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Samsung Family Hub app now available on the Play Store, if you have the fridge to match

We interrupt our MWC reporting now to bring you some Very Important Breaking News That Couldn't Wait Any Second Longer™. (Read: Rita got bored of spec sheets and wanted to have some light fun.)

Remember Samsung's Family Hub fridge? Yeah, that one, the ridiculous fridge that looks like it has a Droid slapped on the front, the same fridge that's probably more expensive than your entire current kitchen and appliance fleet combined, yup that fridge. Well, it has a Family Hub app and now that app is available on the Play Store. So Samsung can easily issue updates and you can easily apply them.

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Google makes a witty and endearing Google Photos ad for the Oscars

The world is all eyes and ears today for one of the most important events that take place each year. Oh, you think I'm talking about MWC in Barcelona? Ha, neeeeerd! No, I'm talking about the 89th Academy Awards ceremony which celebrates the best in film for the past year. But for Google, the real award belongs to you and your shots and creations.

El Goog has started its Oscars campaign with a couple of tweets (1 and 2) saying that regardless of who's the big winner in the ceremony, the award for Best Picture belongs to you. That was followed up with a 1-minute video ad for Google Photos already posted on YouTube and likely to be aired during the ceremony tonight, but maybe only in its shorter version.

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VLC beta version 2.1 adds Android Auto compatibility and PIP support for Android TV, plus big interface and engine tweaks

VLC, the desktop favorite of local video enthusiasts for more than a decade, doesn’t have quite the same kind of universal acclaim on Android. But the developers are still hard at work making improvements. According to a blog post from Geoffrey Metais, the 2.1.0 update to the beta release adds a ton of new features, notably including compatibility with Android Auto (for audio, not video).

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Google is shutting down 'Spaces' on April 17th, becomes read-only on March 3rd

After nine months of existence, Google is throwing in the towel on group messaging app Spaces. It's going read-only on March 3rd and will be completely offline on April 17th. So, that's one Google messaging app down, like a dozen still to go.

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Google renames 'Messenger' to 'Android Messages,' doesn't adequately explain why

Google released Messenger in the Nexus 6 days as an alternative to Hangouts for SMS. As Google continues to gut Hangouts and push the SMS-free Allo messaging platform, Messenger has become more important. Now, it's getting a new name. It's no longer Messenger, it's Android Messages. Why? Reasons.

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Google's VP of communications products teases an early image of Allo on the web

Google announced Allo at Google I/O last year and people were strangely excited about it. Maybe this would finally be the Google chat app to rule them all. When it came out, Allo was lacking in... well, a lot of things. One of the most unsightly gaps in Allo's feature set was the lack of a web version. Google is working on that, and VP of communications products Nick Fox has given us an early glimpse at it.

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Play Music v7.4 prepares to team up with Google's Clock app for musical alarms, loses weight, and more [APK Teardown + Download]

There's a new version of Play Music rolling out to users and this one includes at least a couple of things to smile about. This release cuts the size of the app by a good amount and fits in a few interesting changes to navigation and appearance. But the really important change can be found in the Teardown. It looks like Play Music will finally become available to Google's Clock app to sound off for alarms.

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Synology VPN Plus lets you access your Synology router's VPN server from your phone

I'm a fan of Synology. I've had their DS416Play DiskStation for a while (review coming) and I never fathomed the idea of having my own "server" but they made the process as simple and fast as possible so that even someone like me, with no background whatsoever in server management, could be up and running in a matter of minutes.

Beside their DiskStation lineup, Synology also makes a couple of routers and tries to simplify many a router setup process and hurdle with smart add-on packages. One example is the VPN Plus Server, which when installed on your router transforms it into a VPN server so users can connect to it as if they're on the same local network, and thus benefit from access privileges remotely and securely the same way they would if they were physically there.

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