Android Police

Europe

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Google is 21 today: Celebrate with 21% off Google Store purchases in Europe

For younger folks, it's hard to believe that there was ever a world without Google. Finding something on the internet has always been synonymous with Google for me, since I'm a little older than the search engine itself. But boy, Google had much busier teenage years than me as it grew into one of the world's biggest corporations and even started selling its own hardware. Today, Google turns 21, as it points out in the latest doodle, which means it can now legally drink in its home nation.

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23

Fairphone 3 promises modularity and sustainability in a €450 mid-ranger

Cell phone manufacturers are battling to design aesthetically pleasing phones with impressive performance, but often neglect their products' repairability and impact on the planet. Fairphone, on the other hand, has been producing handsets that are sustainable and produced ethically. Now, nearly three years after its second handset's release, the company has just announced the Fairphone 3, a modular mid-range phone built with sustainability in mind.

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12

Samsung and Xiaomi capitalize on Huawei's woes to increase smartphone market share in Europe

The European smartphone market is incredibly fast-moving — brand loyalty isn't high, especially with users of lower-end devices. When you compare this year's second financial quarter with the same period from last year, you can see how quickly things change. Samsung and Xiaomi are clear winners in Q2 2019 with 20% and 48% annual growth respectively, while Apple, Huawei, and HMD Global (Nokia) market shares shrank by at least 16%.

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28

HTC halts phone sales in United Kingdom over patent dispute

HTC just can't catch a break. The company has been bleeding money for years, and even though it hasn't released a new flagship phone in some time, it's also struggling to deliver software updates to its existing lineup. HTC is now caught up in a patent dispute, causing all of its phones to be pulled from sale in the United Kingdom.

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70

Google turns EU antitrust ruling into profit: Search providers will pay to be featured as default choice on Android

Google's ongoing European saga just saw a new development. After the record $5 billion antitrust fine issued by the European Commission last year, the company had to implement new screens to ask users if they wanted additional browsers and search engines on their devices, and now it's taking that one step further by making the search engine choice a default. However, as would any for-profit company do, it's using this as an opportunity to charge search providers that want to be featured.

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39

Google halts Assistant recording transcription in the EU for at least three months

Just a few weeks ago, a Belgian news service claimed Google was eavesdropping on users by listening to their private conversations. The company uses human employees to transcribe Assistant voice recordings to help it better understand what they're saying, and it turned out that one of these contractors leaked the material to the press. The controversy has led the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HmbBfDI) to start a procedure prohibiting Google from continuing to manually audit these recordings.

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11

[Update: Japanese too] Smart Clocks gain support for French and German, as Lenovo expands sales

With its Smart Clock, Lenovo introduced a new type of Asssitant-enabled smart display. Unfortunately, it could only speak English when it came out, as it runs off a custom Android Things platform, which is different from the one used by Lenovo Smart Displays and Nest Hubs. However, Google just updated its official Assistant support pages to indicate the device now supports French and German.

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5

Samsung SmartThings gaining support for EU plugs in preparation for German launch

Samsung SmartThings is a versatile smart home platform with one crucial caveat: It only supports US and UK plugs at the moment, locking out many interested parties in countries with different wiring. This is about to change. In preparation for IFA in Berlin, Samsung announced on Wednesday that it's bringing SmartThings devices to Germany this September. With the country using EU wall plugs, this should allow people based in other countries with these sockets to import them, too, and use them without adaptors.

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InBrief
1

The LG V50's bootloader will be unlockable in Europe

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Google Pay Send shutting down P2P transfers in the UK, but possible replacement in the works

While Google Pay lets you buy items in stores with your phone, Google Pay Send is more similar to Venmo or PayPal it allows you to send money to other Google users with just a few taps. The latter service was only available in three countries, and that will soon drop to two.

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