26
Sep
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The official YouTube app just got a small bump that brings a fancy new UI for older versions of Android, as well as a handful of other goodies for everyone to enjoy:

What's in this version:

* New UI and Preloading now available on Froyo and Gingerbread devices
* New Watch experience
*Add videos to your YouTube TV queue
* More channels to pick from on the Channel Store

25
Sep
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Street View can be used to see the world in Google Maps, but - up until now - users were forced to stay on land. That all changes today, as Google has added the very first under water panoramas to Google Maps - and they started with The Great Barrier Reef.

In a post on the Lat-Long blog, Google highlights some of the more notable things to check out, including a close-up of a sea turtle with a school of fish, a majestic manta ray, and - probably the most beautiful of all - The Reef at sunset.

25
Sep
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Yesterday, Netflix introduced a new UI for Android phones that brings it more in line with the tablet version. While most of the new features were detailed in a video, they apparently missed one major selling point: the app can now be used to control the Netflix app on a PS3 running on the same Wi-Fi network. See it in action:

It seems that not everyone has this feature yet - we've seen a few comments here and there form users who can't seem to replicate what happens in this video, even under the same circumstances.

24
Sep
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The Google Play Books app just received a substantial update, bringing the app to version 2.6.31 on compatible devices. Here's the changelog:

Added highlighting, notes, dictionary, "Places" info cards, translation, sepia mode, and sliding page-turn. Fixed crashes on launch on certain devices including HTC Wildfire.

Details:

In "Flowing Text" books, you can tap & hold to select some text and then
- Highlight
Add notes
- Translate
- See definition in dictionary info cards
- See a map and Wikipedia snippet in "Places" info cards, if the selected text is a place.

24
Sep
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It's National Custom Launcher Update Day! Didn't you know? Hot on the heels of Nova Launcher's recent update, Apex Launcher was also bumped up to v1.3. Only, with that update, the launcher decided to FC every time it was opened. Bummer.

You can't keep a good launcher down, so the Apex team just pushed a point update to the launcher - bringing it to v.1.3.1 - that fixes the FC issue, so it works like a top now.

24
Sep
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One of the biggest drawbacks to new versions of Android is that it can take forever for the new features to roll out to current users. For launcher-specific items, though, we can always count on developers to bring us up to speed. Nova Launcher has done just that with several Jelly Bean-esque add-ons to its ICS-compatible app, including automatic rearranging of desktop elements, and the ability to fling apps and widgets away to remove them from your homescreen.

23
Sep
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Last Updated: October 1st, 2012

The Redbox movie and video game rental kiosks that seem to be at every McDonald's, Walgreens, Walmart, and umpteen other locations across the country are easily one of the most convenient ways to get your entertainment fix. If Redboxes in your town are anything like they are in mine, however, there's always a line of people. Instead of standing around waiting for you chance to grab The Cabin in the Woods, though, you could fire up the recently updated Android App.

20
Sep
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This may shock some of you, but there's a surprisingly small amount of overlap between tech bloggers and fantasy sports players. (Careful, gentle readers - you don't want to become over-gasped.) So it was with some confusion that I found a new official NFL fantasy football app, when there are already two published in the Play Store. The latest, NFLRUSH, is something of a toned-down, kid-friendly version of fantasy: instead of carefully picking your team at the beginning of the season and trading with your league-mates each week, NFLRUSH allows kids to pick a fresh roster after every game.

20
Sep
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Three of the biggest TV-streaming apps in the Play Store - Hulu Plus, MAX GO, and HBO GO - were all updated within the past couple of days with eerily similar changelogs that include one key feature: support for closed captions. Past that, both HBO GO and MAX GO received "performance enhancements and bug fixes." Hulu, on the other hand also got support for "social sharing of videos and shows."

While these updates may be small in terms of size, they potentially bring one of the most important features to some users.

20
Sep
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Do you enjoy knowing how fast things are? Then Qualcomm's revamped Vellamo suite is probably something you should check out. Vellamo has been the web benchmark of choice on Android for some time now, but this new update brings some major improvements.

First, the UI: it's completely different. It's actually really nice, certainly the prettiest benchmarking tool I've ever seen on Android (I mean, who really cares, but still). Just look at the screenshots:

Screenshot_2012-09-20-13-47-13 Screenshot_2012-09-20-13-47-17 Screenshot_2012-09-20-13-47-21

The next big change comes in the form of a brand-new CPU benchmark called Metal.

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