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[Deal Alert] Get a free Moto Z Droid or half price Moto Z Droid Force (after Verizon credits) at Best Buy

Motorola took a leap with the Moto Z this year by focusing on the modular accessories known as Mods. That meant a few design sacrifices had to be made, including a small-ish battery on the Moto Z and a non-ergonomic flat back panel. I don't think these phones stand up to the competition at full price, but at half price or free, it's hard to complain. That's the deal at Best Buy right now for the Verizon-branded versions.

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Vizio SmartCast devices now have Google Home compatibility

A little while after LG's announcement that it would add Google Home compatibility to its Music Flow line, Vizio steps up and makes a similar announcement for its SmartCast series of connected speakers, displays, and the like. This will add the strength of voice control to Chromecast-ready devices like the Crave 360 and Pro speakers.

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Google acquires Fabric, a popular mobile developer platform for performance tracking and crash reporting

Ask all of the mobile app developers to name the SDKs and third-party services they're using and the answer you're likely to hear more than any other is Fabric, or possibly Crashlytics (a component of Fabric). Many apps rely on Fabric for crash reporting, performance metrics, and other services that are hard to build in-house, but prove very useful when supporting an app and making business decisions. Fabric announced earlier today that it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Google, leaving behind its parent company Twitter.

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InBrief
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Motorola releases Nougat kernel source code for the Moto G4 and G4 Plus

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Image of unclear provenance shows Galaxy S8 panels with shockingly minimal bezel, rounded display corners

An image published on the Twitter handle @dfordesign appears to show what are two display covers for Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S8 smartphones. The tweet, in Polish, was actually sent out two days ago, but it just now appears to be getting picked up by a small number of blogs. The tweet and subsequent replies from the author do not offer any kind of context for the source of the image, unfortunately.

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Motorola says the unlocked Moto Z will get Nougat in February, Moto Z Play in March

Motorola customers who opted for the unlocked version of the Moto Z, as opposed to the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z Droid models, are feeling a little miffed. Droid owners have been rocking the latest version of Android for months now, but the GSM unlocked variants (which usually get updates faster) haven't had so much as a whiff of Nougat. We covered the story on Android Police yesterday after receiving multiple complaints from our readers. Motorola's response, delivered via Twitter, was less than encouraging.

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NVIDIA pushes minor update to 2017 SHIELD with fix for remote bug

The new SHIELD Android TV has just launched with a smaller chassis, revamped controller, and a few new software tricks. One trick no one much cared for was the one where the remote would just stop working. NVIDIA says it's addressed this bug in the latest update.

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Meizu M5 Note review: Do not buy this phone

It would be understandable if you have never heard of Meizu. While it is one of the top electronics companies in mainland China, the company isn't massively popular outside of the country. The M5 Note is the newest device to come out of Meizu, and like many of its recent phones, is being sold internationally.

From the spec sheet, the M5 Note looks like a solid device. A Mediatek Helio P10 CPU, 1080p LCD screen, at least 3GB of RAM, a massive 4,000mAh battery. The price is perhaps most impressive, costing just 899 CNY for the base model - roughly $131 USD. For comparison, the Moto G4 Play with a Snapdragon 410, 720p display, and 2GB of RAM costs more at its regular price.

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[Updated] Google Maps 9.44 shows parking availability and Atmosphere images [APK Download]

Back in August, Cody found strings in his teardown of Google Maps v9.34 beta that hinted at an upcoming display of parking difficulty. The option may have crept up for some users since then, but now we have our first glance into how the feature will work since it has started showing up for more is live for users on Maps v9.44 beta.

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Top Features start showing up for more users on the Play Store

Google always seems to be tweaking reviews in the Play Store, changing how they're presented to users and trying to make it easier to see how an app/game fares and how users perceive it. We've been seeing Review Highlights, detailed Feature Ratings for games that divide the rating by controls, gameplay, and graphics, and more. One of the tweaks is Top Features, a list of the best features a given app has, approved by users who give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.

Top Features started showing up back in August of 2016, but it seemed to be limited to certain users before (mostly in the US from our anecdotal evidence).

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