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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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21 new and notable Android apps and live wallpapers from the last 2 weeks (7/26/16 - 8/8/16)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, 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.

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[Bonus Round] Hyperburner, The Manga Works, Minesweeper Flags Challenge, Pixelgrams: Pixel Puzzles, and FIE Swordplay

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 a gorgeous spaceship/runner game, a Kairosoft manga title, a new twist on minesweeper, a pixelated puzzler, and a fencing fighter. Without further ado:

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Google's Doodle gets fruity with Rio-themed minigames in the Search app

Olympic Games. Rio de Janeiro. 2016. Right, now that we've hit all of the ridiculous trademarks claimed by the International Olympic Committee and the cease-and-desist letters are already on their way, we can talk about Google's latest Doodles. As explained on the official Search blog, the company's latest fanciful logo reinterpretations hide a selection of minigames, all of which are rather vaguely themed after the upcoming events in Rio.

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Action Launcher v3.9 beta includes features from the rumored Nexus Launcher

Developer Chris Lacy has been hard at work, it seems. Just a few days after we posted details of the upcoming Nexus Launcher for Google's devices, a new beta build of Action Launcher 3 is live with several features seen in that leak. This is all based on non-final software and the beta will have a few bugs, but you can give it a shot right now.

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Ting drops data prices to $10 per gigabyte after the 1st gig

Ting is a pay-as-you-go mobile virtual network operator (say that three times fast) that relies on the Sprint and T-Mobile networks. For people who use only a few minutes or megabytes a month, the provider is a cheap way to own a smartphone. But if you measure your data usage in gigabytes, then the savings go away fast.

Every now and then the company announces price drops after it negotiates better rates. The last time around was nearly two and a half years ago. Today another wave is on its way. Now after the first GB of data, each follow-up is $10.

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The first Galaxy Note7 TV spot features Christoph Waltz, Christoph Waltz, Christoph Waltz, and Christoph Waltz

There's nothing that Samsung loves more than putting celebrities in its commercials. It's hardly alone in that regard, but some of the recent entries seem to be more about the celebrities than the actual phones. Case in point: the first TV commercial for the Galaxy Note 7 after the initial announcement press blitz. It features Christoph Waltz, Hollywood's current go-to somewhat creepy German-speaking dude, mildly berating Americans so they'll buy the phone.

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Perchang is a neat Rube Goldberg machine puzzler, now available free on Android

In Perchang, all you need to do is get the little metal balls from one side of the screen to the other. You can't just let them roll over there, though. There are flippers, ramps, fans, magnets, and other contraptions to control in each over-engineered level. Oh, and you're scored based on how quickly you figure it all out. No pressure, though.

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