Android Police

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10 Android 10 features to look for when your phone gets updated

Android 10 has already arrived on some phones and tablets, including Samsung's Galaxy S/Note series, Google Pixel devices, OnePlus phones, and more. As with previous big Android updates, we'll continue to see a trickle to more models over the coming months.

Many of Android 10's most important changes are under the hood, or aren't as apparent as a full-on interface redesign, so you'd be forgiven for not noticing every new feature on your own. That's why we're going over the most important features here, and how they can make your smartphone or tablet better than ever.

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0

24 temporarily free and 33 on-sale apps and games for Friday

Welcome to Friday, everyone. The end of the week is finally here, so it's time to celebrate by exploring the latest sales available on the Google Play Store. As always, I've highlighted the interesting titles in bold, and I'm glad to report that there are more than a few high-quality games available in today's list, such as Slayaway Camp, Distraint 2, Beholder, and three separate Pac-Man titles. So without further ado, here are 24 temporarily free and 33 on-sale apps and games for the end of the week.

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3

IFTTT now works with 12 new services including Nuki's smart intercom opener, but loses support for 11 others

If you're unfamiliar with If This Then That, more commonly known as IFTTT, it's one of the best ways to automatize tasks and connect online services and smart home devices with each other. Even though many products can already intercommunicate, IFTTT lets you customize this and integrate personal triggers, without going through complex integration processes. The platform is constantly updated to support new applets, but also removes a few ones. Since our coverage in October, there have been a few changes we've listed below:

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74

Exclusive: Google is working to bring official Steam support to Chrome OS

Last week in Las Vegas while at CES, I spoke with Kan Liu, Director of Product Management for Google's Chrome OS. In a wide-ranging discussion about the Chrome platform and ecosystem, Liu dropped something of a bombshell on me: the Chrome team is working—very possibly in cooperation with Valve—to bring Steam to Chromebooks.

Liu declined to provide a timeline for the project, but did confirm it would be enabled by Chrome OS's Linux compatibility. The Steam client would, presumably, run inside Linux on Chrome—a platform for which it is already available. Liu implied, though would not directly confirm, that Google was working in direct cooperation with Valve on this project.

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25

PinePhone's Linux and privacy-centric $150 smartphone begins shipping to early adopters

 

PINE64, a company that embraces an open and community-driven platform for hardware and software, has begun shipping its first batch of PinePhones, the $150 "BraveHeart" editions. The PinePhone is a Linux-based and developer-focused smartphone, and the BraveHeart in particular is an early-adopter model for the most dedicated of Linux and open-platform users.

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14

Fossil Sport Gen 4 smartwatch drops to $99 ($50 off) (Update: UK, too)

If you're in the market for an affordable smartwatch that doesn't disappoint when it comes to features or style, the Fossil Sport is now available for $99 from either Best Buy or directly from Fossil. It's an excellent time to pick up one of Fossil's older smartwatches, as the company just released an update for Gen 4 products that brings the Gen 5's previously exclusive battery management features and Wear OS H (based on Android Pie) to the previous generation.

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14

Google and UK network BT launch Stadia broadband bundles

In a first for Google's fledgling game streaming service, Stadia Premiere Edition packs will be offered to UK consumers as part of BT's superfast fiber broadband plans. The strategic partnership will see Stadia promoted far more heavily in the UK across TV, print, and on the web.

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27

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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6

Poco is now an independent brand under Xiaomi

Xiaomi is starting to look like a car manufacturer with how many sub-brands it has: Redmi, Poco, Mito, CC, Black Shark, the list goes on. Only one phone was ever released under the Poco name, the wildly-successful Poco F1, which was developed by Xiaomi. Poco is now being spun off as Xiaomi's new sub-brand, with a (somewhat) independent team.

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15

Chrome testing new media playback controls that work with background tabs (Update: Available for all)

 

If you're playing music or a video in a Chrome tab you're not looking at and want to pause it, it's a bit of a hassle: you have to navigate to that tab, press the button, then drudge back to the previous tab. The whole process probably only takes a couple of seconds, but an upcoming change will make it easier. Chrome Canary now has a flag to enable "global media controls" in the toolbar.

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