Android Police

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The first Android 8.1 beta is rolling out to the Essential Phone

Essential launched its first phone last year with Nougat, but it promised a quick update to Oreo. Well, sort of quick. We're still waiting for the final update, and the company recently decided to skip 8.0 altogether. Sure enough, the first Android 8.1 beta is rolling out as an OTA.

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Android 8.0 Oreo supposedly released for Sprint HTC 10, but no one has received it

Soon after Android 8.0 Oreo was released, HTC promised the update would come to its 2016 flagship, the HTC 10. Oreo for the unlocked model finally arrived earlier this month, but started causing issues for owners, and it was later pulled and replaced with a new build. The Sprint carrier model is supposedly next to get the update, but no one actually has it.

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Sony possibly making last-minute changes to upcoming flagship

Sony has maintained mostly the same design on its smartphones for years - a blocky shape, usually with a side fingerprint sensor and large bezels. While there are plenty of people content with that aesthetic (they are very vocal in our comments), there's no denying Sony's lineup is starting to look a bit dated, with 18:9 screens and small bezels becoming more common.

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Facebook's Messenger Kids app comes to the Play Store

Facebook has to tread carefully when it comes to making products and services for kids under the age of 13. However, it's not like it's hard for kids to lie about their age to gain access to all the wonderful and unspeakably terrible things on the internet. If kids are going to be sending messages over the internet, parents might want to give the child-friendly Messenger Kids a shot. It's launching on Android today with some special Valentine's Day features.

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InBrief
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[Update: It's back] Telegram X just disappeared from the Play Store

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Celebrate Valentine's Day with 45 temporarily free and 85 on-sale apps

Happy Valentine's Day, to those of you who care. How fortunate for us that the holiday fell on Wednesday, so that I can bring you all another round of app sales to celebrate. Today is substantially larger than Monday's list, so get ready to dive in. As always, the times listed on these apps and games are accurate at time of writing.

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[Update: LineageOS version also live] Android x86 7.1 R1 now available, brings Nougat to your PC

It has been a very long time since we last covered Android x86, but the project is still alive and kicking. If you're not familiar with it, Android x86 is a port of Android to x86-based PCs and Macs, with almost no changes to the interface (for better or for worse). The first stable port of Android 7.1 has just been released, so you can enjoy Nougat on your PC or virtual machine of choice.

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Samsung releases four new Galaxy S9 teaser videos focusing on its 'reimagined' camera

As we approach the February 25th launch of the Samsung Galaxy S9, it's become apparent that the USP for the Korean company's latest flagship will be its "reimagined" camera(s). Perhaps that's because there's little else to focus on in an iterative update with few outward-facing improvements that the marketing department can really do anything with. There is a chance, however, that there will be some truly exciting enhancements that could see the camera on new devices compete with the Pixels and iPhones of this world.

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Xiaomi announces the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro for India

Chinese OEM Xiaomi today announced two new mid-range devices for the Indian market. The Redmi Note 5 is essentially a rebranded Redmi 5 Plus, launched at the end of last year, and the Pro variant has the same 5.99" display but adds a dual camera module, a slightly more powerful processor, and a 6GB RAM option. Let's take a look at what each phone has to offer.

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Google Family Link is rolling out to Canada this week

It baffles me that something as important as parental controls isn't built into Android and that Google's solution for the problem, Family Link, was only officially released last year and is still limited to countries you can count on one hand: US, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and now Canada is joining the fold. There must be a legal or technical limitation why this isn't enabled worldwide, but I can't for the life of me guess what it is.

But I digress. If you're a parent in Canada with children under the age of 13, you can now manage their Android device, account, and usage through Family Link.

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