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Root Checker Gets A Much-Needed Visual Overhaul In The Latest Update

Root Checker is a simple little tool that does what it says on the box: it checks whether your phone or tablet (or game console, or set-top-box, or e-reader, or robotic toaster) has root permissions. Those that use it probably only do so for a few seconds once or twice a month. That being the case, it's not a big deal if the app doesn't look good. But that doesn't mean that it can't, right?

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Root Explorer 3.3 Update Adds SD Card Write Capability Without Root In Lollipop

Root Explorer is one of those apps that has been on each and every one of my Android devices for years, and part of the reason why is that developer Speed Software has kept it relevant with near-constant useful updates. The latest, version 3.3, takes advantage of the revised SD card management on Android 5.0. Those with Lollipop devices can once again write to an external SD card even without root.

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Amazon Gives Away 40 Apps And Games ($130 Value) For Black Friday, No Lines Necessary

The best thing you can do for Black Friday is nothing: those discounts aren't worth the indignity of getting clobbered by an octogenarian's purse while she hunts for a Frozen doll. But if you swing by this promotional page for Amazon's Appstore, you can pick up no less than 40 free apps and games, worth a combined $130 at full price. Amazon does these promotions on a regular basis. There's no reason not to get them all, but if you'd rather not clutter up your Amazon account, here are some notable picks:

Some of the apps are duplicates, like the Kindle Fire-only Angry Birds (the one above is fine for non-Fire devices).

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SuperSU 2.35 Is Now Available In The Play Store After A Successful Beta Test

Lollipop users, you can now download the popular SuperSU tool from the Play Store. Not that you couldn't before, but version 2.35 is particularly notable: it works with a lot more of the usual root apps, after both SuperSU and the apps that use it were having trouble on Android 5.0. You can flash 2.35 via the usual ZIP in TWRP (and probably other custom recoveries), with updates coming via the Play Store after that.

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Black Friday Weekend Sales Roundup: The Best Deals On Apps And Games (Updated Continuously)

The stores are about to be packed, and those flash online sales are not much better. Apps sales, on the other hand, are not limited in quantity. There's always enough to go around. But the longer you wait, the less time you can spend playing games—get going. We'll keep loading this post up with deals as we come across them.

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Latest Duolingo Android App Update Adds Touches Of Material Design

Duolingo treats learning a new language like a game, and it has attracted users thanks to its simple way of breaking courses into something you actually want to dive into during your free time. The latest version sprinkles in elements of Material Design, making the already visually pleasing app feel even more at home on devices running Android 5.0.

This release won't have you mistaking it for a Google app, as the shrunken menu button is slightly off, and the side panel slides in awkwardly under tabs that look stuck in transition between Holo and Material.

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Opera Mini Browser Gets Its Own Beta Version With A Shiny New Interface

Chrome users love to try out new features in the beta version of the Android browser, and fans of Opera's long-running software have been able to do the same since March. Now you can try out the new goodies in the pipeline early for the Opera Mini browser as well: the company just published a beta app on the Play Store. And what's more, the very first release of the beta version is making it count with a fresh new user interface.

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B&H App Gets Big Material-Inspired Makeover [Update: New Icon Too]

You may not be able to tell from the product icon (update: B&H has issued another update with a new icon, seen above) but B&H, purveyor of everything photo, video, and audio, has updated its app with tons of material-inspired elements.

Apparently inspired by Google's new design direction, the company's app is now jam-packed with illustrations, material-inspired transitions, vivid colors, and cards.

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The app's approach to organizing information swings in both directions - the home page serves up a huge, colorful illustration, along with bright promotional cards and shortcuts (along with a search FAB).

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Skype App Gets Updated With A Fix For An Incredibly Annoying Bug, Picture-In-Picture For Phones, And More

The Skype app has had its fair share of problems over the years, and today's update fixes one particularly annoying quirk. It's not all about fixing mistakes, though. The update adds some useful new stuff too.

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Seven Android Apps Join The Chrome-Compatible Lineup

Since Google I/O we've been waiting anxiously to see which apps would be among the first to gain compatibility with Chrome OS. As Sundar Pichai explained at this summer's conference, Google plans to get Android apps running natively on the company's desktop OS, using App Runtime for Chrome.

Google is carefully curating the experience, however, working with select developers to make apps available through Chrome's web store. In September, Duolingo, Evernote, Vine, and Sight Words came to Chrome, and today Google announced a lineup of seven new apps, including Cookpad, Couchsurfing, Overdrive, and four others.

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