Android Police

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News Pro is a new app from Microsoft Garage that personalizes the news

We all have our own unique ways to read the news. Some like RSS apps. Some like Flipboard, or Yahoo News Digest. Others prefer to read the news direct on the website. There's yet another solution now: a new app from Microsoft Garage, a department of the software giant that seems to have an unlimited stream of Android apps, has released News Pro, aims to center the news around you and your profile, finding content that'll interest you.

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Versus Evil releases Banner Saga 2, looks as beautiful as the original

The Banner Saga, first released on Android just under two years ago, is a beautiful, beautiful game, with fantastic graphics and a great story. The company behind it, independent games developer Versus Evil, has just released the sequel, Banner Saga 2, onto the Play Store, and my word does it look good.

In case you've not played these wonderful games, The Banner Saga is a role-playing game set in a Norse world, with Vikings, myths, and legends abound. The sequel looks like a direct continuation of the original - a story can be carried on, or started from scratch; it's up to the player.

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Google Photos v2.1 adds rotation suggestions to quickly fix sideways pictures [APK Download]

It's fairly common for Google's app updates to be a little less feature-packed in the days leading up to major announcements. Whatever the reason, the changelogs – if there were any – probably wouldn't mention anything more than "bug fixes and performance improvements." The latest release of the Photos app isn't quite untouched, but it's pretty light on changes. The only clear addition is a settings toggle to enable rotation suggestions.

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Hopper adds Watch Filters to tailor price drop alerts to the flights that matter to you

I haven't traveled anywhere in the past year, but if I had, I would have surely used Hopper. The app, which was released a little more than a year ago, monitors flight prices and predicts the best time for you to purchase your tickets for the lowest possible price. However, there was one aspect to Hopper that was lacking: it just looked at all flights and didn't take into account your personal preferences.

That has changed with the latest update to the app and the new Watch Filters. Now you can specify whether you prefer your flight to be non-stop or you don't mind, if you like shorter layovers, and if you want it to dismiss all basic fare flights where you'd need to pay more for luggage or seat selection or food. Hopper would then only alert you to the best deals for flights tailored to these preferences.

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Spotify launches today in Japan on an invite-only basis, debuts song lyrics on mobile

Spotify today announced the official arrival of its music service in the Land of the Rising Sun. Both Spotify's ad-supported free streaming plan and ad-free subscription will be available in Japan, making it the only music service in the country to offer the choice between these two approaches — or so does Spotify claim.

But the service isn't yet available to all. Users will have to go to Spotify.com in Japan and request an invite to be able to join. Public availability for all is said to be coming later. If they opt for the paid plan, it will cost 980 yen (approx $9.67).

Regardless of whether they choose the freemium or paid subscription, they'll get the benefit of Spotify's wide catalog of international and Japanese artists, its smart curation algorithms with Discover Weekly and Release Radar along with Japanese-centric playlists, its portability from desktops to mobile, PlayStation, WiFi speakers, and more, and its Gaming and Running modes.

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[Deal Alert] Withings Body Cardio smart scale down to $135 on Amazon (25% off)

When I reviewed the Withings Body Cardio scale just this past Saturday, I came away impressed by most things it could do, but rather let down by its price. At $179.95, I didn't think there were enough reasons to get the Body Cardio instead of the regular Body scale, which cost $129.95. I found the heart rate monitoring rather pointless while standing up and the Pulse Wave Velocity measure an interesting feature but with limited usefulness and accuracy.

My last sentences of the post were, and I quote, "Withings smart scales do drop their prices sometimes, so if you happen to find the Body Cardio around the same price as the regular Body, go for it.

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[Deal Alert] Get an ASUS ZenWatch 2 1.63" with HyperCharge for just $119 from Amazon and B&H

Just last week, we featured a deal for the smaller 1.45" ZenWatch 2 with a metal band. Now, we're back with another ASUS smartwatch offer; Amazon and B&H are both offering the 1.63" ZenWatch 2 with HyperCharge for just $119. Not only is this a larger, slightly newer model, but it's also $10 less than the deal from last week.

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[Deal Alert] Mastercard offers Transport for London and Caffé Nero deals for Android Pay users in the UK

We Brits are just getting used to Android Pay - I paid for a pint in my local pub the other day and was very excited when it worked - and in an effort to increase adoption, Mastercard is offering Transport for London (TfL) refunds and Caffé Nero offers to anyone paying with their Android phone.

For the TfL offer, people using the Tube, Tram, bus, Docklands Light Railway, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, the Thames Clipper service, Gatwick Express National Rail services in London every Monday for the next four weeks will be entitled to a refund providing they're using Android Pay.

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Google Allo hits 5 million downloads in the Play Store, is #8 in Top Charts

Google Allo, the second of Google's two new messaging apps, has just hit five million downloads in the Google Play Store. All the anticipation for Allo (let's forget about the subsequent letdown for now) has made its download numbers soar. However, the aforementioned letdown is quite apparent in its current ranking in the Play Store; while Allo sat at #1 in Top Charts just five days ago, it's since fallen to #8.

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InBrief
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Mercedes and Kia add new Android Auto models

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