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[Deal Alert] T-Mobile is selling the Gear VR for $49.97 (50% off)

Mobile VR hasn't really caught on in the way most manufacturers hoped it would, but mobile VR headsets are still the cheapest way to get into virtual reality for the first time. Now you can get a Gear VR from T-Mobile for just $49.97, half off the original price.

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Google's next Pixel phones are likely codenamed 'muskie' and 'walleye'

Corroborating information provided to us by a source, we can share the first public sighting of Google's next-generation Pixel phones: in the Android Open Source Project gerrit (and yes, that means it's running Android). We've only seen one of the phones - walleye - which we believe will be the smaller of Google's new Pixel devices. Muskie, the larger of the two, has not yet appeared. (For reference, last year, we only ever saw Marlin in the AOSP gerrit - there's no guarantee Muskie will ever show up there.)

At this point, we don't have any more information about the devices that we are yet confident enough to share.

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Google introduces background tab throttling in Chrome 57

Chrome on Android already heavily throttles (or outright kills) background tabs, but Chrome on the desktop has mostly allowed inactive tabs to do whatever they want. Unfortunately, having several tabs open using performance-intensive JavaScript code, like timers, can cause Chrome performance and battery life (if you're on a laptop or other portable device) to suffer.

Google originally planned to start throttling background tabs in Chrome 56, but due to some concerns it would break a large amount of web pages, it was put off. Now the feature has finally arrived, as part of Chrome 57.

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You can now send and request money through the Gmail app using Google Wallet

Online payments are bigger than ever before, with more and more people utilizing services such as PayPal, Venmo, or Google Wallet to transfer money; the convenience just can't be beat. You've been able to send payments through Gmail on the web for nearly four years, but now, Gmail is introducing the ability to send and request money through the Gmail app via Google Wallet.

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Samsung is switching to a monthly security update schedule for US-unlocked Galaxy phones

When the US unlocked models of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were released, many were overjoyed to have a variant that wouldn't be tied to a carrier, yet would be fully compatible with all four major carriers here in the states. Despite these unlocked versions' higher price tags, many picked them up in hopes of less bloat and quicker updates.

Unfortunately, while the unlocked models did come with fewer pre-installed apps, buyers were extremely let down in terms of updates. Not only did they not arrive more quickly, but they were actually being sent out more infrequently and much later than carrier models'.

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver creates fake (and hilarious) Samsung ad

Samsung has had a rough couple of months. It seems like every time the Korean electronics giant is in the news it's because something is catching fire, getting hacked, or its chairman is being arrested. The recent revelation that the CIA has hacked Samsung's smart TVs got the company on John Oliver's radar. Naturally, he roasted the company on the most recent Last Week Tonight.

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Google Carrier Services moves to the Play Store, but it does absolutely nothing (for now)

Many device manufacturers, including Google, choose to update pre-installed applications through the Play Store. This way, individual apps can be updated without the need for an entire system software update. Another pre-installed app, simply called 'Carrier Services,' has been moved to the Play Store.

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[Update: ZS570KL] Asus pushes Android 7.0 to the ZenFone 3 Deluxe (ZS550KL)

Asus sort of missed the boat with the ZenFone 3 line, which took ages to come out in the US and then wasn't very competitive with other devices. The ZenFone 3 Deluxe was priced similarly to the OnePlus 3, but it wasn't as good. Asus isn't pretending the phone never happened, though. This phone is getting an Android 7.0 update, the first wide rollout of Nougat for Asus.

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[Update: It's fixed] The Nexus 6 Android 7.1.1 update brought with it some speakerphone echo

Nexus 6 owners had cause to rejoice a few days ago when Android 7.1.1 finally hit the beastly phone. It sat on 7.0 for quite a bit after its younger brethren received the update. However, now it seems that the celebration has come to a slight hiccup. It appears that the Shamu is suffering from a speakerphone echo bug. Yikes.

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YouTube is testing at least three new video loading animations

If you've been following our coverage of the many separate Play Store experiments, you'll know that Google has a tendency to test several interface changes at once. This time, at least three new video loading animations have been spotted in the YouTube app.

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