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Vizio's New SmartCast Sound Bars Are Cast-Enabled, Start At Just $180

If you've been waiting to "smart" up your home theater's audio, Vizio may have just given you incentive to pull the trigger on a purchase with its new SmartCast sound bar collection, launched today. They start at just a paltry $180 for the basic 38" three-driver sound bar and go all the way up to $500 for fully-equipped 5.1 systems. What makes them smart? Well, they're Google Cast enabled right out of the box, meaning you can cast audio to your Vizio SmartCast speakers just like a Chromecast, and that's pretty damn cool.

At launch, Vizio has nine configurations available, so there's probably a setup that fits in a price:performance:practicality bracket for you.

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Android Platform Distribution Numbers Updated For June, Marshmallow Breaks 10% Adoption

Google has updated its platform distribution numbers today, and Marshmallow has taken a nice jump upward. The latest version of Android is now over 10% of active devices. Just in time for Android N to show up, right? Then there's Froyo, which stubbornly hangs on at 0.1% of the market.

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[Editorial] Now On Tap's Image Recognition Is Quickly Becoming The Google Goggles I Always Wanted

Google's Goggles is all but abandoned now. We've seen Google resurrect apps from the dead and update them after years of neglect, but it's hard to imagine the company putting a fresh coat of paint on Goggles at this point. If only because the app has been superseded by others from Google, with its functionality cut off into little pieces and moved to various places inside the ecosystem.

But that doesn't take away from the fascination and respect that Goggles deserves. It could recognize landmarks before Google Photos, read and translate text before Google Translate, use OCR on images before Now on Tap, and even solve sudoku puzzles, scan and add contacts from a business card, and find and suggest similar products — all options that have yet to be transplanted into any other Google app.

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[Update: Deal Back June 6 - 17] [Deal Alert] Chromecast And Chromecast Audio On Sale For $5 Off Everywhere

The Chromecast and Chromecast audio are already very competitively priced devices at $35 each, but they're even cheaper today through May 8th. Both devices are $5 off at most retailers, bringing the price down to $30. Oh, and Amazon doesn't sell the Chromecast at all because reasons.

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[Update: June OTA Does Not Contain Fix] Some Pixel C Owners Are Reporting Random Reboots After The May Over-The-Air Update

Google's commitment to Android in the form of monthly updates for its own branded hardware is pretty great... until it's not. That's the case with the May security and stability update for the top-of-the-line Pixel C tablet, which has created some serious headaches for owners. Some (but by no means all) owners of the Pixel C are reporting more or less random reboots of the tablet, usually occurring every five to thirty minutes when the Pixel C is off its charger.

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Google Prepares For Summer Football Competitions With Now Cards

The summer of soccer football competitions is almost upon us, with both Copa América and Euro 2016 starting this month. Google's showing its support by asking users to select which teams they'd like to follow within Google Now.

Euro 2016 is mere days away, with the competition starting in France on June 10. Two cards, one above and one below, have been appearing in the last few days advertising the European championship. One is asking users which teams they would like to follow, listing them horizontally in alphabetical order with a plus in the top right for adding them to get updates. The card only seems to be appearing if a national football team is already followed in Now, although it may appear if a club football team is followed too.

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[Nexus Deal Alert] Get A 32GB Nexus 5X For $274.99 On eBay

32GB Nexus 5X. $274.99. Need I say more?

I do, in fact, because this is a blog, and blog posts should have words, and I am going to put some here. The 32GB Nexus 5X is on sale for $274.99, which while not technically the cheapest we've ever seen it, it's damn close, and definitely the cheapest we've seen the North American H790 model without requiring a simultaneous Project Fi signup (where it costs $250). We've spotted the 32GB H791 international version for $249.99 previously, but that phone lacks T-Mobile band 12 support.

This is the proper 'Murican handset with full T-Mobile - and thus, Project Fi - Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T support, AKA the one you want if you're living stateside.

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June Security Update Factory Images And OTA ZIPs For Nexus Devices Are Live

Right on schedule on the first Monday of the month, Google's latest security updates for Nexus devices have arrived. Both factory images and OTA update zips for June 2016 are available for the following devices, Android version 6.0.1, listed below with build numbers for your convenience.

  • Pixel C - MXC89H
  • Nexus 6P - MTC19V
  • Nexus 5X - MTC19V
  • Nexus 6 - MOB30M
  • Nexus Player - MOB30M
  • Nexus 9 LTE - MOB30M
  • Nexus 9 Wi-Fi - MOB30M
  • Nexus 5 - MOB30M
  • Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi - MOB30M
  • Nexus 7 2013 3G - MOB30M

This month's security bulletin can be found here, and this month's updates contain six security fixes Google has deemed "critical," four of which are specific to Qualcomm driver privilege elevation vulnerabilities (a further five such Qualcomm driver vulnerabilities were classified from high to moderate severity).

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Google Store Starts Selling The Acer Chromebook 14 And Chromebook 11 (2016)

What's this? These aren't Android devices, true, but Chromebooks will very soon run Android apps. Thus, you might want to know there are two new Chromebooks on sale in the Google Store today. Customers in the US and Canada can pick up the Acer Chromebook 14 or 2016 refresh of the Chromebook 11 right now.

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[Deal Alert] Google Store Deals: $20 Off SHIELD Android TV, $50 Off Nexus 6P, And $5 Off Cardboard [Update]

Google is running a few modest sales in the Google Store for the next few weeks, probably related to Father's Day. You can save some cash if you pick up a SHIELD TV, Nexus 6P, or Cardboard viewer. They aren't huge deals, but a discount is always appreciated.

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