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Google releases new ad that highlights Photos' auto backup capabilities

About a week ago, Google released an advertisement about how Google Photos would prevent us from missing the important moments with its "Free up space" feature. The commercial was a big hit - it had to be, considering it was played before videos on YouTube and it aired during the Olympics. For some extra Photos publicity, Google's official Instagram page also released a short video with a generic slab of a phone (with an iOS prompt, mind you) that some crazies thought was an unreleased HTC Nexus. Now, Google has released another ad for Google Photos.

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Appfour brings a video player to Android Wear, because YouTube and photo galleries aren't enough entertainment for your wrist

Appfour likes a challenge when it comes to making apps for Android Wear. Try to think of an app that you can imagine very little use for on a tiny watch screen, and Appfour has probably already made it: browser, Gmail client, YouTube Player, messaging, PDF and Drive viewer, Calendar, and more have been developed by the team who continues to cater to the demands of a very niche section of Wear users.

This latest app just keeps the trend going: it's a video player for Android Wear. Because watching videos is the best way for you to use use that tiny round screen on your watch, or maybe because you're too lazy to take your big phone and its big screen out of your pocket/bag/purse, and you just need to watch something now.

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[Bonus Round] Steppy Pants, Agricola All Creatures Big & Small, It's A Space Thing, Bad Banker, and Logic Traces

Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we have an iOS casual hit, a farming board game, a fast arcade shooter, an oddly mercurial puzzle game, and the spiritual sequel to Logic Dots. Without further ado:

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Video: Researchers in UK develop amazing new way to interact with Android Wear devices

One of the reasons the Samsung Gear S2 was quite so interesting was its primary input method. Similar to the Apple Watch's 'crown' button, the bezel around the watch's screen could be used to navigate menus and perform other functions. Even now, it's one of the best input methods I've seen on a smartwatch. But if a research project from the University of St Andrews holds practical promise, similar interactions - really, even more powerful ones - could be implemented on Android Wear, and without any new hardware.

WatchMI is a new technology being developed by computer scientists at St Andrews. The WatchMI software hooks into the smartwatch's accelerometer, gyro, and magnetometer sensors to detect pressure and twisting motions.

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Dropsy from Devolver Digital is now live in the Play Store with hugs for all

To call Dropsy a weird game would be a profound understatement—it's bizarre in the extreme. After a suspicious circus fire, Dropsy the clown embarks on a quest to clear his name and get some hugs. This game really emphasizes the hugs. It's a classic point-and-click game, but it's unlike anything I've seen before.

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Rootjunky bypasses factory reset protection on Samsung phones... again

About nine months ago, Rootjunky managed to bypass the factory reset protection (FRP) on Samsung devices simply by inserting an OTG drive into the phone and installing an app. Then, two months later, he found a vulnerability on LG phones; this time, he circumvented FRP by using talkback settings to open a browser, downloading an APK that opened settings, adding a new user, switching back to the main account, and then resetting without FRP. However, this new exploit for Samsung phones might be the most ingenious yet.

Factory reset protection was added to Android with 5.1 Lollipop, but since different OEMs use different variations of Android, vulnerabilities can arise.

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[APK Download] Chrome for Android Beta 53 enables the new Payment Request API, allows muted video to auto-play

There are some neat things coming to Chrome in the future, and if you'd like to test them out before everyone else, you're probably already using either the Beta or the Dev version of the Android app. Keep an eye on the former: it's getting some of said features right now. The most interesting addition in version 53 is a new API for quickly checking out on mobile online purchases. It's sort of like the streamlined payment options already offered by PayPal and Visa, but it works with any payment system and it's built into the browser. Check it out in the video below:

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Sympathy for the PR agent, or: Someone is trying to sell a battery with a rubber band for fifty bucks

In this job I work with a lot of public relations people. Their task is similar to mine, but in the opposite direction: while the responsibility of tech journalists is to present consumers with information that helps them make buying decisions, PR agents are generally instructed to drive sales by getting the news out. There's nothing wrong with the profession itself, and I've known great PR agents and those who are not so great. But I often look across the professional aisle and feel profound sympathy for my counterparts on the corporate side of tech media.

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Championship Manager 17 returns for another free-to-play go around the soccer field

Another year, another round of soccer manager games. The first up for Android this fall is Square-Enix's franchise Championship Manager, or as it's more entertainingly known to players, "Champ Man." This one is named 17, because that's one more than the year we're in right now. As is tradition.

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Reigns from Devolver Digital takes the Tinder approach to medieval kingdom management

Decisions are the essence of drama. You can have ten thousand explosions go off in every second of your story, but until someone decides what to do about them, nobody will care. The latest mobile game from prolific publisher Devolver Digital gets that: it's an odd mix between a card game and Tinder with a cartoon medieval setting. In Reigns, each tiny decision builds up a procedurally-generated story of your time spent as king.

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