LifeProof Frē for Pixel 2 / 2 XL pre-orders open, first waterproof Made for Google case

After listening to complaints about the lack of water resistance last year, Google made sure that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were IP67 water and dust resistant. While this rating is meant to protect the handsets in up to 1m of water submersion for 30 minutes, it isn’t complete protection. If you need something that offers more to protect your phone, LifeProof has something that might work……

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Exclusive: Google launching a ‘Made for Google’ partner program for certified accessories

Google is planning a ‘Made for Google’ certification program for third-party accessories, according to two sources familiar with the initiative. A third source familiar with Google’s upcoming hardware announcements said they had also heard of such a program being prepped for announcement soon.

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Moshi joins Made for Google with a ridiculously expensive USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter

Following the Pixel 2 launch event, the online Google Store has been updated with new accessories from third-party manufacturers participating in the new Made for Google program. While most of the accessories listed are headphones and cases, Moshi is offering a USB-C adapter that aims to tackle the Pixel 2’s lack of a headphone jack.

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PSA: Google has made phone calls to Belgium and Turkey free on Hangouts

In light of today’s appalling events in Brussels, as well as recent violence in Turkey, Google is offering free calls using Hangouts and Google Voice to the two countries. The company has done the same after similar events in France and is rolling out additional emergency resources via Google Now and Search to those in Brussels.

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Three BlackBerry Android devices likely in the works, one possibly made by TCL/Alcatel

At the beginning of the month, reports described slow BlackBerry PRIV sales and high return rates. Despite this and a potential exit from the hardware business, VentureBeat has details on three new Android-powered devices in the works. These rumors are similar to ones from last year and involve a pair of touchscreen devices and one with a full keyboard.

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Facebook intentionally made its Android app crash to test how addicted users are

According to a new report out of The Information, Facebook has been putting a variety of contingencies in place behind the scenes to ensure that should it ever feel the need to pull out of the Play Store, it could survive. The report details a variety of practices Facebook has engaged in recently to attempt and reduce its reliance on Google, the Play Store, and built-in Android features.

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Comment: Google has finally made ‘Ambient Display’ useful

Just the other day, Google officially kicked off the rollout of the latest version of Android, 7.1.1 Nougat, to both Nexus and Pixel devices. With that update, Google brought along some new “moves” which have made a big difference to one of Google’s long available but neglected features — Ambient Display.

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AT&T in talks to begin offering a Cyanogen-powered phone made by ZTE

According to a report this morning out of The Information, AT&T is in talks with Cyanogen to launch a phone running a version of Android made by the company, purportedly on ZTE hardware. This is notably the first time that a US carrier has considered selling a phone running the less-Google-controlled version of Android that powers phones like the Yu Yutopia and the WileyFox Swift…

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Google app now saves searches made offline & performs them when a connection is regained

One area of focus that Google has been particularly working on for its apps and services has been better offline functionality. The latest feature of the Google app on Android queues searches made offline and automatically runs them when a connection is regained.

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Would the next Pixel XL being made by LG make you wary to buy? [Poll]

Although we are still several months out from an official announcement, yesterday we got news that “muskie,” believed to be the Pixel XL 2, was being shelved. Then we found information that suggests that “taimen,” a larger smartphone being developed, is being manufactured by LG. Would you purchase the second generation Pixel XL if it were being made by LG?

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