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Nova Launcher v5.4 beta adds 'Sesame Shortcuts' integration for deep linking into apps

Nova Launcher developer Kevin Barry just got done rolling out Google Feed integration, and before we can even catch our breath, there's another significant improvement on the way. In the latest beta of Nova, there's built-in support for Sesame Shortcuts, which is an app of which you probably haven't heard. The gist is Sesame lets Nova deep link into your apps.

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Google announces official release of Android Testing Support Library v1.0, Espresso v3.0, and more to make writing automated tests easier

Proper testing procedures are a huge part of software development best practices, particularly automated tests. As many Android developers would point out, the story on Android was far behind the curve for many years, and it was only recently that the tools had caught up with the needs of the ecosystem. Today, Google announced a major leap forward for these tools with an official v1.0 release of the Android Testing Support Library (ATSL).

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23 new and notable Android games from the last week (7/19/17 - 7/25/17)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week 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.

Games

Layton’s Mystery Journey

Android Police coverage: Layton’s Mystery Journey is on the Play Store, and yes, you'll have to pay for quality

If you are unfamiliar with the Layton puzzle adventure series of games, then you are in for a treat.

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Sprint mocks Verizon's prices with hilarious 'Twice the Price' ad campaign

With most commercials in the US, companies compare their products to "the leading brand" or "competing product." But not so in the telecom industry. Carriers often go after their competitors with satirical ads and CEO rants, calling out each other on their claims and figures. Sprint is no stranger to this behavior, and has started a series of ads directly targeting Verizon.

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Google Maps v9.58 beta prepares to add crowdsourced Q&A sections and user-contributed videos [APK Teardown]

There's a new version of Google Maps making the rounds through the beta channel. So far, no major changes are showing up with regular usage of the app, but there is evidence of a couple really huge new features on the horizon. A teardown of the apk reveals that the Maps team is preparing to launch a Q&A section for places that would allow users to ask and answer questions for each other. Also on the schedule is the addition of video to the types of media users will be able to contribute. These are some pretty huge features, so let's get straight to it.

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Motorola announces Moto Z2 Force and 360 Camera Mod

The Z2 series was kicked off last month with the Moto Z2 Play, and now the step-up version is official. The often leaked Moto Z2 Force is coming on August 10th, and you can preorder it now. Unlike last time, you'll be able to get this phone on any carrier—AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. There will also be an unlocked version. The pricing is really getting up there, though. You're looking at $799.99 for the phone, and then there are mods. Motorola is also announcing a new 360-degree camera Moto Mod, and that one will set you back $300.

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AutoTools 2.0 is now available, featuring web screens, HTML read, and more

Late last year we saw the introduction of a useful little app called AutoTools, dubbed 'Tasker Plus" by its developer, Joaomgcd. The AutoTools plugin adds to Tasker's already large feature set, with the ability to change certain system settings and control different toggles. João has been busy working on an upgrade, and now version 2.0 is upon us, which includes web screens, a navigation drawer, and HTML reading capabilities.

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Tales of the Rays is the newest RPG in Bandai Namco's long running Tales series, and it's out on the Play Store

Bandai Namco have released an all new Tales game onto the Play Store. It's titled Tales of the Rays, and it is being billed as a "console quality" release that you can easily play on the go. But what exactly does that mean? Is this title really comparable to Bandai Namco's console games, or is this yet another free-to-play gacha release that was only disguised to look like its console siblings?

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Nest Cam IQ review: Impressive but expensive

Google-owned Nest gained notoriety for its smart thermostat, but Google's acquisition of Dropcam instantly catapulted Nest to the forefront of this product category. Nest has traditionally made very good cameras, and they come with a premium price tag to match. That's still the case with the new Nest Cam IQ, which packs a 4K image sensor, new software smarts, and a $300 price tag. You could get two cameras from another maker for that price, and I think most people probably will. However, the Nest Cam IQ is leading the pack when it comes to facial recognition and image quality. This might be the camera you've been waiting for in terms of features, but it also might be far too expensive as a long-term commitment.

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Nokia 3, 5, and 6 are now available in Australia

 

As the revival of the Nokia brand by Finnish company HMD Global continues to gather pace, its latest products are now available to buy in Australia. The Nokia 3, 5, and 6 were announced earlier in the year, much to the joy of our long-time Nokia enthusiast, Rita. The intriguing flagship Nokia 8 is on the horizon and the Nokia 6 was recently released in the US. Now, the company is extending the global availability of its low to mid-range devices.

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