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AOSP changelogs posted for the Pixel versions of Android 7.1 Nougat

Android 7.1 is upon us – at least it is if you count the oddball mix-and-match of having an "official" version of 7.1 on Pixel phones and a "developer preview" for a few other Nexus devices. Now that the Pixels are out, source code has also been released for Android 7.1.0 on AOSP. It comes as little surprise that we don't have an official release of the 7.1.1 source code that went out to Nexus devices since they are still considered developer previews, but they're probably not terribly different. So now it's time to dig through for some interesting and unusual hints about what unusual changes have been made in this version that we didn't already know about.

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The 5 worst things about the Google Pixel and Pixel XL

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are great phones (here are some great things about them). But there are things about it that are... not as great. Let's run through our top (bottom?) five.

#1 They're really expensive

$650 - that's the starting price of the Google Pixel. It is also, you'll note, the starting price of the iPhone 7. In fact, every model of the Pixel and Pixel XL matches exactly the MSRP of its Apple competitor.

  • Pixel 32GB, iPhone 7 32GB: $649
  • Pixel 128GB, iPhone 7 128GB: $749
  • Pixel XL 32GB, iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: $769
  • Pixel XL 128GB, iPhone 7 Plus 128GB: $869

The only difference is that Google doesn't offer a 256GB SKU.

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PSA: You can disable the recommended articles on Chrome 54's New Tab page

The recent Chrome 54 release brought an updated New Tab screen, which replaces the Bookmarks and Recent tabs buttons at the bottom with an 'Articles for you' section. I was not a fan of that change, and judging by some of the comments on that post, neither were most of you. Thankfully, tipster Matt informed us that this can be easily disabled.

To turn off this feature, simply set the two flags below to Disabled. If you're not familiar with Chrome flags, just copy and paste the below links into Chrome, tap the highlighted dropdown menu, and tap 'Disabled.'

Once you restart the Chrome browser, the recommended articles should be gone.

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Android Pay is getting support for Visa Checkout and MasterPass, Samsung Pay gets MasterPass

Android Pay is most commonly used to pay for things in real life via NFC technology, but from the start Google aimed to make it compatible with online payment systems. That hasn't really caught on, but a new partnership with Visa and MasterCard could help. Not to be left behind, Samsung Pay is also working with MasterCard.

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Google Photos now has albums included in search results

Google Photos is great (speaking personally, it's one of my favorite Google products), but there's always been one thing wrong with it: albums were not included in search results. Say I search for "cats" (I have a lot of photos of my cats). The photos in the albums would be included, as well as items found by object recognition, but the album with my cat photos would not be included. Google has now fixed this anomaly, causing the album itself to be included.

After force closing the Photos app and clearing data, this comes up on my Nexus 6P. It's pretty much that - if you search, Google will bring up relevant albums as well as relevant photos.

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Weekend poll: So, did you buy a Pixel (or pre-order one)?

This weekend's poll is a predictable one, but hopefully interesting in its results nonetheless. Did you buy a Pixel or Pixel XL? I'm going to try and give a good number of options so that we can see how sales among Android Police readers were broken up in terms of SKU, as well (though we won't discuss colors today).

We're going to look at version - Pixel or Pixel XL - as well as storage variant. If you bought more than one Pixel, please choose the option for the device you think you intend to primarily use. Next week, I think we'll look at how you bought your Pixel, because that's an interesting question given Google's new financing options, as well as Verizon and Best Buy retail availability.

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iFixit's Pixel teardown reveals decent repairability and little sign of HTC manufacturing

On the outside, Google's Pixel phones look an awful lot like Apple's flagship. But what about on the inside? iFixit has a hallowed tradition of taking apart every new major smartphone (and other tech products), and determining how repairable it is. iFixit has posted their teardown of the Google Pixel XL, and there are some small surprises.

In their attempt to free the display from the phone's assembly, the OLED panel separated from the glass "a little too easily for our liking." This resulted in a broken OLED panel, and no doubt is a sign the Pixel is a bit hard to dig into.

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Google Support Services now on the Play Store, only actually works with Pixel phones

Let's face it, not everyone's first thought when they have a technical problem is to Google it. You might be the designated 'tech person' for your family or friends, making sure granny doesn't get malware on her dusty Windows XP desktop. Some people need an actual person to help them, and that's completely okay - that's where Google Support Services comes in.

One of the Pixel's exclusive features is 24/7 support straight from the Settings app, which even allows support agents to control your device (if you allow them) if needed. Now Google has published the Google Support Services application to the Play Store, to allow updates without new system updates.

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[Pipe Dream] Android.com's 404 Page Not Found is a fun and cute pipe game

If you head over to android.com/android-police-rocks*, you'll achieve two things: one, you get to tell Google in no uncertain terms that our site is the absolute best evar™ and two, you will get rewarded with a super cool 404 page and a game.

The error message suggests other pages for you to check then offers, "no thanks, I'd rather Play" as an option. Tap that and you'll load a super fun and cute pipe game where Androids launch pink donuts, blue jelly beans, or white marshmallows into the field and you have to rotate the glass pipes to land the desserts in the correct colored pipe.

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Android 7.1 feature spotlight: Google implements hundreds of new emojis for professions, gender equality, more

Android 7.0 marked the first time that Android had more emojis than iOS and although that gap was closed with the release of iOS 10, Nougat 7.1 is here to take the lead again. We're not talking about a couple of new emojis, but dozens of new ones and hundreds of variations on them and on existing ones. Without further ado, let's see what's new with Android 7.1's emoji situation.

Profession emojis with a focus on women

Several months ago, Google made a proposal to the Unicode's emoji subcommittee (PDF link) to add 13 female professions to the emojis in a bid to encourage gender equality and move beyond the traditional roles that women were depicted in in the existing emoji list (dancer, queen, getting a haircut, and so on).

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