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Zagat Gets Its First Update In A Year With Material Design, Filtering Options, And More

Google made some sweeping changes after it acquired restaurant review indexer Zagat, including limiting the cities in which it would work. The app itself was updated a few times, but it's been sitting neglected for a year until today. Zagat is going material in this update, but there are a few functionality tweaks too.

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Google Removed The Gigantic High-Quality Voice Downloads In New Text-To-Speech App Because The Standard Voice Is Now Better

Google pushed a new version of its Text-to-Speech app a few days ago, and it actually removed a feature. Updates usually add new things, so what's the deal? You can no longer download the high-quality voice models on your device. However, Google has updated the changelog to explain that you don't need them anymore. The regular voice is even better now.

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Mint App Gets Yet Another Redesign With Some Material Touches And A New Icon

The Mint app has a case of hyperactive redesign. This devastating disease is characterized by rapid design changes, fluctuating icons, and death. Okay, not so much the last one. Still, the Mint app is getting more design tweaks in the most recent update, which is mostly okay.

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49 Best New Android Apps And Live Wallpapers From The Last 2 Weeks (12/2/14 - 12/15/14)

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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.

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Friday App And Game Sales: Pathogen, Share Where Pro, Let's Create! Pottery, And More

Got big plans this weekend? No you don't—stop lying. It's okay, though. We've got your back. There are some apps and games on sale, and they can help keep your mind off the crippling loneliness. We're always there for you.

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[Hands-On] The Completely Redesigned Action Launcher 3 From Chris Lacy Makes Your Home Screen Material

Most of the AOSP-based custom launchers operate in roughly the same way, but Action Launcher has always been different. Right from the beginning it offered cool ways to manage your apps and widgets, and it only got better over time. That app was based on the Jelly Bean-era Android launcher, and it was time for an update, according to developer Chris Lacy. Action Launcher 3 is a complete rewrite of Action Launcher that brings with it new features, but also drops a few (at least for now).

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[Update: Confirmed] Google Forced Amazon To Remove Its Main Shopping App From The Play Store Because Of Its Appstore Integration

Amazon's main shopping app has between 50 and 100 million downloads, but it's not showing up in the Play Store anymore. The listing remains if you have the direct link, but you won't see it in search results. Oddly, there's a new Amazon app called Amazon Shopping. It's the same exact app but guess what it doesn't have—the Appstore. It looks like Google may have laid down the law. [See updates at the bottom]

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Left: old with Appstore, Right: new with no Appstore

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Google Cardboard Gets Play Store Collection, New SDKs, And Viewer Specifications

 

The foldable cardboard VR kits Google gave away at I/O 2014 weren't just a one-off stunt. Today, in its developers blog, Google had some big announcements for the home-brewed virtual reality viewer.

First up, Google has grouped a handful of Cardboard-compatible apps into their own collection on the Play Store. The Cardboard app itself has also received an update, with the ability to discover cardboard apps on the Play Store, and launch them directly from the viewer.

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Google Plans To Remove All Watch Faces From The Play Store That Do Not Update To The New API By January 31st, 2015 [Update]

The new version of Android Wear is rolling out, and with it comes the official watch face API. Developers have been making custom watch faces for months using a workaround, but now the party is over. All watch faces need to be updated with the official API by January 31st, 2015 or they will be removed from the Play Store.

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Surprise! Amazon Just Launched An App Called 'Surprise!' To Make Sending Gift Cards Easier

Gift cards are a little impersonal, aren't they? Digital gift cards even more so. Amazon's new Surprise! app can at least make them somewhat thoughtful with some nifty digital cards and customizations. This is not a substitute for love, though.

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