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Google Voice 5.5 adds billing history [APK Download]

While I can't use Google Voice myself, I see a lot of positive feelings for the service online. And now the Android app will be getting just a little bit more approval thanks to a handy addition: billing history.

If you use Google Voice for placing calls, you'll be able to track your available credit through the app's Settings > Billing history. There, you'll find your recent activity with each call, its date and time, duration, how much it cost you, and your balance after it was over.

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The USO gets a well-designed Android application

It's always a nice surprise when an official app, whether it be for a government or an organization or a company, is well designed and built with the most modern guidelines and the most responsive elements. Given how often we come across poor apps that look clunky and feel clunkier, from those that you're dead sure have been copied straight from iOS to those that are easy to recognize as web wrappers, I've sort of lowered my expectations for official apps. And that's where the USO's new app surprises with its very modern Android aesthetics, clean interface, and responsive UI elements.

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Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt lock now works with Amazon Alexa for voice control

Schlage recently announced Android support for its Sense Smart Deadbolt lock, along with the launch of a new Wi-Fi adapter that enables remote access through the company's app. The same lock is now getting even smarter as it gains Amazon Alexa integration, which will allow you to lock or check the status by voice via an Alexa-enabled device such as the various Amazon Echos.

As well as control and checking capabilities, the Schlage Sense skill can be used in conjunction with the Alexa app to add door locking to multi-step routines – a good way to ensure your door is locked before bed by adding it to your 'good night' routine.

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Android Pay starts showing full purchase history for supported cards

Many months ago, Cody predicted through his all-seeing eye (and some strings in the app teardown, but I prefer to think of Cody's powers as absolute magic - is there a thing the guy doesn't know beforehand?) that the Android Pay app would start showing full transaction histories on your supported cards, even for those transactions where Pay wasn't used.

Now it looks like the option has started showing up through a server-side switch as reported by u/shiruken. There's a toggle to enable or disable the option for supported cards in the Android Pay app, and when enabled, it will display all your transactions on that card, regardless of how the transaction was performed: Pay, the card itself, or some other medium.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Supported devices could offload tethering to the hardware

One of the new toggles you'll see in Android 8.1's developer preview is hidden in Developer options, under the Networking category and is called: Tethering hardware acceleration. The description, "Use tethering hardware acceleration if available," doesn't do a lot to clarify the ambiguity of the new option, and the speculation from AP alumni Ron Amadeo and a few users has been that it would use a more efficient method for tethering that relies on hardware. We've been looking into it to try to understand what it does and there are hints here and there that favor that explanation.

First, there's new code in Android that's related to this new "tetheroffload.control" and I also found a few APIs in the Android HIDL related to it with explanations of the different control types.

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InBrief
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UC Browser hits 500 million downloads on the Play Store

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Google hasn't actually enabled Pixel Visual Core in 8.1 Oreo DP1, updates docs to say it'll come in DP2

The Pixel Visual Core is Google's first in-house chip, and it was supposed to have been enabled in Android 8.1 Developer Preview 1. However, developers looking to try it out were unable to do so, eventually realizing that Google had neglected to enable it for the public preview. Now, the company has updated its documents to say that Visual Core will be able to be tried out in 8.1 Developer Preview 2.

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Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot are now shipping in India

A few weeks ago, Amazon announced that the Alexa voice assistant would be coming to India via the second-generation Echo, the Echo Plus, and the Echo Dot. Fast forward to today, and those three Echo products have begun to ship to those customers who bought them by invitation on Amazon India. The new Echo and Echo Plus actually began shipping in the US today as well.

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Android Pay launches in Ukraine, its 15th market, with support for PrivatBank

Android Pay has been around for a few years now, but it's still not available in very many countries. Case in point: it's just made its way to Ukraine, which has become only the 15th country that it's usable in. It's only available at one bank, at least for now: PrivatBank.

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ARM announces new display technologies to improve VR and HDR

If you've got an Android device, outside of a few exceptions, the odds are that it's powered by an ARM processor. Companies like Qualcomm, Apple, and Samsung license the company's tech, so when ARM improves something, we all benefit. Today ARM is announcing some new display technologies which the company alleges can deliver an HDR experience on any screen, while providing increased power savings and performance for applications such as VR. 

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