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[Brutal] Android market share is still rising, decimates Windows Mobile and BlackBerry OS

The Android army marches on, killing other operating systems left and right, leaving carcasses of once vibrant and flourishing platforms in its wake, dangling them more and more from the Gartner and IDC market share tables, until there's no place left for them but the ambiguous "Others" row.

The latest report is brutal for both BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone / Windows 10 Mobile / whatever Microsoft is calling its platform nowadays. It's the Q4 2016 report from Gartner and in it we learn that smartphone sales have grown 7% compared to Q3, that overall 2016 sales also increased a little, that Samsung lost its top spot as smartphone vendor for the first time in a while to Apple (likely thanks to the Note 7 kaboom), but most importantly, we also learn that Android still managed to grow its market share by 1% year-on-year, despite having crossed 80% worldwide.

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Kodak signs ARCHOS as a brand licensee for the European market

Camera company Kodak went bankrupt a while back, but managed to save itself by selling its brand off to anyone who wanted it. Since then, the Kodak name has been pilfered and used to market cheap Android devices. It's a sad state of affairs for the once-great manufacturer, but maybe it's about to get better (or worse, depending on your point of view): ARCHOS has been signed as a brand licensee in Europe, following the release of the Kodak EKTRA smartphone last year.

ARCHOS is well-known for the line of mediocre, budget Android tablets the company makes. Presumably, the new Kodak devices will be the same sort of thing, but with the legendary American imaging company's name slapped on it.

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Google and Telenor launch RCS messaging in some European and Asian countries

Rich Communication Services (RCS) are one of the hottest topics in messaging circles nowadays, despite the fact that plenty of users have already committed to one or several non-SMS solutions for talking with everyone in their lives. But hey, you can't blame operators for wanting to keep you using their services instead of some third-party ones. Even if all RCS solutions are not created equal and the fragmentation of standards makes this an inelegant proposition, carriers are moving forward with their implementation.

The saga of RCS on Android started with Google acquiring Jibe, followed by the official launch of RCS support in the Google Messenger app and its first partnership with Sprint in the US, then another collaboration with Rogers in Canada, and now we're seeing it spread to Europe and Asia with Telenor.

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LG teases the G6's UX 6.0: Multi-window support, squares, and rounded corners

LG is good at getting ahead of the leaks. Why would you look for unofficial information when the company itself keeps feeding us more and more details about its upcoming products? Well, you wouldn't, especially when you have it straight from the horse's mouth that the upcoming G6 will have a 5.7" 1440x2880 display at 18:9 ratio and that it will be water-resistant. And today we have another teaser from LG to feast our eyes on.

Given the 18:9 aspect ratio of the screen (which, let's face it, is a bigger fancier way of saying 2:1) and the multi-window capability of Android 7.0 Nougat, the G6 will be able to run apps side-by-side in perfect squares.

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Google's TensorFlow hits v1.0 with upgrades to speed, flexibility, and production-readiness

At the TensorFlow Developer Summit, Google announced that its second-generation machine learning platform has reached the v1.0 milestone. In the time since it went open-source, TensorFlow has helped many professionals in several fields make huge strides in things like language translation, early skin cancer detection, and diabetic blindness prevention.

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Material redesign for YouTube rolling out to more users

Back in April 2016, YouTube began testing a new look on the desktop site. This time, the web interface is heavily influenced by Material Design - something that has been in the works for other Google web apps recently. Now the redesign appears to be rolling out more widely.

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Sprint's HTC One A9 gets its Nougat OTA update

We're finally getting a good, steady stream of Android 7.0 updates for major smartphones. Several months later than we'd like to have them, of course, but such is life in the current world of Android software. Today owners of the HTC A9 on Sprint get a turn, at least according to HTC's official support page. The page says that software update 2.18.651.2 includes an upgrade to Nougat, as well as bringing the core security patch up to January of this year.

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WSJ report: Google and Amazon are hoping to make Home and Alexa into home phones

Quite a lot of us have done away with the landline telephones that used to be a staple of homes in the developed world. A 2013 survey concluded that over 40% of US households had ditched their standard landlines phones, driven by younger users relying exclusively on their cell phones. But according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, both Google and Amazon are looking to revive the landline (well, VOIP line anyway) as a bonus feature in their voice-controlled Wi-Fi speakers, the Google Home and Amazon Echo/Tap/Echo Dot.

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Sony confirms the SmartWatch 3 will not receive Android Wear 2.0

The SmartWatch 3 was Sony's first - and last - attempt at making an Android Wear device. It was a good watch at the time, and still is, but it won't be getting the long-awaited Android Wear 2.0 update. The SW3 was already missing from the list of supported watches, and now Sony has confirmed it.

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