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1 month ago

Best Android apps and games of the week: Republique and more!

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We're rounding up the best new Android games and apps for you again this week. Over the last seven days we've seen some great stuff out of the Play Store, including a slew of interesting apps from Microsoft. There are a couple of games here with distinctly cube-y art styles, not to mention one very polished AAA title.

If you're good to go, let's dive into our top ten Android apps to hit the Google Play Store this week.

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1 month ago

Google Maps snags update, improved Android Wear navigation notifications

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Google Maps for Android has just picked up an update. Head to the Google Play Store and you'll find the newest version of Google Maps with improved support for Android Wear notifications.

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1 month ago

Top Android device, accessory, and app deals for October 24

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Anybody shopping for Android apps, accessories, smartphones, or tablets will want to take a skim through these sales we've scrounged up from around the web. Every day, we comb through these sales to make sure they're fresh and accurate, and try to find a few more. Latest additions will be at the top of each list. For apps, Google Play stuff is at the top, and Amazon App Store sales are at the bottom.

As always, if you find any sales out out there that aren't listed, let us know in the comments!

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1 month ago

Android 5.0 Lollipop basics: How to get more life between charges with battery saver

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The top Android OEMs all offer a battery saving mode on their phones, and with Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google has it, too. No-one likes getting caught short without a charger in sight. The good news is that it's a doddle to set up and use, just so long as you know where to find it. It's easy to miss if you're not aware of where to find it.

That's where we come in. So, here's where to find it and how to use it to help extend your battery life as far as you can.

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1 month ago

Starbucks app updated to support Android 5.0, QHD screens

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The Starbucks app has just been updated to work on even more devices with the inclusion of official support for Android 5.0 Lollipop and phones with QHD displays. While it's nice to see Android 5.0 support this early in the game as people are mere days away from getting their pre-ordered Nexus 9s, proper support for devices with QHD displays is the bigger deal as millions of LG G3s and Galaxy Note 4s are already out in the wild.

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1 month ago

Not so exclusive: Google sends out a truckload of Inbox invites

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Well, that didn't last all that long. It seems most people who requested an invite to the new Inbox app from Google are receiving notifications indicating that they're into the cool kids club. As the wave of invites rolled out, the @inboxbygmail Twitter account confirmed that they have "left the building" and to check back soon if you weren't in this wave.

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1 month ago

Accessibility features on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 accessibility

Having a solid set of proper accessibility features on a phone is incredibly important for the small set of people who need them, and Samsung has done a good job of keeping its recent phones accessible for all. The new version of TouchWiz introduced on the Galaxy S5 brought new options and refined the accessibility features on the device, and nearly all of those features have made their way over to the Galaxy Note 4 as well.

The Note 4 interestingly adds two new features when compared to the Galaxy S5, but also removes two from the set at the same time. The vast majority of things are unchanged, however, meaning you can easily switch between the two and get acquainted with the settings.

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1 month ago

Popular Japanese physics RPG Monster Strike now available in English

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Monster Strike has enjoyed over 5 million downloads on the Japanese Google Play Store alone, and now players in North America and elsewhere can see what all the fuss is about.

Monster Strike is effectively a marble-flicking game about hitting and eliminating targets that incorporates a lot of RPG elements. Up to four buddies can get cooperatively involved to take on exclusive bosses and and earn shared rewards.

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1 month ago

Ingress celebrates two year birthday with new monthly event 'First Saturdays'

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Real-world adventure game Ingress will be celebrating its second birthday this year, and it's doing so in style. Google's Niantic Labs, which runs the game, will be kicking off the celebration with a new monthly event series called "First Saturdays" which will serve to bring new Ingress "agents" into the fold. The events will run simultaneously in 120 cities across the world, and will be entirely player-driven.

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1 month ago

Republique review - avoid big brother in this gorgeous stealth game

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Republique for Android

A dystopian thriller with powerful story and great graphics

Republique is a fantastic stealth adventure game that was borne of a Kickstarter campaign back in 2012. The Android port was officially released this week, and there's a lot to say about it.

The core gameplay of avoiding guards, gathering clues, and employing an array of hacking abilities is paired up wonderfully with a strong storyline, original voice acting, and graphics with cinema-quality motion capture. That's a lot of hype to live up to, but there are some compromises to make with the episodic nature of the game.

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1 month ago

SwiftKey Android app joins the Material Design trend with two new themes

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The Android version of the SwiftKey virtual keyboard now has two more themes to purchase that are inspired by the Material Design guidelines set up by Google for its new Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system.

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1 month ago

Top Android device, accessory, and app deals for October 23

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Anybody shopping for Android apps, accessories, smartphones, or tablets will want to take a skim through these sales we've scrounged up from around the web. Every day, we comb through these sales to make sure they're fresh and accurate, and try to find a few more. Latest additions will be at the top of each list. For apps, Google Play stuff is at the top, and Amazon App Store sales are at the bottom.

As always, if you find any sales out out there that aren't listed, let us know in the comments!

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1 month ago

Hit the ice with NHL 2K for Android

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2K has refreshed their hockey game for the upcoming season, and it's looking solid. NHL 2K for mobile offers a My Career mode, where you focus on one player and shape their performance over multiple seasons.

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1 month ago

A few quick thoughts on Google Inbox

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Inbox for Google and Gmail

Can Google's new Inbox change the way we fail at email? Quite possibly, but it's early yet.

Google today announced Inbox, a sort of Gmail with training wheels. That is, it tries to make your email experience easier by automatically grouping emails together into categories. It's not unlike what Gmail already does with its tabbed inbox — primary, social, promotions, updates and forums sections — but Inbox makes it look good, far less clinical than Gmail proper.

Inbox is invite-only for now. (No, we don't have any to give out yet. But thank you for asking.) And while it's available on Android and iOS, it's currently only available in web form on the Chrome browser. (Which really means it's not yet available in web form, but we digress.)

This is the sort of thing that takes a little time — and email — to really get a sense of, but I've got a few random thoughts.

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1 month ago

Google Now rolls out Police Alert cards

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Google Now is getting more and more useful by the day. The latest addition to the assistant in your pocket is the inclusion of police alerts. Thanks to a tipster, we've gotten a look at an example of these new cards which allow users to track criminal activity in their area.

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