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Most Wanted: The best smartphones you can buy

It's that time of year again. Knowing our audience, chances are that you're looking for some sort of gadget to purchase for yourself or someone else. Whether the smartphone being replaced is too old, too bootloopy, or just doesn't have all the features you want, we've got you covered with our choices for the best smartphones you can buy.

The sheer number of smartphones on the market today makes narrowing the choices down difficult. So many factors - battery life, cameras, displays, software, water resistance, and more - come into play, but our goal is to find the best all-rounders out there.

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Google Allo v24 prepares to start chats with Gmail addresses, continues work on camera effects and other UI enhancements [APK Teardown]

A new version of Allo is making the rounds, and again with an evening release on a Friday. So far, no new features have been uncovered in this update, but we're still poking around for something to reveal itself. In the meantime, there's plenty of material to examine under the microscope of a teardown. We can see that contacting people through their Google account may be coming soon. Allo's upcoming camera effects are evolving as two old ones may have been removed, a new one turns up, and they're all getting new icons. And that's not all.

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Most Wanted: The best smartwatches and wearables you can buy

If you (or a friend/family member) wants a smartwatch or other wearable this holiday season, it can be hard to pick out the right one. Dozens of smartwatches have been released this year, and there are at least a handful of excellent fitness trackers on the market right now. To give you an idea of the market, just from January to May of this year, twenty Android Wear watches were released.

To make your holiday shopping a little bit easier, we've compiled a list of the best smartwatches and wearables you can buy right now. All of these will work on both iOS and Android (though if you're buying a smartwatch for an iPhone owner, an Apple Watch is probably the way to go).

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Google Photos v3.10 adds text selection mode to Lens, prepares tool to remove obstructions from photos and videos [APK Teardown]

A new version of Google Photos is out in the wild and it's sporting a brand new text selection feature for those with access to Google Lens. A teardown of the APK also reveals that Photos isn't too far from getting a powerful tool for removing obstructions and ghosting effects from images, and it may soon have a new 'themed movie' generator that does all of the hard work of picking out content for short personalized videos.

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[Update: Latest Google app beta update has a fix] Google Assistant on Pixel 2 is not detecting voice input through Bluetooth headphones

Most owners of OG Pixels can attest that Bluetooth on those devices is not the best. We've written a fair few articles about the various issues over the past year, but with the launch of the new Pixels we were hopeful that Google might have improved things somewhat. While Bluetooth performance so far does seem to be more consistent, we've just learned about one particularly annoying bug that Pixel 2 owners have uncovered.

According to the many posters on this Pixel User Community thread, when you connect Bluetooth headphones to a Pixel 2 or 2 XL and activate the Google Assistant, it makes a sound to indicate that it's listening but doesn't detect your voice.

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Google Home Mini is crashing and rebooting for some when playing certain songs at high volume

The Google Home Mini may not be a very powerful speaker, but it's still a speaker that people use to listen to music with. However, some people are having their Home Minis crash and reboot when certain songs are played at too high a volume. We've got a couple of songs that you can try playing to see if your Home Mini is affected.

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Most Wanted: The best tablets and Chromebooks you can buy

The giving season is almost upon us, and if you didn't get your holiday shopping done during the sales running from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, then you might want to start now. Thankfully, if someone on your list is interested in a big-screen device for running apps, we're here to help. Here's a nice simple list of our favorite Chromebooks and tablets for your consideration.

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Duo v23 hints at new 'Drishti' camera mode, extends video messaging with re-record, and removes some previously spotted camera effects [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Duo began rolling out to users this morning, but there haven't been any visible changes popping up in the live app. As is tradition, especially with Duo, a teardown does turn up a few of the changes we can look forward to in the future. This time, we're looking at yet another camera effect, but this one may actually stick around and make it to users. There is also follow-up on some previous camera effects and the voicemail / videomail feature discussed in previous teardowns.

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Google says that Pixel 2 random reboots may be fixed in Android 8.1 DP2

Lately, we've been hearing reports of Pixel 2s and Pixel 2 XLs randomly rebooting. Having your phone restart itself multiple times throughout the day is obviously pretty infuriating, and many were dissatisfied when they heard that this would be fixed 'in the coming weeks.' However, the issue may have already been resolved in Android 8.1 Oreo's Developer Preview 2, according to a Google employee.

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[Update: Google Lens actions are live] Google app v7.17 beta brings visual changes and Voice Match branding, hints at Android P, new Google Lens suggestions, and search filters [APK Teardown]

A bunch of new updates are rolling out as Google developers prepare to take a long holiday break. One of the big updates for the week is to the Google app itself. Version 7.17 began rolling out to the beta channel yesterday with some visual tweaks and the addition of something called Voice Match, Google's branding for its voice detection features. A teardown also reveals a curious reference to the next version of Android, new features for Google Lens, and in-app searches may finally get filters like the web interface.

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