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Google's Pixel survives durability tests, including a bend test, that last year's Nexus 6P succumbed to

Ah, the iPhone 6 Plus. Not only was it Apple's first phablet, but after many owners realized that their shiny, huge new iPhones were bending in their pockets, it also became the phone that truly introduced bend tests to the world.

YouTuber Zack from JerryRigEverything performs durability tests on almost every flagship smartphone that gets globally released, and when the world saw him do one (and then another) on a Nexus 6P, it was shocked at the Huawei-built device's seemingly twig-like snapping. Now, Zack has posted a video of himself testing the Google Pixel's durability, and its performance in this arena is definitely more impressive than last year's Google flagship's.

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Chrome 55 Beta adds Download Manager, offline pages, media player changes, and more [APK Download]

Chrome 54 was just released, bringing a substantial amount of changes for both users and developers. Now the first Chrome 55 Beta has been released for all platforms, and there are some exciting changes in store for Android users.

Download Manager

Chrome's built-in download manager first appeared in Chrome Dev early last month, but only now has made its way to the Beta channel. The Download Manager doesn't just serve as a simple list of all your downloaded files (or dozens of APKs, if you're like me), it's also how you get to saved pages.

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By tapping the new Download icon in the overflow menu (where the back/forward buttons are), you can save a page for offline use.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Spigen Rugged Armor case for your Pixel or Pixel XL on eBay Daily Deals for just $13-14

With prices starting from $649, the new Pixel phones definitely can't be considered inexpensive, and fixing or replacing a cracked screen or rear glass panel could cost a decent bit of change. To protect your shiny new investment, why not grab a high quality case? Spigen, one of the most reputable case manufacturers, is offering its Rugged Armor case for the Pixel and Pixel XL at just $12.99 and $13.99, respectively, via eBay's Daily Deals.

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The Google Pixel's SIM tray hides a small hardware Easter egg

Have a Pixel? Take a closer look at your SIM tray - Google's left a note. Specifically: its address. As though to make it really, really, really clear that this is the Phone by Google, Google has printed its address in Mountain View... on the SIM tray. Which is random. But hey, Google. Here's a closer look at the tray from the Quite black model.

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I don't know why Google's address is on the SIM tray, but it is. Also, hopefully no one sends a lost Pixel to Google because they assume this is some obscure way to identify the owner's address.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Apps marked as Device Administrator can be easily uninstalled (Hallelujah!)

"Hey Rita, you know phones, right?"

Internal answer: "Here goes another silly question. Brace yourself." External answer: "Uh... yes?!"

"So I'm not sure if my phone has a virus or something. There's this app and I can't uninstall it."

Internal answer: "F%#$$#^@ it's Device Administrator again." External answer: "Nah, don't worry, it's just not letting you uninstall because the app has some feature that needs to be disabled first. (Low mumbling: F^$%ing Device Administrator, WHY?!) Gimme... There, uninstalled."

"Oh, thanks!"

I can't tell you how many times this has happened over the past couple of years. The first time someone told me they couldn't uninstall an app from their phone, I had to Google it because I'd never encountered something like that before, and that's when I learned that apps that set themselves as Device Administrator (most often, these are apps that can lock the screen) can't be uninstalled unless you deactivated that capability first.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Send GIFs directly from the keyboard

Sometimes a few words just don't get across the depth and range of your emotions. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what's a GIF worth? I think it's either like a million words or negative words—whatever the case, you can send GIFs directly from the keyboard in Android 7.1.

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Google posts initial factory images, OTAs, and driver binaries for Pixel and Pixel XL

Google has posted the first set of factory images for the Pixel (sailfish) and Pixel XL (marlin) on its developer site, along with driver binaries for the devices. Three image versions are available: NDE63H, NDE63L, and NDE63P. The third one began rolling out to Verizon devices today as an OTA update. The full OTA images are available here, as well.

That NDE63P update supposedly brings Wi-Fi fixes, so if you're on an earlier build and having trouble, this OTA may resolve it (I personally am still having 2.4/5GHz switching issues even on the 63P build).

You can download the factory images and the driver binaries at the links below which, yes, still contain 'Nexus' in the page title.

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The 5 best things about the Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Google's Pixel and Pixel XL are great smartphones - there's no doubt. But what makes them so great, exactly? Well, here are five things that I think help make that case with conviction.

#1: The camera

This is my favorite smartphone camera, full stop. No other smartphone camera captures images as quickly and reliably as this one - because the Pixel's camera starts capturing images the moment you launch it, and continuously does so in order to all but eliminate any shutter lag. It really does make the camera's shutter button feel completely instant, no matter the light level or if the phone's been sitting idle in your pocket for an hour.

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Googler confirms neither night light nor fingerprint reader swipe gestures are coming to Nexus devices

The Android 7.1 developer preview is rolling out, so Nexus phones are getting their first taste of the software shipping on the Pixel. Since it's a dev preview, it can be hard to know if missing features are missing because they're not done, or if they just aren't going to be included at all. Googler Ian lake has clarified that two features not listed as Pixel-exclusive still won't be coming to existing Nexus phones—night light and fingerprint reader gestures.

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Verizon launches the Pixel and LG V20 today

It's a big day for Nougat-powered Android on Verizon. Starting today, you can mosey into your local Verizon store and buy a Pixel or a V20. The V20 is available through a few channels, but this is the only place you can go in the real world to get a Pixel.

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