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[Update] Media sharing on Allo: GIFs, compression, annotation, and some limitations

When talking to a contact on Google's upcoming Allo messaging application, there are a few different types of attachments you can send. We've already discussed voice messages and stickers, but you can also share your current location, a photo or video taken instantly with your camera, and also media files taken from your camera roll. Unfortunately, sending other types of files like music or documents doesn't seem to be possible - at least not with the test preview version of the app that we're basing this information on.

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Google Allo's voice messaging interface looks awesome, with an eery resemblance to WhatsApp's

Google Allo is clearly one of the most audacious apps to be released by the company in recent times. Not only is it a departure from what Google has long been invested in doing with Hangouts, but it's also trying to catch up in one swift release with competing messaging apps that have been around the block for many years and have had time to perfect their approach.

So it seems logical that the Allo team got some "inspiration" from other messaging services. I can think of a couple of reasons why many of the screenshots we've obtained of Allo eerily resemble WhatsApp — and maybe other messaging apps too (I wouldn't know, I only use WhatsApp so it's the only one I can compare these against).

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Samsung Milk Music is officially shutting down September 22

Samsung introduced the world to its Milk Music service back in March of 2014, and the name "Milk Music" was just as odd back then as it is now. It started off as an exclusive app available only on select Samsung Galaxy devices, and we gave it a positive review for being simple and having no ads.

Samsung eventually expanded support to more of its own devices, and last March they created a desktop web app. But Milk Music's time started to run short when Samsung shut down Milk Video in November 2015.

Now Samsung has unceremoniously announced the end of Milk Music.

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Google Photos v1.26 clarifies plans for video stabilization and teases a faster way to share [APK Teardown]

The recent theme for Google's app updates has been that they're not really packed with big new features. This isn't unusual, just part of the typical ebb and flow as development teams prepare for bigger things. The previous update for Google Photos wasn't loaded with many new features and the new one appears to have none at all. However, a teardown of v1.26 shows that there's still some work going on under the hood for the previously revealed video stabilization feature and hints at a new way to share photos with people that will be even faster than what we already have.

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Google is phasing out Chrome apps except on Chrome OS, will no longer work by 2018

Google Chrome has been undergoing a massive amount of changes recently. From massive optimizations, to the Android New Tab page showing Google Now cards, to Progressive Web Apps blurring the line between native and web apps.

But in another change, although not entirely shocking, Google will be phasing out Chrome apps on the Chrome Web Store. If you've never used the Chrome Web Store, most of the items listed are branded as applications, but are in fact simply links to websites or web applications.

These are called 'hosted apps', which are allowed in the Chrome Web Store alongside 'packaged apps.' Packaged apps are based on web apps, but are hosted locally and have more control over their windows and the host computer.

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Samsung to fix "ordered too early" issue for T-Mobile Note7 pre-order gifts

Starting with the Galaxy S7 series, Samsung began offering gifts to customers who pre-ordered their phones. If you pre-ordered a Galaxy S7 or S7 edge, you got a free Gear VR. The South Korean tech giant offered a similar promotion, arguably even better, for the Galaxy Note7—you could choose to receive either a Gear Fit 2 or a 256GB microSD card. But a number of T-Mobile users are having issues claiming their gifts.

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Researchers have developed lithium batteries with twice the capacity of current ones and expect to have them ready for smartphones by 2017

The MIT researchers-turned-entrepreneurs at a company called SolidEnergy have something you've probably heard before but also something you haven't. A battery breakthrough that will drastically increase your future phone's battery life? We've heard that before. New battery tech that is ready for production within a year? That's new.

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Sony announces $500 Android Auto head unit, its first, says it's "Android Auto 2" compatible

Sony has a new Android Auto head unit - its first, actually - the catchily-named XAV-AX100. The main draw of the device seems to be the sound quality, with four "55-watt Dynamic Reality Amp 2" amplifiers and Sony's EXTRA BASS low-boost circuitry supposedly overcoming engine noise to deliver crystal clear sound.

On the Android side, Sony says the XAV-AX100 has Android Auto 2 installed. If you're not overly sure what that is, you're not alone. Maybe it's the things Google announced at I/O this year for Auto? That would include things like OK Google hotwording and OEM apps, but possibly the most important announcement, WiFi projection mode - which means the Android Auto connection from your phone to the head unit is wireless - is not mentioned in the blog post Sony published today.

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Sprint announces Unlimited Freedom plan with no data cap, but throttled video, music, and gaming

T-Mobile made a big change to its plans yesterday by getting rid of all of them except for T-Mobile One, which offers unlimited data. There are a number of big drawbacks to that plan, but Sprint likes the sound of those drawbacks, so it has followed suit with a plan called Unlimited Freedom. It's a lot like One, but a few bucks cheaper with a slightly different set of restrictions.

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Unlike Hangouts, Allo lets you delete messages from your chat history

Aside from the privacy of Incognito chats in Google's upcoming Allo app, there's one more way you can save yourself from embarrassment if you sent or received something that you don't want to stay in your chat's history: delete.

Based on the screenshots we've obtained from people testing a preview version of Allo, it looks like you'll be able to select any message (no multiple select yet we're told) and just delete it from the chat's history.

The top bar switches to show share, forward, copy, and delete options for a selected message, an interface that reminds me a lot of WhatsApp. In the first screenshot below (leftmost), "Message 3" is selected — you can tell because it looks a tad darker than the others.

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