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February 2018 Android platform distribution: Oreo breaks 1% usage and Nougat is finally on top

Android 8.0 has been a low burn since its release last fall. It's been gaining a tenth of a percent here and there on the distribution charts, and Android 8.1 just appeared last month. This month, there's a slightly larger bump that finally pushed the latest and greatest Android up over 1%.

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The new Google Calendar web interface can now parse times in event titles

Google started a slow rollout of a revamped Google Calendar on the web some months ago. It recently threw the switch to make it the default interface for everyone, but as usual, some features from the old UI were missing. Today, the option to put dates in the title of events has returned.

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HTC U12 allegedly shown at 5G industry event with minimal obscuring, revealing on-screen buttons and 18:9 display

The HTC U11 is a good phone, but it's getting dated thanks to its 16:9 display ratio, large bezels, hardware navigation keys, and odd-looking fingerprint sensor. Luckily, HTC seems to be sorting all that with the U12, which was apparently displayed at a 5G industry event with just a bit of covering-up.

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Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and other apps now use the Pixel 2's Visual Core

There's one particularly exciting feature in the Pixel 2 that most people won't notice - the Visual Core. It's a custom chip (developed by Google) designed to speed up HDR+ image processing. It also enables HDR+ for third-party apps, or at least ones that choose to support it. The chip didn't do anything when the Pixel 2 shipped, but it was finally turned on in Android 8.1.

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February 2018 Android 8.1 patches are live for Pixel and Nexus devices

It's time again for another update to Android, and it's rolling out to Google devices starting now. If you just can't wait for the OTA to reach you, there are some files you can download to skip the wait. It looks like most devices just have a single build this month, which will make things much easier.

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Chrome Beta 65 blocks intrusive ads, includes new security features, and more [APK Download]

Chrome 64 was just released to the general public, which means Chrome Beta has bumped up to version 65. This new update includes the ad blocker that is expected to go live on February 15, as well as some security enhancements and minor new developer features. Without further ado, let's get into it.

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Chrome's blocker for redirecting ads won't be turned on until April

If you frequently use your phone or tablet to browse the web, you've probably noticed how some websites randomly redirect you to a fake virus warning or other similar page. This is due to malicious ads breaking out of their frame, and forcing a redirect of the parent page to wherever they want. These harmful ads have infiltrated virtually every ad network, including Google AdSense/AdX.

Google's solution to this problem is a blocker for redirecting ads, which was announced in November of last year (this is separate from the general ad blocker that will arrive later this month). If an ad tried to hijack the parent page, Chrome would block it and tell the user what page it was trying to get to.

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[Deal Alert] Get the Mate 10 Pro for $699.99 ($100 off) via Massdrop

Huawei's Mate 10 Pro is a good phone, but it's not one you'll be able to get from your carrier. Deals with AT&T and Verizon both collapsed in the face of government pressure, but it's launching in the US as an unlocked phone later this month. Massdrop has this phone today, and it's offering $100 off.

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[Hands-on] OnePlus brings the limited edition Lava Red 5T to the U.S. and Europe just in time for Valentine's Day

The OnePlus 5T has been a big deal for the Chinese company since the launch in November. Initially available in a plain old black, the 5T received a special Star Wars edition in December that was exclusive to India. That shortly arrived for the U.S. and Europe about a month later, minus the Star Wars goodness (that red Alert Slider, though). Now, OnePlus is ready to launch another previously-seen color for its Western audience. This is the Lava Red 5T... and it's a looker.

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