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Snapseed version 2.9 gets new tools for faces, perspective, white balance, and compression

Google bought photo editor Snapseed a little less than four years ago, and the developers have been steadily improving the app and adding new features since then. The latest version is 2.9, which started rolling out to new users yesterday and just hit the publicly-accessible Play Store a few hours ago. There's nothing mind-blowing in the updated version, but a handful of new features will make long-time users happy (and might get rid of one of the other photo apps you rely on concurrently).

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ZTE announces Axon 7 mini with 5.2" FHD display and 16MP camera

We already knew a bunch of stuff about ZTE's Axon 7 mini thanks to this leak from over a month ago and this leak from a few days ago, but now it's official. The creatively-named Axon 7 mini has, unfortunately, had a specs decrease from the Axon 7, but it still seems like a solid mid-ranger.

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Lenovo announces the Yoga Book, a convertible tablet with a touch keyboard and digitizer

Lenovo's Yoga Book is what the company is calling, "the first tablet for natural sketching and note-taking," and "the world's thinnest and lightest 2-in-1." What makes this tablet so special? Lenovo's "halo keyboard." Much to the chagrin of typists everywhere, this is a purely touch keyboard, which makes the "thinnest and lightest 2-in-1" claim true. But Lenovo claims over 18 months of development work has gone into testing and improving the halo keyboard, including features such as haptic feedback and accidental keypress detection.

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Facebook Messenger introduces Instant Video, an answer to Google Duo

In a Google Duo world, do you really want to fire up an old-fashioned video chat? Facebook figures your answer is 'prolly not,' so it's simplifying the experience inside of Messenger. This change is called Instant Video.

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JBL updates its latest generation of speakers with Google Now voice integration

JBL makes some killer portable speakers and I'm a big fan of its affordable, stylish, and stellar sounding product lineup. This morning, JBL announced that its latest generation of products is getting even a little better. As of today, JBL's current gen speakers will support Google Now voice integration.

The Flip 3, Charge 3, Xtreme, and Pulse 2 are all compatible with the new update (sorry Clip 2 owners, no support for you). To add the feature, all you need to do is download or update the JBL Connect app on your Android device. Once updated, simply long press the play/pause button on your speaker, wait for the ping, and then state your command.

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Sony announces Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact at IFA

Sony has just announced their latest Xperia smartphones at IFA, the Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact. Although the X Compact leaked a week ago, as well as the name "Xperia XZ," the specs and features were anyone's guess. Now that Sony has gone public, I'm impressed by the pair of phones.

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[Confirmed: Snapdragon Wear 2100] Fossil Q Wander and Q Marshal smartwatches come out August 29 for $295, pre-orders available August 12

Fossil announced Q Wander and Q Marshal Android Wear watches way back in March, but neglected to provide basic details like release date or price. I'd almost given up hope they'd actually come out, but now the date has been set—both watches go on sale August 29th, but you can pre-order them this Friday.

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Samsung Galaxy Note7 global recall due to exploding batteries could be imminent

We've been seeing reports of Galaxy Note7 devices exploding while being charged, but that regularly happens with so many different models and brands, especially due to faulty chargers, that we didn't pay much attention to it. However, it seems that the story is different and really serious this time.

A Samsung official speaking to Yonhap said the company estimates that less than 0.1% of Galaxy Note7 devices sold were affected and that the root of the problem was traced back to the battery. But at several millions sold, even this small a percentage can be a hazardous risk and one Samsung is not ready to gamble with. Since the Note7 doesn't have a removable battery, the official says that the company is about to issue a recall of all its new Galaxy Note7 devices sold at home and abroad.

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Genius 2.0 lets you save lyrics for offline, adds slick animations in redesigned song page

Genius, which started out as Rap Genius, is a cool Android app for music lovers who want to not just discover the lyrics to their favorite songs, but also the stories and trivia behind them. With version 2.0, the app is getting a couple of nifty new features, none more important than the slick animation on the redesigned song page.

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Sony's Xperia Ear is coming to select markets starting in November

An ongoing issue with smartphones is that they pull people out of the world around them. Instead of interacting with others face-to-face or being aware of our surroundings, we increasingly spend our time tapping out tiny screens.

During Mobile World Congress, Sony announced a series of concept devices aimed at alleviating this issue. The idea is to keep us connected in a way that doesn't require staring down at a screen. Products include an earpierce, a clip-on camera, a projector, and a tiny robot. Only the first, the Xperia Ear, is coming out this year.

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