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AOSP changelogs posted for the Pixel versions of Android 7.1 Nougat

Android 7.1 is upon us – at least it is if you count the oddball mix-and-match of having an "official" version of 7.1 on Pixel phones and a "developer preview" for a few other Nexus devices. Now that the Pixels are out, source code has also been released for Android 7.1.0 on AOSP. It comes as little surprise that we don't have an official release of the 7.1.1 source code that went out to Nexus devices since they are still considered developer previews, but they're probably not terribly different. So now it's time to dig through for some interesting and unusual hints about what unusual changes have been made in this version that we didn't already know about.

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The 5 worst things about the Google Pixel and Pixel XL

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are great phones (here are some great things about them). But there are things about it that are... not as great. Let's run through our top (bottom?) five.

#1 They're really expensive

$650 - that's the starting price of the Google Pixel. It is also, you'll note, the starting price of the iPhone 7. In fact, every model of the Pixel and Pixel XL matches exactly the MSRP of its Apple competitor.

  • Pixel 32GB, iPhone 7 32GB: $649
  • Pixel 128GB, iPhone 7 128GB: $749
  • Pixel XL 32GB, iPhone 7 Plus 32GB: $769
  • Pixel XL 128GB, iPhone 7 Plus 128GB: $869

The only difference is that Google doesn't offer a 256GB SKU.

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PSA: You can disable the recommended articles on Chrome 54's New Tab page

The recent Chrome 54 release brought an updated New Tab screen, which replaces the Bookmarks and Recent tabs buttons at the bottom with an 'Articles for you' section. I was not a fan of that change, and judging by some of the comments on that post, neither were most of you. Thankfully, tipster Matt informed us that this can be easily disabled.

To turn off this feature, simply set the two flags below to Disabled. If you're not familiar with Chrome flags, just copy and paste the below links into Chrome, tap the highlighted dropdown menu, and tap 'Disabled.'

Once you restart the Chrome browser, the recommended articles should be gone.

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Android Pay is getting support for Visa Checkout and MasterPass, Samsung Pay gets MasterPass

Android Pay is most commonly used to pay for things in real life via NFC technology, but from the start Google aimed to make it compatible with online payment systems. That hasn't really caught on, but a new partnership with Visa and MasterCard could help. Not to be left behind, Samsung Pay is also working with MasterCard.

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[Deal Alert] 16GB Moto G4 with lockscreen offers on sale for $119.99 ($30 off) for Amazon Prime members

Cheap and good. In the tech world, finding a device with both those attributes can be difficult. The Moto G4 is one of those rare devices that is both inexpensive and satisfying. Ryan called it the best budget phone you can buy in his review and it's easy to see why – the specs of this device are top-notch for the price. 

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Galaxy Tab A 10.1" with embedded S Pen comes to the US on October 28 for $349.99

Hey kids, are you ready for another variant of another Samsung Galaxy Tab? *Deafening cheers* Alright, here we go. Today Samsung has announced a new version of the Galaxy Tab A 10.1" for the US Market, but it made one small modification: an added S Pen. Insert mean joke about Samsung having too many S Pens lying around after the Note 7 debacle and nowhere to sell them now.

The new Galaxy Tab A 10.1" has much of the same specs of the original tablet that was announced back in May in Germany and marketed for families with children. Like the name suggests, the screen is a 10.1" TFT LCD with a 1920 x 1200 resolution.

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Evo is a perfectly matching portable battery base for Amazon's Echo Dot

If you're still not sure about Google's new Home intelligent voice interface, then you may want to stick with something that works, and Amazon's Echo family of devices has proven that it does indeed work. One member of this family and a super cheap way to get into home assistants is the Echo Dot, a tiny puck-like gadget that you can spread around the house to listen to your commands and execute them. The second generation Dot was just released for $49.99, putting it almost in impulse-buy territory.

However, there's one lacking option with the Dot: portability. Sure, there's the larger Echo Tap which is battery-operated, but it requires you to tap the microphone each time you want to issue a command, negating the convenience factor of using Echo and Alexa's skills and commands.

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Samsung will offer South Korean Note7 owners a chance to buy Note8 or S8 at half price

As part of Samsung's continued efforts to make amends with disappointed customers, the company is offering a big incentive to South Korean Note7 owners to stick with the brand. Those who exchange a defective Note7 for a Galaxy S7 will be able to trade the S7 in and get a Note8 or S8 when those phones come out; the total price paid by the customers will be half of the price of the S7 model they choose, with no charge for upgrading.

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Google Photos now has albums included in search results

Google Photos is great (speaking personally, it's one of my favorite Google products), but there's always been one thing wrong with it: albums were not included in search results. Say I search for "cats" (I have a lot of photos of my cats). The photos in the albums would be included, as well as items found by object recognition, but the album with my cat photos would not be included. Google has now fixed this anomaly, causing the album itself to be included.

After force closing the Photos app and clearing data, this comes up on my Nexus 6P. It's pretty much that - if you search, Google will bring up relevant albums as well as relevant photos.

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Xiaomi Mi Box Review: the best deal around for Android TV... for what it's worth

There's a race to the bottom in the home entertainment world, created by the lower pricing for set-top boxes, the near ubiquity of built-in "smart" features for new televisions, and not least, Google's own low-priced efforts with the Chromecast. Compared to the rock-bottom pricing of gadgets like the Chromecast, the Amazon Fire TV Stick, and the market-dominating Roku boxes, Android TV is in a pickle. Stand-alone ATV units start at around $100, which is more expensive than the Roku you might buy (or the apps that come free with your TV), and less expensive than the home game console you might already have.

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