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[Update: And Singapore] Google Play Movies Now Shows Flicks In Indonesia And Malaysia

Streaming movies from Google Play is rather nice. I sort of scoffed at the feature at first, wondering why I'd want to spend that much money to rent a movie when I could wait and buy a physical copy later. But hey, $3 to $5 really isn't that much compared to watching a film in theaters, and it lets you see a movie much sooner than waiting for the DVD version to drop in price.

The thing is, Play Movies isn't available all over the world.

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Yahoo Releases Livetext Video Texting App In The US, Canada, France, Germany, And UK

Here's an idea. Let's take that video chatting thing that people do all the time using Skype, Hangouts, or FaceTime, and remove the sound. Huh, Yahoo is already doing that?

Yup, and the service is called Livetext. Yahoo has been testing it in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Ireland. Now the tech company is bringing its intriguing communications platform to five additional countries. There's Canada and the US in North America. France, Germany, and the rest of the UK have joined Ireland in Europe.

In Yahoo's video of Livetext in action, you can see how each sentence you type appears at the bottom of a video feed of whomever you're chatting with.

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Stagelight Is A Slick New Music Creation Tool For Android Tablets

Music creation apps on Android have lagged far behind iOS, but things are slowly catching up with improved latency in newer versions of Android. A music creation app just hit the Play Store that music aficionados might want to check out. It's called Stagelight (no, not Stagefright—bad timing) and you can try it for free.

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[Update: Hangouts 4.0 Not Required] Hangouts 4.0 Leak Shows The Ability To Start Conversations From Android Wear Actually Working

Hangouts 4.0. We want you. And that desire has only grown after Phandroid's latest leak. It looks like users will be able to initiate Hangouts conversations using Android Wear once the latest update comes around.

As some readers have pointed out, this feature does not appear to require Hangouts 4. People are having success initiating Hangouts messages from Android Wear using the version currently available in the Play Store.

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The Xbox Music Android App Has Found Its Groove, Rebranding Takes Effect In Latest Update

Xbox Music is now Groove. This is news that Microsoft detailed weeks ago, but it's only now—coinciding with the release of Windows 10—that we're seeing the name change on Android.

In the latest version, the rebranding has taken place. Microsoft highlights the ability to upload your music to OneDrive, stream music with a Music Pass subscription ($9.99 a month or $99 a year), and save files for offline use.

Groove1 Groove2 Groove3

Not wasting any time, Sonos has already announced that it supports Groove. The integration is still in beta, but you're free to try it out right away. Look for it under Add Music Services.

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Google Research Blog Post Shows How WordLens Live Translation Instantly Replaces Text In Live Video

Welcome to the future. No, really, it's the future, right here and right now. And not just because we've got mobile processors that can calculate Pi to the ten trillionth digit, or because our video games are starting to look more like movies than games. Nope, what makes me feel like I'm living in The Future(TM) more than anything else is how all that pie-in-the-sky Moore's Law tech gets applied to solving very human problems, like figuring out where the exit is in the Jakarta airport.

Case in point: Google's Translate app is applying the Word Lens visual translate tool, which lets you point your phone's camera to a sign or piece of paper and see the text in your native language, to 20 new languages.

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Google Updates Translate To v4.0 With 20 New Visual Translation Languages, Shows It Off With 'La Bamba' Video [APK Download]

Google acquired WordLens a while back, eventually integrating its visual text translation technology into the Translate app. It only supported seven languages at the time, but today's v4.0 update adds a lot more, and Google is showing off the visual translation feature with a nifty Google Translate vs. “La Bamba” video.

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Francisco Franco's Focus Is A Beautiful, Responsive, Tag-Friendly, And Simple Media Gallery

Francisco Franco, of franco.Kernel fame and several other root applications, has just released a new media gallery browser for Android: Focus. Designed by our very own Liam Spradlin (#halleliam), Focus brings a big, erm, focus on design, usability, and efficiency. It's decked with Material Design elements and animations, but it still keeps a unique look and approach to image, gif, and video viewing.

Focus' differentiating feature is that you can see all of your images, literally ALL of your images, from the app's main screen. No need to delve into submenus, open folders, go back, and try again until you can find that one cat photo you took three months ago. Photos are organized by collections, which seem to follow the folder hierarchy on your phone and SD card, and thumbnails are scrollable horizontally to display every media item a folder contains.

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[Update: APK Download] Google Play Store v5.8 Rolling Out With Hamburger-Arrow Morphing Animation

Googler Kirill Grouchnikov likes to clue everyone into the subtle design tweaks in upcoming versions of the Play Store as they roll out, and today he's posted not once, not twice, but three times about a slick new hamburger animation. Is that overkill? I don't know... it's a pretty cool animation.

burger-arrow

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Motorola Publishes A New HDTV Tuner App On The Play Store, But You Probably Can't Use It

Mobile TV seems like a natural and obvious thing. That's why Sony sold a gajillion of those little portable TVs in the eighties, and why streaming of movies and TV shows has exploded on mobile platforms. So why, then, has mobile television streaming only taken off in a few markets? It seems like adding "unlimited free video with no data charges" to your phone's spec sheet would be something that would appeal to everyone.

image (1) image (3) image (4)

Anyway. Motorola has a new mobile HDTV app available now, called... Mobile HDTV. It looks really similar to the other Motorola TV app, Mobile TV.

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