Thanks, Obama — for making the Android Central News Briefing, October 20, 2016.
There are many things we like to see: puppies, hot coffee and croissants together, and the release of our favorite new devices in the wild. The Pixel and Pixel XL are now making their way to customers around the world, and we're excited to see what people think.
But don't forget the Moto Z Play, which is also available for $200 less than the Pixel, and you get a pretty great experience, too.
Mainly, I'm just happy that this weekly cadence of phone releases is calming down so I can get back to writing the great Canadian novel, Drake's BlackBerry.
With that, here's today's top stories!
BlackBerry's app updates for October are rolling out
BlackBerry's Android apps are getting their monthly update, and we're expected to see improvements for Hub+, Camera, Keyboard, Password Keeper and more. Additional improvements for the Priv and DTEK50 camera and keyboard are also on the way. More
Unlocked Moto Z Play comes to Amazon, B&H and others
The Moto Z Play, one of the best phones you may have overlooked this year, is now available unlocked from several e-commerce sites. It's $450, which is more expensive than Verizon sells it for, but it lacks bloatware, and has official support for AT&T and T-Mobile's networks. See at Amazon
Google Pixel is available today
The Google Pixel is now available in many countries around the world, including the U.S. and Canada. The phone can be purchased at Google's online store and, in the U.S., at Verizon. In Canada, it's available from a number of outlets, including Rogers, Bell, Telus and others. More
Daydream View available at the Google Store after all
And here we thought that only Pixel pre-orders would get the luxury of being first to snag a Daydream View. Google's virtual reality headset is officially on sale for $79. You'll need a Daydream-ready smartphone to use it, however, so make sure you've got a Pixel on the way or a ZTE Axon 7 in-hand before you order one. More
Chromecast Ultra now available from Google, but get it from Best Buy
Google is on a hardware release streak. In addition to the Pixel itself and a small number of Daydream units, the Chromecast Ultra is now available from Google and Best Buy, and is shipping November 7. Who's buying? More
Obama burns Samsung at press conference
Obama took a nice, clean shot at Samsung's fiery Note 7 at a press conference today. Thanks, Obama.
Verizon has no 128GB Pixel XLs and won't have any until November 18
The 128GB Pixel XL (in any color) is sold out at Verizon. According to TechTimes more aren't expected until November 18. With Google's own store and best Buy sold out of 128GB models, it looks like it will be 32GB or a wait for potential Pixel buyers.
Pixel and Pixel XL get the "Nexus" factory image treatment at launch
As expected, Google hasn't strayed too far from the Nexus legacy when it comes to releasing factory images and OTA updates. These files are now available to sideload at will for those who want to bring their devices back to factory settings. More
Qualcomm reportedly ready to close deal and buy NXP Semiconductors
What to do when you're sitting on $30+ billion in cash? If you're Qualcomm, you buy a company who can help lessen your dependency on one market and branch into new ones. According to Bloomberg Qualcomm is ready to do just that.
Chrome 54 for Android brings background audio because we're not animals
Android is a pretty powerful desktop-class operating system, but there are some mystifying shortcomings that occasionally keep it down. One of them is Google's inconsistent application of background audio in apps like Chrome and YouTube. We already know why YouTube doesn't allow for background audio — artists gotta get paid — but there was no reason to prevent Chrome from working with some sites. With Chrome 54, that's now possible.
Your Snapdragon 820 phone is better than your friend's iPhone 7 in one important way
OK, this is a little inside baseball, but stay with me: Apple made two versions of the iPhone 7, one with an Intel baseband and the other with a Qualcomm one. Ostensibly they're identical, but RF experts at Cellular Insights have tested both versions and found the Qualcomm one to be significantly faster.
How does this affect you? Because that chip is the same one found in Qualcomm's X12 modem solution inside most Android devices running a Snapdragon 820. In other words, rock on!
That's it from us, see you tomorrow!