21
Aug
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Motorola hasn't been shy with the apps as of late. They've published a handful of new ones in the last few weeks, most of which are exclusive to the multi-carrier Moto X and the new family of DROIDs for Verizon. The Skip app went live just a few hours ago, but the latest is possibly the phones' most visible feature, Touchless Control. It lets the new Motos react to voice while the phone screen is off with the command "OK Google Now."

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Don't get excited: the app is absolutely and emphatically only for the Moto X, DROID Mini, DROID Ultra, and DROID MAXX.

21
Aug
hangouts

Given the major Keep update to v2 today, I got excited when I saw that Hangouts was updated as well a short time after. Unfortunately, it seems like it's a very minor bump: from 1.1.1.753199 to 1.1.2.778356.

A quick teardown revealed updated translations and some minor under-the-hood code changes that aren't anything to write home about. The changelog hasn't been updated either and still lists the added emoji support and other stuff from the previous v1.1 update.

21
Aug
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Motorola Skip, the NFC clip that lets you bypass your pattern / PIN lockscreen, was announced last week as an accessory exclusive for the Moto X. At the time, the Skip setup page linked to an app on the Play Store that wasn't yet publicly available, but that just changed. The Motorola Skip Setup app is required to get your Skip up and running. To set it up, install the app, turn on NFC on your phone, tap the skip against the back of your Moto X and follow the app's instructions.

21
Aug
Nextdoor-Thumb

One of the problems of living in modern times is that it's easy for us to shut ourselves off from our communities, living in a place for years without ever meeting the Smiths down the road or the Patels across the street. If you've wished for a way to resolve this issue that doesn't require the awkwardness of knocking on your neighbor's door, you're in luck, because there's now an app for that.

21
Aug
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The Field Trip app on Android is a fun little diversion. It pops up location-based cards that tell you about interesting things nearby. It could be a landmark, a historical event, or a place to grab a bite. But the app requires you to whip out your phone to see the notification. Field Trip has just been announced for Google Glass, and it looks like the perfect platform for it – this is what augmented reality is supposed to be.

21
Aug
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Google announced a big update to Google Keep today, adding a much-needed feature to the nascent note app: time and location-based reminders, powered by Google Now. Nice! You can now select, at the bottom of a note while creating or editing it, to be reminded of that note at a certain time or place. I can already say this is going to get me using Keep a lot more. The reminders can be snoozed or adjusted in the notification bar when they appear, too, which is pretty awesome.

21
Aug
play

Automatic app updates are a convenient way to stay up-to-date. The problem is, not everyone wants every app to update automatically. Thus, the Play Store has had an option for a while to disable automatic updates for specific applications, which could then be manually updated at the user's discretion.

However, therein laid another problem: the "Update All" option ignored this setting, and, once tapped, updated all apps with new versions available – including those that were set to not auto-update.

21
Aug
swiftkey

After about a month of beta testing and several updates, SwiftKey 4.2 has entered the Play Store for both phones and tablets. Without a doubt, the most significant feature in today's update is cloud sync that synchronizes your personal dictionaries between multiple devices.

Cloud sync uses your Google account for authentication and, in addition to syncing predictions, can also periodically download currently trending phrases as well as data from Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and RSS feeds.

20
Aug
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You like to learn stuff? That fancy book learnin' don't come cheap though, right? Well, the new Chegg app on Android could make it a little more affordable and simple. Chegg is an established web service that offers tons of real and electronic textbooks, as well as guided solutions. But now it's on your phone.

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You can search for any book by subject, title, author, or ISBN. The app is mainly aimed at giving you access to eTextbooks on your mobile device, but some more features for physical books are coming soon.

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