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Amazon announces cheaper and better $49.99 Echo Dot, will issue $10 Alexa Shopping credits to first-gen owners who order

Amazon's Echo has been a surprising hit product for smart home integration and its Alexa feature-rich Assistant has definitely grown since its introduction to become more capable and more interesting. Today, along with the announcement that the Echo is coming to the UK and Germany and is now available in white, Amazon has unveiled a new Echo Dot, the tiny puck version of the Echo.

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Google says Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE Nougat updates will be rolling out "in the coming weeks"

Android 7.0 Nougat was officially released over three weeks ago, and people instantly went insane over the lack of any factory or OTA images available for the Nexus 6 (but not so much for the Nexus 9 LTE, since they didn't sell too many). We reached out to Google, and it seems like you guys are gonna have to wait for just a few more weeks.

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Amazon bringing Echo to the UK and Germany this fall, white model coming to the US

Echo! Echo! Echo! This sound reverberated around the UK and Germany (sorry, Germans, I'm unsure what 'echo' is in German) as Amazon announced it would be releasing its Echo speaker in the two countries this fall, along with a new white model that will also be coming to the US.

For the UK release, Alexa has some new skills, partnering with world-renowned cook and school dinner ruiner Jamie Oliver, Sky Sports, National Rail, The Telegraph, The Guardian, the BBC, Uber, and Spotify. Want to know the train times for your trip? Ask Alexa, she'll tell you. Want a fantastic recipe for your hot date?

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Sony's SRS-X77, X88, and X99 Cast-enabled speakers get firmware update with Multi-Room, Hi-Fi Audio, and Mirroring

Sony was one of the first companies to offer Cast-enabled speakers. Instead of buying a regular speaker and then plugging in a Chromecast Audio, you could save on power outlets and wires and just grab one with Google Cast capabilities built right in. The problem with these speakers, as some of you have discovered, is that their software updates seem to be totally reliant on the manufacturer.

So when Google's own Chromecast Audio got an update to support Hi-Fi audio and multi-room (aka grouping) back in December of last year, owners of some of these speakers had to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait a bit more to get the same functionality on their own speakers.

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Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, the first phone with integrated Project Tango, delayed to "fall"

Google's Project Tango, that awesome tech that allows a gadget to map out three-dimensional spaces, is really cool. But it's taking its damn sweet time getting here: Tango was first announced over two years ago and offered as a developer kit tablet last summer, and the first Tango-capable smartphone was supposed to arrive from Lenovo this month. That seems less than likely now - the store page for the Phab 2 Pro has been adjusted from "coming this summer" to "coming this fall."

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YouTube is testing new Community feature for supplementary content

I'll admit, YouTube has added some strange features lately, and at first glance this seemed like yet another useless addition. Starting with a few select channels, a new 'Community' tab will appear on the channel's profile, both on mobile apps and the desktop site. This essentially works like a social feed for the channel, allowing content creators to share text, images, GIFs, livestreams, and more straight through the YouTube app. You can even choose to receive push notifications for Community posts.

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CyanogenMod 13 builds are ready for the SHIELD Tablet, Moto X 2013, Aquaris M5, and the Xperia Z, ZR, and ZL

The lads and lasses on the open source CyanogenMod Team continue to bring their Android nightly ROMs to phones and tablets that have long been abandoned by uncaring manufacturers. This week a handful of new devices get builds for CM13, based on code from Android 6.0. All of them are nightlies (so possibly not ready for primetime), but I'll bet their respective users are happy to get the attention anyway. Here they are:

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New OTAs for the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Tablet K1 offer July security patches and bug fixes

NVIDIA is pretty good about regular updates for its SHIELD line, and the Tablet twins are the recipients of the latest bumps. Update version 4.3 for the original SHIELD Tablet (the one with the stylus) and 1.4 for the newer SHIELD Tablet K1 are basically identical, and in both cases the biggest addition is an update to Android 6.0 that brings the security patches to July of this year. The rest of the changes are pretty minor bug fixes and other small adjustments:

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Everybody calm down: that Brooklyn Note7 explosion reported by the NY Post was actually a Galaxy Core Prime

There's no denying that the Galaxy Note 7 recall is a big deal, but as with any big story, a little caution is called for when reporting on it. There are in fact other things that can catch fire besides the Note 7, including - gasp! - other smartphones. Such is the case with one of the more dramatic reports of a Galaxy Note 7 malfunction. As it turns out this New York Post article about a 6-year-old injured by an exploding Note 7 (which still hasn't been updated or corrected (update: see below)) is in fact about a Galaxy Core Prime, an entirely different Samsung phone model.

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LG, the V20 is your best chance for smartphone success in years - don’t screw it up

LG and the V20 could hardly have hoped for a more fortuitous turn of events in recent weeks. Samsung’s Note7 has been globally recalled for a serious battery defect, and replacement shipments are nowhere to be seen. The V20, by contrast, offers an increasingly rare removable battery. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone 7 duo have been unveiled without a headphone jack. The V20 proudly touts its high-end wired audio capabilities as being among the best in the smartphone world. It may be of little consequence that it will likely be the first, or at least technically first, phone to ship with Android 7.0 - but of much greater import is the fact that it will be available on all four major US carriers.

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