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ZTE's Axon 7 goes up for pre-order promising great specs and better audio for $400

ZTE knows it's not the brand most associated with quality smartphones, but the company is working to change that. Recent Axon devices have been very compelling devices for the price. The Axon 7 is ZTE's effort to take things to the next level.

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Google Keyboard v5.1 (originally bundled with N preview) is rolling out in the Play Store [APK Download] [Update: Changelog]

Google gave us a little sneak preview of Google Keyboard v5.1 in the Android N dev preview back in May. You could sideload that APK on other versions of Android to get the new themes, but now the final build appears to be hitting the Play Store. As with all Google releases, this one is staged. We've got the new version available for sideloading, though.

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Incremental Nexus OTA update ZIPs with July's security patches are available for download

The latest factory images and OTA ZIPs bringing July's security patches to Nexus devices are ready for download. Thing is, those files are beefy, and they can take a while to download. Want to take a quicker route? Try downloading an incremental OTA ZIP instead.

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Lightroom updated to v2.1 with manual camera and improved file exports

Adobe opened up the mobile version of Lightroom to everyone late last year after first launching it as an exclusive for Creative Cloud subscribers. If the editing capabilities of Lightroom weren't enough to get you to check it out, maybe the new camera functionality will be. The built-in camera now has full manual controls and a shortcut, plus there have been improvements to file exports.

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Sponsored locations will eventually come to Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO is a massive hit for Niantic and The Pokémon Company. After just a few days, the game has rocketed to the top of the Play Store, including the list of top grossing apps. So, it's already making a ton of money, but it's going to be making even more in the not too distant future. Niantic CEO John Hanke recently noted that sponsored locations will be part of the game.

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Pokémon GO v0.29.2 vastly reduces accuracy of your historical Pokémon capture locations

Pokémon GO version 0.29.2 is available for download now, and adds support for Android N and Intel x86 hardware. Those are the most important changes - but another one quickly struck me after I updated my app: my Pokémon historical capture maps are now much less precise and accurate. Let's go side by side - below you can see two screenshots, with the one on the left being version 0.29.0. On the right is the same screen on version 0.29.2, released for Android today. The difference should be pretty obvious.

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Android Auto launches in Japan today

Android Auto works in a few dozen markets already, but until today Japan was not among them. Google has announced that its in-car platform is available in Japan effective immediately, and several cars will be ready to accept Android Auto connections just as soon as Japanese users can find a USB cable to plug in.

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[Update: Intel x86 processors too] Pokémon GO goes to Germany officially and now works with Android Nougat [APK Download]

I'll let you in on a secret. I haven't played Pokémon GO yet. There was a time when I liked watching Pokémon and laughed my ass off each time Meowth came on the screen, but I was a little too old then to play the game let alone get obsessed by it. I was... 17. So I don't get the craze behind GO all that much, but I'm not completely uninterested.

Actually, I decided yesterday to try the game to get a feeling for it, but I thought it better to install it on my secondary device: a Nexus 5X.

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[Update: Live] Official Discogs Android app to spin into the Play Store on July 12

As a music lover, one of the first apps I looked for on Android way, way back in 2012 was a cataloging solution for my different albums and a way to browse artist releases à la IMDB. I quickly stumbled on the Discogs website, but for a long while, I couldn't find a decent app for the service on Android. The situation has changed a lot recently with several apps providing access to Discogs and working well enough to make the need for an official app less urgent.

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Hangouts 11 does away with merged conversations

We've been expecting some changes to SMS functionality in Hangouts for some time, especially after Google started pushing Messenger as an SMS alternative inside Hangouts. As of Hangouts v11, it looks like the other shoe has dropped. This version of the app removes merged conversations as an option.

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