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Sony announces $500 Android Auto head unit, its first, says it's "Android Auto 2" compatible

Sony has a new Android Auto head unit - its first, actually - the catchily-named XAV-AX100. The main draw of the device seems to be the sound quality, with four "55-watt Dynamic Reality Amp 2" amplifiers and Sony's EXTRA BASS low-boost circuitry supposedly overcoming engine noise to deliver crystal clear sound.

On the Android side, Sony says the XAV-AX100 has Android Auto 2 installed. If you're not overly sure what that is, you're not alone. Maybe it's the things Google announced at I/O this year for Auto? That would include things like OK Google hotwording and OEM apps, but possibly the most important announcement, WiFi projection mode - which means the Android Auto connection from your phone to the head unit is wireless - is not mentioned in the blog post Sony published today.

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Unlike Hangouts, Allo lets you delete messages from your chat history

Aside from the privacy of Incognito chats in Google's upcoming Allo app, there's one more way you can save yourself from embarrassment if you sent or received something that you don't want to stay in your chat's history: delete.

Based on the screenshots we've obtained from people testing a preview version of Allo, it looks like you'll be able to select any message (no multiple select yet we're told) and just delete it from the chat's history.

The top bar switches to show share, forward, copy, and delete options for a selected message, an interface that reminds me a lot of WhatsApp. In the first screenshot below (leftmost), "Message 3" is selected — you can tell because it looks a tad darker than the others.

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Condoms, butts, and nipples: A first look at some of Google Allo's hilarious sticker packs

With Google Duo already released and working well, and rumors of Nougat coming on August 22nd, it's only a matter of time before we have Google's Assistant and its messaging app Allo in our hands.

In the meantime, what we have here is an early look at one of Allo's features: sticker packs. From the screenshots, it looks like Allo will come with 3 packs installed by default and others can be added later.

google-allo-stickers-1 google-allo-stickers-2 google-allo-stickers-3

There are 24 additional packs available in different styles and from different designers. As far as we can tell, there doesn't seem to be a way to add your own sticker packs from a URL or a Zip file, but that may or may not change in the future.

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Google Play Music on the web tweaks playlist UI, adds sliding panel on the right for quick access

In a move that strikes a balance between becoming more consistent with the mobile apps and giving desktop users the best experience possible, Google has made some tweaks to Play Music's playlist interface. While playlists are no longer on the top level of the left-side hamburger menu—to be more like the phone and tablet UI—web users can use a shortcut to access a new sliding menu from the right.

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HTC 10 in Camellia Red and Topaz Gold colors finally available in the U.S.

 

Up until this point, the HTC 10 has only been available (in the United States) in the rather dull-looking Carbon Grey and Glacier Silver colors. But if you're in the market for a new phone, not only has the price once again dropped to $599 for the unlocked model - but you can now grab it in the Camellia Red and Topaz Gold colors.

The Topaz Gold color looks clean and minimalist, and at least in my opinion, the Camellia Red looks fantastic. The new colors will start shipping in early October, but you can pre-order them now.

Purchasing the HTC 10 from HTC's website means you get free Uh-Oh Protection, which covers screen cracking and water damage for up to 12 months.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished UE MEGABOOM portable Bluetooth speaker $150 at Best Buy (50% Off)

In early 2015, the MEGABOOM was the biggest, baddest speaker in the Ultimate Ears lineup. To get one, you had to fork over $300. By the end of the year, we were happy to see the speaker on sale for $50 off. Now you can turn that dollar sign into a percent sign... and move it to the right.

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Google Duo now #1 in Top Free chart, available globally

Just two days after it first began to roll out, Google's Duo has already become the number one free app in the Play Store. The video chatting app, which received an icon redesign just before it went live, has proven to be extremely popular with Android users. In addition, it is now possible to use Duo in any country (well, any country that Google provides its services to).

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Google Drive on the web gets UI tweaks, better file downloads, and more

Google is making some much-needed improvements to Drive today, but not the app. We're talking about the web interface. Even if you're primarily using Drive on Android, you'll end up visiting in the browser on occasion. When you do, you'll see a refined UI and much better file downloads.

Here's what Google says is coming in the update.

  • You can now compress and download Drive items into multiple 2GB zip files. Files have an improved name structure, for example: drive-download-20160516T125832Z.zip for the first file and drive-download-20160516T125832Z-2.zip for subsequent archives.
  • Better Google Forms handling.
  • Empty folders are now included in the zip.
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The Galaxy Note7 gets torn down by iFixit, is slightly easier to repair than the S7

iFixit's been providing smartphone teardowns for a while, and now they've got one of Samsung's latest and greatest for us to look at. Considering the Galaxy Note7 is a water-resistant phone with curved glass on both sides, it's not unreasonable to think that it would fare poorly. That being said, it does do marginally better than the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge did.

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Google prepares the way for WebAPKs and Progressive Web Apps in latest Chromium for Android build

Google's very hot on the whole web apps topic, with it promoting things like Chrome Apps on both Chrome OS and Android, as well as things like Instant Apps, introduced earlier this year at I/O. Well, it seems like Google is preparing another assault, this time with 'Progressive Web Apps,' a way to make web apps more powerful and useful to end users, plus make it easier for developers to put them together.

A Progressive Web App is a powerful web application that can be used anywhere, on any OS. As you use the app more and more, it gradually will get more powerful.

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