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29

WhatsApp becomes second non-Google app to reach five billion installs on Android

Only a handful of Android applications have reached five billion downloads, with most of them being Google's pre-installed apps. Facebook reached the landmark last year, likely thanks to its partnerships with Samsung and other OEMs, and now Facebook-owned WhatsApp has joined the elite club.

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31

Xbox Console Streaming lets you play any Xbox One game on your Android device (Update: Global expansion)

If you're an Xbox Insider in the Alpha and Alpha Skip-Ahead rings in the US and UK, you can now start testing out Microsoft's Xbox Console Streaming service, which streams any Xbox One game to an Android device. The prerequisites for the service are a bit restrictive, but going through the steps will let you put in some Gear 5 gameplay during your work or school commute.

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29

Your WhatsApp Status feed will remain free of ads, for now

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook has halted its plans to introduce ads in WhatsApp's Status feed. Talk of advertisements in WhatsApp, and specifically interspersed among ephemeral statuses, has been going for over a year, with the service's VP confirming that in October of 2018. But those plans seem to be paused, for now at least.

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66

Spotify swaps like button for album art in the mini player because it hates functionality (Update: New UI fixes it)

Spotify loves messing with its app, and in the latest server-side test, it replaced the like button in the mini player with the song's album art. It looks lovely, but the problem is that it sacrifices function for form.

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45

Microsoft Launcher Preview 6.0 adds landscape and improves dark mode

Since Microsoft released its very own launcher back in 2015, the app's grown quite popular, especially among business users work with Microsoft services. Now in a brand new preview build, Microsoft Launcher gets its biggest upgrade yet with dark mode enhancements, landscape support and more.

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6

The Anker Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30 drops to $153 on Amazon ($117 off)

If your 2020 resolution is to spend less time cleaning, it's time for you to get a robot vacuum; and you're in luck, as the Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30 is on sale at just $153 on Amazon, which is $117 less than usual.

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63

Sonos sues Google for patent infringement, asks for sales ban on almost all Google devices

Amazon and Google's plays for user data have pushed the battle of the virtual assistants into the living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms via the smart speaker. Sonos, which makes a number of audio products compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, feels it has been squeezed by both companies of its intellectual property in the middle of this war. However, The New York Times reports the company has decided to target only Google in two federal lawsuits and has sought sales injunctions for its speakers, smartphones, and laptops.

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7

MediaTek hopes its new chip will bring 5G to the masses

Not long after it revealed its high-end 5G-integrated Dimensity 1000 chipset, MediaTek is now announcing a chip for mid-range phones: the Dimensity 800. Like its bigger brother (and its biggest competitor, Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 765), it packs an integrated 5G modem that claims to offer improved battery live compared to existing external modem solutions. The biggest catch — outside it being a MediaTek product of unknown performance — is the fact that it won't work with the 5G mmWave solutions US carriers are pushing.

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3

TP-Link refreshes its Deco mesh routers with Wi-Fi 6, priced starting $190

Wi-Fi 6 has been around for months, if not years, but we’re yet to see a wave of mass-market routers and mesh systems supporting the latest standard — even Google’s Nest Wifi eschewed it. That is set to change in 2020 as mainstream networking brands like TP-Link are already taking the lead. The company yesterday refreshed its Deco line of mesh routers with three new systems that bring the wireless protocol to more price segments.

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11

Oppo's new mid-range 5G phones are the Reno 3 and Reno3 Pro

After showcasing its works-in-progress during the media rodeo known as Innovation Day, Oppo has decided to kick into gear on 5G with two new mid-range phones featuring two completely different chipsets, but with head-to-head spec sheets. The most apparent gap between the Reno3 and Reno3 Pro, though? The price.

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