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26

Samsung wants you to buy a Galaxy S21 Ultra so bad, it made a whole TV show about its camera

Samsung wants you to buy a Galaxy S21 Ultra so bad, it made a whole TV show about its camera

Samsung really wants you to know that the Galaxy S21 Ultra has, in its opinion, the best camera you can buy on a smartphone today. These days, it's not enough for the phone's photography capabilities to be praised in reviews. You have to meet with consumers on their level, and in 2021, what do ordinary people love more than an overabundance of streaming services? That's why Samsung is teaming up with Hulu to produce an original reality show called Exposure, in which competitors will be given photography challenges focused around shooting with — you guessed it — a Galaxy S21 Ultra.

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34

gReader gets its first update in four years, but maybe it shouldn't have

gReader gets its first update in four years, but maybe it shouldn't have

Once-popular RSS aggregator gReader just got its first update in almost four years. The new v5 release claims improved support for video and podcast playback, dark mode support in article view, and some miscellaneous bug fixes. We've also spotted Inoreader support. But unfortunately, reports also claim the app's ads are especially obnoxious now, and the ad-free "Pro" version of the app many customers purchased years ago is still missing from the Play Store.

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13

Our pandemic YouTube binge sessions made Google a buttload of money last year

Our pandemic YouTube binge sessions made Google a buttload of money last year

Google's fourth quarter earnings are in, and you might almost be convinced that Covid had no effect on the company, looking at the numbers. Revenue is up 23% year over year, itself an increase compared to our now blissful memories of 2019.  Total income is also up almost 70% compared to Q4 2019, at $15.6 billion. The bulk of that growth came from Google's bread-and-butter: Search and YouTube.

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29

Samsung just updated one of its phone apps to serve you even more ads

Samsung just updated one of its phone apps to serve you even more ads

Ads are the worst, yet we see them everywhere. They fund the content we consume, for free, on a daily basis. It's one thing to receive ads on a website you are going to for free, but it's quite another when an OEM goes out of its way to force an app onto your phone in order to serve you more ads. Sadly, that is exactly what Samsung just did with its new Samsung Visit In update through the Galaxy Store.

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146

YouTube, having made nearly $13 billion from ads so far this year, decides to place ads on even more videos

YouTube, having made nearly $13 billion from ads so far this year, decides to place ads on even more videos

If you chuck original videos onto YouTube to share just with your friends, brace for advertisements: the platform's terms of service for U.S. users has been revised so that videos produced outside of the YouTube Partner Program can be monetized by YouTube.

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29

Get ready for audio ads when you're jamming out to YouTube in the background

Get ready for audio ads when you're jamming out to YouTube in the background

If you browse YouTube to take in the visceral spectacle of music videos or just like to cruise control through randomly autoplaying tunes, you may come across more sensical commercials than in times before. Marketers are getting beta access to two new ad verticals right now which focus on audio, not video.

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34

LG wants you to believe people will still be using the Wing in three years

LG wants you to believe people will still be using the Wing in three years

We didn't ask for a film exploring the idea of a society split apart by their immunity (or lack thereof) to a disease undergoing pandemic spread, but hey, we're getting one from Adam Mason and Michael Bay next year called "Songbird." It imagines a Los Angeles of the near future with mass quarantine camps, the privileged few with immunity bracelets, and a mutated SARS-CoV-2 dominating the storyline. It also has quite a bit of product placement for the very old (at least by that point) LG Wing.

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10

Rick Moranis brings joy to our hearts in rare appearance hawking Mint Mobile of all things

Rick Moranis brings joy to our hearts in rare appearance hawking Mint Mobile of all things

Old hat: Ryan Reynolds is a wunderkind actor/investor who sold his stake in Aviation Gin for more than $600 million and currently has an ownership stake in MVNO Mint Mobile. New hat: he has apparently recruited '80s movie icon and fellow Canadian Rick Moranis to promote the carrier's new unlimited data plan.

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37

AccuWeather leaving Play Pass in the wake of Dark Sky’s Android demise

AccuWeather leaving Play Pass in the wake of Dark Sky’s Android demise

Android Police maintains a giant list of apps that are participating or have participated in Google's Play Pass program — where users pay a low subscription fee to remove ads and access premium features from said apps. But it's a finicky list to maintain because every addition is manual and it's extremely difficult to track any subtractions without a public database. Well, we can report on at least one departure that will take effect soon: AccuWeather is leaving Play Pass on September 20. If you use the weather app, you might not like the reason why.

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26

Google Chrome tests spammy notifications reminding you to use it

Google Chrome tests spammy notifications reminding you to use it

If you have a Windows PC, you're probably familiar with Microsoft's aggressive marketing tactics when it comes to its browser. The company automatically adds Edge to your taskbar after some updates, and it even sends you popups when you still won't use its Internet Explorer successor. It looks like Google is considering to introduce a similarly aggravating "feature" to Chrome for Android, as 9to5Google found out. It's working on push notifications that encourage you to use its browser when you haven't opened it in a while.

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