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LG confirms the G7 ThinQ will be announced on May 2nd, 2018

The last 3 or 4 years in LG's history have been nothing but baffling to me. I have difficulty understanding how the company that caught my heart with its G2 and G3 smartphones fell so badly in the me-too camp, trying to emulate what has worked for others (mostly Samsung) and hoping that would be a recipe for success. The latest ThinQ brand and push is one more symptom of the same ailment: LG saw that AI was everywhere and wanted to get it on the game. Forget about useful AI, it's another "we have smart things for the sake of smart things" gimmick. Sigh.

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MoviePass makes deal to acquire Moviefone

MoviePass has acquired Moviefone in a deal between the two services' parent companies, according to a press release. Moviefone got its start in the pre-internet days of 1989, providing information about movies and their showtimes via a toll-free phone number. The dial-in service was shuttered in 2014, but Moviefone has continued to provide showtime and ticket services via its mobile app and website.

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[Update: Samsung responds] Some Galaxy S9 and S9+ units have large dead zones on the touchscreen

The touchscreen on your phone is the primary way you interact with it, so it absolutely needs to work. That makes problems like so-called "dead zones" or ignored/unregistered inputs among the most annoying out there. Based on reports, many are running into those types of touchscreen input problems with Samsung's Galaxy S9+.

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Samsung Movie Maker to be discontinued after Android P update

Ever heard of Samsung Movie Maker? It's preinstalled on many Galaxy devices, but it's pretty well-hidden; it only shows up after you begin editing a video through the Gallery app. However, the service will soon be discontinued when Android P rolls around, so a few of you might have to find a new video editor on Android.

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Google Pay branding is starting to replace Android Pay in the app and on the web

Alternate title: Android Pay is dead, long live Google Pay

Since mentions of 'Google Pay' and 'G Pay' started popping up at the turn of the year, we knew some changes were likely afoot. Then the new marks started rolling out more widely, as Google officially announced that it was unifying its payment branding.

Today seems to be the day we say goodbye to Android Pay for good, as the website is now redirecting to the Google Pay site, four new YouTube videos have been released, and the Android Pay and Google Wallet apps are getting rebranded.

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Nokia puts its Digital Health business, formerly Withings, under strategic review

Back in 2016, Nokia announced it wanted to acquire French wearables and health company Withings. One year and two months later, in June of 2017, the acquisition and assimilation was complete and Withings became Nokia Health and started releasing some more products, the last of which was Nokia Sleep which was introduced at this year's CES. Now Nokia has announced that it has initiated a strategic review for this Digital Health business.

The division is famous for its Steel and Steel HR hybrid smart watches, which seem to be well loved thanks to their long battery life, as well as its smart scales (I reviewed the original Withings Body Cardio and was left impressed), and caters to both consumers and enterprise partners.

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The ZTE Axon 7 has an Oreo beta program, but the requirements to join are steep

Over the past couple of months, more and more phones have begun receiving Android 8.0 Oreo. Despite being about six months old now, Oreo is still rolling out to several devices, slowly contributing to its 1% marketshare. Just recently, Samsung started (and then stopped) the official rollout of Oreo to the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and now ZTE is joining the club by announcing its Axon 7 A2017U Oreo Preview Program.

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[Turing to dust] Turing Robotics files for bankruptcy in Finland, CEO keeps promising fairy dust


If all the previous "news" coming out of the company wasn't deturing enough for you, here's another chapter in the Turing Robotic Industries saga: it has now filed for bankruptcy in Finland. The company, which started by promising an ultra-secure smartphone in 2015 with Android 5.1 but turned around and decided on Sailfish OS instead, only to keep on delaying production again and again then promise one outrageous upgrade after the other, has, surprisingly, run out of funds. Gasp.

The news came on February 3 from Finnish newspaper Salon Seudun Sanomat, which was following Turing and its CEO Steve (Syl) Chao's progress in Salo, Finland, a city that was promised a resurrection of sorts after Nokia's demise and where Turing had rented an empty warehouse for tens of thousands of euros.

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Anker Roav Viva review: It's a car charger with Alexa

Many things come to mind when I think of smart home accessories: speakers, locks, displays, TVs, or maybe wall plugs. The list continues to grow each day it seems, but here comes Anker with a car charger that, while itself not unique for the company, features Alexa as a defining feature. Don't want to fork over the money to get Assistant in your car? Here's the next best thing... kinda.

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Verizon reportedly drops plans to sell Huawei phones due to increasing government pressure

Huawei is one of the world's largest smartphone manufacturers, but the company doesn't have much of a footprint in the United States. It hoped to change that by selling the Mate 10 Pro with U.S. carriers, but the day before the news was going to be announced, AT&T pulled out of the deal due to government pressure.

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