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Google could block access to hidden and undocumented APIs in Android P

We're probably just a few months away from the first developer preview release of Android P, but there are some hints of what Google's cooking in AOSP. According to a report at XDA, Google might be planning a move that'll upset some developers. New commits suggest Google will remove access to unofficial APIs in the next big Android release.

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Google designer Ivy Ross shows off prototypes of Pixel 2, Pixelbook, Home Mini, and more

Prototypes are always cool to see, but us consumers don't often get to do so. It's nice to take a look at how the designs of products evolve from the drawing board all the way to our homes, pockets, and backpacks. An interview with Google hardware designer Ivy Ross recently went up on The Keyword, and embedded within are photos of several Google products' prototypes.

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Essential Phone Oreo Beta 3 now available for download

It's been almost a month since Essential rolled out the second Oreo beta for its phone. If you were hoping for a final release, that's not happening yet. Essential has, however, released a third Oreo beta for the Essential Phone. It includes new security patches and minor fixes.

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Taking a page from Kindle, Amazon’s Alexa is everywhere—can Google's Assistant catch up?

When Amazon upended the publishing industry with the advent of the Kindle, it also paved the way for an approach to luring consumers into a larger sphere of influence, a strategy that is now being successfully adapted for the new age of smart speakers and digital assistants. Both the Kindle and the Echo provide consumers with valuable services, encouraging them to shop and receive content within Amazon's ecosystem. Most of the experiences of its Kindle and Echo hardware also come in the form of apps or services that appear on other manufacturers' devices without additional charge to the consumer, making that connection even stronger.

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Page speed will affect mobile search rankings starting this summer

Slow websites are lame, and Google knows it. Starting in July 2018, Google will use a page's speed in the ranking algorithm for mobile searches. That means slow websites will be penalized, moving faster ones up closer to the top.

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[Update: More photos] Moto G6 family, Moto X5, Moto Z3, and Moto Z3 Play renders and specs leak, revealing larger screens with 18:9 aspect ratios

We just saw a leaked photo of the Moto E5 yesterday, but apparently that wasn't all there is to leak. Droid Life has posted renders and details on six phones: the Moto G6, the Moto G6 Plus, the Moto G6 Play, the Moto X5, the Moto Z3, and the Moto Z3 Play. All of them follow the trend of a higher screen-to-body ratio with an 18:9 display.

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'Bill Protection' is Project Fi's answer to unlimited data plans

Project Fi was a great deal when it was first introduced, minus the fact that the only compatible phone was the Nexus 6. Now that carriers are re-introducing 'unlimited' plans, Project Fi's $10/GB pricing tier isn't quite as appealing as it once was. Fi has now introduced its own version of an unlimited plan, called 'Bill Protection.'

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The Sandstone White OnePlus 5T is gone from OP's US site after selling out in 2 hours

If you were hoping the Sandstone White OnePlus 5T might come back in stock after it sold out in less than two hours, then I've got some bad news for you. As a OnePlus spokesperson confirmed to us, the Sandstone White version is "completely sold out in North America," and has been removed from OnePlus's website entirely. In fact, it looks like the phone is sold out everywhere except for OnePlus's home country of China, which is probably a sign that the limited edition of the phone isn't coming back.

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[Deal Alert] Save a few bucks on select Google Home and Chromecast Ultra combos, I guess ($10-$30 off)

Google is offering discounts on particular combinations of its Google Home and Chromecast hardware, but the deals are just kind of okay, and frankly a bit of a letdown with all the big price slashes from the holidays still fresh in our memories.

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Google Assistant and Home can now natively control your smart locks, August and Vivint are the first supported

There are a few smart home device types that your Google Assistant/Home can control natively. Lights, plugs and switches, and thermostats were some of the first, but recently we've seen the addition of dryers, washers, dishwashers, vacuums, fridges, and even scenes. However, one type of device I've been personally waiting for are smart locks. Up until now, all smart locks were, uhm, locked into using the Assistant apps for integration, and not the native smart home capability. So users of August locks had to "ask August to lock the door," and those with Vivint had to "ask Vivint if the door is locked," for example.

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