Android Police

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[Deal Alert] Packt is offering all of its eBooks, including Android development-related ones, for $5

If you're looking to learn how to develop for a certain platform, chances are that Packt will have what you're looking for in either eBook or video form. As it does a few times per year, the publishing company is currently offering all of its material for just $5 a pop.

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[Bonus Round] Legends of Callasia, Shadow Bug, Qurius, The Quest: Isles of Ice & Fire, Conduct THIS, Cubway, and Catch the Bus

Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we have a fantasy take on Risk, a stylish action-platformer, a minimalist god game, an RPG expansion, a train puzzle game, and an 8-bit endless runner. Without further ado:

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Google Assistant can track Santa, tell holiday jokes, and spin the dreidel

Google has added a few entertaining Easter eggs to Google Assistant since its release, including fully interactive quiz games. In the spirit of the season, a few new holiday-related commands have made their way to Google Assistant.

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Android Pay supports 31 new banks and credit unions

One of the disadvantages of Android Pay is that banks, credit unions, and credit card companies have to support it (as opposed to Google Wallet NFC payments). Thankfully, support has greatly expanded in the past few months, with Chase being the last major holdout in the United States.

Now Android Pay has started working with 31 additional banks and credit unions. Here is the full list:

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Less headache for Creators: YouTube channels will no longer have two types of URLs

For the few of you who have a YouTube channel, there was one headache-inducing issue that everyone kept running into: channel URLs could take one of two formats: youtube.com/ChannelName or youtube.com/c/ChannelName (the latter being based on Google+). While this seems like an innocuous annoyance, it used to cause plenty of confusion for viewers who weren't aware of the difference and tried to reach a channel but didn't find it there. Silly.

Now YouTube is consolidating these two URL formats. Either of the two will take you to the YouTube channel, regardless of which format you set up first as a creator.

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PSA: Gmail can now preview Docs, Sheets, and Slides even if the corresponding app isn't installed

One thing I have often found annoying was how Google Drive could at least preview Docs, Sheets, and Slides, even if the corresponding app wasn't installed, but Gmail couldn't. Gmail used to try routing these links to the different apps if they were installed, but in case they weren't, it would open the file in the browser.

That's changed in the latest versions of Gmail. I tested it on v 6.11.6.14 and compared with v 6.9.25.13 on another device. Both devices only have the Google Drive installed and none of its subsidiaries. When I tapped on an attached or linked Docs file on the older version, it opened it in Chrome and showed a pop-up to remind me to download the Docs app (left screenshot below).

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Google Search is testing new Recent tab, Offline and Lite search modes

Google is on a testing spree with server-side changes in the main Search app. Based on feedback from several readers, it looks like there might be changes afoot to the side menu, introducing a new feature and improving on ones we've seen before but that haven't been widely implemented yet.

Recent search tab

Whenever you perform a search within the Google app or widget, you have a couple of ways to access it again: you either remember the exact words you used and try the same search, or you access your Google activity dashboard, or you use the trick of tapping the Google icon to open a consequent search as a separate page to leave the previous one lurking.

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Google Contributor is being discontinued in favor of a newer iteration due in early 2017

Google Contributor was a very interesting proposition for those of us in the web publishing industry. It allowed sites like Android Police to offer readers an option to pay a little bit of money per month to remove some ads and thus have a better experience reading us while also helping us stay in business. It was launched in August of 2015 and has thus far stayed limited to users in the US. Today though, Contributor is being discontinued.

Users are receiving an email that explains that there's a new and improved version of Contributor that will launch "early next year" and that, in the meantime, the current Contributor will be discontinued.

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[Deal Alert] Anki Overdrive Starter Kit is down to $99.99 on Amazon ($50 off)

The definition of a toy nowadays is a lot more complicated and advanced than when I was still a kid. A small toy car, a plush bear, heck even a new eraser or pencil sharpener counted. Now, toys have to use batteries, be smart, connect to your phone in some form or another, and be expandable to suck you further in their franchise.

But as far as these kinds of toys go, Anki's Overdrive is kinda cool. It's a racing track with the obvious phone connection, where you can upgrade your cars and their capabilities, build the track as you want with the different elements, and even expand on it with more cars, track parts, and players. The kit includes 2 cars, 6 curved and 4 straight track pieces, 2 riser pieces, 1 charging system, and 1 tire cleaner.

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[Update: Official] Google Keyboard is now Gboard with v6.0 update—includes integrated search, dedicated number row, multiple active languages, and more [APK Download]

Google released a keyboard app for the iPhone some months back called Gboard, and everyone was wondering if it would come to Android. Well, now it has as the v6.0 update to Google Keyboard. It's not only a name change, though. There are a few important new features, including a search shortcut and true multi-language support.

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