03
Dec
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Update Wednesday has begun! We're starting off with a pretty small bump for Google Play Games, taking it from v2.1 to v2.2. There aren't any big new features, but a few things have been polished up.

2014-12-03 17.38.352014-12-03 17.38.392014-12-03 17.38.42

What's New

Like so many other Google apps, the first-run experience has been updated with a short introduction to explain what the app does and the value users can expect to get from it. Of course, this generally won't show up if Games has been in active use already.

03
Dec
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That fingerprint reader that came with your Samsung Galaxy gadget can secure your lockscreen, but unlocking your device isn't the only task it can help speed up. For heavy PayPal users, it can be an ideal way to make online purchases more quickly. Instead of keying in your PayPal credentials, you can apply your print. Now this ability has come to the Play Store version of the app.

Screenshot 2014-12-03 at 11.29.32 AM

To take advantage of the functionality, you need a Galaxy phone or tablet with a fingerprint reader such as S5, Note 4, Alpha, or Tab S.

01
Dec
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Nova is a homescreen launcher replacement that doesn't look like one, an option that feels about as close to stock as anything non-stock can—except immediately following the release of a new version of Android. During that time, Nova looks slightly dated, harking back to a distant past known to us as several months ago (or, for the majority of devices out there, the present). But without fail, an update comes that brings Nova users the look and feel of Google's latest homescreen.

01
Dec
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Update: All Aviary add-ons were originally free with the use of an Adobe ID until November 30th. Now that date appears to have been pushed back until early 2015. If you didn't jump on this offer before, it looks like you have at least another month to do so.

01
Dec
securesettings

Secure Settings is a complex Tasker/Locale plugin for rooted and non-rooted security conscious users alike. Version 1.3.5 of the app has gone stable, bringing with it a beefy changelog that should help the software play nicely with modern devices and give older handsets new perks as well.

27
Nov
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Root Checker is a simple little tool that does what it says on the box: it checks whether your phone or tablet (or game console, or set-top-box, or e-reader, or robotic toaster) has root permissions. Those that use it probably only do so for a few seconds once or twice a month. That being the case, it's not a big deal if the app doesn't look good. But that doesn't mean that it can't, right?

27
Nov
unnamed

Root Explorer is one of those apps that has been on each and every one of my Android devices for years, and part of the reason why is that developer Speed Software has kept it relevant with near-constant useful updates. The latest, version 3.3, takes advantage of the revised SD card management on Android 5.0. Those with Lollipop devices can once again write to an external SD card even without root.

26
Nov
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Last Updated: November 27th, 2014

Duolingo treats learning a new language like a game, and it has attracted users thanks to its simple way of breaking courses into something you actually want to dive into during your free time. The latest version sprinkles in elements of Material Design, making the already visually pleasing app feel even more at home on devices running Android 5.0.

This release won't have you mistaking it for a Google app, as the shrunken menu button is slightly off, and the side panel slides in awkwardly under tabs that look stuck in transition between Holo and Material.

25
Nov
TuneInthumb

TuneIn Radio may have made users wait patiently for Chromecast support, but it's here at last. Not only that, there are bits of Material Design sprinkled throughout the latest version of the app as well.

You have your updated menu button that rotates into a back arrow, Play Store style. When you tap the drop-down menu, the corners have been rounded off. The navigation bar stays black, but the status bar is tinted.

21
Nov
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If a smart sounding person has stepped onto a dimly lit stage and started to wax poetic about some seemingly lofty accomplishment or idea, you're probably in the midst of a TED talk. Don't panic. Stay calm, sit still, and listen. What you hear might just change the way you think.

Some people already thrive on a diet of regularly delivered mental floss, preferring to watch content that actually leaves them feeling better after binge watching a few clips. 

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