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34

Instagram Reels officially goes global to face off against TikTok

Instagram, and then all of Facebook, famously and shamelessly copied the feature that made Snapchat stand out of the crowd: Stories. Now, Instagram is turning its attention toward the latest hot social media platform, TikTok, and has released its own take on it called Reels. The feature, which has been in testing since at least November and seeded to Brazil, is now available globally.

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28

Samsung One UI 3 — based on Android 11 — is now in pre-beta

Samsung may have tainted its name forever with the bleepity bloops of Touchwiz, but these days the company's One UI skin is much more acceptable. One UI 2.5 is the latest major release of the Android skin, but Samsung is already beginning to test the next iteration, One UI 3, with developers ahead of a public beta release, based on Android 11.

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24

Microsoft announces new Your Phone Android app streaming with Samsung devices

Microsoft's Your Phone application enables Android users to take advantage of features like phone calling and controlling music playback right from a PC. In today's Galaxy Unpacked event, Microsoft and Samsung announced a few Samsung-specific improvements to the Your Phone app and teased that the capability to run multiple apps at once will be coming later this year.

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37

Virginia is the first state to launch a COVID-19 contact tracing app using Google and Apple's API

The COVID-19 pandemic doesn't seem like it'll be going away any time soon. In order to help slow the spread of the virus and alert those who come into contact with infected individuals, Google and Apple worked together to develop a contact tracing system system. But the API doesn't do much good unless apps take advantage of it. Now it looks like Virginia has become the first US state do so with its new app COVIDWISE.

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3

Twitter finally gets around to patching Android app security hole... 22 months later

Twitter has patched its app from a vulnerability within Android that could let a malicious app siphon users' private date — including their direct messages — while bypassing system permissions. Every Twitter for Android user was notified about the security hole which affects users on versions 8 Oreo and 9 Pie.

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23

India's app bans extend to include more from Xiaomi and Baidu

Amidst rising tensions between the two countries, the government of India banned 59 apps (like TikTok!) that originated from China in June. The next month, the country announced an additional 47 more apps that were blocked. Now it looks like at least a few more have been added to the banned list, including apps from Xiaomi and Baidu.

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25

New Huawei Mate 40 Pro renders reveal more about the upcoming flagship line

Huawei's recent restrictions in the US may still be a problem, but the Chinese company is nevertheless now the biggest smartphone maker in the world. Its flagship device, the Mate 30, was released last year, but you couldn't run Google apps on it. Now Huawei is gearing up to launch the Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro, as CAD renders and a video have hit the web.

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2

Microsoft Office file editing coming soon to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps

11

Tasker v5.9.3 adds support for all your phone's sensors, plus a Contact Via App action, custom DND settings, and more

Tasker is the Swiss Army knife of Android power users. The app can automate basically anything, and in the right hands, it's a stupendously powerful tool. And today's v5.9.3 update has made it just a little bit more powerful. But don't let that tiny number change fool you, there's more than just bug fixes here. This latest version now supports any sensor on your device, works with contacts in third-party apps, gives you full Do Not Disturb control, and lets you send an unlimited number of variables between tasks, among literal piles of other changes.

At this point, Tasker is almost its own operating system.

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26

Samsung Galaxy A51 5G going on sale in the US this week, A71 5G now available unlocked

If you took a look at today's Unpacked announcements and found yourself sweating at how expensive those phones are, Samsung wants you to know that it's got you covered with 5G phones that don't break the bank. We actually saw a 4G version of the Galaxy A51 come out a few months ago with the promise of a 5G version later on in the summer. Well, that time has come.

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