Android Police

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Samsung Pay launches today in Italy

It must be a happy day for Italian Android users today. Google Home and Home Mini showed up on the Google Store just this morning and now Samsung is officially announcing the launch of Samsung Pay in the country. The news doesn't come as a surprise since rumors had pegged a Samsung Pay launch in Italy for the beginning of 2018.

And right on cue, Samsung has now expanded its mobile payment service to its 21st market worldwide. Seven Italian banks appear to be launch partners: Banca Mediolanum, BNL, CheBanca!, Hello Bank!, Banca Intesa Sanpaolo, Nexi, and UniCredit. Some retailers are also on board with their loyalty programs and up to 20% exclusive discounts: Bennet, Day Break Hotels, EF Education, Esselunga, Ikea, Leroy Merlin, Moleskine, Penny Market, and Prenatal.

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Cloudflare reveals its new networking analytics Mobile SDK to help developers improve app performance

Analytics is a big business. It's not just about building a product, you need to know how to optimize it. Time can be spent more efficiently when you have the data required to point you in the direction of problems. To that end, Cloudflare—of DDoS mitigation fame—is releasing the Cloudflare Mobile SDK to help app developers better optimize networking performance. 

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Mobvoi's Ticwatch S and E are available in the UK from today

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Google-backed Mobvoi launched the Ticwatch S and E in the US last year, following on from the impressive TicHome Mini Google Assistant speaker. The stylish Ticwatches now run Wear OS 2.9 out of the box (Android Wear 2.0 at time of initial release) and are making their way across the Atlantic to the UK. They're both available to purchase from today.

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[Update: Live now] NVIDIA prepping Spectre vulnerability patch for SHIELD Tablet

NVIDIA launched the SHIELD Tablet way back in the summer of 2014. Most device makers would have long since abandoned a tablet from that era, but NVIDIA has kept it reasonably up-to-date. The tablet is running Nougat and got the KRACK patch late last year. Now, NVIDIA says it's working on a new patch to address the recent spate of CPU vulnerabilities.

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Cortana can now make calls and send texts via voice input [APK Download]

Most voice assistants can make calls and send texts without the user having to touch his/her screen, but that wasn't true for Cortana on Android until now. The latest update adds this capability, and even though it's nothing groundbreaking, it's sure to make your life just a little bit more convenient if you use Cortana regularly.

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Best Buy to allegedly cease sales of Huawei smartphones

Huawei isn't having an easy time in the US market. In January, it was revealed that both AT&T and Verizon had pulled out of deals to carry the Chinese company's smartphones due to pressure from the US government. CNET is now reporting that Best Buy is ending its partnership with Huawei, and that the retailer will no longer offer the company's smartphones for sale.

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Video chat in Facebook Messenger Lite is live [APK Download]

Earlier this month, Facebook announced that video chat would soon be added to Messenger Lite. Video chat's been a staple of the standard version of Messenger for a long time, but given that Messenger Lite is supposed to be lighter and have less clutter, its addition is also a bit confusing. With the app's latest update, though, it's here whether you like it or not.

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The HTC Vive Focus is launching internationally later this year

HTC Vive's venture into standalone VR headsets, the Vive Focus, was unveiled late last year, but the launch was unfortunately confined to the Chinese market. Unlike existing VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift or the standard HTC Vive, the Focus doesn't require being tethered to a powerful computer to work, making it a truly standalone experience. On the other hand, existing standalone virtual reality goggles like the Gear VR, Daydream View, or upcoming Oculus Go don't have spatial tracking, meaning that users aren't able to move around in 3D space.

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Galaxy S9 and S9+ to get ARCore support in the next few weeks

ARCore first came onto the scene in August of last year with support for the Pixel and Galaxy S8, with more phones added late last month to the official compatibility list. The Galaxy S9 and S9+, which were announced shortly after that latest update, aren't on that list yet. That'll change "in the coming weeks," though.

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TWRP now available for Motorola Moto X4

TWRP is, without a doubt, the most popular custom recovery for Android devices today. Chances are that if you're thinking of a device, there's a TWRP recovery available for it. It hit the Exynos Galaxy S9 and S9+ just last week, and now it's arrived for Motorola's Moto X4.

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