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Instagram Direct takes a page from Snapchat with disappearing photos and videos

Instagram Direct was added a while back to allow you to have conversations with other Instagram users in a more private setting. Now, Instagram is adding some features you're probably familiar with from Snapchat—you can send images and videos that self-destruct after being viewed. Regular photos can still be sent as well, though.

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17 new and notable Android apps and live wallpapers from the last 2 weeks (3/28/17 - 4/10/17)

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.

Featured App

Accu Battery

Today's roundup is presented by Accu Battery from Digibites. Batteries today are ubiquitous with just about every device we use, as they play a critical role in our day-to-day that is difficult to dismiss.

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Stuck Pixel: How Google is dropping the ball with its "consumer" phone strategy (opinion)

I admit it. I am a Google fanboy. It’s not that I love Google at the exclusion of any other company. I appreciate the merits of Apple’s business model as well as the thoughtful design of Microsoft's Surface devices. However, there’s something about that #4885ed Google Blue that spices up my life more so than #3b5998 Facebook Blue could ever do. Is it bias? Considering I am legally color blind, the answer is an affirmative yes. However, this bias has not blinded me to the fundamental difference between a company like Google and one like Apple. At Apple, the customer - the revenue generator - is you and me, the consumer.

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[Update: Added some more] Deal Alert: Here are some more temporarily free apps and games for your Sunday

 

Once again, we're back with some more apps and games temporarily on sale for a cool price of free. Some of them end rather soon, so don't dilly-dally. As always, installing these works as if you had bought them — that is, they'll remain in your account unless you uninstall them in the Play Store's refund window. But without further ado, let's dive in.

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LG pits a pile of G6s against the elements, showing off features in a Rube Goldberg relay-race

LG may not have the perfect track record when it comes to things like strength (or reliability), but it really looks like they're doing everything they can to turn that impression around with the new G6. They've just released a new promotional video demonstrating the device's durability in humorous but obviously controlled circumstances.

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YouTube TV hands-on: Google's off to a good start

The expansion of services like Netflix and Hulu has led to fewer people subscribing to traditional cable. Still, there are some things you can't get with those streaming services, most notably live TV feeds. That's what Google aims to offer with YouTube TV. Google announced the service a few months ago, and it went live in a handful of cities yesterday. I haven't had a cable subscription in years, so I was anxious to try it out. YouTube TV seems like an excellent start, but there are definitely some pain points.

The Basics

YouTube TV is currently only available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Showtime adds video downloads to its streaming apps

There are a few ways to get streaming access to Showtime's content on your Android devices, but now it's more than just streaming. The network has announced that users of the Showtime standalone streaming service and Showtime Anytime can now download content to watch offline.

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[Bonus Round] King Arthur, Neogen Beatz, Tempest: Pirate Action RPG, R.B.I. Baseball 17, Griddle Speed Puzzle, and Tap Summoner

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've got a free movie tie-in brawler for King Author, an intuitive arcade rythym game, a console quality open-world pirate RPG, a fully licensed MLB game, a minimal logic puzzler, and a deep RPG-based tapping game.

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Because Android: Someone already figured out how to remap the Galaxy S8's Bixby button

Well, the Galaxy S8 isn’t even out yet and already the first few software modifications for the device have started dribbling in. It seems that enterprising redditors have found a way to bring the Bixby button new functionality using the All in one Gestures app, allowing users to remap the key to other applications or inputs, such as Google Now.

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Android O feature spotlight: Developers can specify timeouts for notifications

Some notifications are plain annoying. Fitbit keeps bugging me with how many steps I have to walk to overcome someone in a Workweek Hustle or who has just surpassed me in a Daily Showdown. Ebay wants to tell me that a watchlist item is nearing its end date. And the order of pharmacists in Lebanon app sends dozens of repetitive notifications to remind me of a certain conference happening on the night.

Some notifications are important to read regardless of how late you are to spot them, others like the ones I mentioned above are pointless after a certain time. For those notifications - and the developers who are kind and empathic enough to care about their users - Android O has one awesome feature: timeout.

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