Android Police

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Microsoft Garage Releases Sprightly And Kaizala To The Play Store, Catering To Small Business Owners And Teams

Are Microsoft Garage's resources infinite? I sure think so. The program keeps fostering and releasing new Android apps on the Play Store faster than Kairosoft can pump out simulation games. Sometimes, they're quirky apps that just want to make your mornings worse and other times they're interesting apps that grow to become useful projects like Next Lockscreen and Arrow Launcher. Today's new releases could be either: they're limited in scope but have what is needed to be very useful in their niche.

Sprightly caters to a limited audience of business owners who work on a small scale and want to manage their media communications themselves.

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WhatsApp Opens An Official Play Store Beta Program

For more than a couple of years, WhatsApp has offered releases of its app on its own website at whatsapp.com/android. Often times, those were small incremental changes over the public version available on the Play Store, but sometimes they had awesome features that were being seeded out as a test, on a limited scale, to those who were willing to live on the bleeding edge. That's how we always got our first hands on whatever new thing WhatsApp was cooking behind the scenes, like voice calling, Material Design, new emojis, Google Drive backup, and more.

However, in order to stay up to date with these releases, you either had to go check the site for anything new or keep an eye on WhatsApp's releases on APK Mirror to get the latest and greatest.

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T-Mobile Puts The Galaxy S7's IP68 Rating To The Test With An Underwater Unboxing

The Galaxy S5 was water-resistant, one of the most hyped features of that particular Samsung generation. The Galaxy S6... wasn't. While the S6 and S6 Edge were huge leaps forward for Samsung in terms of both style and engineering, the loss of water resistance (not to mention expandable storage) was a bummer for some. T-Mobile employee Des would seem to agree, since he took advantage of the Ingress Protection 68 rating on the new Galaxy S7 to unbox the phone underwater. It sure beats the usual blogger's desk, right?

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11 New And Notable Android Apps From The Last 2 Weeks (2/10/16 - 2/22/16)

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

Internet Radio - PlayTime

This week's roundup is brought to you by Playtime Internet Radio from HandyApps. This useful all-in-one radio manager allows users to search for specific songs or shows streaming on thousands of live channels all across the Internet, or use the more conventional recommendation engine for a more random experience.

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[Deal Alert] 32GB Nexus 5X On Sale Again For $329.99 Via eBay

Remember when the Nexus 5X was announced and everyone thought it was just a little too expensive? Well, it's not anymore. The 32GB version is once again on sale through eBay for $330. That's about $70 less than the "official" Google price right now.

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The IMDb Material Update (v6.1) Leaves Beta, Now Available To All

IMDb is a very, very popular app with over 50 million downloads on Android. It's a shame, then, that the app has been behind the curve of Android design for so long. After releasing a redesigned beta last month, the updated version is now available in the Play Store for everyone. It finally brings this app into the material age.

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[Deal Alert] ZTE Axon And Axon Pro On Sale For As Much As $130 Off

ZTE's 2015 phone lineup is going to be replaced in the coming months, but you can get them on the cheap right now. The Axon and Axon Pro are both on sale via Amazon for as much as $130 off. They're a little too expensive for what you get normally, but these prices are much more palatable.

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Carriers Around The World And Google Announce Initiative To Speed Up Adoption Of Rich Communication Services (RCS)

It's time for text messaging to improve. Sending brief bursts of texts is fine, but appending an image turns a largely reliable form of communication into a coin toss. MMS, despite being available on traditional flip phones, is still a headache for many smartphone owners.

There's an effort to adopt a more modern standard known as Rich Communciation Services. Several months ago Google acquired Jibe, a company that prioritized implementing this technology on modern phones, and now the tech giant along with a bunch of carriers around the globe are announcing an initiative to accelerate adoption.

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Microsoft Updates 'Next Lock Screen' With Fingerprint Unlock, Smart Contacts, And More

Third-party Android lock screens are always at a disadvantage compared to the stock option when you care about security. Some of them do have neat features if all you really want is a quick way to see and access information without unlocking the device. Microsoft Next has some cool stuff going on, and it's getting an update today billed as the biggest it's ever had.

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With SmartSD, The SD Association Wants To Adapt MicroSD Cards To Make Mobile Payments

For mobile payments to really take off, the functionality needs to be available to far more than merely the latest devices. For this reason, the SD Association, a non-profit that sets memory card standards, is pushing a means to use microSD cards to make otherwise incompatible devices compatible.

The SD association calls this technology smartSD. The technology apparently enables a secure element for Host Card Emulation, a necessary step for creating digital copies of payment cards the way we've seen in Google Wallet and Android Pay. SmartSD uses a device's native NFC, removing the need to embed such technology into the card directly.

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