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Sony adding Google Assistant support to headphones and earphones via software update

While Sony just announced a bunch of new headphones and speakers, some older Sony products are getting Google Assistant added via a forthcoming firmware update. As these headphones do not have independent Wi-Fi connections, Assistant availability depends on pairing the headphones with a phone.

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Samsung's foldable smartphone could definitely maybe launch in December 2018

We've been hearing about Samsung's smartphone with a foldable screen for what seems like an eternity, but it looks like we'll have to wait a little longer to finally see the thing. Flexible screens have been demoed at trade shows for years, but getting them into a production-ready phone is another matter entirely. Samsung had seemed the most likely to make this dream a reality, but it must be as hard to do as it sounds as the project keeps getting put back.

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InBrief
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Netflix bringing HDR10 and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 support to Razer Phone

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Sony introduces new Bluetooth sound bars, speakers, and headphones

Sony has announced a total of eight new Bluetooth connectable audio devices at CES. Of these, three are extra bass portable speakers, three are sports headphones, and two are soundbars. Naturally, the Japanese electronics giant has a few tricks to show off for extra visibility. Simply hearing your music is clearly not enough in 2018.

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BlackBerry Motion is coming to the US, unlocked for $449 starting January 12

BlackBerry announced the all-touch Motion three months ago for a number of countries around the world, but today at CES it's finally giving the phone a proper US launch. Starting January 12th, you'll be able to order the Snapdragon 625-powered Motion from Amazon or Best Buy here in America for $449.

Featuring IP67 ruggedization, Android 7.1 (Oreo will come in Q2, says BlackBerry), a 5.5" 1080p display, and a 4000mAh battery, the Motion is set to do battle most obviously with Motorola's Z2 Play here in the States. The phone runs a pretty lightly skinned version of Android 7.1 with a good handful of BlackBerry software tweaks, many of which BlackBerry says will be trickling down to the KeyOne.

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TCL previews the new Alcatel series 1, 3, and 5

TCL briefly showed off its new line of Alcatel devices at CES. Simply named the 1-, 3-, and 5-series, each product line constitutes a portfolio that brings fingerprint sensors, 18:9 displays, and "flagship design" to devices that hit three distinct price points.

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You will soon be able to control your Kia vehicle with Google Assistant

You can already control a few car brands with Google Assistant and Google Home (Hyundai and its Blue Link come to mind), and now Kia is joining the ranks. The car manufacturer announced at CES that the Assistant will be compatible with its UVO infotainment system, through UVO Agent, which will allow users to execute some remote functions on their vehicle by talking to Google Assistant.

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JBL Link View is the second Google Assistant smart display with 2 x 10W speakers

After months of speculations on Cody's part, the Assistant devices known under the "Quartz" codename were announced yesterday as smart displays and Lenovo unveiled the first one of the range. Google said that other companies were on board too, like LG and Sony, but another one is now also known: it's the JBL Link View.

JBL already has a few Google Assistant speakers in the Link portfolio, and the View is joining them with not only 2 x 10 W speakers and a passive radiator, but also an 8" touchscreen display that can show all the Assistant interactions like weather, calendar, cooking and recipes, as well as stream YouTube videos and make Duo video calls (there's a 5MP cam on the front).

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Google Assistant gets a proper web directory for all the possible integrations and services

One of our pet peeves at Android Police lately (mostly mine and Artem's) has been the lack of a proper Google Assistant directory on the web. Amazon simply has its Alexa skills searchable from its site, like you would for any product or app or book, but to see if Assistant supports a certain product you had to have a phone/tablet with Assistant enabled, browse to the slightly hidden Explore section which is accessible from the blue envelope thing on the top right of the Assistant screen, and just then you could either search or use the trending and new sections.

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Samsung will consolidate all its smart devices under the SmartThings app with a huge upcoming overhaul in Q1 2018

This is great news. No, scratch that. This is fantastic news. Samsung is doing the right thing, finally.

If you've bought into the company's smart home efforts previously, you may have noticed a disparate selection of apps to control each one, like Samsung Connect, Samsung Smart Home, and SmartThings. This made no sense except than to show clearly how separate each department is inside the company. But that's no more. As announced at CES, Samsung plans to consolidate "more than 40 apps, including Samsung Connect, (...) into the SmartThings app." 40 apps, yikes... and yes!

But there's more good news for those of you who joined in the Samsung / SmartThings ecosystem.

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