Android Police

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45

Google plans Apple-like crackdown for in-app purchases, enforcing rules it previously ignored

Google is reportedly gearing up for a crackdown on in-app purchases for apps distributed via the Play Store. Google has long required that developers give the company a cut of in-app purchases, but it hasn't strictly enforced that rule for big names like Amazon, Netflix, and Spotify, who all allow for billing and purchases in their apps separately from Google's required system. According to Bloomberg, the day of reckoning is coming, and Google will reportedly update its guidelines as soon as next week to further clarify the billing requirement ahead of more aggressive enforcement.

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10

Google is shutting down its Rivet reading practice apps

Back in 2018, Area 120, Google's experimental product division, introduced Rivet, a free reading-practice app for kids. It has since dropped the beta label and gained smartphone support, making it more accessible to a higher number of parents and children. As Rivet is a Google product, it was safe to assume the app could be axed unexpectedly, which is precisely what the company just announced.

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1

Samsung Galaxy A72 could be its first with five-camera array

Samsung's Galaxy A series is one of its best-selling, thanks in part to the "flagship feel" without the flagship price. The A71 is incredibly popular, bearing a close resemblance to the S20 series and its impressive spec sheet. It seems as though its successor, the A72, will have even more to offer thanks to a penta-camera setup, making it the first Samsung smartphone to boast that many rear sensors.

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25

There's a shortcut to access Assistant's daily Snapshot, but only Google can enable it for you

Assistant's daily Snapshot feed is the reincarnation of the Google Now of ol' for our modern times. It took a few years for Google to migrate and integrate most of Now's excellent functionality into Assistant, but we're finally there now. We get weather, calendar, shipping, travel, commute, reservation, and more contextual cards, and it's all customizable. We can even call it with a simple "Hey Google, show me my day." What we can't do, though, is swipe right on the homescreen to get to it — that functionality has been monopolized by the Discover articles and ads. But Google has implemented another faster way to get to Snapshot.

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17

Motorola releases Android 10 kernel code for the Moto G9 Play

Although Motorola has been slow to roll out Android 10 to most of its devices globally, the company is at least keeping developers happy with steady kernel source releases. Over the past few weeks, Motorola has released updated source code packages for most of its phones, accelerating the creation of custom ROMs and recovery partitions.

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8

This is what Microsoft needs to change for the Surface Duo 2

The Surface Duo is Microsoft's first smartphone since the collapse of Windows Mobile, and it's no ordinary phone either. The dual-screen form factor is designed to improve productivity, but it also introduced some software problems that Microsoft hasn't entirely solved. The hardware was also a common point of criticism, as there are more than a few missing features compared to other premium Android devices.

There's a lot that can be improved with the Surface Duo, and now that a second model is in development, here are some aspects of the phone that definitely need to be changed in future revisions.

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25

Google Calendar's integration with Tasks is going live for more people

Google's to-do management strategy has never been its strong suit. Between a pretty basic Tasks app and reminders that have suffered from countless issues going back to 2017, things are sparse and unclear. Calendar has been trying to become the one-stop solution for this disjointed strategy and you can already use it to manage your reminders on web and mobile, as well as create and edit tasks on the web. The last piece of that puzzle is task support on mobile, and that's finally starting to roll out to users now.

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10

Chromecast media notification adds track controls on Android

One of the conveniences of using a Chromecast or a Cast-enabled speaker or TV is the ability to control playback from any device in the house (if you want). Starting a song from your phone and stopping it from your tablet, or asking your partner or roommate to do so while you're wrist-deep into a new banana bread recipe, are possible because of the casting notification that surfaces on all devices connected to the same network. That notification is getting a small but awesome quality-of-life improvement now thanks to new track controls.

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8

Google's upcoming Nest Audio speaker gets the early unboxing treatment

It’s no secret that Google is about to reveal a long-overdue refresh to its original Home speaker from 2016 — yeah, the air freshener is that old. Google even released a short video showing off the Nest Audio way back in July, before we knew that would be its name. Just days before it’s set to launch officially, someone was able to get hold of a Nest Audio unit that went on sale prematurely, which they then unboxed for our viewing pleasure, much like what happened with the Chromecast with Google TV dongle.

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26

It's not just you, a bunch of Google services were having issues

If you are having trouble loading Gmail or a YouTube video tonight, you aren't alone. A whole ton of Google services were having problemsGoogle Drive, Hangouts, Stadia, the Play Store, and even Nest were all affected, though reports indicate the issue has since resolved.

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