Android Police

Applications

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Most Wanted: Android Police's top five apps of 2016

Android has been around for eight years now. It's the most-used operating system on the planet, and it's helped spearhead a revolution in mobile access and capability. That being the case, it shouldn't surprise anyone if the truly mind-blowing new apps aren't exactly thick on the ground anymore. This year's crop of apps aren't especially amazing, but each one exhibits new functionality for users that wasn't accessible (or at least practical) before. All of them deserve a spot on your phone or tablet.

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[Update: Email/SMS via labels too] Google Contacts 1.6 adds new Suggestions screen, updated icon, pull-to-refresh, and more [APK Download]

The Android application for Google Contacts has mostly been neglected over the years, but back in August, the 1.5 update introduced an updated interface and new abilities. Contacts 1.6 is now available from the Play Store and APKMirror, with a new icon and a few important changes.

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Mint app updated with bill tracking and payment

Mint has been on Android for years, long before it was acquired by Intuit. It's always been able to track your money, but bills are a more tricky matter. The service recently added bill tracking and payment to its list of features, and now the main Android app has been updated to take advantage of it. This is separate from the bills-only app, which hasn't been updated since earlier this year.

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Kickstarter open sources its Android and iOS apps

For the longest time, Kickstarter was only accessible as a website without any official mobile apps. Then came the iOS app and it wasn't until January of 2016 that we saw the first release of the Android app. Since then, this app has been updated, improved, and gained a lot of functionality. But today marks a different milestone in its history: the team at Kickstarter is open sourcing it along with the iOS app.

In a post on Medium, Brandon Williams, one of the members of the Kickstarter Native team, explains how the iOS and Android apps came to be and how their journey lead toward open sourcing the apps for the benefit of the developer community and as part of Kickstarter's new ethos of serving the public good.

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Google Maps v9.43 beta adds a shortcut to contributions and changes a couple notification settings, prepares to offer recommendations from the menu and more [APK Teardown + Download]

There's an update for Google Maps v9.43 rolling out to beta testers. This one isn't loaded with changes, but there are a few things worth checking out in this release. There have been a couple of changes to the notification options in the Settings screen and a new home screen shortcut is now available. A deeper look through a teardown reveals plans to display recommended dishes from the menu. There is also some follow-up to an odd teardown topic from a few weeks ago.

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Latest Box update adds the ability to upload folders

Cloud storage and file syncing apps seem like a dime a dozen these days. That is not necessarily a bad thing, since choice is one of the best things about technology in general. Each of us here at AP have our own preferences for which services we use — most of us use multiple offerings, actually. One of the biggest names you will hear about is Box, and its Android app got updated to allow for uploading entire folders from your device.

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Snapchat 9.45 adds group chats, new filters on Memories, and Shazam integration for some reason

If you're still putting up with the unoptimized mess that is the Android Snapchat application (unless you have a very speedy phone), you might be excited to hear that the 9.45 update is now available. No, it doesn't make using the app any less painful, but there are some new features to enjoy.

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Twitter officially announces live video streaming from the mobile app, powered by Periscope

No, #GoLive is not a trending topic about bringing back Adobe GoLive. Instead, it is related to Twitter bringing the full streaming abilities of Periscope to the mobile Twitter apps. Starting today, a new 'Live' button is visible when composing a tweet, which allows you to start a live stream. As far as functionality goes, it is the exact same as starting a stream from the Periscope app.

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Instagram 10.3 adds 'Saved' tab for keeping photos and videos for later

Instagram has rapidly added new features in the past few months, from Periscope-esque live streaming to Boomerang support. The latest addition to the mobile apps is not a groundbreaking change, but still very useful. Starting with Instagram 10.3 for Android, a new 'Saved' tab is visible on the profile page.

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Chrome Beta 56 adds official Web Bluetooth API support, experimental WebVR, and more [APK Download]

Chrome 55 marked the arrival of many user-side changes, including Chrome's built-in download manager and saving pages for offline reading. Normally I separate posts about Chrome releases into new features for users and new abilities developers can use, but this release (at least in its current form) is almost completely about new APIs.

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