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Taking a page from Kindle, Amazon’s Alexa is everywhere—can Google's Assistant catch up?

When Amazon upended the publishing industry with the advent of the Kindle, it also paved the way for an approach to luring consumers into a larger sphere of influence, a strategy that is now being successfully adapted for the new age of smart speakers and digital assistants. Both the Kindle and the Echo provide consumers with valuable services, encouraging them to shop and receive content within Amazon's ecosystem. Most of the experiences of its Kindle and Echo hardware also come in the form of apps or services that appear on other manufacturers' devices without additional charge to the consumer, making that connection even stronger.

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Page speed will affect mobile search rankings starting this summer

Slow websites are lame, and Google knows it. Starting in July 2018, Google will use a page's speed in the ranking algorithm for mobile searches. That means slow websites will be penalized, moving faster ones up closer to the top.

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[Update: More photos] Moto G6 family, Moto X5, Moto Z3, and Moto Z3 Play renders and specs leak, revealing larger screens with 18:9 aspect ratios

We just saw a leaked photo of the Moto E5 yesterday, but apparently that wasn't all there is to leak. Droid Life has posted renders and details on six phones: the Moto G6, the Moto G6 Plus, the Moto G6 Play, the Moto X5, the Moto Z3, and the Moto Z3 Play. All of them follow the trend of a higher screen-to-body ratio with an 18:9 display.

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'Bill Protection' is Project Fi's answer to unlimited data plans

Project Fi was a great deal when it was first introduced, minus the fact that the only compatible phone was the Nexus 6. Now that carriers are re-introducing 'unlimited' plans, Project Fi's $10/GB pricing tier isn't quite as appealing as it once was. Fi has now introduced its own version of an unlimited plan, called 'Bill Protection.'

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The Sandstone White OnePlus 5T is gone from OP's US site after selling out in 2 hours

If you were hoping the Sandstone White OnePlus 5T might come back in stock after it sold out in less than two hours, then I've got some bad news for you. As a OnePlus spokesperson confirmed to us, the Sandstone White version is "completely sold out in North America," and has been removed from OnePlus's website entirely. In fact, it looks like the phone is sold out everywhere except for OnePlus's home country of China, which is probably a sign that the limited edition of the phone isn't coming back.

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[Deal Alert] Save a few bucks on select Google Home and Chromecast Ultra combos, I guess ($10-$30 off)

Google is offering discounts on particular combinations of its Google Home and Chromecast hardware, but the deals are just kind of okay, and frankly a bit of a letdown with all the big price slashes from the holidays still fresh in our memories.

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Google Assistant and Home can now natively control your smart locks, August and Vivint are the first supported

There are a few smart home device types that your Google Assistant/Home can control natively. Lights, plugs and switches, and thermostats were some of the first, but recently we've seen the addition of dryers, washers, dishwashers, vacuums, fridges, and even scenes. However, one type of device I've been personally waiting for are smart locks. Up until now, all smart locks were, uhm, locked into using the Assistant apps for integration, and not the native smart home capability. So users of August locks had to "ask August to lock the door," and those with Vivint had to "ask Vivint if the door is locked," for example.

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Honor 9 Lite announced in India, with four cameras and 18:9 'FullView' FHD+ display

Honor has been pretty busy lately, with the launch of the 7X (which Jordan really enjoyed) and View10, as well as announcing that the latter will be coming to the US later in the year. The Huawei sub-brand today showcased yet another new device, the Honor 9 Lite, in India.

This budget version of the Honor 9 had already been unveiled in China, but is now beginning to see a wider release. It retains much from the overall design language of the phone released last summer, but with a few key changes. Most noticeably, the fingerprint scanner has moved to the rear and an extra camera has been added to the front to make it a 'Quad Lens' phone.

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Android Pay now works with HSBC cards in Taiwan, starts adding debit card support as well

Android Pay launched in June of last year in Taiwan with only 2 banks under its wings: Chinatrust Bank and First Bank. Since then, it has expanded to more institutions including Cathay United, Union Bank, Shin Kong, Standard Chartered, Taishin International, E.SUN Commercial, Entie Commercial, Hua Nan, and it's now making its way to HSBC as well. According to the Android Pay page, all HSBC VISA and Mastercard credit cards can now be added to the Android Pay app in Taiwan, allowing you to use them for store and online purchases with merchants.

But there's also been a recent report from Focus Taiwan that debit card support is coming to Android Pay as well, and the first bank to have it according to the support page is Chinatrust.

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[Update: APK Download] Google Maps Go shows up on the Play Store for Go phones, but you can give it a try anyway

Android Go, the lightweight edition of Android made for low-end hardware, officially launched about a week ago, and promised to come with several optimized versions of apps to make better use of the limited resources. We've already seen Files Go and Google Go but the Android Go site says there are more apps, like Assistant, Gmail, and Maps. The latter has just showed up on the Play Store, though it may have been available for a while but invisible.

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