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Google partially delays policy change for Android Wear apps scheduled for next week

In late August of last year, Google announced some updates to its Android Wear policy which would affect the requirements for an app to obtain an "Enhanced for Android Wear" badge. Whereas previously, apps could qualify simply by implementing enhanced notifications, Google's planned policy change for January 18th, 2018 imposed some stricter restrictions.

The new policy would require apps to work as standalone Wear apps and force Wear APKs to be uploaded to the Play Store as a multi-APK instead of bundling them within phone apps. However, feedback on the multi-APK system has forced Google to delay fully implementing the policy, according to Hoi Lam, an Android Wear Staff Developer Advocate.

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CES 2018 wrap-up: More Android TVs than you can shake a remote at

CES is wrapping up (I left Thursday afternoon), so we figured it would be a good time to sit down and give all of you an easy place to find a bunch of the stuff announced that is related to Android. This post will focus on all of the television sets that will come with Android TV installed. I got see a few of them on the show floor, but they weren't all that exciting from a brief glance standpoint — we've all seen TVs and most of us know what Android TV looks like by now.

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[Deal Alert] Sony Xperia XZ1 is now $543.44 ($156.55 off) on Amazon

The Xperia XZ1 was originally announced at IFA 2017, and it arrived in the United States in September. The original price was a whopping $699.99, but as usual, the price started to fall shortly after launch. The XZ1 dropped to $599 back in November, and now you can get the 'Warm Silver' model for $543.44 from Amazon.

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The US smartphone market is devolving into a Samsung and Apple market - and that's bad for Android

If you live in the United States and walk into a Verizon store, you have essentially four options when it comes to choosing a premium smartphone brand: Apple, Samsung, LG, and Google. Yesterday, we learned that continuing to expect LG will be one of these options probably isn't the best bet.

While there may yet be a premium LG phone that launches on Verizon, the Korean conglomerate looks poised to join Motorola as one of Verizon's when-it's-convenient handset partners, and is quite possibly on its way to the Verizon graveyard with the likes of HTC, Sony, and BlackBerry.

The same can generally be said of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

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SkyBell's new security camera plugs directly into a wall outlet, costs a whopping $199

Home security brand SkyBell makes some of the best doorbell cameras around and even featured on our holiday list of the best smart home products you can buy. It received another boost a few days ago when its doorbells were added to the Google Assistant compatibility list. Like many companies at CES 2018 in Vegas, SkyBell also had something new to show off, in the form of a camera that plugs straight into a simple wall socket.

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TiVo will soon work with IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Alexa

Given the thousands of press releases coming out of CES, we almost missed the news that your TiVo DVR/Set-top box will soon integrate in your smart home setup, almost regardless of which platform you've decided to delve into.

Over the next few months, TiVo will have an IFTTT channel with multiple applets to let you automate your TV watching based on other happenings around your house, such as turn on ESPN when you get home, pause when the doorbell rings, and so on. It will also have an Amazon Alexa skill as well as a Google Assistant app. The video below shows a few demos of features, but to be honest, I was left a little confused by the Google Home part of it.

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[Compress this!] Google issues a machine learning challenge to build a better JPEG

When you navigate to a website on your expensive new Android device, or try to view an image that someone has sent you on your gorgeous Super AMOLED Quad HD display, the last thing you want is to find yourself standing there, waiting for a progress bar to crawl across the screen, or to squint angrily at the spinning loading icon as it sputters.

(Did you know that the loading icon is called a “throbber”? I just found out, and I’m now stuck on the idea of a “sputtering throbber.” That’s neither here nor there.)

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HTC U11 EYEs to have 6.0" 1080p LCD, 3,930 mAh battery, Android Nougat, and more

HTC already has two phones aside from the standard U11 under the same branding, the U11+ and U11 life, but it looks like a third variant may be about to join them. The interestingly-named U11 EYEs actually seems like it could be a pretty nice smartphone, judging from the specifications and photos leaked by famed leakster @evleaks - that is, aside from its inclusion of Android Nougat.

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Alleged Galaxy S9 box reveals 'Super Speed' camera with variable apertures, 'Super Slow-mo,' and AKG-tuned stereo speakers

With Samsung slated to unveil the Galaxy S9-series of phones next month, it's actually a bit surprising how few leaks there have been. That might be about to change, though, with a photo of an alleged retail box for the Galaxy S9 having been posted on reddit. It reveals a decent amount of information, including a 'Super Speed' camera with an aperture of f/1.5, 'Super Slow-mo,' and stereo speakers that have been tuned by AKG.

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Amazon is streaming 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' for free from now until Monday night

Like Netflix, Amazon has taken to creating more than a few original series, the most famous of which include The Grand TourMozart in the Jungle, and The Man in the High Castle. One of the newest shows coming out of Amazon Studios is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which was released just over two months ago but has already won two Golden Globe Awards. To celebrate this, Amazon is making the show free to watch for several days, starting right now. It's too bad it's not watchable via Android TV.

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