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Facebook Messenger Lets You Celebrate The New Year With A Themed Selfie

There's little going on in the world of Android at the moment, and the holidays are why. Today many of us are celebrating New Year's Eve, so instead of major software updates, we get themed selfies. People firing up the Facebook Messenger app are seeing the option to celebrate the new year with a photo pop up at the top of their screens. Clicking the banner activates the front-facing camera and applies a festive overlay.

December 31, 2014 82304 AM PST Screenshot_2014-12-31-08-21-17

That's right, the news is so slow today that you get a post about Facebook Messenger and selfies. Android nerds are scoffing so hard right now that I can hear them through my computer (including my co-workers).

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Expensify Adds Beta Camera Features: Rapid Fire Mode, Add From Gallery, And LED Flash Support

When one of your app's core features is built around the camera, your camera interface had better be up to snuff. Take Expensify for example: this expense report app just released an update that overhauls its camera feature, which is designed to save and automate your receipt reporting. The updated "beta" camera adds a ton of useful stuff, none more so than the capability to use your phone's LED flash module, which was apparently missing before.

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Users can also add receipt photos directly from the gallery (local storage), so putting a new receipt into your report doesn't necessitate an immediate snapshot.

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AT&T U-Verse Android App Receives Updated User Interface That Looks Less Out Of Date, But Not Particularly Better

AT&T U-Verse customers can use the Android companion app to watch live channels on a phone or tablet, turn their handset into a TV remote, and manage DVR. The user interface hasn't looked particularly holo over the last several years, but after the latest updates, it now looks kind of ready for KitKat just in time for everything else to go material. Hey, at least it's something.

ATT1 ATT2 ATT3

If you've used U-Verse on a tablet before, then this interface probably won't look particularly new. While AT&T has provided fresh screenshots on both Play Store pages, the tablet UI has looked this way since over the summer.

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21 Best New Android Apps And Live Wallpapers From The Last 2 Weeks (12/16/14 - 12/30/14)

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.

Featured App

Expense IQ - Expense Manager

This week's roundup is brought to you by Expense IQ - Expense Manager from Handy Apps. This amazingly complete expense tracking system has a solid and colorful UI, and just about every possible checkbook, alert, and tracking feature you could want.

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Tapatalk Updates Interface, Many Users Frustrated With Various Navigation Difficulties

 

Tapatalk, Android’s most popular app for browsing forums, recently received another refresh to its interface with little initial fanfare. It was not a milestone update and the overall look of the app was not drastically changed from its past few updates. The way you navigate within a site, though, has been altered significantly. Judging by Play Store reviews, Tapatalk’s feedback board, and our tips inbox, users are not fans of this update whatsoever.

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[Deal Alert] HTC Offering 50% Off All Accessories Again, Including Nexus 9 Magic Cover

 

HTC has brought back its big, half off of all accessories scale that we saw the week before Christmas. While stock is running low on some of the best goodies, there are still several to keep an eye on. The deal lasts until 11:59 EST today, December 30th. You might also be interested in the continuing 20% off all smartphones deal HTC has going until January 2nd.

HTC_Hot_Deals___HTC_United_States

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[Wear Compare] The Strengths And Weaknesses Of All The First-Generation Android Wear Devices

In just a few months, it will be the one-year anniversary of Android Wear's announcement (March 18th). Since the first two official Android-powered watches were released at I/O 2014, we've seen half a dozen total watches running Android Wear, each with its own pros and cons. These devices run the gamut from kind of ugly to truly gorgeous. A new wave of watches will be upon us in the coming year, but the current ones are still a great way to get into wearables. In fact, I bet there will be some solid discounts on these devices in the not too distant future.

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Let's All Mock This Energizer-Branded Rugged Phone, Because It's Asking For It

Energizer is making a phone. Or more accurately, a small manufacturer called DDM, which sells various low-end devices in Europe via a handful of sub-brands, is making a series of phones and then slapping the Energizer name onto them. Oh, and they're going to be "ruggedized," like models from CAT and Casio. For some reason. Because "Energizer" is a byword for "Tough," I suppose. The company is trying to drum up some interest before a big reveal at CES in January, and since this is the tech blogger's equivalent of a bye week, let's take a look.

energizer

The new Energizer phone is in fact a "range of solid mobile phones," up to four if you believe the PR email sent to us.

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SoundSeeder 1.0 Arrives As A Single App With Lollipop Support, Landscape Mode, Linux And Windows Syncing, And More

SoundSeeder takes a bunch of Android devices lying around and turns them into a poor man's sound system by syncing audio playback across all of the phones and tablets so that they pump out tunes in unison. The app hit the Play Store in two parts last year, but now everything's bundled up into a single package. Not only that, it's now ready to shed its beta tag.

Seeder1 Seeder2 Seeder3

As you can see in the screenshots above, this release gets the app ready for Android Lollipop. Not only are there material elements sprinkled throughout the UI, there's a new navigation bar, a landscape mode, and support for tablets.

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Samsung Milk VR Isn't A Drinking Simulator, It's A Repository Of 360-Degree Videos For The Gear VR

So, um, Samsung. You guys are really digging this "Milk" branding, huh? A music service, music videos, and now a virtual reality video system, all named after bovine lactation. And you're sticking with it despite the fact that "Milk" isn't nearly as internationally marketable as, say, "Samsung Music," and in the face of a trademark suit, no less. Well OK then, more power to you I suppose. Go ahead and go forward with "Milk VR."

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Despite sounding like one of those sarcastic indie Simulator games that become inexplicably popular on Steam, Milk VR is in fact an extension of the existing Milk Video service.

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