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The Pixel 2 has a Google-designed image processing chip, and it's not even turned on yet

We've known for a while that Google was interested in making its own chips. Recently their hardware efforts even bore some fruit, but most of us assumed that it would be quite a while until Google made anything at a consumer level.

Well, it turns out that the new Pixel 2 phones have a bit of Google-designed hardware inside them. It's called Pixel Visual Core, and it brings even better camera performance to the phones — or it will, once it's turned on. Pixel Visual Core augments Google's HDR+ implementation, improving latency, power efficiency (using 1/10 the power), and speed (5x faster).

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Phiaton announces the BT 150 NC with 95% ambient noise cancelling and more for $149

Most of us that cover Bluetooth audio here at AP really like Phiaton; the company does an excellent job at providing a blend of good sound quality, stellar battery life, and an attractive price point. Phiaton's latest product, the neckbud-style BT 150 NC, looks to be in the same vein from many appearances.

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[Deal Alert] Xperia XZ1 is down to $605 ($95 off) with no tax outside NY/NJ on Amazon

Most of you may be under the impression that Google's Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will be the first phones out with Android 8.0 Oreo. But it's not those two, or even the LG V30, that can claim that honor; it's actually Sony's Xperia XZ1. And now, you can grab one of these Oreo-toting phones for just a hair over $605 on Amazon through Focus Camera, with no tax charged unless you're in New York or New Jersey. That's a decent bit lower than the $650 price we spotted a few weeks ago.

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Lenovo is hilariously promising 8.0 Oreo updates for its K8 series phones by July 2018, nine months from now

Most Android manufacturers these days publish update release schedules to let consumers know when their devices will be getting the latest software. But what these release schedules don't usually say is that you'll have to wait a full nine months to have the newest Android version make its way to your phone. Lenovo has done just that with the release schedule for the Lenovo K8 series of phones, claiming that they'll receive Android 8.0 Oreo by June to July of 2018.

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Tip: Get the ding sound after your "OK Google" command by enabling one accessibility service

Oh Google, all the mysterious ways in which you work will continue to elude us, but now we shall shed the light on one very important puzzle that's been making us scratch our heads for months, nay years. One day you say "OK Google" to your phone and it responds with a ding letting you know it's listening. A few weeks later, you try again, and there's no ding so you have to look at your display and spot that tiny animation on the bottom to figure out if it's listening to you or not. What's the difference? It's not your phone's volume level - you sometimes hear the ding even with Do Not Disturb on and then other times you don't hear it with the volume up to maximum.

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Google app v7.14 beta teases Assistant for tablets, adds 'unlink' for Android TV devices, and more [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Google app began circulating in the beta channel late last night. This one brings a small addition that makes it easy to remove your account from a linked Android TV unit with Assistant. It's not too exciting, but it is important to have available. The more interesting details are found in the teardown, where we finally see a sign that Assistant is coming to tablets soon, the 'Recents' screen is going to get a bit more versatile with more types of content, and more.

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Samsung's Connect Tag is a low-power cellular tracker that only needs to be charged once a week

Samsung is releasing a new type of tracking tag that can be attached to just about anything and offers smart location notifications over cellular. The Connect Tag was announced yesterday and is the first of its kind to use narrowband network technology (NB-IoT, Cat.M1). This means it can connect to the internet without consuming too much power, leading to a battery life of up to 7 days on a single charge.

The tag can utilize GPS, WPS, and Cell ID to accurately determine location before relaying it to your phone. It will link up with Samsung's SmartThings hub, and its geo-fence feature can be used to trigger certain actions when the two are in close proximity.

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[Deal Alert] Nova Launcher Prime is down to ₹10 in India for Diwali

Listen up, you Nova customization geeks. We know you've been looking at your phone's homescreen for months hoping you could just hide that app from your drawer, use a clockwise rotation gesture to open the clock app, or swipe up on your messaging app to launch directly into a chat with your best friend/partner. Well, if you live in India, now's your lucky time.

Nova Launcher Prime, the paid upgrade to Nova Launcher that enables gestures, unread count badges, custom app drawer groups, app hiding, icon swipes, and much more, is being discounted to the sexy price of ₹10. (That's about $0.15 for all of you jealous people living outside of India.) It's a limited time sale for Diwali and it seems like it comes with a special Diwali-themed icon.

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Google Home now has a sleep timer to turn your music off

With the introduction of the Home Mini and Home Max, there are now three types of Assistant-powered hardware from Google. The Assistant is already very capable, but that isn't stopping the team from continuing to add useful features. At Google's event earlier in the month we learned that Google Home can now easily find your phone, and it also recently added the ability to turn off your Chromecast-connected TV.

The latest addition to Google Home's feature set is a new type of timer. It's already possible to set timers for things like cooking or game time, but we can now also set a sleep timer that will stop your music playing at a given point in time.

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Qualcomm successfully achieves 5G data speeds on its upcoming X50 modem

5G is still a few years away for most of us, but networks and tech companies are laying the groundwork for it right now. One year ago, Qualcomm announced it was developing its first 5G-capable mobile modem, the X50. If you're not familiar with mobile SoCs, the modem is the component of a phone that connects to a cellular network. Qualcomm promised speeds of up to 5Gbps, with an expected ship date of 2018.

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