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Blu Pure XR review: Mostly decent hardware choked by bad software

I have in my hands the Pure XR, Blu's latest flagship. Teased back at the beginning of August, many noted that the phone bore some striking similarities to a few other phones from the front. Despite this, Blu was quick to express its excitement for this new device. Looking at the company's portfolio, notably the last member of the Pure line, the Pure XL, the reason for the fuss is pretty obvious. I have been using it for about a week now and I have a lot of thoughts on it. Foremost is that at the price of $299, this phone packs some good specs into a very nice frame.

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[Update: New Top Charts too] Google Play Store testing file sizes for apps on most pages

If you're trying to be conscious about your device's storage space, the Play Store doesn't make it easy. To see an application's total file size, you have to tap on the app's page, tap 'read more' on the description, and scroll all the way to the bottom. That's not incredibly intuitive, but it looks like Google is trying to fix that.

The Google Play Store is testing a server-side change that shows the app file size on almost every screen on the Play Store. The screenshots provided to us show the download size at right side of all application cards at the update screen, My Apps screen, and other locations such as Top Charts.

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Paranoid Android now supports Nextbit Robin, updates OnePlus 3 ROM

Earlier in the year, Paranoid Android made a comeback with a clean, well-built ROM and support for a number of Nexus and OnePlus devices. Since then, they've only updated the ROM three times, but they've all included a significant amount of changes. Now, thanks to a PA-Nextbit partnership, the ROM is available for the Nextbit Robin. In addition, the OnePlus 3's ROM has been updated with some new features.

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LG's V20 is one of very few phones that properly support 'OK Google' commands while the screen is off

What do a BlackBerry Priv, Galaxy S7 edge, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Alcatel Idol 4S, a Huawei P9, Honor 8, and an HTC 10 have in common? Well, they're all Android phones, of course, but they all lack a common feature: 'OK Google' hotword recognition while the screen is off (off the charger). In fact, this feature is so rarely found on Android devices that you can almost call it a Nexus (or soon, Pixel) exclusive these days. And even then, not all Nexus devices seem to be able to do it. The proper name for this feature is "always on."

The reasons for 'always on' being disabled on so many other devices are seemingly myriad - some OEMs claim security issues, others have conflicting products (cough S Voice cough) with similar functionality, and some may be limited by the capabilities of their chipsets or a perceived potential for power drain.

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Project Fi K.2.7.13 is preparing for the launch of group plans [APK Teardown]

Project Fi is an ambitious effort to give customers an experience devoid of the problems endemic to cellular carriers in the United States. It's low-cost, easy to manage with a simple app, and it even breaks new ground with intrinsic support for multi-network connectivity. However, in some ways, Fi wasn't really finished at launch. It spent many months as an invite-only service and lacked a few things many people would consider integral to their cellular service. One of the top requests from current and potential customers is the addition of group plans. It's an important feature for both families and businesses, especially as the number of lines grows.

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WiFi Assistant for non-Project Fi Nexus devices is rolling out

A few weeks ago, Google told us that Project Fi's WiFi Assistant, which connects users automatically to public WiFi using a secure VPN, was heading to Nexus devices in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Nordic countries. This has now started rolling out, via an update to Google Connectivity Services, version D.1.5.10.

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[Update: Now live] Hangouts Chrome extension updated with new UI

Hangouts on the desktop has always been a mess. First, there was the Chrome extension that always sits in your taskbar/menubar, with separate windows for every conversation. Later, Google released a Chrome app that looked (and functioned) much more like the Android app, with all of your conversations in one window. For some reason, both have remained on the Chrome Web Store.

Recently, Google announced that they will phase out Chrome apps, with Google recommending that existing apps be converted into extensions or Progressive Web Apps.

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FAA cautions passengers not to use or charge their Galaxy Note7s on flights

In case you've been living under a rock for these past few weeks, several units of the Galaxy Note7 have exploded. Not only was this enough to prompt Samsung to initiate a global recall of the Note7, but it also prompted several Australian airlines (Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin Australia) to ban the latest S Pen-equipped phablets. Now, the Federal Aviation Administration, more commonly known as the FAA, has issued an official statement.

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OnePlus releases OxygenOS 3.1.0 for the OnePlus 2

OnePlus 2 owners, be on the look out for a new update. The 2016 Flagship Killer is receiving OxygenOS 3.1.0, which is rolling out incrementally starting today.

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Google finally makes the Nexus 6P 7.0 Nougat factory and OTA images available

The title says it all, really—the Nexus 6P finally has a downloadable factory image and OTA, courtesy of Google. This news comes shortly after Vodafone announced that it was halting the Nougat OTA for the 6P due to unnamed issues. Earlier this month, when the September security update came out for Nexus devices, we were both puzzled and disappointed when only the Marshmallow Nexus 6P build received the security update, but both the image and OTA are finally here.

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