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Pocket Casts Updates To v5.0 With Beautiful Material Interface, Grab Bag Of New Features

App developers of the world, take note: this is how you do a Material Design update. After quietly hammering away this major update in a private beta, the Pocket Casts team has made it public on their stable channel. Already one of the most popular and well-regarded podcast clients on Android, Pocket Casts has paired their new design with a variety of new features and refinements that make the update more than merely cosmetic.

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29 New And Notable Android Apps And Live Wallpapers From The Last 2 Weeks (2/24/15 - 3/10/15)

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

SeatGeek Event Tickets

Today's roundup is presented by SeatGeek Event Tickets.

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[Android 5.1 Feature Spotlight] Android Beam Gets A Shiny New Share Icon

That new default Android icon in 5.1 we pointed out earlier appears to be showing up in more places than expected. It's the basis for an updated Android Beam icon, which you can see below.

Screenshot_2015-03-10-12-34-43 2015-03-10 19.38.55

Left: Old, Right: New

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DirecTV Android Apps Can Stream 15 New HBO And Cinemax Live Channels After Latest Update

DirecTV's job used to be making sure that when you turn on your TV, there's something there to watch. Then these fancy mobile devices came around, and now the company is tasked with putting shows on those as well. Kids don't stare at big screens anymore, I'm told. Everything looks best crammed somewhere between 4.5 to 10.1 inches.

The latest version of the DirecTV Android apps offer up 15 new HBO and Cinemax channels, which you can stream live to your phone or tablet.

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Chainfire's New App 'Recently' Tells The Never-Ending List Of Recent Apps In Lollipop To Take A Hike [Root Only]

Android 5.1 made some major changes to the way recent apps are handled in Android. You can include Chrome tabs in the recent app list, and apps that are called up from another activity get their own card to keep things more consistent. However, Google also decided to never clear the list of recent app cards. It just goes on and on and on... it's kind of annoying. "Recently" from Chainfire fixes that, but you need root.

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Nova Launcher Gets A Huge Redesign, Now In Beta: Material Design, New Code Base, And Tons Of New Options

When it comes to alternative launchers based on the standard Android homescreen design, I think it's safe to say at this point that Nova Launcher is the best available. But developer TeslaCoil isn't resting on its laurels: the app is constantly being updated, tweaked, and improved. Today the biggest update to Nova Launcher in years is going out on its Google Play Store beta channel... and yes, it has Material Design.

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Rightware Releases Free And Paid Versions Of Basemark ES 3.1 Graphical Benchmark

There are already a number of ways to test the capability of your Android device's hardware, but one more isn't going to hurt. Rightware has released Basemark ES 3.1 for Android in both free and paid versions. Do you need a paid graphics benchmark? Probably not, but maybe someone does.

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InBrief
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[Absolutely FABulous] Twitter Is Testing A Floating Action Button In The Official App

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Pandora App Updated To Version 5.8 With Google Now Card Support And A Few Bug Fixes

Oh Pandora, how I wish I could quit you. I pay the folks at Google Music for their services, and I know they work hard. They even include music controls in the notification bar and the lockscreen, which you seem to take absolute joy in withholding from me. But on a roadtrip or an exercise session, I always come back to you - years of curated music stations are hard to let go.

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30 Best Android Wear Apps And Watch Faces From 1/30/15—3/9/15

It's been about a year since Android Wear was announced, and here we are with a few watches and a ton of apps and faces. I hear there's some other company that announced a smartwatch recently. I think they usually sell fruit or something. Whatever, we're here to talk about all the cool new stuff you can do with your Android Wear watch. So here are the best new apps and watch faces that have come to Wear in the last few weeks.

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