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Android One

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General Mobile GM6 announced as the next Android One phone

Android One hasn't had the impact I think Google wanted, but these phones are still a popular budget option in many markets. Consumers in Turkey are about to get a new Android One option that could be quite a step up. The General Mobile GM6 includes a few niceties that many past budget phones have lacked like a fingerprint sensor and a selfie flash.

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Does Android One have any chance at success in the United States?

Android One is an ambitious smartphone initiative launched by Google in 2014. To date, it's been limited to a handful of countries - mostly in Asia - and it remains at best unclear if it's actually been successful. The idea was nice enough: Inexpensive Android phones built by typical handset-makers, but with Google lending a helping hand on the messy business of software updates. Of course, the carrot also came with a stick. In exchange for this software support, those handset companies agreed to use what Google decided constituted a good, proper Android - no bloat, stock look and feel, and regular security patches.

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Android One phones may be arriving in the United States in the coming months

Google started the Android One initiative back in 2014, with the goal of partnering with manufacturers to develop low-end Android phones that would receive updates directly from Google. All Android One devices have 18 months of promised updates (similar to past Nexus devices), including the monthly security updates, with a stock version of Android. The Information reports that Google will be bringing the Android One program to the United States in the coming months.

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CyanogenMod 14.1 nightlies arrive for the Galaxy S III carrier variants, Moto E 2nd gen LTE, Moto X Play, and more

Got an old phone that the manufacturer or carrier has stopped pushing updates to? Chances are, there's a CyanogenMod ROM that will breathe life back into it. This week, CM maintainers have brought CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, to the AT&T and T-Mobile versions of the Samsung Galaxy S III, the LTE model of the second-generation Moto E, the Moto X Play, and more.

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Android One heads to Japan with the Sharp 507SH

Android One isn't Google's most-loved product initiative, but it does proposition consumers with a deal they aren't getting anywhere this side of a Nexus: updates direct from Google and minimal bloatware. Android One has predominantly launched in Southeast Asia and a few other locations - such as Turkey - but has remained firmly out of tier-one economies to date. Today's announcement by Google, Sharp, and Y! Mobile, then, is quite interesting.

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TWRP comes to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek), LG L90, and Android One 3rd Edition (General Mobile 5 Plus)

Midrange devices are really the perfect target for something like TWRP. They're capable devices, but they usually suffer from intolerably bloated interfaces and/or get updates way too late or not at all. A custom recovery is the starting point from which any enterprising user can start flashing mods and custom ROMs onto their device to get over any of the previously mentioned hurdles.

And so it's nice to see TWRP come to 3 Android phones that count somewhere in the midrange category. The first is the MediaTek version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (the Snapdragon version got TWRP a couple of months ago).

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The General Mobile GM 5 Plus Is The Most Powerful Android One Device Yet

Android One is Google's initiative to get stock Android into the hands of more users, particularly (though not exclusively) the ones in developing markets. This usually means that devices which are part of the program are very inexpensive — with prices reaching as low as under $100 — and with specs that about match up to those price points. However, Android One devices have something that even most $500+ phones don't: fast and reliable OS updates straight from Google. (The Wall Street Journal reported back in November that this may eventually change, but we've yet so see any evidence of that, and the WSJ doesn't have a perfect track record either.)

General Mobile, a little-known Turkish manufacturer that already makes an Android One phone called the General Mobile 4G, has partnered with Google once more to announce the General Mobile GM Plus 5 — and it has some impressive specifications.

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Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 OTA Rolls Out To More Android One Devices

Android One users are a lucky bunch. They usually buy their devices for very affordable prices and still get timely updates like Nexus phones. Android 6.0.1 isn't an exception to the rule, as Micromax A1 users are starting to see OTA update notifications pop up on their screens.

This isn't the first instance of 6.0.1 on Android One though. About 2 weeks ago, Philippines' Cherry Mobile G1 got the update over the air, and now the Micromax A1 is following suite. Nexus devices saw their factory images released yesterday, and One devices should expect the same features this little update brought: "Until next alarm" in the Do Not Disturb mode and most importantly plenty of new emojis.

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Some Android One Phones Are Receiving An Update To Android 6.0.1 (MMB29K) Already

Image credit: Gadget Pilipinas

There's something to be said for standardized hardware, and generally that something is "man, that update came in fast." Several Android Police readers, at least one Portuguese tech enthusiast site, and a long thread on the XDA-Developers forum indicate that some Android One phones (which tend to share standard hardware across multiple devices) are being upgraded to the latest version of Android Marshmallow.

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Marshmallow OTA Links Now Available For Some Android One Phones

Thanks to semi-standardized hardware and "pure" builds of Android, Google has maintained an impressive track record when it comes to speedily updating the Android One phones that it's designed with various partners in emerging markets. One of our readers was kind enough to track down a handful of links for over-the-air updates to Android 6.0 for these phones, in case users are tired of waiting and want to update their phones manually. To flash these OTA files in recovery, you need to be on the latest Lollipop build (LMY48M) with unmodified software.

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