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HTC posts the RUU file for the T-Mobile U11 life Oreo update

HTC released the Android 8.0 Oreo update for its midrange U11 life on T-Mobile in December, but if somehow you haven't received the OTA yet and you'd like to flash it manually, you can do so now that the RUU file is available.

It's starting to take quite a while for HTC to publish RUU files after the OTA begins rolling: the unlocked U11 life's took a little less than 2 weeks and now the T-Mobile one has taken even more. But it's been a holiday period and at least HTC does make these files available so that you can flash the update even if you haven't seen the OTA notification just yet.

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HTC squeezes more functionality out of Edge Launcher

In its thankless quest to prove the squeeze skeptics wrong, HTC updated its Edge Launcher today with more customization options.

Introduced with the release of the U11+ in November, Edge Launcher presents users with a customizable Lazy Susan of apps and actions when the phone is squeezed. With only one hand, the user can scroll through the rotating circular menu and quick-launch the items within.

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Nokia 6 (2018) is now official, with a mid-range Snapdragon 630 chip and 'bothie' camera mode

After being leaked by a Chinese retailer just yesterday, the second generation Nokia 6 is now official. Thanks to a page on Nokia's China website, we can confirm a lot of the details we learned yesterday. The 2018 version is in many ways an iterative update, but it also makes some improvements, not least upgrading to a mid-range Snapdragon 630 chipset instead of the lower-end 430 that came with last year's model.

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Google Home and Assistant now work with more than 1500 smart home devices from 200+ brands

The list of supported smart home partners on Google Assistant and Home continues to grow and that growth even seems to be accelerating as time passes. Just last October, we reported on 65 direct partners being supported by Assistant and now if you go over to the Home Control section of your Google Home app or Assistant's settings, you can find that the number has jumped a little over 100. But that's not the entire story.

As we all know, smart home companies can integrate into Google Assistant/Home in one of two ways. One is directly through Home Control, which is easily recognizable by the fact that all the devices imported show up in a list, you can assign them to rooms, you can use regular voice commands to trigger them, and the same Assistant voice will answer you back.

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Toshiba introduces Symbio, a smart home hub, security camera and system, and Alexa speaker in one

I look around at my hallway console nowadays and see a Canary camera, a Google Home, and a SmartThings Hub v2. Not to mention the Synology server, router, and a few other miscellaneous tech items. The idea of having all three integrated in the same device, saving space and unnecessary wiring is quite appealing, and that's what Toshiba's new Symbio aims to do.

It's a 6-in-1 device: a 1080p wide-angle "low-light" camera with sound and motion alerts, a smart sound detector for babies and pets and even legacy alarms around the house, a Bluetooth and WiFi streaming speaker with ODMD driver, a voice control interface with Amazon Alexa built-in, a smart home hub with ZigBee and Z-Wave radios, and an intercom for communicating between Symbios and phones.

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Alexa will soon operate your very complicated microwave for you

The more capable a microwave oven is, the harder it is to figure out what buttons to press to make it do the thing you want. Or so I've heard. Today, Amazon announced that it will save us all from furiously button-mashing to just heat up some leftovers by adding cooking capabilities to its Smart Home Skill API and working with appliance manufacturers to add its Alexa assistant to cloud-connected microwave ovens.

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Nokia 6 (2018) loses capacitive keys and moves fingerprint sensor to back

It's been about a year since we first heard about the new Nokia phones, including the Nokia 6. Although it took a bit longer for the phone to hit stateside, it rounded out HMD Global's new Android portfolio reasonably well. What few disadvantages we might have seen appear to be fixed in the 2018 version, which just leaked in a detailed product listing by Chinese retailer Suning.

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Sony Xperia L2, XA2, and XA2 Ultra leak ahead of possible CES reveal

Rumors about Sony's 2018 smartphone lineup have been circulating for a few weeks now. Earlier this week, 3D renders appeared of the XA2, XA2 Ultra, and L2. The phones represent Sony's mid-range and low-end lineup, and now VentureBeat has released more details about them.

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Google is investigating Pixel 2 XL voice messaging bug affecting WhatsApp, Allo, and Telegram

The Pixel 2 XL has suffered from several issues since its launch, both hardware and software-related, just like pretty much any other consumer product of its kind. The latest bug to come to light is a curious one that affects the sound output level of a voice clip sent via a messaging app. According to a number of users on this Pixel User Community thread, this issue is limiting the volume level when recording voice messages on the Pixel 2 XL.

When you send a voice clip recorded on a phone suffering from the bug, the recipient gets a message with very low volume, even when their phone is turned up all the way.

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[Hands-on] OnePlus announces limited edition Sandstone White OnePlus 5T

OnePlus launched the OnePlus 5T in November, just a few months after the OnePlus 5. While the price was slightly higher, the 5T added a few notable features like an 18:9 display and rear-facing fingerprint reader. Since then, OnePlus has dropped the limited edition Star Wars 5T in India, and now a similar device is coming to the rest of us. The new Sandstone White OnePlus 5T doesn't have Star Wars branding, but it seems otherwise identical right down to the bright red alert slider.

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