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Allo's weird SMS support explained, and other answers

The burning question on everyone's mind when Allo was released - "can you send SMS?" The answer, as seemingly common with Google products, is "it's complicated." Allo-w me to explain the answer, and more of Allo's quirky behavior, below.

What happens when I send a text to someone without Allo?

When you tap a contact that has not yet registered for Google Allo, you are presented with the above message warning that you are sending messages through SMS. When you send a message, the recipient receives the following text from a random five-digit number (at least in my tests):

[Your full name] ([Your phone number]) added you on Google Allo to chat.

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Editorial: Google Allo looks a lot like WhatsApp, not Hangouts, and that's not necessarily a bad thing

... and a lot like Telegram. And Facebook Messenger. And plenty of other messaging apps too. But enumerating those would make for a very long title so I had to restrict it to the most popular messenger out there.

Google Allo, unlike its sister app, Duo, has its work cut out for it. While Duo doesn't have a clear competitor in the simple one-on-one mobile messaging field, especially on Android, Allo faces a roadblock of established opponents that have had years to develop their featureset, userbase, and public image. On the one hand, this gives Allo the opportunity to start fresh without any unnecessary remnants that other apps and services carry because of their older origins and the room to learn from what has and hasn't worked for them, but on the other hand, it also puts Allo at the very bottom of a very steep hill.

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Allo is finally rolling out in the Play Store [APK Download]

Google said Allo would be available at some point during the summer, and it's getting in right under the wire. The new chat application is now official, and it's starting to pop up in the Play Store for download. Don't fret if it's not showing up for you quite yet; we have the APK ready for download.

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Samsung now has over 500,000 Galaxy Note7 replacements in the US, will be available tomorrow

Although the Galaxy Note7's tendency to explode has been a disaster for Samsung, it's hard to deny that they're doing a good job with damage control. A few days ago, the Korean company promised that replacement devices would be available no later than September 21st. Tomorrow's the 21st, so Samsung's evidently kept their word.

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Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Tab S updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow

I know what you're thinking. "Haha, it finally got a Marshmallow update when Nougat is out, Samsung sucks." But before you go into the comments and trumpet about how your Nexus 9 already has Nougat, keep in mind that this is a Samsung tablet, from 2014, on Verizon, that is being updated. If any of those alone were true, this would be newsworthy.

The latest update for Verizon's Galaxy Tab S, identified as MMB29M.T807VVRU1CPG6, brings the device up to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This includes all the features that normally come along with Marshmallow, such as Now on Tap (now under a different name), Doze, permissions control, and more.

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The Android version of Lenovo's funky Yoga Book convertible is up for pre-order for $500

Lenovo turned a lot of heads when it announced its latest Yoga design, the Yoga Book. It's essentially a convertible laptop with a fold-back screen, complete with the Yoga line's well-regarded watch band hinge. But the Yoga Book has an ace up its sleeve: instead of a conventional keyboard, it uses a gigantic touch-sensitive panel that includes a dedicated keyboard mode, with virtual backlit "keys" that can be activated at a touch. Windows and Android versions are being made, and the latter is now up for pre-order.

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Pixel Launcher Sneak Peek Part 1: Google's new circular launcher icons [APK Teardown]

If there is anything you can count on to remain the same in Android, it's that Google is continually looking to change it. The visual style of the world's leading mobile operating system is updated every year as new versions are released, but it's with Google's own apps that there are almost constant shifts in what we're seeing. As we all know, Android 7.1 is in the works, and it's expected to be released alongside the upcoming Pixel and Pixel XL phones, which themselves will include a brand new (and much leaked) Pixel Launcher. For its latest daring design move, Google appears to be adopting a new look for the home screen, and it's all about circles.

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New Google app beta adds 'In Apps' home screen shortcut

The latest version of Google's Android app has done away with the Google Now branding, but there's something else lurking inside v6.5. That "In Apps" feature that was first officially announced a few weeks ago and mentioned alongside the LG V20 unveiling has showed up. As the name implies, it lets you search inside your apps more easily.

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BlackBerry accidentally publishes details about DTEK60, could be based on unannounced, upgraded Alcatel Idol 4S

Earlier this year, BlackBerry released the DTEK50, a rebadged Alcatel Idol 4 with some extra BlackBerry security software on it. That phone didn't fare too well with critics. Now, the security-crazy company has mistakenly published the specs of the DTEK60, which looks to be a plus-sized, upgraded DTEK50. For what it's worth, the URL of the DTEK60's specifications page includes "donotpublish.html".

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Exclusive: Google may finally be giving Android a reboot button on the upcoming Pixel phones

You asked for it. You've asked for years. And while manufacturers like Samsung and LG have long obliged us, Google has refused. With the coming of the Pixel phones, we're starting over - literally. Google may finally, thankfully, mercifully be adding a reboot button to the power menu on its new smartphones, which will run Android 7.1 out of the box. Praise be unto whoever achieved this (Artem will be here shortly to claim it was him which, frankly, it very possibly was - I was there when he pleaded for it at I/O).

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