Android Police

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Google celebrates the Chromecast's third birthday

Has it already been three years since the original Chromecast came out? My, how the time flies when you're streaming video. Google marked the occasion on the Google Store's Plus page with the nifty animation below, but there aren't any promotional deals. Not that you really need them - it's $35, for cryin' out loud.

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Pokémon GO lands in France and passes 50 million Play Store downloads

Niantic's Pokémon GO is something of a dichotomy. I've never seen such a deeply flawed, broken game (with such poor support!) remain in such high demand. This weekend France, the last of the major Western European markets without entry to the augmented reality game, finally gets access to it in the Play Store. France follows Germany, the UK, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and many, many European countries smaller than it in terms of both size and population - it's not clear why France had to wait so long, but at least they're in good company. Update: as a commenter pointed out, the company delayed the release following the latest terror attack in France.

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Prisma photo filter app now out of beta and available to all on the Play Store

Prisma, a new photo app that's been quite popular over on iOS, was in beta on Android and then transitioned to a non-functional state before we could even report on it. But that's okay: it's out of beta now and on the Play Store. The app applies a series of "artistic" filters to users' photos, then allows them to share on Facebook, Instagram, or the other usual suspects via the Android share menu. Prisma is free and available on Android 4.1 and up.

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Google Maps is rolling out Wi-Fi only mode and mass transit delay notifications to some users

A couple of very useful features have started rolling out to a few lucky Google Maps users in the last couple of days. If you've been following along with our APK Teardowns, you might remember sections covering notifications for mass transit delays and an option to restrict data usage to Wi-Fi only. If you've been eager to see either of these, now might be a good time to open up Maps and poke around. But it looks like both features are launching as staged rollouts, so don't be too surprised if you're not in the opening group.

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Microsoft Office apps get inking and SD card support, Word gets touch-friendly tables

In the latest series of updates to Microsoft's Office apps for Android, the headlining feature is inking support with a couple of other minor additions. Of those, the one most likely to affect your day-to-day use is that each app now allows for saving to SD cards.

Still, the most exciting part of these updates is inking. As the name suggests, this is digital ink. You can draw with your finger or stylus, as I did in the image below. If you have a phone or tablet with an active digitizer like the Samsung Note series, they will support those pressure-sensitive features as well.

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[Deal Alert] The Galaxy S7 Duos is on sale for just $490 on eBay ($210 off retail)

If there's one thing the last few months have taught us, it's that savvy consumers need never pay full price for a Samsung flagship. Hardly a week goes by when we don't see some new low on the Galaxy S7 or its Edgy brother, and this week's deal is courtesy of eBay. That's where you can find a Galaxy S7 Duos (that's the dual-SIM version popular outside the US) for just $489.99, the lowest price we've seen yet on any new dual-SIM S7 variant.

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[Deal Alert] DailySteals has the 2nd-gen Moto 360 for $150 (42mm) and $165 (46mm)

Motorola's latest cell phone efforts have been less than stellar, but their watches remain some of the best Android Wear devices around... if you can get over the flat tire look. Today DailySteals is offering the second-generation Moto 360 for as little as $149.99, an impressive half off the list price for the cheapest model. There are a couple of caveats, however: one, they're refurbished. Two, you can have any color you want, so long as you want black.

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[Update: fix coming soon] Nexus 5 users are encountering serious volume bugs after the July OTA

The incremental security updates that Android gets are generally regarded as a good thing, but with every software update comes the chance that something could get borked. That's doubly true with faster updates, and it seems to be the case with the latest Marshmallow release for the Nexus 5. According to our own readers, commenters on XDA and Reddit, and not least users on the official AOSP issue tracker, the original Nexus 5 is encountering some serious problems with volume control on the latest build, MOB30P.

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New Play Store tools help developers shrink the size of app updates

When it comes to mobile data, where customers almost always have a limited pool of access to work with, less is more. That's the principle behind the "delta" updates to apps that Google introduced way back in 2012, which in most cases allows the Play Store to download only the incrementally updated parts of an app rather than the entire APK. Now a new tweak to the delta update algorithm has made the updates themselves even smaller.

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Google app v6.2 beta reveals more about Google assistant and teases 'Ok Google' hotword setting for Auto and Maps navigation mode [APK Teardown]

Google has been on a roll this week with app updates and there have been some pretty cool new features, not the least of which makes comic books more awesome. One of the latest arrivals to the list is a beta update to the titular app. Known originally as "Search," the Google app now encompasses a custom launcher, the Now stream, Now on Tap, voice commands, and more. The recently announced Google assistant is on course to join the party, promising to bring many of these technologies together to deliver something not unlike the computer from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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