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Android

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A future version of Android will have a manual device backup option

Google has offered some rudimentary backup functionality in Android since the 2.0 days, but it improved backup functionality in 6.0 Marshmallow. However, you still have to trust that the Google Drive backups are happening as there are no user-facing controls. That's going to change in a future version of Android, though.

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25 temporarily free and 33 on-sale apps and games to finish the week

This week is just about over, so why don't you take some time to look through the apps on offer today? Our list is quite reasonable with some good items to be had. Otherwise, enjoy your weekend.

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Google removes 'Save to Inbox' feature from Android app, but it's still available on the web [Updated]

Even though Inbox by Gmail has always been a testing ground for Google's main email client, many users now prefer it — myself included. It was already dismaying to see the removal of certain snooze options (place and someday) in June, but now it looks like the 'Save to Inbox' sharing option on Android has been axed as well.

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Google is working on native hearing aid support for Android

In partnership with Danish firm GN Hearing, Google is currently developing a protocol to enable native hearing aid support in Android. The open specification will allow users with hearing impairments to connect their aids to their phone for a better user experience.

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Google expands bug bounty program beyond security vulnerabilities to large-scale platform abuse methods

Elite hackers aren't the only thing Google has to worry about when it comes to its platforms. Perhaps just as pernicious are simple abuses of its systems and products — often stumbled upon by an average person with too much time on their hands. For instance, finding ways to purchase items from Google without paying, or getting around restrictions on content use and sharing. It's these issues that the Mountain View tech giant is aiming to uncover by officially expanding its Vulnerability Reward Program to include reports on techniques to successfully bypass its abuse, fraud and spam systems.

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T-Mobile is giving customers a free year of Pandora Plus and access to their own local 'Team of Experts'

At its Uncarrier event held today, T-Mobile unveiled several new promotions and services aimed at bolstering its reputation as a customer-friendly, "subversive" wireless brand. Among them: a free year of Pandora Plus for customers, discounted live music tickets from Live Nation, free 30-day service trials, and the official launch of a customer service overhaul.

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26 temporarily free and 25 on-sale apps and games for Wednesday, including Knights of the Old Republic

Wednesday is here, so let's take a break and look through some app sales. Today's list is small, but you'll notice that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is on sale. Otherwise, it's a fairly typical selection, so have fun and be sure to come back on Friday for one last round.

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Android 9 Pie puts an end to third-party call recording apps

Call recording is a bit of a thorny issue when it comes to privacy. There are also different rules in different places, making it hard for Google to implement a standard in Android without falling foul of the law in certain jurisdictions. Android's official call recording API was removed in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, so third-party app developers have had to be creative since then. As of Android 9 Pie, it looks like Google has put a stop to it altogether.

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OxygenOS 5.1.11 addresses OnePlus 6 screen flickering issue, improves HDR, and brings other fixes

OnePlus is pushing out an update to its latest flagship, addressing the screen flickering issue some people had and adding some other improvements, optimizations, and fixes. As always, you'll find the official changelog below.

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FDA okays 'digital birth control' app Natural Cycles despite ongoing European investigations (and some unexpected pregnancies)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has, for the first time ever, allowed an app to market itself as a contraceptive. Natural Cycles brands itself as "digital birth control" and offers a return to the age-old rhythm method, albeit with the addition of technology that promises to make the process more accurate. But global regulators are casting doubt on that promise, and the company's aggressive marketing taglines.

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