Android OS

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The T-Mobile LG Stylo 2 Plus is getting an Android 7.0 update, for real this time

The LG Stylo 2 Plus is a pretty standard budget phone, with a Snapdragon 430 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 2,900mAh battery. The phone's standout feature is a large 5.7" display, with the low resolution of 720x1280 (again, because it's a budget phone). It shipped with Android 6.0, but now the T-Mobile model is getting a bump to 7.0 Nougat.

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Google is building full-on Android for the car with Volvo and Audi

Today Google has revealed more info on its new standalone Android platform for cars. Unlike Android Auto, which just casts info from your phone onto whatever software your vehicle maker has tossed together, the new system is based on Android and brings some of the same tools Android Auto had natively. Google revealed this initiative at last year's I/O, but there hasn't been much news apart from Chrysler's concept back at CES. Both Audi and Volvo will be making use of the new systems in future vehicles.

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Android O feature spotlight: SMS authentication process gets streamlined

With each new version of Android, we all look out for the big, front-facing changes that alter the way the OS looks or works in a big way. But for every major new feature, there are countless smaller ones behind the scenes that altogether add up to a better experience. One such change that seems to be heading our way with the upcoming release of Android O is an improved SMS authentication process for use by third party apps.

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[Update: Fixed in Google Maps Beta] Android Auto's Google Maps broken on Audi's 2017 A3s, Google and Audi are on the case

Anyone who might be considering a 2017 Audi A3 on the basis of it using Android Auto might want to reexamine their options. Apparently a large number of the cars are having difficulties with the compass in Android Auto being rotated 180 degrees while the phone is connected, which interferes with navigational operations. Navigation does function correctly when a phone is not connected, though.

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Google's "Project Treble" will modularize Android to make updates faster

Easily the most annoying aspect of using an Android phone (with the exception of Pixel/Nexus) is slow updates. Android 7.1 (which came out last year) currently sits at 0.5% marketshare, and brand new phones are still being released with 6.0 Marshmallow. Google is aiming to solve this with "Project Treble," which will modularize part of the Android OS to decrease the time OEMs spend updating their devices.

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[Deal Alert] Get the LG Urbane 2nd Edition for $171.99 on eBay

If you saw our comparison of 2017 Android Wear watches, you'll know most new smartwatches are pretty pricey. If you don't feel like emptying your wallet, the LG Urbane 2nd Edition is just $171.99 on eBay (which is about $20 less than the current average price).

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Duo v11 adds support for Android O's Picture-in-Picture mode and prepares to show your call history [APK Download + Teardown]

There's a new version of Duo rolling out and this one might be a bit more interesting to those of us running the Android O Developer Preview. With this release, you can push the app into Picture-in-Picture mode, freeing your screen up for other activities. A teardown also shows that users will soon be able to check out Duo calling history, although, probably not through Duo itself.

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You can now buy Montblanc's Summit luxury smartwatch line in the U.S. and U.K., starting at $890

2017 has seen a sort of rebirth for Android Wear. Between v2.0 of the wearable OS and the LG Watch Style and Sport, the platform is still struggling to make headway. Besides the "run-of-the-mill" smartwatches that you can buy, there exists a special luxury segment where technology meets fine craftsmanship. Tag Heuer is one of the better known brands to launch ludicrously expensive Wear devices, but Montblanc is hoping to take some of Tag's mindshare. 

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Verizon's Wear24 smartwatch is now on sale, $300 on contract or $350 full price

The announcement of Verizon's Wear24 smartwatch was a bit unexpected, as there were no rumors about it beforehand. Then the company went silent about it for a while, then said in April that it would go on sale May 11. Well, now it's May 11, and you can actually buy it.

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[Deal Alert] Moto 360 v2 on sale as low as $189.99 at B&H

The price of new Android Wear devices is still quite high, but many of the watches released a year or two ago are almost as capable as the new ones. Plus, they're cheap now. Case in point, you can get the Moto 360 v2 from B&H for as little as $190, and that's for the super-fancy gold metal version.

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