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Google Pixel NPF26J OTA in Canada adds double-tap and lift to check notification [Update: OTA links]

In what appears to be an accidental rollout of a preview build, according to 9to5Google, Google is updating Pixel and Pixel XL devices in Canada to a new version of Android 7.1, build number NPF26J. The "P" after the N generally would denote a preview, as Google uses the second letter in its build system to indicate the branch the update is sourced from (e.g., "R" for "release"). (Update: Upon further investigation, it's unclear if this is true, or if it's merely a coincidence. The build may be an official rollout, though it would be odd considering Google hasn't updated its factory image or OTA file pages yet.)

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Android 7.1 developer preview 2 images are live for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and Pixel C [Update: Nexus 9]

We got some hints earlier that the second Android 7.1.1 developer preview was on the verge of rolling out today, and sure enough, here it is. System images are live for manual installation (build NPF26F and NPF26H). There won't be any OTAs at this time, though. Just like last time, the list of supported devices is small—smaller than we were expecting, in fact.

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Android 7.1 Developer Preview 2 seems imminent, according to Beta Program Google+ page [Update: It's live]

A post by the manager of the Android Beta Program's Google+ page seems to indicate that Developer Preview 2 of Android 7.1 is slated to go live shortly. Orrin Hancock, owner of the page, says that DP2 actually began rolling out today, but we've not received any tips suggesting that's the case. No one who has replied to the thread seems to have gotten it, either, so perhaps the rollout has been slightly delayed or extremely, incredibly, strangely limited (I would hedge on the former).

Anyway, Android 7.1.1 DP2 will apparently be available for the Nexus 6P, 5X, Nexus 9, Android One, and Pixel C.

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Google Home will be $99 starting November 23 for a limited time

The Google Home connected speaker has not been out very long, but it looks like it will be on a Black Friday sale regardless. Starting Wednesday, November 23, the Home will be $99 for a limited time. This makes it even more tempting and almost too good to pass up.

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Google Cast API updated with 4K capabilities, other changes

The Google Cast API was updated today with some good changes. Most notably is that it now officially supports 4K casting. Also included in the changelog is that the API supports maintaining a state of cast session, where the new class holds the current status of the stream, a fix to the image aspect ratio, ad breaks, and remote control notifications.

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Deep dive: A closer look at the Google Pixel's camera

The Pixel phones have been out for several weeks now, and a lot has been said about the camera. I will try to comment on some of the things that I’ve felt have been a bit overlooked, in a deeper dive into the Google Camera 4.2 on the Pixel XL. Most of the issues, if not all, should also apply to the smaller Pixel phone.

A note on pixel size, sensor size, and aperture

Starting with last year’s Nexus phones, Google has been advertising “bigger pixels” in their camera sensors, frequently pointing out their 1.55µm size in marketing materials. Relatively speaking, they’re larger than the ones on most other phones and should lead to lower noise, at least according to common belief.

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Google publishes test results pitting Wifi against Eero and Luma, Google Wifi predictably comes out on top

While a bit odd to publish well ahead of reviews for the as-yet unreleased product, Google posted the results of independent testing by Allion today showcasing the performance of its Wifi system against similar mesh network products Eero and Luma. The results, given that Google decided to publish them, probably won't shock you: Google Wifi walks away with it.

allion

Using two devices for each system in a 3000 square foot, two-story house, Allion measured speeds of each system at four locations. At the wired access point, Google Wifi was marginally quicker than Eero, but it's at the periphery of coverage and the secondary access point, which was not hardwired to the network, where it seems Google's product is most able to outshine competitors.

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[Deal Alert] Costco members can get a $50 Play Store gift card for just $41.99 ($5 off)

Prices for gift cards rarely go down, but when they do, people tend to go berserk for even the smallest discounts. Case in point: for a $50 Play Store gift card, a slash of $5 to $41.99 at Costco may not sound like much, but it's clearly resonating well with some Slickdeals members.

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New interface for Play Store Top Charts rolling out to more users

Just this month alone, a revamped UIa new trending section, Netbanking support for India, changes to search results, and minor tweaks to app installations have all shown up for some users. This latest change was first spotted in June, but appears to be rolling out to even more users.

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Google two-factor authentication prompts now work on Android Wear for some users

When you enable two-factor authentication on your Google account, you have three options for logging in with a phone. The first is with a code generated from any 2FA application, such as Google Authenticator or Authy. Secondly, you can have Google send you an SMS message. Lastly, Google can prompt you on your phone to approve a sign-in attempt (as long as your phone has Google Play Services).

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