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VLC stable sees first major update in a year (v2.5) including an improved UI, search changes, support for Android Auto and PiP

Popular media player VLC just updated the stable branch of its Android app to 2.5, and it's one of the biggest updates in recent memory. This latest update has a dynamic new UI that better fits with Material Design guidelines, PiP mode, Android Auto support, 360-degree video support, and search improvements (including Google search integration), among a ton of other smaller features. As the first major release in over a year, we've been looking forward to it for quite a while. 

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Zizo is one of the fastest growing brands on Amazon - read about their Note8 cases and find out why [Sponsored Post]

As you all know, the Galaxy Note8 is not a cheap phone. $900+ is a sizable chunk of cash for anyone, and it would really suck to damage such a pricey device in a fall because you are using a cheap, crappy case, or - gasp - going naked. Note 8 buyers, don't let this happen to you; get yourself a great case from Zizo. They've got four excellent options to choose from in the BOLT, ION, ATOM, and STATIC. Three of them even come with a tempered glass screen protector designed to fit perfectly with the case.

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Google's October OTAs should fix some Pixel spontaneous reboots

The Oreo update has gone smoothly for most Pixel owners, but it hasn't gone perfectly for everyone. Some Pixel owners have been plagued by reboot issues since that update, and the cause has been difficult to pin down. According to Google, the OTAs rolling out today on Pixel devices will stop the reboots, which have a few distinct causes.

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Messenger loses its custom emoji set, will adopt Facebook's on Android and web

You might not have noticed this, but Facebook and Facebook Messenger had different emoji sets. Note the emphasis on "had," because Facebook has just chosen to ditch Messenger's own emojis for the ones that are found in Facebook itself. It's a real tragedy.

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Google releases Android's October security bulletin, OTAs and factory images available for Nexus/Pixel devices

The month of October has just begun, which means Pumpkin Spice lattes, leaves falling off trees, and marathons of The Nightmare Before Christmas on TV. It also means Google has released another Android security bulletin, just like the company does at the start of every month. As usual, OTA zips and factory images with the fixes are already available for Pixel and Nexus devices.

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Instagram is expanding its shopping feature to more merchants

Instagram isn't just for pictures of food and selfies with 10 filters - it's also a key advertising avenue for brands and companies. The social network started displaying ads in 2013, and started allowing certain partners to tag pictures with purchase links last year. Now, Facebook is partnering with BigCommerce to make shopping links more widely available.

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Google Search Lite, the low-data alternative to Search, updated to V0.2 with a few minor tweaks [APK Download]

A couple months back we heard that Google was testing a new Search Lite app. It appeared to be targeting the Indonesian market, and — as the "lite" name would suggest — it's meant to use a bit less data, working better on a slower connection than the old search app. Now it's been updated to version 0.2, and it's brought a tweaked layout with it. 

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SmartThings announces home security system with ADT monitoring

Samsung isn't going to let Nest run away with the DIY home security market just yet. On October 29th, Samsung SmartThings will begin selling a home security starter kit that you can deploy yourself. Whereas Nest is offering professional monitoring from MONI, SmartThings is partnering with ADT to give its home security system some teeth.

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[Update: Another pic, this time without a case] Pixel 2 XL leaks in new photo, confirms redesigned launcher and dual speakers

Google is unveiling the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL in just two short days, but us tech enthusiasts are an impatient bunch. An image of the Pixel 2 XL in a case has just been leaked by Evan Blass, and it confirms a bunch of things we suspected were coming, including a heavily revised launcher and dual front-facing speakers.

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Roku refreshes entire hardware lineup and announces Roku OS 8

Slightly over a year ago, Roku announced three new streaming devices - the Roku Express, Roku Premiere, and Roku Ultra. The company's lineup became rather confusing, and the 4K/HDR-ready Roku Ultra was a hard sell against the $69 Chromecast Ultra. Today, the company announced a refresh for its entire hardware lineup, alongside a major new OS update.

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