Android Police

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Google planning to focus Hangouts on business consumers after Allo, Duo release


Just a few hours ago, Google started the rollout for the first of its two new messaging apps, Duo. For me and some of us here, the Play Store listing still shows "Pre-Registration," but this is the typical Google way. As a refresher, Google is releasing the dynamic messaging duo (ha) to compete in this mobile-first market. Both the text-based Allo and the video-based Duo will be tied to a phone number instead of a Google account. This, obviously, directly contests with Hangouts, Google's all-in-one messaging platform, and is more in line with services like WhatsApp.

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Earlier, Google announced that they would be transitioning Hangouts On Air into YouTube Live, separating the feature from Google+.

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Instagram adds one-finger zoom to Stories, much like Snapchat did a while ago

Instagram's Stories is a blatant copy of Snapchat Stories, so it's not really a huge surprise to see another feature carried over. In this update, Instagram is getting one-finger zoom - simply hold the record button and slide your finger up or down to zoom. Wonder where they got that idea from?

WHAT'S NEW

  • We have a few improvements to Instagram Stories!
  • Zoom with one hand as you're recording a video. Slide your finger up while holding the video record button.
  • Lots of bug fixes and improvements to make stories even better (and faster).

There's not really much more to say on this, other than in practice it works well.

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Google is moving Hangouts On Air to YouTube Live for future broadcasts

Coming as an inevitable surprise to no one, Google has announced today that Hangouts On Air will be leaving Google+ and moving to YouTube Live. All future broadcasts will need to be scheduled in YouTube Live, and events in Google+ will shut down after the hard date of September 12.

Google says that recorded Hangouts On Air will still be available on YouTube, and that Google+ event content will be available in read-only format in the Activity Log.

In regards to Q&A, Google's suggestion to broadcasters is to use Slides, which has the same feature, in conjunction with broadcasts. The company also suggests that questions are gathered ahead of time via social media.

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30 new and notable (and 1 WTF) Android games from the last 2 weeks (8/2/16 - 8/15/16)

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Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Games

Riptide GP: Renegade

Android Police coverage: Riptide GP: Renegade brings premium jet ski racing to the SHIELD TV, phone and tablet release coming later

Riptide is back for another round of water racing, and this time it's a full premium game.

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The 2016 Nexus "Sailfish" may have a "recycled" design, but does it even matter?

Making the rounds now is a GIF by Android Police alumnus Ron Amadeo. In it, Ron uses our leaked photo of the 2016 "Sailfish" Nexus device and frames it against a perspective-shifted image of the HTC One A9. The comparison has absolute merit: there is clearly some relationship between the front panels and overall proportions of these two devices.

But there are now claims that Sailfish has simply "recycled" the HTC One A9's design. In short: the growing sentiment is that Google phoned it in with Sailfish. But I would argue strongly that, aside from proportional similarities, dismissively calling Sailfish a reworked 2015 HTC phone is doing an unreleased handset a complete disservice and ignoring a vast, gaping chasm of nuance in favor of tired arguments about Nexus phones just being OEM leftovers that have persisted for years.

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New CyanogenMod 13 snapshot build (ZNH5Y) is rolling out

The Android ROM community isn't quite as active as it was a few years ago with Android itself becoming more feature-rich. Still, CyanogenMod is chugging along with support for a ton of devices and a reasonably fast update cycle. A new snapshot build of the Marshmallow-based CyanogenMod 13 is now official (ZNH5Y), and it will be available on the first wave of devices today.

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[Deal Alert] True Skate is available for £0.10 / €0.10 in many countries (no US)

The Tony Hawk series might be the King of skateboarding games, but that doesn't mean there can't be other viable contenders for the title. True Skate, currently available for $0.10 in many countries (but not in the US), is one such game, and by the looks of it does a damn good job.

True Skate is the official 'Street League Skateboarding' video game, which a bit of Googling tells me is an international competitive skateboarding series. For True Skate to have these credentials is a pretty big indicator of its quality (or at least potential quality) and should inspire confidence if you are a skateboarding fan.

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HTC Nexus Marlin and Sailfish get certified by FCC

It's been reported that this year's Nexus devices will be built by HTC for quite a while now. We've had recreations, we've had photos, and now we've got FCC certifications. These applications were granted earlier today for both Sailfish and Marlin.

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Although these labels don't look like they'd tell us much, we can learn a few things from them. First off, we now have further confirmation that there will be two Nexus models. From the weights listed, it's clear that G-2PW4100 is the larger Marlin, while G-2PW2100 is the smaller Sailfish. In addition, the font of the labels looks very similar to that of Google's new logo.

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Google releases new ad that highlights Photos' auto backup capabilities

About a week ago, Google released an advertisement about how Google Photos would prevent us from missing the important moments with its "Free up space" feature. The commercial was a big hit - it had to be, considering it was played before videos on YouTube and it aired during the Olympics. For some extra Photos publicity, Google's official Instagram page also released a short video with a generic slab of a phone (with an iOS prompt, mind you) that some crazies thought was an unreleased HTC Nexus. Now, Google has released another ad for Google Photos.

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Appfour brings a video player to Android Wear, because YouTube and photo galleries aren't enough entertainment for your wrist

Appfour likes a challenge when it comes to making apps for Android Wear. Try to think of an app that you can imagine very little use for on a tiny watch screen, and Appfour has probably already made it: browser, Gmail client, YouTube Player, messaging, PDF and Drive viewer, Calendar, and more have been developed by the team who continues to cater to the demands of a very niche section of Wear users.

This latest app just keeps the trend going: it's a video player for Android Wear. Because watching videos is the best way for you to use use that tiny round screen on your watch, or maybe because you're too lazy to take your big phone and its big screen out of your pocket/bag/purse, and you just need to watch something now.

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