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Android Auto launches in Japan today

Android Auto works in a few dozen markets already, but until today Japan was not among them. Google has announced that its in-car platform is available in Japan effective immediately, and several cars will be ready to accept Android Auto connections just as soon as Japanese users can find a USB cable to plug in.

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[Update: Intel x86 processors too] Pokémon GO goes to Germany officially and now works with Android Nougat [APK Download]

I'll let you in on a secret. I haven't played Pokémon GO yet. There was a time when I liked watching Pokémon and laughed my ass off each time Meowth came on the screen, but I was a little too old then to play the game let alone get obsessed by it. I was... 17. So I don't get the craze behind GO all that much, but I'm not completely uninterested.

Actually, I decided yesterday to try the game to get a feeling for it, but I thought it better to install it on my secondary device: a Nexus 5X.

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[Update: Live] Official Discogs Android app to spin into the Play Store on July 12

As a music lover, one of the first apps I looked for on Android way, way back in 2012 was a cataloging solution for my different albums and a way to browse artist releases à la IMDB. I quickly stumbled on the Discogs website, but for a long while, I couldn't find a decent app for the service on Android. The situation has changed a lot recently with several apps providing access to Discogs and working well enough to make the need for an official app less urgent.

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Hangouts 11 does away with merged conversations

We've been expecting some changes to SMS functionality in Hangouts for some time, especially after Google started pushing Messenger as an SMS alternative inside Hangouts. As of Hangouts v11, it looks like the other shoe has dropped. This version of the app removes merged conversations as an option.

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Samsung sends out invite for August 2nd event in NYC for the Note7 reveal

Samsung has just sent out the invitation for its Note7 launch event in New York City on August 2nd. The sixth-generation Note device has been leaked extensively at this point, though I wouldn't be surprised if Samsung has managed to keep a piece or two of information from us about the device at this point. If you want to know what the Note7 will look like, we can show you, because Evan Blass leaked it - in excruciatingly high resolution.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet meets Android 6.0 Professional Audio requirements following Software Upgrade 4.2

The NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet provides one of the best Android gaming experiences you can currently have, and right now an update is rolling out to the device. Following this latest release, the slate now meets Android 6.0 Professional Audio requirements.

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BLU Energy XL review: Huge screen, epic battery life, and a reasonable price

BLU released a new phone a few days back called the BLU Energy XL and they sent me one to take a look at. The XL in the title is there for good reason; everything about this phone is massive. It has a huge 6" HD screen, 64GB of on-board storage, and mammoth 5,020 mAh battery. The only thing that isn't enormous about this behemoth is the price, which is a very reasonable $300.

Sound pretty good on paper, right? Let's see how good it is in practice.

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Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 2 is out (NVD83H), makes some significant changes

The Android Wear 2.0 Preview milestone 2 build has been released today for the Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition. You can get the builds for your flashing pleasure here. What's new? I'll let the official Android Developers Blog take it away from here.

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ASUS says there's a Snapdragon 821 variant of the ZenFone 3 Deluxe on the way

Asus already has three different versions of the ZenFone 3 planned in fast food-style denominations: vanilla, Deluxe, and Ultra. The Deluxe is the highest-specced version ("Ultra" is about a bigger screen, not better specs), as it's equipped with the latest and greatest Snapdragon 820 processor. Of course that's no longer the latest and greatest: Qualcomm announced the even faster Snapdragon 821 just yesterday. Not to be outdone, a new version of the ZF3 Deluxe has been announced via a Taiwanese press release.

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[Deal Alert] Get a ZeroLemon SolarJuice 10,000mAh portable battery pack for only $9.99 with coupon code ($25 off)

ZeroLemon's SolarJuice batteries offer the promise of recharging away from an outlet. Leave the pack out in the sun and watch light turn into energy that powers your phone. In reality, you have to leave it out for a day or so to get any juice that way, and you will probably still end up sticking it in the wall.

No matter. It remains a great pack. And now it's one you can get for a mere fraction of its usual price.

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