Android Police

Jorge Aguilar-

Jorge Aguilar

About Jorge Aguilar

Jorge was a news writer for AP. He covered the mobile industry at Android Police, but has covered multiple beats in the tech space.

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Garmin's new Vivoactive 5 offers a screen upgrade, nap tracking, and more

Multiple features are dedicated to users' fitness and exercise

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There is a high demand for smartwatches, but despite a wide array of features, they're still primarily used for fitness tracking. A good smartwatch can measure your heart rate, track how often you walk, and many other things just by being on your wrist, making it a handy tool for fitness enthusiasts. One of the leading players in the wearable technology arena, Garmin, has introduced a smartwatch that plays into this trend.

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YouTube's new splash screen animation is rolling out to more users

New animation from the Android TV app is showing up on mobile

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Opening YouTube on mobile normally just shows the logo and then the home screen when you use the app. While the TV version of the app has its own loading screen animation, the mobile version has not done anything like this until recently. But now, many users are beginning to report that they're starting to see a short animation play when they open the YouTube mobile app — and it looks very familiar.

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WhatsApp tests starting group calls with double the participants

Now all 32 of you can start at once

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WhatsApp has been hard at work updating its calling system in recent months. In July, the app increased its limit for group calls to 15 participants from seven previously, which was a significant improvement. Then, Meta took things even further by integrating support for up to 32 participants if you added more people after starting the call. Now, WhatsApp is working on making it possible to start a call with 32 participants from the get-go.

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Google Photos wants to put your partner front and center for image sharing

It could take just two clicks to share an album but only with your partner

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Google Photos isn't just another cloud-based app to store your photos; it lets you share with others and create albums for printing. Even Google recently introduced support for Ultra HDR images, which greatly improves the app's user-friendliness. It looks like Google may make it easier for you to share and organize your photos in the future.

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Emoji don't just pop up out of nowhere — they are carefully crafted with a lot of oversight from the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit standardization body for Unicode. As part of this system, there are voting members from Apple, Google, and Microsoft who help determine what gets added to the Unicode Standard. Now, these voters have approved a new set of emoji that most of us should see appear on our devices over the course of the next year.

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YouTube's crusade against ad blockers is in full swing

More users are reporting that YouTube is stopping videos due to ad blockers

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With new updates, YouTube is slowly fighting back against ad blockers, doing its best to make sure users either pay for Premium or watch the ads. At this point, it's as if YouTube is on a warpath against ad blockers, and the company is not letting up. According to many on Reddit, YouTube has just increased the heat against ads.

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Google Play Protect isn't waiting to scan your apps anymore

Real-time scanning for sideloaded apps at the time of installation

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Google Play Protect is well known for scanning many apps — in fact, Android's de facto antivirus tool scans more apps than there are people on Earth every day through its routine checks. Since Google Play Protect became its own app in 2021, many have speculated about what new features might be in store, and it looks like a big one is rolling out soon.

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Patreon's new chats give fans a place to meet up outside of the comments

You can also create member profiles as the platform gets more social

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Patreon fans are like mega fans because they will literally put their money where their mouth is. Or more so, they'll put money in their favorite creator's back pocket. In general, having fans like this comes with benefits, but aside from Discord or the Patreon comment section, there hasn't been a way to make Patrons feel like they're part of a community on the service. That is changing thanks to the new features that Patreon is introducing.

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WhatsApp Channels message reactions are rolling out to more beta testers

More users will be able to react to channel messages after installing the new update

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WhatsApp has earned its place as the world's most popular messaging app, but it can't rest on its laurels with competitors like Telegram and Signal constantly adding innovative new features to lure in users. The app is currently in the process of rolling out a Channels feature, and according to reports, Meta has taken things a step further with a quality of life improvement that could help its new one-to-many broadcasting system get off the ground.

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Gmail wants to make responding to an email feel a little more like texting

Emoji reactions may be on the horizon

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Social media and text messaging have made emoji an integral part of our daily conversations. Emoji reactions are an easy way to express emotions about a message you receive without having to type out an entire response. Previously, emoji reactions were only found on some of the best messaging apps, but they may soon be coming to your emails.

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Google Maps embraces emoji so you can customize saved places

You can now use emoji in your saved places

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Google Maps lets you save places in different categories so that you know why you saved them. Having pins in lists like "Want to go" and "Favorites" makes it easier to find them, but it doesn't help you remember why you'd want to go, and adding a note to these saved places isn't the most intuitive experience. As it turns out, Google has a fun, yet simple solution to this problem.

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Google wants you to sign in to the Pixel Watch app to access more settings

There are no extra options yet, but you can add your Google account now

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You have to sign in to your Google account when you first set up your Pixel Watch, but until now, you haven't needed to sign in to the watch's companion app. That appears to be changing, and it should ultimately give us more control over backing up and restoring Wear OS settings on Google's flagship wearable.

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Duolingo set to broaden its horizons with upcoming music lessons

Duolingo’s latest trick will be teaching you how to play music

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Duolingo is known for its popular language learning app, which gives language lessons in bite-sized pieces. Its interactive lessons lean into gamification without taking away from the learning, and Duolingo has since expanded to teach math and reading. To add to this, Duolingo will soon start offering music lessons as well.

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OnePlus may be working on an affordable new tablet

Evidence was spotted on the Bureau of Indian Standards website

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Android tablets rarely get the recognition they deserve since they're always competing with the iPad, but they definitely have their place. One tablet that we really like, the OnePlus Pad, might be getting an affordable new variant to attract more buyers. The OnePlus Pad Go may be the cheaper and catchier alternative if the name is any indication.

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Threads is getting around to adding a basic feature it should have launched with

Zuckerberg announced that search is now functional

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Threads debuted in early July as Meta's competitor to X, the app formerly known as Twitter. Since its release, Threads has slowly been picking up new features to try and compete with X. Last week, Meta finally debuted a website version of its new short-form social media platform, and now, the service is bringing out a function that many thought should have been standard.

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Meal-planning app Whisk serves up new look and new name as Samsung Food

The app is now compatible with Samsung devices and uses AI to change the way you do recipes

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Ever since Samsung bought Whisk back in 2019, a lot of people have wondered what the company would do with its new product. While the company could always keep to business as usual, Samsung has a vast array of kitchen appliances and is a powerful tech giant, and it seems like it's finally making a big push with Whisk in the form of rebranding and new features.

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Google Chrome password sharing may start as a family-only feature

Password sharing feature has been spotted but seems to only work for those in a family group

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Sharing passwords can be tricky, especially when your browser doesn't allow you to quickly hand them out. Chrome lets you store your credentials in Google's password manager, making them accessible regardless of which device you're using. However, if you'd like to share passwords outside your account, you've long been out of luck, short of manually copying and pasting. Recently, evidence has emerged that Google may be working on a way to simplify the password sharing process.

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Google Chrome's Reading mode could soon get a colorful splash of Material You

The read aloud button matches the color scheme and zoom buttons are easier to find

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Google has been working on new updates for its Reading mode in Chrome, recently adding a Read aloud button, but it may not stop there. Reading mode may soon incorporate more of the Material You look that many of Google's apps and services have adopted, including Chrome itself, and things appear to be coming together quite nicely.

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Google Photos Locked Folder now supports cross-device backup

You can view the Locked Folder across multiple devices with the new cloud back up

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Google's Locked Folder feature is a great way to hide images that you don't want anyone to see in your Google Photos app. It password protects any photos you add, whether that's a picture of your driver's license, video of a gift you're hoping to buy, or anything else you want to keep from prying eyes. The only trouble is that media in the Locked Folder is stored entirely locally in an app that many users choose for its seamless cloud backup. That's officially changing today.

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Google Calendar is finally playing nice with Outlook

You can now see who organized your meeting, even if they're using Outlook

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Not long ago, if you used Microsoft Outlook for scheduling but everyone you invited came from different domains and the call was on Google Meet, you were in for some trouble. When these invitations arrived in the inboxes of Google Calendar users, the meeting organizer's identity was obscured, causing confusion and miscommunication. This issue is being resolved with Google Calendar's latest update.

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