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Huawei executive confirms company passed on chance to produce Google's Pixel phones

According to German blog WinFuture, VP of Huawei Consumer Business Group Colin Giles confirmed on the record that the company passed on a chance to be the manufacturer of the Google Pixel. The reason, according to Giles, was as we reported a little over a month ago: branding.

Huawei had no desire to go back to making phones for someone else, and Google didn't want a manufacturing partner's trademark featured anywhere on the Pixels or in their marketing. So, a potentially multi-year smartphone partnership that started with the Nexus 6P instead ended there. What could have been will likely remain a mystery - it's not even clear if Google's plans for the Pixel phones had fully materialized during negotiations with Huawei, or if the resultant decision to go with HTC may have led to larger strategy changes for the products.

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Google posts video showing how to set up Wifi, ahead of shipping in December

Google told us at its event in October that the company's new router, the Wifi, would be available to order some time in November and would then ship in December. Right on cue, an unlisted video has appeared showing how to set up your brand new router.

Setup is reasonably straightforward, from the looks of things: plug in the USB-C cable for power and ethernet to your existing modem, then wait for it to flash blue, at which point the app can be used to configure it. To do this, scan the QR code on the bottom of the router, then wait for the app to do its thing.

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Samsung acquiring Harman for $8 billion in cash to beef up connected car tech

You have almost certainly heard the name Harman when it comes to audio products, but the company has spent the last few years getting big into automotive technology as well. That's what piqued Samsung's interest in the company, and now the Korean tech giant is putting a lot of cash on the table to become a player in connected car tech. The $8 billion deal will be Samsung's biggest acquisition to date when it closes.

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[Deal Alert] Samsung SmartThings Hub v2 only $50 ($50 off) on Amazon

Samsung's SmartThings is one of the most popular smart home product lines. The company has developed outlets, light bulbs, sensors, and more all designed to work seamlessly together. Tying everything together is the SmartThings Hub, which acts as the bridge between your smart devices and your home's internet connection. Now you can get the second-generation SmartThings Hub (the latest model) for $50 on Amazon, half off the original $100 price tag.

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Play Store search results revamped for some users, with new info card for top result

It might be time to name this month "Play Store Month." In just November alone, a new trending section, a revamped UI, Netbanking support for India, and various tweaks to installing applications have all made appearances for some users. The latest change is to the Play Store's search results, which have the ironic reputation of being terrible - despite Google having a world-famous search engine.

This change appears to be rolled out to many more users than the previous tweaks (judging by the amount of tips we received), but still hasn't gone live for everyone.

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[Deal Alert] Moto 360 Sport is down to $119.99 on DailySteals

The Moto 360 Sport has plummeted in price since it was released in January. The original $299 asking price was just a bit too high for most consumers, and just four months later, it was removed from the Google Store. The price has only dropped since then, with the watch currently going for $119 at DailySteals.

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Ambi-Turner gives Pixel owners the ambient notification powers they've been missing

Google giveth, and Google taketh away. Nexus/Pixel buyers know this too well - from little-used features like lockscreen widgets to more interesting fare like wireless charging, a lot of things have showed up in one Nexus phone only to disappear in the next. The Pixel and Pixel XL, for example, are missing some of the ambient notification tools that debuted with the Nexus 6. But as usual, there's a developer willing to fill in the gap. Check out Ambi-Turner if you want some of those features back.

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OnePlus 3 will get Nougat community build this month, final version by end of 2016

You may recall the outcry from OnePlus fans when it took until June for the OnePlus 2 to get a proper Marshmallow update. The company's software team has undergone some changes since then, and apparently that means updates are back on track. OP says Nougat will come to the OnePlus 3 as a community build in the next few weeks, and a final build will come out by the end of the year.

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There are 2 Billion active Chrome browsers across mobile and desktop

Chrome is installed by default on all Android devices that come from Google's partners as well as all Chromebook computers. That probably accounts to a lot of devices, without taking into consideration all the Chrome browsers that users choose to install on their PCs and Macs. So it's not hard to see how the browser could now be running on billions of phones and desktops and actively used on most of them.

Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Chrome's VP Product Management at Google, tweeted today an interesting figure: there are 2 billion active Chrome browsers across mobile and desktop. Rahul doesn't explain what exactly constitutes an "active browser," and over which period of time it had to be used to count, but it's an important stat nonetheless.

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HTC Bolt with Android Nougat announced for Sprint's LTE Plus network, available today for $25/month

Usain Bolt's branding on the new HTC Bolt should be enough indication to you that Sprint is marketing this new smartphone for its speed. But as the geeks that we are, we've probably jumped to the conclusion that we're talking about the processor, except that nope. This is Sprint's fastest smartphone yet, if we're only talking about its network capabilities. The Bolt is the first device to support Sprint's LTE Plus three-channel carrier aggregation, which is already live in Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Cleveland, and Columbus.

LTE speeds aside, the Bolt is a mid to high-end smartphone. The entire device is made of glass and metal with a 5.5" Quad HD Super LCD 3 display on the front covered with curved-edge Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

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