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Google Phone v12 reveals further Duo integration is coming [APK Teardown]

Over the last few months, Google has been taking small steps to integrate Allo and Duo into different pieces of the phone. Most recently, Allo shortcuts were added to the Contacts app, but today's teardown is more closely related to Duo recording its video chats to the system call log. It looks like Google's next step may involve having its Phone app be a little more forward about Duo.

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The Google Phone app could be getting an in-call floating action bar

If there's one thing that's certain in life, it's that Google is always testing some sort of interesting UI change in one of its apps. Some of them end up on the scrapheap, but some of them end up being integral parts of the experience we all have when using our Android devices. The latest test to be discovered is a floating bubble UI in the Google Phone app.

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MKBHD shows off non-functional RED Hydrogen phone prototypes

Last month, premium camera company RED announced it was developing a smartphone called "Hydrogen." The product sounded like vaporware - almost no details were disclosed at first, besides the whopping $1,200 price tag. Perhaps in an attempt to prove that the device will actually come to market, the company gave MKBHD (a well-known tech YouTuber) a few prototypes to try out.

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Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra arrives in the US for $399

Back in February, Sony announced a pair of "super mid-range" phones - the XA1 and XA1 Ultra. Both phones are powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 processor and have a nearly-identical design. The XA1 arrived in the United States in May, costing $299. Now the XA1 Ultra has arrived stateside for a hundred dollars more.

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A recent study suggests that your phone might have a negative impact on your cognitive ability

Take this with a grain of salt, but a recent study has found that your phone might not be the best influence on you. At least, when you need to focus or remember things. In a paper published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, authors Adrian F. Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, and Maarten W. Bos disclosed the results of a study they performed. They posit that their results demonstrate a reduction in available cognitive capacity of individuals when a phone is present and that this effect increases the more dependent one is on their phone. 

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Google Phone v10 enables post-call messages for failed calls, prepares for enhanced incoming calls on RCS and voicemail backup [APK Teardown + Download]

With the dust settling after the deluge caused by I/O 2017, it's time to take a closer look at some of the many other things that came with out last week. Some interesting changes came with a brand new version of the Google Phone app included with Android O Developer Preview 2. There's a new prompt suggesting users send a message after a call fails to connect. A deep dive into the apk also turned up signs that Google is working on new RCS calling features and preparing some kind of backup option for voicemail.

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[Deal Alert] Pick up a 4-5.2" phone mount over at Amazon for $4 ($4 savings)

If you are in the market for an inexpensive phone mount, right now over at Amazon you can pick one up for $4 with promo code HM6MF7KT. It's regularly $8, which makes that a 50% savings. Make a bold note, though, that it will only work if you've got a phone on the smaller side, between 4 and 5.2" in screen size (or 55mm-85mm in width).

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HTC will reveal its Snapdragon 835 flagship, the U, in April according to report

Watching HTC release phones is almost as frustrating as Google's current messenger app situation. After two years of incremental releases to the company's 'HTC One' lineup, many considered last year's HTC 10 to be a great phone (besides being rather expensive at launch). The company followed up this year with the HTC U Ultra and HTC U Play, neither of which has received positive reviews.

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Google Phone v8.0 makes voicemail shareable, fixes a mismatched icon, and begins work on an RCS-based calling feature [APK Download + Teardown]

An update to the Google Phone app came out a few days ago, but left many people wondering what the changes were. This version doesn't have a whole lot to show off, but a close examination does reveal a couple of interesting things both active and hidden inside the apk. Users now have the option to easily share voicemails as regular files, meaning you can email them to friends or easily stash them in cloud storage. From the perspective of a teardown, Google has also added the first signs of RCS support, meaning we can look forward to some new calling features to come along in the future.

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Phone 7.0 appears with a tweaked swipe up to answer [APK Download]

Version 7.0 of the phone app for Nexus and Pixel devices has arrived, with... you guessed it, no major changes at all. There are some minor updates and re-workings, but this one most likely will not blow your socks off.

Firstly, a 'block/report spam' option has been added to the long press dialog in the call log - in previous versions, only 'Copy number' and 'Edit number before call' were present.

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