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Facebook releases its standalone Events app for Android (only two months after iOS)

Facebook's Events app was announced back on October 7 as another standalone app you could download to access one feature among the social network's many entities. At the time, the app was made available to iOS, but now it has finally crossed over to our side of the mobile divide and is available on the Play Store.

Events from Facebook, as the official name of the app says, lets you check on events you're already interested in, see events your friends might be attending or have invited you to, as well as events announced by pages you already follow. It also lets you browse events by location, time, and interest to see what's happening around if you're planning a trip or maybe looking for something to do in town and don't have anything set yet.

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Google Allo just surpassed 10 Million downloads on the Play Store

The response to Google Allo has been... cold, to put it gently. For every user who appreciates the clean break Google made with its past messaging apps and the mobile-first approach it took, there are dozens if not hundreds of users who are vocal about every single feature that Allo is missing and that needs to be implemented before the app is viable as a messenger for them.

That cold response is behind Allo's sudden extinction from the Play Store's top lists and the super slow rise of its download numbers. A couple of weeks ago, David pointed out that while the app reached 5M downloads in 5 days, it still sat between 5M and 10M two whole months later, signaling a really slow uptake on the app after the initial rush was over.

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Android Pay officially expands to Japan

Google is slowly but surely expanding its Android Pay platform to more territories. Today Japan gets access - if you're in the country you should be able to download the app from the Play Store for the first time on Android 4.4 or later. Google's retail partners in Japan include McDonalds, Dominoes, Lawson, Mini-Stop, Apita, Family Mart, and Coca-Cola vending machines, along with a handful of Japan-exclusive retailers. 

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19 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (11/29/16 - 12/12/16)

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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U.S. Mobile Passport updated to v2.0, brings support for cruise ships

It's a big travel time in many parts of the world, especially in the United States. If you're an international traveler, I hear that the lines to enter through U.S. customs can be pretty ridiculous. We have talked about the Mobile Passport app before here on Android Police, since it's awesome for those who have a U.S. passport or Canadian B1/B2 visas. This update brings with it cruise ship support, allowing travelers to enter the country via sea.

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Play Books v3.11 adopts a bottom navigation bar, sub-lists for series, and a settings link for Night Light [APK Download]

As the holidays close in (at least for many readers), Google is rolling out a stream of updates to various apps. In addition to the major Keyboard update earlier today, Play Books is making some changes, as well. The big change on this release is the adoption of the bottom navigation bar. Digging a bit deeper also reveals improvements to the way issues are displayed for comics and other series, and a couple of other visual tweaks.

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Gboard expands keyboard GIF support beyond Android 7.1

One of the few substantive changes in Android 7.1 was the addition of GIFs in the keyboard. When typing in a supported app, you can use the GIF button to drop in an image. This was only working on Android 7.1 previously, but the new Gboard keyboard update changes that.

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Instagram live video will start rolling out in the US today

Instagram's focus on sharing pictures has expanded steadily ever since the Facebook acquisition, and now it joins its parent company in offering live video. After announcing the feature a few weeks ago, Instagram says the feature is rolling out to all US users this very day. It's a bit different than the way Facebook and others handle live video, though.

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Stitcher Radio updated to v3.8 with SD card support, ad-free premium upgrade, and more

Stitcher is a podcast player with a more "radio" vibe. You can create a station of all your favorite content and listen on-demand. The app has gone through a few big changes lately, and today's update to v3.8 adds more control over your front page, offline saving to SD cards, and a premium upgrade that ditches the ads. Sound good? Well, there's still more.

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[Update: Austria] Google Opinion Rewards is now available in Switzerland

Hé, les Suisses, vous étiez jaloux des Français et de leur accès à Google Opinion Rewards? Bah maintenant, il n'y a plus aucune raison de rester envieux: Opinion Rewards est disponible en Suisse!

Of the national languages in Switzerland, I only speak French, so excuse me if I can't write that sentence above in German, Italian, or Romansh. But I'll translate the general sentiment to English for those of you who are still reading me: Google Opinion Rewards is now available in Switzerland.

According to a couple of tips we've received, the app is now downloadable from the Play Store in Switzerland and users can sign up, start answering surveys, and earn a little bit of cash for each of them. Four languages are available for surveys: French, Italian, German, and English.

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