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[App Roundup] Our Top Seven Picks For The Best New Apps Of January 2015

January brought us the yearly madness that is CES, but that doesn't mean much in terms of software. The biggest news is probably Microsoft's continued expansion into multi-platform support for its biggest software sellers, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and now even Outlook. Google has been uncharacteristically quiet so far in 2015, aside from updating its current stable of apps.

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Microsoft Outlook Preview

Android Police review: Microsoft Releases Outlook Preview For Android

It's been possible to use Microsoft Exchange mail accounts on Android for years, but never exactly in an ideal or intuitive way.

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AcDisplay 3.0 Is Rolling Out With Lollipop Support, Material Influences, And More [APK Download]

Motorola has consistently impressed with its Moto Display feature, and the Nexus 6 has a similar Ambient Display mode. If you don't have either of those devices, AcDisplay is a good way to get similar functionality, and it's getting a big update today to v3.0. There may be some bugs with such a significant jump, so the new version is only going out to a small segment of users. Lucky for you we've got the APK below.

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[APK Teardown] Google Search v4.1 Hints At Notifications Read Aloud, Project Hera, Social Networking, And A Whole Lot More

Google's developers took a couple of weeks off for the holidays – or from my perspective, they gave me a couple of weeks to rest – but now they're back and it's time for the app updates to resume. Naturally, it's time to breathe life back into the teardowns, and we're back with a big one. Google Search v4.1 began rolling out to users yesterday, and we've already seen quite a few little adjustments and improvements.

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Pebble Smartwatch Gains Support For Android Wear Notifications In Beta Version 2.3

Big tech companies are hesitant to admit when a competing platform offers something that they don't. But the folks at Pebble are more than ready to take advantage of the functionality introduced by Android Wear. The team has pushed out a beta that lets the Pebble not only interact with notifications, but respond to them in a manner akin to an Android Wear watch.

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Instead of swiping from the right repetitively to access various options (as you would with Android Wear), Pebble lets you access different options using the three physical buttons available on the side of the watch.

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Latest Pushbullet Update Allows You To Activate Android's Rich Notification Buttons On The Desktop

The developers at Pushbullet seem to have some kind of strange compulsion that forces them to add cool new stuff to their Android-desktop syncing and notification app on a regular basis. Not that we're complaining - PushBullet is a personal favorite of many of us here at Android Police. Today it gets a little better still: the latest update to the Android app and various browser extensions adds the action buttons from Rich Notifications to the mirrored alerts on the desktop.

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The Nexus 6 Has A Hidden RGB LED That Can Be Used For Notifications With Root

The Nexus 6 is a confounding beast. This big phone doesn't have tap to wake functionality, but it does have ambient screen mode. This way of displaying notifications as they come in might be the reason there's no LED notification functionality built in. There is, however, a physical LED.

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Pebble 2.1 Update Lets You Receive Notifications From Any App—Firmware v2.8 Provides More Languages And Special Characters

The Pebble folks have announced a big update to the smartwatch that many wearers have been waiting a long time for. With version 2.1 of the Android companion app, users can receive notifications from any app they have on their device, rather than a few preset options, without having to turn to a third-party solution. People will have the ability to receive all notifications or select specific apps.

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The update is only available to 10% of users today, but it will gradually roll out to more people running Android 4.3 or higher.

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Circa Brings Customizable Animated Notifications To Your Android Wear Device

Android Wear is based on the idea of cards with all of your data and notification content on them. However, it's still Android and that means developers can play around with that model. Circa is an attempt to make notifications more attractive with a cool animation and configurable colors.

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[Lollipop Feature Lowlight] Google Has Removed Silent Mode, But Only From Phones [Update]

Most of what Google has done in lollipop is great—better design, thoughtful features, and better developer support. However, there are few wonky things going on in this first release, and it's hard to know if they're intentional or not. Case in point, the lack of silent mode on phones. Lowering the volume only offers vibrate mode, and the new priority notification system isn't going to help you.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] The Status Bar Notification Ticker Is Gone, And That's Kind Of Dumb

Before Android 5.0, notifications would display the first few lines of text in the status bar (the ticker), assuming you didn't already have the notification shade open. Lollipop introduces the idea of heads-up notifications, and Google is so smitten with it that you can't even get the ticker anymore. It's heads up, or just the icon in the status bar.

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