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Google Phone 5.1 includes UI changes, swipe up to answer, and more [APK Download]

We're still tearing down all the applications from the Pixel system dump, and the included Google Phone 5.1 app is certainly worth talking about. Without further ado, let's dive in!

New call UI

The first major change is the brand new Call UI, which is now a translucent blue shade over your wallpaper. The new interface looks a bit like the iOS dialer, with large buttons and a circular Caller ID icon at the top.

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AT&T LG V20 pre-orders start tomorrow (10/7), hits store on 10/28

The LG V20 is perhaps the best phone released by LG in recent history. Instead of the modular functionality of the LG G5, the V20 was designed as an all-in-one solution for power users. It even has features rare on flagship devices, like a removable battery and a fantastic headphone amp. The V20 is also the only non-Google phone to currently ship with Android 7.0 Nougat.

AT&T has announced pre-orders for the V20 will begin tomorrow, although unfortunately neglected to provide a shipping date.

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Blu announces the Life One X2, starting at $134.99

Blu has a history of making phones with excellent specs for extremely low prices. We recently reviewed the Blu Pure XR, and while the specs on that device were good for a $299 phone, the software experience left a lot to be desired. Blu has just revealed their newest device, the Life One X2, and it is very impressive at the price point.

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Meizu M3 Max released, 6" display and 4100mAh battery in tow

Meizu has just revealed their newest device to the world, entitled the Meizu M3 Max. It's called 'Max' for a reason, the phone is rocking a 6" 1080p screen, placing it firmly into phablet territory. Meizu says they chose that size to make multi-window functionality and media consumption more usable, which is a very valid point.

The M3 Max is rocking a 4,100mAh battery to power that massive screen, much more than the capacity of recent flagship devices such as the Moto Z (2600mAh) and Galaxy Note 7 (3500mAh). The phone also features a fingerprint sensor up front, capable of storing up to five fingerprints for authentication.

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Acer announces Iconia Talk S, Liquid Z6, and Liquid Z6 Plus budget smartphones at IFA

Acer has launched three Android smartphones at IFA—the Iconia Talk S, the Liquid Z6, and the Liquid Z6 Plus. All of them are more budget-oriented, but they're quite different from each other.

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Google's Phone app now shows a warning about spam callers and makes it easy to block and report them [APK Download]

There are about a half-dozen countries that have enacted some form of official "do not call" registry and many others that have signed in laws to prevent various types of spammy behavior from running rampant over the telephone system. Unfortunately, little to nothing is done to enforce these laws and the penalties usually aren't steep enough to discourage bad behavior. Google is taking matters into its own hands and giving users a way to fight back. Starting today, a new version of the Phone app is rolling out to Nexus and Android One devices with built-in spam warnings.

The warning feature comes as a part of the phone app's existing Caller ID capability, which already maintains a very thorough directory about various businesses.

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Call Blocking Is Now Automatically Disabled For 48 Hours After You Call An Emergency Number

Apparently if you call an emergency number from your Android device, you can't block calls for the next 48 hours.

We don't know why this is the case, though we imagine it may be to prevent you from blocking your local police department or other emergency personnel.

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Hands-On With The LG V10

This morning at the Walter Reade theater in NYC, LG (re)announced the dual-display, triple-camera V10 phone, a device we heard all about last night. After today's (short) presentation, we got a few minutes to play with the V10 first-hand.

The phone is made of stainless steel and Duraguard silicone, materials that contribute to what LG says is superior durability, passing drop tests "from 48 inches at various angles." In photos, the textured, segmented back cover looks kind of weird, but in person it feels pretty nice and isn't too visually distracting. The overall device feels weighty and - because of the stainless steel strips along the left and right edges - smooth.

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Facebook Announces Hello, A Dialer And Caller ID Replacement With Social Smarts

After popping up in a leak several weeks back, Facebook's Android dialer app has been released in the Play Store. Rather than going with the generic and confusing "Phone," the app is called Hello. You can place calls, see who's calling, and block incoming callers.

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Google Cooks Up Reference App To Guide Developers Toward Multi-Device Applications

It's no secret that Google advocates developing apps with multiple form factors in mind. While not all the apps in Google's own portfolio are quite up to speed on this front, apps like the ones in Google's Play suite have done a nice job so far in supporting phones and tablets alike.

But since I/O 2014, Google's been working on more than just phones and tablets. Last year saw the introduction of Android for TVs, watches, and even cars, so now is the time for developers to start thinking about how their experiences will look and feel on those new form factors.

To that end, Google has announced a new reference sample app - a music player - that's available for developers to play with.

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