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9

The Android 11 Easter egg has landed, and the cats are back

Android 11's Easter egg has landed as part of the Beta 3 release, and it should probably be familiar to folks that remember Android 7 Nougat. That's right — the cats are back. Get ready for some kitty collecting.

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21

Google opts all users out of voice data collection, explains what it does with the data

If you've used any of Google's voice services for Assistant, Maps, and Search, you will have gotten a lengthy notice about some major changes as to how and why it collects audio of what you say. These actions are a response to last year's revelations about how humans were contracted to review those clips and how some of them got leaked. The top-line takeaway here is that every user has been opted out of data collection.

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25

Sony's WH-1000XM4 headphones are official with improved noise-canceling, better voice detection, and more

Noise-canceling headphones are no longer rare—you can even get a passable pair for well under $100 now. However, Sony still makes some of the best over-ear Bluetooth headphones money can buy, and now Sony is ready to take your money for the new WH-1000XM4 cans. These headphones look very similar to the popular WH-1000XM3s, but Sony added a few new features, and improved noise-canceling. Pre-orders are up today for $350, the same as the XM3s at launch.

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60

New Google Nest speaker tipped to launch end of August for around $100-120

Following those previous leaks, Google has taken a page out of its own book and shown us a glimpse of "what the Nest team is working on from home." The images (and video!) clearly depict the upcoming Nest Speaker, confirming the overall design we saw earlier today.

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36

Xiaomi launches its aggressively-priced Mi TV Stick in India

Last month, Xiaomi took the stage in an online-only event to show off a slew of products, including its Redmi 9 phone series and its new true wireless earbuds. Among them was also the hotly anticipated and often-leaked Mi TV Stick, which the company has now finally released in India, where it will become available for purchase starting August 7.

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34

Instagram Reels officially goes global to face off against TikTok

Instagram, and then all of Facebook, famously and shamelessly copied the feature that made Snapchat stand out of the crowd: Stories. Now, Instagram is turning its attention toward the latest hot social media platform, TikTok, and has released its own take on it called Reels. The feature, which has been in testing since at least November and seeded to Brazil, is now available globally.

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25

New Huawei Mate 40 Pro renders reveal more about the upcoming flagship line

Huawei's recent restrictions in the US may still be a problem, but the Chinese company is nevertheless now the biggest smartphone maker in the world. Its flagship device, the Mate 30, was released last year, but you couldn't run Google apps on it. Now Huawei is gearing up to launch the Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro, as CAD renders and a video have hit the web.

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11

Tasker v5.9.3 adds support for all your phone's sensors, plus a Contact Via App action, custom DND settings, and more

Tasker is the Swiss Army knife of Android power users. The app can automate basically anything, and in the right hands, it's a stupendously powerful tool. And today's v5.9.3 update has made it just a little bit more powerful. But don't let that tiny number change fool you, there's more than just bug fixes here. This latest version now supports any sensor on your device, works with contacts in third-party apps, gives you full Do Not Disturb control, and lets you send an unlimited number of variables between tasks, among literal piles of other changes.

At this point, Tasker is almost its own operating system.

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3

Motorball is an enjoyable competitive game that plays similarly to Rocket League

I recently received an early access notification for Noodlecake's 2D Rocket League clone Motorball. Seeing that I'm an avid Rocket League player, I had to take the game for a spin. Thus, I'm glad to report that I came away impressed. Hands-down, Motorball is an enjoyable competitive game that's already working smoothly, and even though its official release isn't until tomorrow (August 6th), the title is already available for all to enjoy. So if you'd like to work your way up the Motorball leaderboard a little early, now's your chance.

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50

Casting to Android TVs is going to get a whole lot better with Cast Connect

Google's new Cast Connect library might sound a bit snore, but it should make casting to Android TV devices a whole lot better. With it, developers can do a few new things, but by far the most important is that it will allow hardware remotes to control 'casted playback, and apps can open Chromecast streams remotely into the same app on your Android TV.

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