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Sony Xperia Home beta updated with full Google Now integration

Sony isn't making the most compelling Android phones these days, but it does at least try to put out good software. It's one of the most developer-friendly OEMs and it was even the first to release the N preview on non-Nexus hardware. Now, Sony has the distinction of being the first to do something else. The latest version of the Xperia Home beta has a Google Now pane just like the Google Now Launcher—no other OEM has done this on its custom launcher.

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BLU makes the super-cheap R1 HD official, as low as $50 with Amazon ads

BLU has long been known for making low-cost Android phones, but this is getting ridiculous. The company has made the R1 HD official with a $100 base price tag. However, this phone is included in Amazon's new unlocked phone deal, so you can get an R1 HD for as low as $50 with Amazon ads. Without ads it's $100.

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[Deal Alert] Moto G4 16GB $124.99 and 32GB $154.99 with Amazon offers and ads for Prime members ($75 off)

The Moto G4 is about to launch in the US on July 12 for prices starting $199.99. However, you can get it much cheaper today if you are an Amazon Prime member and you don't mind seeing ads on your lockscreen. How much cheaper? How about $75 less? Yes, that covers 75% of the cost of a yearly Prime membership and puts the Moto G4 at a ridiculously cheap price.

This is possible thanks to Amazon's newly announced Prime Exclusive Phones venture, which basically subsidizes the price of new unlocked phones by putting Amazon apps and ads on your lockscreen. It's the Kindle Fire approach applied to non-Amazon devices.

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Amazon is now selling unlocked phones at a discount in exchange for giving you bloatware and ads

I can't say I saw this coming: Amazon is getting into the unlocked smartphone business in a big way starting today. By selling you phones for a lower price... in exchange for bloatware and lockscreen ads. Yep, seriously.

Amazon announced today that the BLU R1 HD and the Moto G4 (not the Plus, though) are the first Amazon Prime Exclusive smartphones in the US. Both phones are $50 off their standard retail prices, making the BLU R1 HD just $49.99 and Moto G4 just $149.99 (the 32GB is $179.99). Amazon is even offering an additional $25 off the Moto G4 with offers and ads today as part of a special launch promo, bringing it down to $124.99 for Prime members.

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TWRP comes to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek), LG L90, and Android One 3rd Edition (General Mobile 5 Plus)

Midrange devices are really the perfect target for something like TWRP. They're capable devices, but they usually suffer from intolerably bloated interfaces and/or get updates way too late or not at all. A custom recovery is the starting point from which any enterprising user can start flashing mods and custom ROMs onto their device to get over any of the previously mentioned hurdles.

And so it's nice to see TWRP come to 3 Android phones that count somewhere in the midrange category. The first is the MediaTek version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (the Snapdragon version got TWRP a couple of months ago).

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[Deal Alert] eBay has an unlocked Galaxy S7 Edge Duos for just $590, the lowest price yet

These days a $600 smartphone isn't exactly a deal, it's where the high-end portion of the market transitions into the super-expensive area that most people won't buy (unless they get sweet-talked by a carrier "payment plan"). So if you've balked at Samsung's stratospheric $800 asking price for the Galaxy S7 Edge, now's your chance to grab an unlocked version of the phone - with dual SIM capability, no less - for a much more reasonable price. One eBay vendor is selling them for $589.99. That's the lowest we've seen for this model.

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Google rolls out new ad settings tool to 'personalize' the ads you see

Google makes most of its money from showing ads, both on its own services and on third-party sites running Google's ad network. When you use Google products, you have to be okay with some of the things you do being used to inform the ads you see. Today, Google is making a new tool available to users that lets you see and control the information Google uses to show you ads, but it comes with an (optional) expansion of Google's advertising personalization.

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Report: Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk wants to drag US public transit and traffic management into the 21st century

American cities do a lot of things well, but public transit isn't one of them. Get outside the major metropolitan areas on the East Coast, and you're pretty much hosed without a car - try to treat cities in the Midwest or Texas or California like New York, and you'll soon walk right through your shoes. Even if you do have your own vehicle, parking and traffic can become your personal nightmare. According to a new report in the Guardian, one of the many subsidiaries inside Google's new Alphabet parent company is working on fixing that.

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Best Buy and B&H Photo are both offering $50 gift cards with the 2016 Moto G and G Plus

The early reactions to Motorola's new generation of hardware have been tepid at best. Even so, if you're one of the people looking forward to the recently-announced US launch for the 2016 version of the Moto G and the new G Plus, Motorola is hoping to sweeten the pot on the already budget-priced phones. Both Best Buy and B&H Photos are offering free $50 gift cards to their respective stores for early buyers.

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The Moto G4 family is coming to the US on July 12, starting at $199.99

Motorola announced the new fourth-gen Moto G family of devices back in May, but the phones have thus far only come out in Brazil and India. US consumers will get their chance to pick up the new Moto G in just a few weeks. Motorola will begin selling the devices on July 12th with prices starting at $199.99.

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