Alexa Announcements one-way voice feature rolling out to Echo devices

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Amazon is rolling out a feature today that lets users broadcast messages to connected Echo devices. The company is calling it Alexa Announcements, and the functionality is very similar to the broadcast feature Google Home has had since late last year.

Telling an Echo “announce,” “broadcast” or “tell everyone” something will make all connected devices on the account relay the message. “Millions of customers already have more than one Echo device in their home,” Amazon says, and given that Echo devices have have been able to function as two-way intercoms and make phone calls since last year, this feature seems like a logical step.

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Plex comes to Samsung Gear VR

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There’s a shortage of video designed for virtual reality, but you can still enjoy content intended for the flat screen in VR. There are VR apps for Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more. Now, you can add Plex to the list. The new app should be live in the Oculus store right this minute.

Like other Plex apps, this one connects to your Plex server to stream content. Don’t have a Plex server?

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[Hands-on] Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, a boring auto-brawler with a kid-friendly theme

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PerBlue Entertainment’s Disney Heroes: Battle Mode is an upcoming free-to-play hero collection auto-brawler that takes advantage of both Disney and Pixar licenses for its theme. I have been able to get my hands on a working pre-release version, so I figured why not give some insight on what this game has to offer before it officially releases so that our readers will have a good idea what to expect. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on the beta of Disney Heroes: Battle Mode.

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Taskade is a to-do manager with integrated collaboration tools

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Getting things done is easier when a team is all on the same page, so keeping individual to-do lists might not be ideal. Taskade is a new app that seeks to make your bullet lists and random thoughts more collaborative with quick sharing and built-in chat features. It’s free, too.

Taskade supports multiple “groups,” so you can have a group that’s all your own. There are also sharing tools so you can invite others to a group.

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Taskade is a to-do manager with integrated collaboration tools was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Xiaomi reportedly working on gaming smartphone, with up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage

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The smartphone market is extremely saturated at this point, so it’s not often we see something actually unique. Xiaomi makes plenty of regular phones, but it has also produced a few wild devices like the Mi Mix family. It appears that another strange phone from Xiaomi is on the way – one tailored to gamers.

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Don’t freak out: LineageOS has a very bad and very late April Fools’ joke in latest builds

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LineageOS announced its April Fools’ Day joke at the appropriate time back on Sunday, but the gag itself wasn’t ready until the most recent builds were released yesterday. Now that it has actually landed (late), the hoax has lost both its relevance and its taste. So if you flash this week’s update and see a warning about software counterfeiting and cryptocurrency mining, don’t freak out. It’s just a very late, very bad joke. 

 

The warning, as it appears on a freshly-updated device.

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[Deal Alert] Samsung Gear IconX wireless earbuds drop another $10 to $149.89

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The first time Samsung took a swing at completely wireless earbuds, the results weren’t great. However, the 2018 revision of the Gear IconX was much better. These earbuds have better battery life, an improved charging case, and they’re super-compact. The MSRP is just a bit high. The price has been coming down on Amazon lately, and even lower than usual right now. You can pick up the black IconX earbuds for $ 149.89.

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Halfbrick Studios turn Fruit Ninja into a competitive multiplayer game with the beta release of ‘Fruit Ninja Fight’

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Halfbrick Studios haven’t been having a good year. They recently laid off half of their workforce and with that sudden change have also decided to start concentrating all of their efforts on their two most successful licenses, Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. Their latest release on the Play Store is an open-beta product still under development. It is called Fruit Ninja Fight, and as the name would suggest, it’s a multiplayer-focused Fruit Ninja game.

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Some interesting stats about Google Play Store vs. Apple App Store apps and development

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We don’t usually cover infographics and comparisons on Android Police – most are biased, pointless, or without much credibility – but this latest data set from appfigures made us stop and do a double-take because it presented interesting stats from a rather reputable app analytics company.

appfigures‘ report looked at 10 different questions regarding the Play Store and App Store and tried to answer them with stats pulled from its Explorer app research tool.

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[Update: Now up for pre-order, ships May 28] Polk Audio announces the first soundbar with Alexa, goes on sale in April

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Over the past few years, we’ve seen Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant expand to a wide array of electronics. This includes robots, appliances, and even bathroom mirrors. But there is one product category that Alexa hasn’t yet made an appearance in – soundbars. While you could already connect an Echo Dot to a soundbar, there hasn’t been one with Alexa already integrated.

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[Update: Now up for pre-order, ships May 28] Polk Audio announces the first soundbar with Alexa, goes on sale in April was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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