Android Police

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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.

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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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SanDisk Launches MicroSD UHS-II Card With Speeds Maxing Out At 275MB/s And A Starting Price Of $179.99

Samsung and LG have announced new flagship phones at this year's Mobile World Congress, and this time around you can plug a microSD card into either one. That makes now a pretty decent time for SanDisk to announce a new microSD UHS-II card with transfer speeds of up to 275MB/s (also, a dedicated USB Type C flash drive).

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NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV Marshmallow Update Is Rolling Out Now

The SHIELD TV is the clear winner among Android TV devices, even if that is a very short field. The high-powered set-top-box gives a better experience than both the Nexus Player and the Razer Forge TV... which remain the only other stand-alone Android TV devices available. Today the SHIELD gets even better, because NVIDIA is pushing out the Marshmallow update to its hardware. NVIDIA updates usually go out all at once, so if you own a SHIELD, you should be able to start the download right now.

The biggest addition for the SHIELD is adoptable storage, which lets users reformat a MicroSD card into semi-permanent primary storage that can be used to download apps and other files directly to the device.

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Player FM 3.1 Adds Black Theme, Subscription Sorting, And "Downloaded Only" View

When it comes to podcast applications, we often talk about Pocket Casts and BeyondPod here on Android Police, but one of the unsung heroes of the category is Player FM. The free app has over 1M downloads on the Play Store, a web client, Google+ sign in, and a lot of cool features to keep podcast fans happy. It's usually my first recommendation as a free podcast client, especially for those who are new to the medium and want to see what it's all about.

With version 3.1, Player FM is getting some much needed features for hardcore podcast listeners and a few visual tweaks that are sure to please everyone.

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