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[Update: RUU file] HTC's One A9 is finally getting its Nougat update tonight

HTC has been sort of falling apart lately. While the 10 was a solid improvement over the last year's M9, the A9s was a downgraded and even more iPhone-inspired version of the A9, and the recently-announced U Ultra is already somewhat doomed thanks to its lack of a headphone jack, very small battery, limited availability, and ambitious price tag. In the latest installment of the saga, the mid-range One A9 is just now receiving Android 7.0 Nougat.

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YouTube shows a fun castle animation when loading a video

If you happen to have a slow internet connection, you're used to seeing a spinning circle on Youtube while it loads, and loads, and loads, and finally really loads a video. That's the bane of my existence when I'm on WiFi (3G and LTE are much faster in Lebanon, but also more expensive, so we endure WiFi). But YouTube has recently implemented a castle animation, which is a lot more fun and playful. It doesn't make the wait any shorter, but it sure feels like it is.

The animation has been showing for several weeks, if not more than a month for me, but we've recently started getting more frequent tips about it, so we thought we'd let you know that yes, we have seen it before, and yes this is relatively new, and yes it is indeed cute.

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Nintendo's next mobile game is tactical RPG Fire Emblem Heroes, coming to Android in February

Super Mario Run is still a no-show for Android (Nintendo said just today that it's aiming for a March release), but there's another classic franchise coming to the Play Store in just a couple of weeks. Fire Emblem Heroes, the first mobile entry in a long-running series of tactical strategy games, will arrive on Android on February 2nd. Like Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes adapts familiar elements of the franchise in new ways for mobile players.

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Vizio SmartCast devices now have Google Home compatibility

A little while after LG's announcement that it would add Google Home compatibility to its Music Flow line, Vizio steps up and makes a similar announcement for its SmartCast series of connected speakers, displays, and the like. This will add the strength of voice control to Chromecast-ready devices like the Crave 360 and Pro speakers.

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Google acquires Fabric, a popular mobile developer platform for performance tracking and crash reporting

Ask all of the mobile app developers to name the SDKs and third-party services they're using and the answer you're likely to hear more than any other is Fabric, or possibly Crashlytics (a component of Fabric). Many apps rely on Fabric for crash reporting, performance metrics, and other services that are hard to build in-house, but prove very useful when supporting an app and making business decisions. Fabric announced earlier today that it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Google, leaving behind its parent company Twitter.

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InBrief
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Motorola releases Nougat kernel source code for the Moto G4 and G4 Plus

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Image of unclear provenance shows Galaxy S8 panels with shockingly minimal bezel, rounded display corners

An image published on the Twitter handle @dfordesign appears to show what are two display covers for Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphones. The tweet, in Polish, was actually sent out two days ago, but it just now appears to be getting picked up by a small number of blogs. The tweet and subsequent replies from the author do not offer any kind of context for the source of the image, unfortunately.

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Motorola says the unlocked Moto Z will get Nougat in February, Moto Z Play in March

Motorola customers who opted for the unlocked version of the Moto Z, as opposed to the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid models, are feeling a little miffed. Droid owners have been rocking the latest version of Android for months now, but the GSM unlocked variants (which usually get updates faster) haven't had so much as a whiff of Nougat. We covered the story on Android Police yesterday after receiving multiple complaints from our readers. Motorola's response, delivered via Twitter, was less than encouraging.

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Latest Waze update adds category, voice search and distance auto complete

To say that Waze is popular would be an understatement. The community-based traffic and navigation app has fans the world over, so when the developers add any new features, plenty are bound to notice. There's a new version out and it has a few additions, so let's take a look.

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Mozilla launches new brand identity after seven months of public consultations

The Mozilla Foundation is most well known for Firefox, the popular web browser, but it makes many other products too: Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, BugZilla, and a programming language, Rust, among lots of other things. After seven months of public consultations and submissions, the non-profit organization has launched a new brand identity, named 'the Protocol', to push forward in the heavily congested market that is apps and services, and signalling the renewed focus on the internet.

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