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Hands-On With YouTube Gaming (Creator Preview)

A couple of months back, rumors that Google was working on a gamer-focused video streaming service first appeared. And so we waited. Now that the appropriately named YouTube Gaming is finally here, it plans to go head to head with Twitch.tv - easily the most popular such service in the world. Google has a tremendous amount of experience in the video streaming space in the form of YouTube, but it has never offered anything that was geared toward gamers.

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Pocket Releases Beta Channel With Early Access To New Features, Starting With Recommendations

Pocket lets you take whatever website you don't have time for right this moment and saves it somewhere for you to get back to later. It then reformats this content to make the text easier to read. That's what it does, and for the most part, that's all it needs to do.

But maybe this alone isn't hitting your buttons. You want more features, and you want them now. Well, just for you, Pocket has rolled out a beta channel. This will let you get access to upcoming functionality before it comes to everyone else.

Right now Pocket is working on a way to recommend high-quality stories and videos, not just those that are popular and new.

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Fully Functional Microsoft Cortana App Leaks Ahead Of Official Release [APK Download]

Microsoft has restricted the Cortana virtual assistant to Windows device thus far, but an official Android release is right around the corner. You don't have to wait, though. The beta Cortana app has leaked, and it appears to be fully functional. Just grab the app from APK Mirror and give it a shot.

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Microsoft's Hyperlapse Video App Is Out Of Beta And Available To Everyone

Microsoft started a beta test for its Hyperlapse video app a while back, but today it's out of beta and ready for download. This app takes a boring video and speeds it up into a clean time lapse clip. It doesn't have a ton of settings to play with, but most of the magic is automatic.

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VLC For Android Beta 1.5 Gets Fewer Permissions, More Material, Video Playlists, And Some Other Features

 

VLC For Android has been steadily improving over the past months, but today's beta update is a big step forward to the app that even the developers acknowledge as a "major release."

VLC went through a hardcore bootcamp between versions 1.3.2 and 1.5.0, emerging with enhancements all across the board. Internally, the app's code has been rewritten to be faster and to require fewer permissions especially on KitKat devices and above. Externally, the app's design has been given a small facelift to better fit Material's clean and elegant look. And functionally, VLC can now handle video playlists, auto-detect external USB devices, switch between audio and video, and more.

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Gamer-Focused Chat App Curse Launches On Android... Without Voice Calling

Online gamers know the value of communication, believe it or not. For every twelve-year-old cursing into his mic like a sailor with a stubbed toe, a dozen are connected to third-party communication apps and coordinating efforts behind the scenes. That's actually a bit tricky for PC games - you either need some kind of overlay or you have to switch programs to manage your connection. Curse, a service with more than a million registered users, hopes to fix that.

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Curse is a mobile app that lets you communicate with your fellow players without having to break the flow of the game on your computer screen.

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The Amazon Echo Voice Control Gadget Is Now Available To All US Customers For $179.99, No Invite Necessary

If you've been drooling over Amazon's version of Google Now and Siri (or perhaps HAL-9000... in a good way), you can now buy it without an invitation. Starting today, the Echo is available in the United States for $179.99. That's $20 off of the original "retail" price, but $80 more than Amazon Prime customers have been paying after going through the invitation process. Those who purchase today will also have to wait a bit, since the Echo isn't shipping until July 14th.

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The Echo is basically a physical implementation of Google Now that ties into Amazon's services instead. Users can speak "OK Echo" or "OK Alexa" (the device's anthropomorphized digital voice) and an omni-directional microphone will record voice commands.

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Spotify 3.1 Beta Brings New Now Start Page, Spotify Running, And Audio/Video Shows [APK Download]

Back in May Spotify offered a healthy serving of new functionality to iOS users that, dagnabbit, we Android folks wanted too. At the time, we were told that our taste would come in the near future with no specific timing. Well, premium Spotify subscribers have started to see the features show up in the latest beta updates.

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We detailed the changes back when iOS got its hands on them, so I'm going to skim over them now. There's a new "Now" start page that provides music based on the time of day while also adapting to your mood and personal tastes.

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New QuickPic Beta v4.5 Adds Search And A Google Photos-Like Swipe Gesture For Photo Selection

There's a new beta of (almost) everyone's favorite gallery app available right now on APK Mirror. Yes, QuickPic v4.5 is ready for immediate installation on your device of choice, and it contains a nifty photo selection gesture similar to the one from the Google Photos app. Check it out.

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Sonos Beta App Updated With Numerous Improvements For Spotify Premium Subscribers

Music will generally sound better coming through the Sonos speaker system in your home than your phone or computer, so it's a no brainer that Spotify subscribers want to stream albums this way. Fortunately new features have found their way into the beta version of the Android app that make this a better experience.

A number of these additions help you find new content. Spotify Premium subscribers can now start radio stations from any artist or track and get recommendations based on the time of day. The app will also do its part to help you discover newly released albums, and access to charts lets you see what music is trending in various parts of the world.

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