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Mash no more: The 'check for update' button on Nexus/Pixel now always pulls the latest OTA

One of the biggest memes in the Android community has been the "check for update" button. Until now, pressing that button never actually did anything; if you were in the update's rollout group, it would obviously reveal a pending OTA, but if you weren't, hitting it did absolutely nothing. However, Googler Elliott Hughes has informed us that that elusive button is actually useful now.

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Some users are reporting Google Clock alarm failures since updating to Oreo

With any major OS release, in spite of rigorous testing and numerous developer previews, it's not uncommon for random issues to arise. Some users who've updated their Pixel or Nexus devices to Oreo have discovered an annoying bug whereby the alarm in the Google Clock app simply isn't going off. And that's a pretty big problem if it's the only alarm app you use.

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Moto G5S Plus now up for pre-order in the US for $229.99

Motorola went ahead and befuddled everyone last month when it announced a small upgrade to its G5/G5 Plus with the newer G5S and G5S Plus, then revealed there were two versions: one for the US without NFC and one for Europe with NFC, and then clarified that only the Plus would come to the US. Now that day has come and the G5S Plus is up for pre-order in the US on several sites.

The price is reduced for a limited period of time (except on Frys): the 3GB/32GB version can be had for $229.99 instead of $279.99 and the 4GB/64GB version is down from $349.99 to $299.99.

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Google starts asking for audience reviews in movie search results

Late last year, Google started showing like and dislike buttons on movie and TV shows' search results card. That allowed it to add its own ratings next to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. But it was only a percentage of likes based on how many people tapped the thumbs up or down icon, so it didn't provide any context or explanation to the rating, thus making users head elsewhere for a more detailed opinion.

Now it appears that Google is testing a more elaborate rating system with full reviews. You can still like/dislike the movie, but if you scroll down you might also spot a new "Audience reviews" section.

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Android Pay adds 24 new banks and credit unions in the US

Android Pay continues its expansion into small banks and credit unions across the United States and today brings us 24 additions. At this point, given the long list of banks supported, I'm starting to doubt that there's a bank for every 10 persons in the US. But then again, The World Bank says there are a little over 32 bank branches per 100K adults in the US. That's branches, so banks should be a lower figure. (Oh the things we search for when writing dull articles here...)

So if you were still waiting on your local bank or union to get Pay support, I wish you luck in finding it when browsing the list of additions below:

  1. Bank of Idaho
  2. Beehive Federal Credit Union
  3. Citizens Bank (WI)
  4. Community National Bank & Trust of Texas
  5. Duke University FCU
  6. First Community Bank (TX)
  7. Great Plains Bank
  8. Guaranty Bank & Trust Company of Delhi
  9. Gulf Winds FCU
  10. Mascoma Savings Bank
  11. Meadows Bank
  12. Meriwest Credit Union
  13. Nascoga Federal Credit Union
  14. One Bank & Trust, N.A.
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[Update: Now in India] Samsung Bixby's voice commands are rolling to more than 200 countries

Samsung's controversially received assistant, Bixby, has rolled out its voice command features in Korea and the US, but if you've been just dying to try out in other countries, you're now in luck. Samsung says that the voice commands are available in 200+ countries worldwide including the UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and more.

You will still be limited to speaking in US English and Korean — tough luck if you wanted to use it in other languages — and you will need to own a Galaxy S8 or S8+ to have Bixby in the first place, but once those requirements are met, you just have to press and hold the Bixby button to activate the feature.

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Google+ has new content restriction modes for G Suite admins

If your business uses G Suite that means your employees have access to Google+, and like any social media platform it's full of distractions. That's where content restriction settings come in handy for administrators, and Google is making some changes to these by splitting them into three new modes.

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Amazon Fire TV's OS 5.2.6 lets you use voice dictation when the keyboard is open

Back in 2010, Android 2.1 Eclair added voice dictation when the keyboard is open to let you use speech instead of hunting and pecking on your 3" display to type a few letters and characters. That function apparently never made it into Amazon's Fire OS Android fork on TVs (it's available on Fire tablets as far as I can tell). But that's changing now that Amazon is all about voice.

Fire OS 5.2.6 has been rolling to TV devices since September 13, but the official changelog was just posted and Amazon and says you can hold the voice button on the Alexa Voice Remote or the Fire TV Remote App (on your phone) when the keyboard is open to dictate text instead of typing one letter at a time.

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BlackBerry's upcoming fullscreen Krypton shows its carbon fiber patterned back

The BlackBerry Krypton has been popping up on the rumor mill for a few months, but today we get our first look at what could be the device's back. As you can see from the image above, it has a carbon fiber patterned backside with a shiny BlackBerry logo. The camera has one LED flash though, as opposed to the dual LED on the KEYone.

According to previous rumors and leaks, the Krypton will be the DTEK50/60's successor with a fullscreen display and no QWERTY, unlike the KEYone. It should have a 16:9 1920 × 1080 display, a Snapdragon 625 or 626, 4GB of RAM, a fingerprint reader integrated in the home button, and a rather large 4,000mAh battery.

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Google Store's trade-in program is already live for the Pixel, and the offers aren't great

We first learned about a possible trade-in program that Google was running with the launch of the Moto X4 on Android One. But at that time, we only knew that Nexus devices would be eligible for offers up to $165, and that trade-ins before October 5th would get an additional $50 of Fi credit. The Google Store's trade-in program has now gone live ahead of the Pixel 2 launch, and the offers are unsurprisingly low.

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