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Four LG phones added to Amazon Prime Exclusive lineup: G6, G6+, Q6, and X Charge

Mobile phones are ridiculously expensive these days, and consumers are often backed into a corner by carriers and retailers. There is a way of bringing the cost down, however, so long as you don't mind a few lock screen adverts and offers. That's the essence of Amazon Prime Exclusive Phones, which can be bought for considerably less than retail price, with the caveat being that Amazon kind of owns your lock screen, and can use it to try to sell you things.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Status bar icons are now rounded and have padding on the left and right

Google had rounded status bar icons in its phones' marketing materials for the Pixel, though the devices came with regular, squared-off icons in reality. But with the introduction of 8.1, we're finally getting legitimately rounded icons in the status bar, even if the change is extremely hard to notice. There's also now padding on the left and right sides of the status bar icons, regardless of whether it's necessary for your particular device.

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Android 8.1 feature spotlight: Toast messages are now white to better match the rest of the UI

Those of you who are fans of darker themes on software won't be happy with this change we've discovered in the Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview: toast messages now have a lighter, inverted theme. This was likely done in order to match the rest of the much whiter user interface, which the gray toasts didn't really go with.

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Add history to the Pixel 2 'Now Playing' song identification feature with this app

Just before Google's Pixel 2 launch event, we learned of a great new always-on feature that listens for music and displays the song name and artist on the lock screen without even being asked to do so. Now Playing even works without an internet connection, as it keeps a local file containing identification data for nearly 20,000 songs. It won't be able to name everything you hear out and about, but anything vaguely popular should be picked up.

What if you hear a song you like, but you aren't able to look at your phone before it's finished and a new song is playing?

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Canary camera integrates with Assistant, but only to provide environment info as a start

Canary has seen one pretty steep low this month after the big change in features for free users including the reduction of video recordings to a short measly 10-sec preview. But now the smart camera company is hoping to gain back some love with the introduction of its Google Assistant integration.

Starting today, you can head over to your Assistant's "Explore" section and look for Canary, or use this direct link, and connect your Canary account to Assistant. When that's done, you'll be able to ask Assistant to talk to Canary or immediately say things like, "ask Canary what's the temperature at home," or "ask Canary for the humidity in my apartment." You can also inquire about the battery life of the wireless Flex camera.

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Samsung SoundAssistant app updated to version 2.0 [APK Download]

Earlier in the year, Samsung released a new app offering greater control over the sound coming out of Galaxy devices. SoundAssistant has some useful functions, such as allowing you to control media levels with the volume keys, setting different volumes for individual applications, and a fully fledged equalizer. The app has just been updated to version 2, bringing some improvements.

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Hands-on with Oreo on the Nokia 8: A mildly flavored Stock Android 8.0 version

I've had the Nokia 8 for a little over a week and have run Android 7.1.1 on it out of the box. Yesterday though, Nokia announced a beta labs program to test out Oreo on the Nokia 8 and I instantly jumped at the opportunity. After downloading and installing the update, the Nokia 8 booted into Android 8.0 and I started looking for the small changes that Nokia has implemented this time around.

Nokia uses stock Android and adds very few changes on top of it to customize the experience, and Oreo is no exception. The device feels like a Nexus/Pixel whether you're on the homescreen, diving deep into the settings, or checking out your notifications.

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Google Assistant's Home control now directly supports over 65 partners

It feels like only yesterday that Google Home launched with support for a few select services. If memory serves me well, those were Nest, Hue, SmartThings, and IFTTT. It took a while for Home to add its next batch of services (Wink, WeMo, Honeywell), but oh how they grow up so fast! Suddenly, it was an onslaught of new partners and services and we could barely keep up.

Neither could Google, apparently, because its support page for partners and services on Google Home only lists 32 companies in the "Smart Home" category. But there are twice as many if you head over to the Home control section of your Google Home app.

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Logitech Circle cameras now support Google Assistant and Chromecast streaming

Logitech's Circle cameras have a few new tricks today, but they're tricks we've seen before. Alphabet subsidiary Nest took the stage at the recent Google hardware event to show off some new features that plug into the Google ecosystem. It demoed the ability to stream camera feeds to a Chromecast device, and now Logitech can do the same with Circle. That certainly didn't take long.

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Android Studio 3.0 arrives in stable channel, with support for Kotlin, improves device emulators, and more

For the past few years, the primary way to build Android applications has been through Google's Android Studio. The first stable release arrived in 2014, with version 2.0 appearing last year. The third major update was announced at Google I/O 2017, and now it is finally ready for prime time.

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