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Chromecast purchases from now until Dec 24 include three months of HBO Now

Both last year's Chromecast and the new Chromecast Ultra are great deals for the functionality they offer, but every once in a while, Google throws in extra goodies with Chromecast purchases. This time around, Google is offering three free months of HBO Now if you buy a Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra.

The small print reveals that purchases from November 23 until December 24 will receive the offer, and it can be redeemed at any time until January 8. This only applies if you sign up for HBO Now for the first time; if you already have a subscription, this unfortunately doesn't get you three free months.

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Google phasing out 'Google Cast' name for connected TVs, speakers

Google Cast or Chromecast? That, my friends, is the question. Seems like today Google is providing an answer, with reports that the Google Cast name is being gradually phased out in favor of Chromecast.

Speakers and TVs with Cast seem to be the main victims (if you can call them that) here - rather than, say, a Vizio TV being 'Google Cast enabled,' it now has 'Chromecast built-in.' It's the same for TVs by Toshiba, or speakers by Sony - they now have Chromecast built-in instead of Google Cast. I suppose that Google has found that the Chromecast brand has more relevance and strength than the Google Cast brand, and that's what has been the driving force behind this change.

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Me, a Daydream View, and a 5-hour flight: My first in-air mobile VR experience

Google's Daydream is what I would call the most travel-friendly VR solution yet. Its simple but elegant pointer-style Bluetooth controller means you aren't reaching all over the place to work the VR interface, its comfortable fabric design is tolerable for long periods of wear, and sliding the phone into the viewer is a simple no buttons, no switches affair.

So, I decided to put these qualities to test on a five-hour flight from Los Angeles to New York last week. I had a variety of games (I didn't play any), interactive experiences (many require an active internet connection), and a few movies I'd downloaded from Play Movies to watch.

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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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Nextbit Robin receives Nougat in closed beta program [Update: Official]

The Nextbit Robin was released earlier this year, and shipped with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The phone received a fair bit of publicity for having the unique ability to back up unused apps to the cloud (and retrieve them at any time), as well as simply being a good inexpensive Android device.

Back in June, Nextbit announced a closed beta program that any Nextbit user can sign up for. Now the first Nougat beta has been released to testers.

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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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HTC announces the 10 evo, an international version of the Bolt

The HTC 10 came out a good while ago now - at least in terms of technology - so the Taiwanese company is feeling the need to refresh its lineup in time for Christmas. Just as well, then, that the HTC Bolt came out recently, right? Well, HTC is now releasing that phone for international markets, under the name HTC 10 evo.

The evo is, for all intents and purposes, the same phone as the Bolt. The processor is a Snapdragon 810, with four Cortex-A53 cores running at 1.5GHz and four Cortex-A57's clocking in at 2.0GHz. RAM comes in at 3GB with 32GB of internal storage with up to 256GB microSD cards supported.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Moto 360 Sport for just $99.99 on eBay (50% off)

It's not Black Friday yet, but it sure is starting to feel like it. We've seen a lot of deals for the Motorola Moto 360 Sport pop up recently; however, this is the best one yet. An eBay seller with 97.8% positive feedback and over 134k stars is offering up brand new 360 Sports for just $99.99 apiece.

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OnePlus 3T is now available for purchase in North America, starts at $439

Very few, if any, OEMS do budget flagships better than OnePlus, and the new 3T continues the company's trend of offering a lot of powerful hardware for not a lot of money. Ryan recently reviewed the 3T and found it to be a small improvement over the 3, which was already a fantastic phone. Now, if you live in North America, you can order one of your very own.

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