts, the MagicMount Pro series.

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Nextbit Robin Review: A Surprisingly Solid Crowdfunded Smartphone, But Not Without Its Flaws

We're used to crowdfunded smartphones being delayed into obsolescence by poor planning and over-promising. Coming from that sort of pedigree, the Nextbit Robin is already a success because it actually exists. This phone hit Kickstarter last year and raked in over $1.3 million. The promised delivery was January, and now it's out there just a little late. So, good on Nextbit for releasing a phone, but is it worth buying? Let's find out.

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Google Appears To Be Testing A New, Simpler Layout For Ratings In The Play Store

Google is constantly making changes to the Play Store layout, and these tweaks are often server-side. A new line here, a different dialog box there, and the experience changes. This time, Google appears to be testing a layout for reviews that takes away a dialog box when you leave a review. Instead, the review dialog is embedded in the page.

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Google Play Developer Console Provides New Tools For Understanding User Reviews

There are multiple reasons to leave a review in the Play Store. One is to convey to other users how good or bad an app is. Another is to communicate to the developer.

Google has recently changed up the dashboard that software creators see when they sign into the Developer Console. The new page shows how ratings have changed over the course of days, weeks, and months (pictured above). This overview makes it easy to see if the release of a new update has any effect on user impressions. Developers can also break down ratings by location, language, and other variables.

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Moto 360 Sport Quick Review: Good On Paper, Hard To Recommend In Practice

Motorola launched the second-generation Moto 360 last fall and fixed many of the issues with the original watch, but at the same time it teased the Moto 360 Sport. It took months for it to come out, and even then there was little promotion surrounding it. I don't think you can deny that it's a less elegant device than the standard Moto 360, which comes with the same $299 starting price, but there are a few distinct, sporty features that might tempt you.

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[Update: Official Changelog] Google Maps v9.20 Links Photos With Reviews, Adds Street Sign Callouts And An Option To Turn Off Voice Guidance During Calls, And Allows For Additions To Your Timeline [APK Download]

This week's updates are rolling out and Google Maps is among the first to bring something new to the screen. Version 9.20 doesn't seem to have any huge features, but there are some very notable improvements. A shortcut has been added to the Timeline to allow for quickly adding a place to your history, there's now a setting to control whether turn-by-turn instructions are given during voice calls, and Maps will now pair your reviews with any pictures you've submitted.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Premium Review: Living Life In (Sort Of) 4K

Sony rushes from one flagship phone to the next, making only iterative changes most of the time. With the Z5 generation, there are three different variants of the phone—a standard Z5, the Z5 Compact, and our focus today, the Z5 Premium. What makes it premium? Well, it's the first phone with a 4K display. Does that really do you any good, though? Let's find out.

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Fossil Q Founder Review: Good Watch, Mediocre Smart Watch

Until now, all the Android Wear watches you could buy were made by technology firms moonlighting as watchmakers, but now there's the Fossil Q Founder. This is the first widely available Android Wear smart watch designed by a company that makes regular watches. In some ways it looks more like a real watch than any of the others, but there are also some design concessions that remind you Fossil is new to the whole wearables thing.

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