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Runkeeper 7.0 adds running groups to challenge and motivate your friends

One of the best ways to stay motivated to exercise is by enlisting friends and doing it in groups. I can't tell you how often I've gotten off my chair and walked around frantically to beat someone at a Fitbit challenge, which amounts to added activity that I would have never done otherwise. Now this friendly competition aspect is making it into the Runkeeper app.

Version 7.0 of Runkeeper is adding the option to create running groups. You can choose whether you want to challenge each other on weekly or monthly distance or weekly run frequency, then pick the duration of the challenge, invite some of your Runkeeper buddies, and assign a fun name to the group.

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YouTube is testing an improved comment UI in the Android app: likes, dislikes, reactions, and sorting

Open your eyes wide because a miracle is about to happen. You know how YouTube has long had some comment tools on its website to change the sorting order and like/dislike comments? Well, the Android app doesn't have any of that. What you get is just a regular list of comments with the option to add your opinion to the mix and... nothing else really.

However, that might be about to change. Some users are seeing a new comment interface on the YouTube Android app with the cool features from the website. There's a like and dislike button below each comment, an indicator of how many replies it got, and an option to expand to view said replies in a separate page.

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Google adds eight new categories to the Play Store, renames a couple more

We may all lament the state of app discoverability in the Play Store at times (it still sucks you can't do advanced searching), but at least Google is trying to improve the experience. Today it's added eight new categories and renamed two others, meaning apps will be better sorted into the relevant category, which will hopefully result in users being able to find what they're looking for quicker and easier.

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[Update: Gone from the beta too] Twitter removes its homescreen widget support from the latest alpha

Twitter is struggling to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. Life can be tough when you're a social network that almost everyone has heard about but no one knows how to use when they're just joining for the first time.

But despite these tumultuous times at Twitter's headquarters, the Android app has seen some of its best days in the past few months: an overhauled Material Design inspired interface, a test for a night mode, Android N Direct Reply, and more.

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Latest Street View update adds satellite mode, 'available for hire' option for Trusted Photographers, and more [APK Download + Teardown]

There's a fresh update to Street View rolling out today and it has a little something for everyone. Counting among the changes in this release, there's a new satellite mode and a toggle for photographers to market themselves for work. A few visuals have been tweaked, including a better-looking search results screen. And a teardown item lets us know that the developers are planning a cool little feature that can take care of blurring out faces before uploading photos for the public to see.

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Night mode UI finally comes to stable version of Twitter

Twitter started testing a dark UI mode several months ago, but it was a server side toggle on beta and alpha builds with no way to guarantee it would be on your device. The test must have gone well because today Twitter announced dark mode as an official feature of the Android app. This should be available on all installations of the Twitter app soon.

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Titanium Backup 7.5 adds Android N support and introduces secure MyTiCloud backup early bird

Titanium Backup still looks like it was stuffed in a time capsule in 2011 and never gotten out of it, but who cares. The app provides backup and restore features that make the lives of every root and custom ROM user several folds easier, and that's just the tip of the iceberg of its capabilities. And it's not like it's been abandoned: the developers keep updating it and today it's reached version 7.5.

With this release, Titanium Backup is adding Android N support so you can finally use the app if you're running the latest dev preview. But it's also introducing a new feature: MyTi.cloud backups.

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Spotify beta switches the slide-out navigation drawer to a bottom bar

I don't like this recent trend of using bottom navigation bars. Not because it is reminiscent of iOS apps, but because I have gotten so used to sliding a navigation drawer from the side that reaching the bottom of my phone's screen is just not engrained in my muscle memory. Also, the way it's implemented often uses screen estate that can be better utilized to display more data than to provide switches to other tabs that I may not need or use all the time. But that's just my opinion.

It looks like the bottom navigation panel or bottom bar or whatever you want to call it is here to stay.

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25 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (7/12/16 - 7/25/16)

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

DigiCal Calendar Agenda

Today's roundup is presented by DigiCal Calendar & Widgets from Digibites. DigiCal is the full-featured calendar app that offers a ton of features that aren't available in Google Calendar, like seven different calendar views, light and dark themes, multiple widgets, integrated weather forecasts, an invitation management system, and over fifty thousand public calendars for integration with personal or corporate planning.

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Google's Phone app now shows a warning about spam callers and makes it easy to block and report them [APK Download]

There are about a half-dozen countries that have enacted some form of official "do not call" registry and many others that have signed in laws to prevent various types of spammy behavior from running rampant over the telephone system. Unfortunately, little to nothing is done to enforce these laws and the penalties usually aren't steep enough to discourage bad behavior. Google is taking matters into its own hands and giving users a way to fight back. Starting today, a new version of the Phone app is rolling out to Nexus and Android One devices with built-in spam warnings.

The warning feature comes as a part of the phone app's existing Caller ID capability, which already maintains a very thorough directory about various businesses.

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