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Remote for Google Play Music Desktop Player controls Play Music on your computer

I've long dreamt of a way to control Play Music on my desktop with my phone. It's one of those things I'd basically given up on, until I found out about Desktop Remote, for Google Play Music. It uses a "wrapped" web Play Music interface so your phone can control the music playing on your desktop PC.

I've been using this today and I can say it works really well. Much like Radiant Player for macOS or the official Chrome extension, it controls the function keys so the play/pause/skip buttons work for Play Music. The remote control feature is almost instantaneous - the app can play and pause music, skip tracks, scrub forward or backwards, and switch shuffle or repeat on/off.

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CrossOver for Android runs Windows programs on x86 Android tablets and Chromebooks

If you have ever used Linux, Mac, or another *nix operating system, you've probably heard of Wine. No, not the beverage - it's software that allows Windows programs to run on platforms that aren't Windows. Wine is one of my favorite open-source projects, under development since 1993 and having a massive community of developers and testers. Wine also maintains a database of compatible programs, which should give you an idea of the impressive compatibility.

CrossOver is essentially a commercial version of Wine, offering technical support and easier configuration of programs. Almost three years after development started on CrossOver for Android, CodeWeavers (the company responsible for CrossOver) is finally sharing a working preview on Google Play.

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YouTube is getting a new UI and animation for video description and actions

It would appear that Google is rolling out yet another tweak to the YouTube app's interface. This time, there's a new layout and a slick animation when you expand the video description. This is also where you'll find most of the video actions now.

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Google's useless Device Assist app is shutting down

If you are one of the small number of people who use Google's Device Assist app, I have some bad news. Support for the app is being dropped effective immediately. Users are being notified of the app's demise via a "detected issue" card that directs them to Google's online tips site instead.

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[Nostalgic Deal Alert] PlayerPro Music Player is down to 10 Cents in some European countries and Australia

I still remember getting my HTC Desire Z, rooting it and installing a cleaner custom ROM, then instantly looking for a decent music player on the Play Store that could handle music synchronization from iTunes. After days of research, I settled on PlayerPro and iSyncr, which would let me sync specific playlists from my iMac to my phone along with all the ID3 tags and metadata, even the lyrics and album art. And it took care of syncing back play counts to iTunes, which were used to improve the smart playlists it generated. I was practically using my Desire Z as if it was an iPod and it was revolutionary!

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WhatsApp updates Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to add sharing information with Facebook

WhatsApp today has updated its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for the first time in four years, to reflect changes made in the app since that time. Perhaps the most important changes regard information sharing with Facebook and the 'Facebook family of companies,' and updates concerning WhatsApp Calling, which launched over a year ago now.

The changes regarding Facebook mean that some information on a WhatsApp account can be shared with Facebook to help improve the company's products and services. This should allow for better spam fighting and abuse, as well as seeing "better friend recommendations and more relevant ads on Facebook."

So what information is actually being shared from WhatsApp to Facebook?

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SwiftKey Beta returns phone number and email predictions, adds Android Nougat emojis

SwiftKey hit a rough patch in the last month. A bug with suggestions was causing some crisscross of information between accounts, giving email addresses and phone numbers as suggestions to users who had never entered them. That lead the developers to stop all synchronization in the app then roll out a temporary fix that reinstated the busted sync but only for regular words, not emails and numbers.

Now the final fix is quasi ready. The latest SwiftKey Beta (v 6.4.1.45) adds back number, email, and other predictions containing the character @. However, all learned ones have been wiped so you'll have to start from a clean slate.

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[It's slowly happening!] You can now send videos as GIFs in WhatsApp, no hacks needed

GIF support in WhatsApp is coming soon. I know it, you know it, we all know it's already baked into the Android app (only requiring a small switch from a root-only app to enable it) and there's even a WhatsApp Animated GIFs folder inside the WhatsApp directory on our local phone's storage that's just taunting us hard. But for those of us who don't want to root our devices or install unofficial hacks, there's light on the horizon.

The first GIF support instance has shown up in WhatsApp and I was able to verify it on beta version 2.16.242.

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Google Duo has been downloaded 5 million times on Android since its release

Google's Duo video calling application has been out for about a week now. It was released on August 16, but it took 2 days to propagate globally. That's also how long it needed to make its way to the top of the free new apps on the Play Store.

With one week under its belt from worldwide release, Duo is celebrating another milestone: over 5 million downloads on Android. Sundar Pichai made the announcement on Twitter:

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