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Play Store 5.4 Makes The Notification Bar Transparent On App Pages [APK Download]

The Play Store is where you go to watch your other apps get updated, but occasionally it's nice to sit back and watch as the store gets its own renovation. Sometimes the changes are stark. Other times, there are just a few new lights here or there.

What's New?

In version 5.4, it's not about what's been added, but what's been taken away. The notification bar has lost its color. Now Play Store pages appear with banner images that reach towards the top of the screen.

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This New Smart Car Swaps The Infotainment System For A Center-Mounted Phone Dock And A Bluetooth Connection

Have you ever looked at your low-tech car audio system and wished your head unit could just be as smart as the phone in your pocket? Or maybe you have one of those fancy infotainment systems whose software tends to make the HTC G1 look futuristic by comparison. Well, an automaker finally decided to acknowledge that it's easier to use the hardware that the customer already has than build something newer and more expensive that won't do any better. Which manufacturer decided to do it? It's the same people who brought you this:

community_22

Yep, smart, of smart car fame and subsidiary of Daimler AG, the group behind Mercedes-Benz.

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InBrief
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[Update: Changelog Added] Google Wallet 9.0 Adds Search To The Transactions Screen, Drops Orders Screen Entirely [APK Download]

InBrief
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Evernote 7 Arrives For Android Tablets

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Sling TV Introduces Sling International, Provides Nearly 200 Channels Across 18 Languages To Houses In The US

The base Sling TV package already provides a pretty decent value. For $20, subscribers get access to more than 20 channels over the Internet. More are available through add-on packages.

Now the company is diversifying its portfolio, so to speak. The number of channels available in the US is jumping to nearly 200, spread across 18 languages. They're available as part of Sling International.

SlingInternational

Okay, Sling International is really just a new name for DishWorld, the IPTV service Dish Network (which owns Sling TV) started offering in 2012. This laid the foundation for Sling TV in the first place, and now Dish is just getting its branding in order.

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Kodi (Formerly XBMC) Is Now Officially Available On The Play Store In Beta And Alpha Forms

Once upon a time, Kodi was known as XBMC, and it was developed for hacked Xboxes. This open source media hub went on to run on PCs and mobile devices, but it hasn't been deployed in the Play Store until now. There are some not-so-secret Google+ communities for beta and alpha versions of Kodi, and you can join them right now.

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Major League Baseball Returns Next Week, MLB.com At Bat Updated In Preparation

The smell of fresh cut grass is carried by a cool spring breeze. The sounds of birds chirping is punctuated by the crack of a bat and the ground trembles as a crowd comes to its feet with a roar. I smell it. I hear it. I feel it. Baseball is coming.

In two days time, the first pitch of the 2015 Major League Baseball season will be thrown in Chicago and the season will begin. Some people may find America’s favorite pastime to be a boring or slow paced sport. Those people can go read something else. This article is for the fans.

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Amazon Prime Instant Video Now Supports Android Tablets

Amazon doesn't seem to particularly want Android users to enjoy its video streaming service. First it took its sweet time expanding the offering out from Fire and iOS devices. Then when it did finally bring the app to Android, it required installing the standard Amazon app, which then prompted you to install a dedicated Prime Instant Video app from the Amazon Appstore (Google Play, what's that?). After that, it only ran on phones. Tablets, for the most part, were inexplicably left out.

The latest version of Amazon Instant Video for Android fixes that. You still have to go through the website to watch videos, but at least it works.

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Skype 5.3 Brings Chat Bubble Layout And Oversized, Animated Emoticons—Meanwhile Qik 1.5 Introduces New Video Effects

Emoticons are nothing new for Skype or any other instant messaging client. Why, then, are they worth mentioning in version 5.3's changelog? Because now they're big. If you send a message containing only an emoticon, Skype will display a large version, complete with animation. Expressions appended to the end of a sentence, on the other hand, will continue to show up tiny.

While you're checking out these screenshots, also note the app's bubble style chat layout, which has now made its way over from other platforms to Android.

Skype1 Skype2

A few other changes have made it into this release. Conversations will no longer jump to the most recent message as it comes in, allowing you to more easily scroll up to read ongoing conversations.

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InBrief
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Google Apps Customers Will Start Getting Google+ Photos In Drive On April 6th, Plus More Details About Functionality

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