[Deal Alert] Ultimate Lightning McQueen by Sphero is $148.99 (50% off) on Amazon

About half a year ago, we reviewed Sphero’s Ultimate Lightning McQueen RC car. We walked away unimpressed due to its subpar controls and monstrous $ 300 price tag, despite its realism and cool factor. Now it’s been discounted to a much more reasonable $ 148.99, just a bit over 50% off its MSRP, on Amazon.

Ultimate Lightning McQueen is supposed to be a realistic scale version of the Cars movies’ Lightning McQueen. There are a ton of motors, touch sensors, lights, and a speaker on board, all so that McQueen can talk and move just like the real thing.

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[Deal Alert] Ultimate Lightning McQueen by Sphero is $ 148.99 (50% off) on Amazon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Amazon Go app hits Google Play just ahead of Seattle store opening

Amazon’s getting ready to open up its checkout-free Amazon Go convenience store in Seattle tomorrow on January 22nd, and the corresponding app has just hit Google Play. Advertising “Just Walk Out Shopping,” the new Amazon Go store uses sensors and cameras to keep track of which items you take, charging your Amazon account for whatever you bring out of the store. Basically, it’s shopping, but without the tedious process of a manual checkout.

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Amazon Go app hits Google Play just ahead of Seattle store opening was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Weekend poll: How much mobile data do you use in a typical month?

Now that Verizon and Google Fi have jumped on the pseudo-unlimited train, it seems like most of the US carriers offer some type of all-you-can-eat data plan. It’s not surprising, either, given our ever-increasing appetites for media in all its forms. It’s a lot easier to binge a new Netflix series (so psyched for Altered Carbon) if you don’t have to worry about the distinction between mobile data and Wi-Fi when it comes to your monthly bill. So how much data do you burn through in a typical month?

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Weekend poll: How much mobile data do you use in a typical month? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Motorola releases Oreo kernel source code for Moto X4

Those of you familiar with the GPL will know that manufacturers are required to post any modifications they make to the Android kernel. Motorola does this with all of their phones, including the Nougat-powered Moto X4, but now that Oreo is out for the phone (well, at least the Android One version), the source code for that needs to be posted as well. Lo and behold, it has.

A developer requested the kernel source code for the X4 (codenamed ‘payton’) about two weeks ago in Motorola’s GitHub, and it’s finally been granted.

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Motorola releases Oreo kernel source code for Moto X4 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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IFTTT adds 9 new channels for Nokia Sleep, TxHash, Moodo, OhmConnect, and more

IFTTT continues to expand the realm of automation possibilities at its users’ disposal. Over the past month or so, nine new channels have been added to the connect-everything service. Most of them will make your home smarter (or more pleasing to your olfactory receptors), while one connects a number of services to the Ethereum blockchain.

Here’s a rundown of IFTTT’s nine latest channels:

  • Nokia Sleep: optimize your room conditions when you go to bed and start brewing your coffee as soon as you wake up with the help of Nokia’s sleep sensor
  • TxHash: touted as “Blockchain as a Service,” these applets can trigger a Slack channel post, SMS, phone notification, or Facebook post every time you receive Ether cryptocurrency
  • Moodo: this smart home fragrance box can be used to control the way your home smells with Google Assistant, and trigger your favorite fragrance to help wake you up or welcome you home
  • OhmConnect: get paid to save energy by turning off connected devices during a designated hour of the day (California only)
  • SmarTap Shower: get your shower going when you get home or with Google Assistant or Alexa, or start it if there’s a fire
  • mydlink: automate your home’s lights and D-Link camera, and get notified if motion is detected
  • Airthings: monitor your indoor air quality, show off your good radon levels on Twitter, and turn your Philips Hue light bulbs an ominous red when radon levels are high
  • Meross: automate your smart plugs and customize your smart bulbs
  • Liebherr: if you have one of the German manufacturer’s connected refrigerators, automate its temperature based on your location or get notified if your fridge raises an alarm

If you’re an IFTTT user, click the links above to get more info about each of the newly added channels.

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IFTTT adds 9 new channels for Nokia Sleep, TxHash, Moodo, OhmConnect, and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Wonder Workshop Dot and Cue review: One of these is not like the other

A few months ago, I reviewed the Collectors Edition of Anki’s popular ‘Cozmo’ robot. Cozmo was first and foremost a toy, but the app included a ‘Code Lab’ where owners could create simple block-based programs (Anki has even extended that in subsequent updates).

After that review, Wonder Workshop asked me if I wanted to try out two of its toy robots – the ‘Dot’ and ‘Cue.’ Unlike the Cozmo, where coding functionality was more of an afterthought, programming is at the heart of the Dot and Cue.

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Wonder Workshop Dot and Cue review: One of these is not like the other was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android TV streaming boxes: an uneasy start and apparent death

Android TV is very much alive, as was made abundantly clear by the plethora of new Android TV powered televisions with Google Assistant capability shown off at CES 2018. Streaming boxes powered by Android TV, however, are conspicuously missing—the last Android TV set-top box to be released in the United States was the Xiaomi Mi Box in October 2016.

Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV products both received hardware refreshes last September, while Roku products received hardware refreshes in October.

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Android TV streaming boxes: an uneasy start and apparent death was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Amazon Prime Video can now be installed on Android TVs, but it doesn’t actually work

Amazon released an official Prime Video app for Android TV last month, but you couldn’t actually install it on anything. The app was (and still is) marked as incompatible for every Android TV device on the market, so no one can actually use it yet, and there’s no APK available. Now the situation is even more confusing, as Amazon has enabled Android TV devices to download the normal Prime Video app.

The Play Store listing for Prime Video now shows the app as compatible with the Nexus Player, Nvidia Shield, and other Android TV devices.

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Amazon Prime Video can now be installed on Android TVs, but it doesn’t actually work was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Play Books v4 prepares to launch audiobooks with support for casting and Android Auto [APK Teardown]

Play Books just hit version 4 yesterday, but on the surface it looks like very little has changed. There are a couple of relatively small tweaks here and there, but it wouldn’t appear to deserve a big version jump. However, this is the version that will launch audiobook support. A teardown shows that there’s a ton of new functionality hiding below the surface and it’s all just waiting for Google to flip the switch.

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Play Books v4 prepares to launch audiobooks with support for casting and Android Auto [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Deal Alert] Xiaomi Mi A1 is down to $225 on eBay

Chances are that you’ve read about our second take on the excellent Mi A1 posted earlier today. It might not be officially sold here in the US, but it can still be had for not a lot of money, so long as you don’t care much about LTE. never-msrp, a popular seller on eBay, is offering the Mi A1 in gold for just $ 224.99.

The Mi A1 sports a 5.5″ 1080p IPS display, a Snapdragon 625, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage with microSD expansion, a dual 12MP rear camera setup, a 5MP selfie-shooter, and a 3,080mAh battery.

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[Deal Alert] Xiaomi Mi A1 is down to $ 225 on eBay was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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