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Duo passes 100 million installs on the Google Play Store

Ever since Allo and Duo launched, Duo has seemed like the more 'complete' app. Whereas Allo is still missing critical functionality (like a desktop client/web app) nearly a year later, Duo has been a pretty solid product since day one. And now it has passed a major milestone, with the Play Store reporting that it has over 100 million installations.

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Google Feed now displays Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) links

Back in February of last year, Google unveiled Accelerated Mobile Pages - or AMP, for short. In a nutshell, sites can choose to generate AMP versions of their pages (with an automated tool or site plugin), which load extremely quick compared to normal sites. This is due to various restrictions, compression on the included images/video, and caching by Google's own servers.

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[Update: Live for everyone] You can disable all network media notifications for Chromecasts and Google Homes

The addition of Chromecast network notifications probably seemed like a good idea at the time. They allow you to control media even if you aren't the one who started playback. However, you see those notifications on your device even if you're not watching or listening to the content, and you can end up with multiple cast notifications on a busy network. Google is finally making these notifications optional with a toggle that turns off all the network notifications for your Chromecast or Google Home.

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Google is testing a translucent Google Feed page on the Pixel Launcher

Google has been tweaking the Google Feed (previously known as Google Now) page quite a bit recently. They started rolling out a dual-tabbed interface in December, but seemingly stopped shortly after. Last month, a new transparent Google Now pane appeared for one user, and now a modified version has showed up.

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TWRP released for Snapdragon Galaxy S8/S8+, but not the US models

Despite all having the name "Samsung Galaxy S8," there are in fact several different variants of Samsung's flagship phone. But all the S8 devices worldwide have one of two processors - the Qualcomm 835, or the Exynos 8895. TWRP for the Exynos models arrived in April, but now it's time for the Snapdragon variants.

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Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra arrives in the US for $399

Back in February, Sony announced a pair of "super mid-range" phones - the XA1 and XA1 Ultra. Both phones are powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 processor and have a nearly-identical design. The XA1 arrived in the United States in May, costing $299. Now the XA1 Ultra has arrived stateside for a hundred dollars more.

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Infinite Protection: Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ case review roundup (continuously updated)


Every new phone deserves to be protected, especially when you have an all-glass Samsung S8/S8+. I owned the much more fragile S7 Edge with its steeper curved display. There wasn’t a day where I wouldn’t have the phone in a case unless I was briefly taking it out for a cleaning. Since Samsung opted for an elegant, unique design with the S8, the display is costly to replace. I haven’t seen the official cost to repair the phone's display yet; although I’d imagine it’s more than the $250 for the S7 Edge. No case will guarantee 100% protection for your phone, but it will provide significantly more protection than no case at all.

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Businesses can now chat with customers through Allo or SMS

Google allows businesses to register themselves through Google My Business, where they can adjust the information that appears on their Google search/Google Maps listings. They can add a phone number, change opening hours, respond to reviews, and so on. A new feature is rolling out in the My Business dashboard that allows customers to directly message companies via SMS.

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Google Fit v1.70 brings workout history, audio alerts, automatic heart rate tracking, and more to Android Wear [APK Download]

An update to Google Fit began rolling out to both phones and Android Wear this week. In terms of changes, watches took the lead on this release with a short list of fairly significant additions, including audio alerts during runs, updates to the workout mode, a new screen for workout history, and even automatic heart rate tracking for some recent models. While phones weren't left out entirely, the only notable addition is a new app shortcut for handsets running Nougat and above.

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ZTE Blade Spark coming to AT&T Prepaid for $100, has a fingerprint sensor

Cheap phones are becoming good, and good phones are becoming cheap. Devices like the Moto G5 Plus are proving that you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to have a great phone, and ZTE's new Blade Spark seems to be a great entry in the budget phone category.

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