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Contextual App Folder shows apps based on context triggers

We've all heard of contextual launchers - launchers which change what they do or show based on time of day, weather, your calendar, your location, or any other context. However, ts-apps, the maker of AppSales, has a new app in an unreleased, beta state, named Contextual App Folder (CAF), which is a folder that uses context to determine what to show. But what makes it special is the fact that it is a widget, for any launcher or situation.

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Sphero's Star Wars Force Band lets you control BB-8 using motion gestures

The Force Awakens is approaching a year old, but by Star Wars standards, the merchandising is only just beginning. A particularly new offering is the Star Wars Force Band, which lets you control Sphero's tiny BB-8 droid that has been rolling around since the film hit theaters. But instead of doing so using an on-screen interface, you use the Force.

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FordVR brings behind-the-scenes VR racing videos to your phone

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee, I really wish I could watch Ford™ virtual reality experiences on my phone"? Me neither, but someone out there must be at least mildly interested, even if they are an executive at Ford.

All joking aside, FordVR is a new application that provides "an extraordinary new virtual reality experience that’s the closest thing to the real thing," according to the app's description. Upon downloading the app, you are greeted with the one video currently available in FordVR - "The Return to Le Mans." Even if you're not at all into sport car racing, it should still be interesting.

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ESPN's Fantasy Football app is now 'Fantasy Sports,' includes baseball, basketball, and hockey

Pretty much every media company that has so much as a pinky toe dipped into the sports pool wants a bit of that lucrative fantasy market, and since ESPN is (allegedly) nothing but sports, you can bet they're making a go of it. Previously the Disney subsidiary published dedicated fantasy apps for both football (that's the American kind with the big dudes in armor, not the other kind with the little dudes in shorts) and baseball, but now they're consolidated into a single app, and basketball and hockey can come along for the ride.

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Netflix publishes a dedicated Android app for its FAST Speed Test

Fast, smooth data download speed is kind of important to mobile video, especially now that even mid-range Android phones are rocking 1080p screens. That's part of the reason that Netflix created FAST.com, its own branded alternative to web speed tests like Ookla's SpeedTest.net, back in May. The idea is to make sure you're getting an accurate test across multiple services (there's even a SpeedTest.net link right on the page) and your internet service provider isn't throttling your connection.

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Sam's Club Scan & Go is the perfect app for shoppers who hate cashiers

Walmart (the parent company of Sam's Club) has been testing a service called Shop & Go for several years now. The idea is that you shop normally, scan in items with a barcode app, pay from the app via a credit card/debit card/store payment system, then just walk out the door - no need to go through the cashier's line at all. Previously the program was limited to only a few hundred stores and it only worked on the iPhone, but it looks like the company is ready to put a more widespread version out for the Sam's Club bulk retailer stores.

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Nike posts a dedicated shopping app to the Play Store

The Nike+ system of sports trackers actually pre-dates Android, or at least the consumer version of the operating system. For a long time Nike withheld Nike+ apps and accessories from Android and Google Play, though they've loosened up a bit in the last few years and posted a bunch of fitness and sports support apps. The latest Nike+ app gets right to the heart of what the company is all about: selling stuff.

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Dropbox gives Evernote some competition with Paper, now in beta on the Play Store

Cloud storage and reminder apps seem to go together naturally - Evernote and Google Keep both have some basic attachment tools, and they share collaborative elements with things like Dropbox and Drive. Today Dropbox is trying to bring it all together with Paper, the company's first new app in quite a while. It's up on the Play Store in beta form, and like the primary storage app, it's free to download and use.

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Prisma photo filter app now out of beta and available to all on the Play Store

Prisma, a new photo app that's been quite popular over on iOS, was in beta on Android and then transitioned to a non-functional state before we could even report on it. But that's okay: it's out of beta now and on the Play Store. The app applies a series of "artistic" filters to users' photos, then allows them to share on Facebook, Instagram, or the other usual suspects via the Android share menu. Prisma is free and available on Android 4.1 and up.

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[Update: Winners] Cinemute makes sure your phone never goes off at the theater, and we have 100 codes to give away

When I go to the cinema, one of the things I hate the most is people using their phones. You've paid good money (I live in the UK so have no idea on the cost in the US, but I'm told $12 is around average) to see this movie, and you can't even be bothered to turn your phone off. Even more annoying is when someone's phone rings in the middle of the movie. Luckily, we've got a giveaway for an app that should go some way to fixing this issue...

Cinemute, from developer NorthShore Digital, mutes your phone when in a movie theater, then restores the original ringer level when you leave.

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