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1 month ago

Touch Circle is an awesome twist on the boring live wallpaper

10

Live wallpapers have languished in recent years.

It's a shame, too, because there is so much potential for beautiful and useful wallpapers rather than a boring static image. Google's Wallpapers app utilizes a live wallpaper… but only to change out static images every day. Well, there are some developers who are looking to bring back the live wallpaper, and if they all start off as well as Touch Circle, this themer hopes to be swimming in them by summer.

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1 month ago

Chrome for Android now lets you download videos and web pages for offline viewing

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You can now take entire web pages offline.

Google has announced that it is rolling out an update to Chrome for Android (55.0.2883.84) that gives you the ability to download videos, music, and entire web pages for offline viewing. You'll also be able to view and share your downloads without leaving Chrome.

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1 month ago

Google Duo updated with better camera rotation, major video quality improvements

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Duo now works better on slow connections.

Google's video-calling app Duo has been updated to version 5.0, bringing seamless camera rotation and "major video quality improvements." Duo technical lead Justin Uberti tweeted that the app will now work better over slower connections, a common problem in emerging markets.

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1 month ago

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes gets Android-exclusive content ahead of Rogue One premiere

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This is the Android content you're looking for...

Another year, another Star Wars movie for fans to get hyped over. In celebration of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premiering at theatres across North America country on December 16, Android gamers can enjoy exclusive content in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, the massively popular collectable card game RPG set in the Star Wars universe.

Starting today, and exclusive to Android, you can grab the new Rogue One Heroes Pack for free. The pack includes K-2SO, the new Droid that will be featured in the Rogue One movie. Once unlocked, you're able to keep him forever and upgrade him to seven stars. Expect more Rogue One-based content included in the Heroes Pack.

This Rogue One content is only available for a limited time, so don't be a scruffy nerfherder — log in and grab your exclusive Heroes Pack before December 16 so you don't miss out.

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1 month ago

Google app update brings a dedicated news feed to your home screen

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Google Now gets broken up into two feeds.

An update rolling out to the Google app breaks up the feed into two separate sections — one dedicated to news updates, and an "upcoming" section that details your personal info, including daily schedule, flight info, appointments, and more.

The app still pulls in data from Gmail, Calendar, and other sources, but all that information now lives in the upcoming tab. By default, you'll see updates from your favorite news publications, people of interest, music, and sports teams. There's still the option to customize your feed, and Google says that the more you use the feature, the "more tailored and relevant" it becomes.

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1 month ago

Google just made Android app updates way smaller — again!

43

App updates are awesome. Burning mobile data to download them isn't.

There aren't many people who turn off automatic app updates as soon as they get a new phone, but many who do say the biggest reason is data usage. If you only have 4GB of data in a month, losing 200 megabytes every month to seemingly-constant Instagram and Facebook updates is a waste of bandwidth. At the same time, not updating apps means efforts made to improve your experience have been lost until you remember to go look and see if there's an update for you the next time you're on Wi-Fi.

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1 month ago

Quartz 'texts' you the news with new app

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Quartz app gives you the latest news in conversational tone.

It can be hard to stay on top of what's happening in the news throughout the day. Quartz is trying to keep things conversational with its new news app that delivers you the headlines as if you're having a text chat with your best friend who just happens to also be a knowledgeable journalist.

If you ever feel overwhelmed when you check out other news sites or apps by the wall of sensationalized headlines vying for your clicks, you definitely need to check out Quartz. It pulls headlines and news stories from their own news site, along with other reputable news sources including The New York Times, The Guardian, and the BBC, delivering them one at a time.

If a headline is relevant to your interests, you tap the response to read more about the story. If you're not interested, tap "next" or "anything else" to move onto the next story. Headlines are occasionally coupled with semi-relevant animated GIFs (because it's 2016, so of course there's GIFs), and if a story requires a deep dive, you can always tap to go out to the original source.

There's some amount of customization you can do by swiping right. By default, the app will send you notifications for "really, really big news", as well as for any news items might be worth your notice along with a few daily pokes when there's a queue of things to read in the app. If you'd prefer a notification-free experience, it's easy to hit the switches on those features.

For a more chill way of staying on top of the day's biggest news, check out the Quartz news app from the Google Play Store.

The best news apps for Android

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1 month ago

Google's Trusted Contacts app lets you share your location with loved ones

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New Google app is designed to help keep you — and the people you care about — safe.

Google has today launched a new app designed to help you share your location with the people that you trust. With Trusted Contacts, you can add your closest friends and family members, and allow them to request your location at any time.

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1 month ago

Google Assistant now understands Hindi, but only in Allo

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Google Assistant now offers quick replies in Hindi.

Back when Allo debuted, Google said that it would bring Hindi support to the messaging platform before the end of the year. The update is now being rolled out to the Android and iOS apps, allowing Google Assistant to understand and respond to queries in Hindi.

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1 month ago

Samsung's Game Launcher updated with new UI, better discovery options

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Game Launcher now has a recommendation service.

Samsung's Game Launcher made its debut earlier this year on the Galaxy S7, and the app is now picking up an update that introduces a new user interface and a discovery feature. Game Launcher lives as a separate folder icon, and the app automatically collates all the games installed on your phone. The service provides a set of tools designed to minimize frustrations while you're in a game, and as such you have the ability to disable the back and recent keys, disable alerts, record in-game video, take screenshots, and more.

With the update to version 2.0, Samsung is rolling out Game Discovery, a recommendation service that suggests games based on your preferences. Then there's My Diary, which analyzes and logs your scores over time. The interface now has a more opaque background, making it easier to read text.

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1 month ago

OnePlus 3 gets its first beta Android 7.0 Nougat build

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Manually jump to the latest software right now.

As we tip over to December we're still waiting for an official OTA update to Android 7.0 Nougat on the OnePlus 3, but the most anxious among us can now be the first to see what OnePlus has done with Nougat by installing the latest Open Beta 8 software. Because of the big jump this latest beta will not arrive over the air for current Open Beta users — you'll have to manually apply this update.

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1 month ago

Google's latest Santa Tracker arrives with new game and visual redesign

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Get in the spirit of the season.

Google Santa Tracker

Google's yearly refresh of its Santa Tracker always brings some new fun and a fresh take on the Santa story, and the 2016 iteration is now available in Google Play and on the web. As always, the Santa Tracker app and website bring tons of interactive activities and games to help kids pass the time while waiting for Santa to arrive.

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1 month ago

Netflix finally lets you download TV shows and movies

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Take Netflix offline with you wherever you go.

Netflix has finally added the ability to download TV shows and movies to watch offline. The option is available for Netflix's own shows — including Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Crown, Narcos, and others — as well as select movies and TV shows, with the company adding that it will offer more titles for offline viewing in due course of time. The ability to download content is included with all plans, and is available for phones as well as tablets.

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1 month ago

The voices of The Grand Tour are now on Waze

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These are way better than the default voices.

If you were ever a fan of the TV series Top Gear you've likely seen the news of the spiritual relaunching of the series as The Grand Tour over on Amazon. To get you in the mood, Waze has partnered up with Amazon to offer the voices of Clarkson, Hammond and May to guide you on your next trip.

All you have to do is open up the settings of the Waze app, head to "Sound" and then "Voice Language" and look for "Clarkson, Hammond & May." Going forward, all of the Waze announcements will come from your favorite snarky gearheads. It's really a match made in heaven, and it could lighten up your commute some.

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1 month ago

These apps will make your business a collaboration powerhouse

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Improve your productivity and project planning at work with these great apps!

Email is still the go-to communication tool for business, but more often it's taking a backseat to a wide spectrum of cloud-based apps that can have a positive impact on individual productivity.

We'll be highlighting messaging, task management and project-based apps that have the potential to completely revamp how your company communicates and organizes projects.

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Slack

Slack brings all your company's communications into one app, allowing for real-time messaging and collaboration on projects. With Slack, you can create channels for different departments or projects related to your company — including private channels for more sensitive topics — and everyone in your company can seamlessly communicate and share files with one another via direct messaging, group messages and even voice calls through Slack apps available for web, PC, Mac, iOS and Android. All this helps to cut down internal email, and keeps all your communication in one archivable, searchable place.

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It's an ideal fit for smaller or medium-sized businesses. You can try Slack with your company for free, and if your team likes it, you can upgrade to a premium version that offers group calling and more feature integration.

Learn More about Slack

Google Apps / G Suite

If your company has been relying on the ubiquitous services of Microsoft Office, but you're in need of something more collaborative, you should really take a serious look at Google's G Suite.

If you're familiar with Google's offerings (and if you use Android, you should be), you'll know how well Google does at integrating all their apps and services into one another. Beyond the convenience and ease-of-use of services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive and Google Hangouts, Google also offers their own creation tools that are surprisingly powerful and perfect for collaboration — Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms and Google Slides. Perhaps the best part is the cloud-based storage, allowing anyone on the team to access and contribute to documents on all their devices at any time.

You can jump in and try them out for free, and if they more than serve your company's needs, you can upgrade to the G Suite Basic or Business plans and get more of everything that makes Google's products great.

Learn more about Google's G Suite

Dropbox

Odds are you use Dropbox for your personal cloud-storage needs — why not use it for your businesses needs too? With Dropbox for Business, you'll get as much space as needed so you can store and access all the important files for your business via the web client, along with apps for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.

Dropbox is great for collaboration, too, as teams can work out of shared folders uploading and downloading content to their devices as needed. Dropbox also features unlimited third-party integrations and takes your files security seriously, offering password-protected links, and the option to remote wipe a device in the case of a lost phone or laptop.

Learn more about Dropbox for Business

Trello

Trello offers a fantastic way to monitor progress and encourage collaboration on projects within your company. Built around the concept of boards and cards, it's an intuitive organization system that can be customized to fit the needs of your company. Anyone on the team is free to create, comment on, or upload relevant files to cards, making Trello a pretty great tool for remote brainstorming sessions. Your team can access Trello on the web, or take it with them always with the mobile app, available for Android and iOS.

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Given how simple and flexible Trello is to work with, it just might change the way your company keeps itself organized. You can try it out for free before upgrading to Gold or Business.

Learn more about Trello

Basecamp

Basecamp offers a great all-in-one platform for keeping your company organized and everyone on the team in the loop with what everyone else is working on. It's a great option for a growing team that's feeling overwhelmed by constant internal emails and frequent meetings. Message boards, to-do lists, schedules, and file repositories are all combined via elegant design into a system that's easy to navigate and accessible to the entire team at all times.

Your team can even check in to Basecamp on the go, via the Basecamp app for Android.

Learn more about Basecamp

Your turn

What are your favorite collaboration and communication apps? Let us know!

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