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Speedtest reaches 100 million downloads on the Play Store

The procession of apps reaching 100 million downloads on the Play Store continues, and the latest to join the club is the famous Speedtest by Ookla. If you've never heard of it before, then you probably never had to test the speed of your data or WiFi connection to brag in front of friends or to complain to your ISP.

Speedtest does its job and does it well. I don't keep it installed on my devices, but I always rush to grab it when something feels iffy about my connection, whether it's uncharacteristically fast (yeah, that dream happened once or twice) or much much slower than usual.

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LG V30 starts shipping in South Korea, more markets to follow in the coming days/weeks

After being announced at IFA at the end of last month, LG's newest and hottest flagship is finally making its way to markets around the world. As always, LG is starting the release of the V30 in its home turf of South Korea but is promising that it will come to North America, Europe, and other markets "in the days and weeks to come."

That's vague, sure, but it's the same refrain we hear with each LG device release. If you were expecting more exact dates and price details, you'll have to wait. All we know is that the phone will come to the big four in the US sometime in the fall, which technically starts tomorrow on September 21.

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YouTube Gaming introduces sponsorships as paid channels are shut down

We've been hearing for a while that YouTube was planning to do away with paid content and now it's finally taking effect. It's no longer possible to create paid content, and from December paid channels will no longer be accessible at all. Individual purchased videos will still be available to whoever bought them until 2022, however. Fortunately, for gamers at least, Google is introducing an expanded version of sponsorships for YouTube Gaming, which have been in testing for some time.

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Apple Music 2.2 adds user profiles and integrates better with Android: OK Google voice search, app shortcuts, one more widget

Apple Music had a lot of promise when it launched, but the app didn't stick well with the times, especially on Android. It seemed as if the developers behind it just didn't want to bother with anything specific to the Android platform, preferring to stick with the basic features and not making use of all the APIs that were available to them. But with the last release of v2.2, it looks like Apple Music is finally realizing some of its potential on our beloved platform.

But before we focus on that, the headline here is the addition of user profiles so you can now share your favorite music and playlists with friends and discover what they've shared as well.

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Xiaomi brings Mi FileExplorer, with FTP server, to the Play Store for all devices [APK Download]

Xiaomi is following in the footsteps of many OEMs and releasing its apps onto the Play Store for faster updates, which avoids the long waits of firmware upgrades. However, Xiaomi is doing something differently: it's allowing users of other brands' devices to use its apps. After the capable Mi Calculator, now we have Mi FileExplorer on the Play Store. The app is still marked as "Unreleased" so it's still in beta, but from my tests it seems to work quite well.

Mi FileExplorer reminds me of the built-in file browser I've seen on my Samsung and LG devices: there's a regular directory browser, but also a per-type categorization that lets you view all your stored images or videos or APKs or documents (and other types) regardless of which folder they're in.

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Google Earth adds stunning crowdsourced photos from users around the world

The ever-impressive Google Earth saw a sizeable update earlier this year that included new features like guided tours, knowledge cards, and 3D views. Allowing us to see the world from the comfort of our own home is the goal of the Google Earth team, and to that end, it's added another viewpoint with beautiful images crowdsourced from users around the globe.

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OnePlus releases new OP3/OP3T Open Beta, complete with awful new boot animation

I normally like covering the Open Betas that OnePlus puts out for its devices. Ever since the program launched last year, it's shown that the "underdog" Chinese manufacturer is cleaning up its act regarding updates (the OP2 incident notwithstanding). However, this time around, I'm left facepalming. Why, you may ask? Aside from the normal bug fixes and optimizations, OnePlus decided to change the boot animation... and I think that it's pretty terrible.

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Play Music v7.12 adds an option to prevent external devices from auto-playing music [APK Download]

Smartphones have become a critical component for many of the things we do in our lives. There are still plenty of bugs and weird little things that don't quite work right on our phones, but it's when they have to connect to other devices that many of the strangest behaviors start to crop up. For years, one particular issue has been plaguing users as they connect a phone to their car stereos, headphones, or other audio output devices. Moments after a connection is made, the phone will suddenly and unexpectedly begin playing music – and anecdotally, they're always quite loud. Google Play Music is often blamed for this behavior because it's the app most likely to respond, but there's now a toggle to prevent that from happening.

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SparkFun publishes app to detect gas pump/ATM card skimmers

Generally speaking, a skimmer is a small device used to steal credit/debit card information. Thieves will place them on top of card insertion slots on unwatched payment terminals (example), like those on gas station pumps and outdoor ATMs. When you insert your card, the card passes through the skimmer, which captures the magnetic strip data. Later, the thief will return and collect the recorded data, sometimes allowing them to make purchases using the stolen card information.

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'Aire' is a hovering robot with Alexa that will definitely scare your pets

Robots on Kickstarter or Indiegogo usually are slow-moving and expensive products, with little or no real utility. I don't think 'Aire' is anything different, but it's certainly... special. For $699 (or $749, once the base tier runs out), you can have the privilege of owning a hovering upside-down lampshade with the Alexa voice assistant built-in.

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