Android Police

Applications

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Here are 42 temporarily free and 30 on-sale apps, plus both Apps of the Week

Welcome, everyone, to an impromptu app sales post. You may have noticed that yesterday's was missing, and for that I apologize. To make it up to all of you, I compiled a list for today with all of the apps that I could find that have gone on sale since Monday — the normal scheduling will resume tomorrow (and it will likely be very short).

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A year and a day: The short history of Google's Allo so far

Allo was released on Google Play just over a year ago, on September 20th. It suffered a bit at the hands of hype between its early announcement at 2016's I/O and the actual release, which didn't come for months. But since then it has been a major part of the conversation when it comes to Android. Google made a big decision and faced a lot of criticism when it resolved to launch another messaging service. Now that it's been a year, how has it held up?

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Google is testing a new search suggestions design and it looks cluttered

What's another week without another Google app server-side test that few will see and even fewer will like? In today's edition, we have a new search suggestions look in the Google app and search widget: blue words inside a rounded rectangle (TIL the shape is called a stadium) at the bottom of the search suggestions overlay.

We've only received reports of this design from two readers, so it doesn't look to be widespread and that's a good thing in my opinion. If you see the search overlay in the image above, you'll notice there's the suggestion based on the user's search history (clock icon), the ones based on Google's search algorithms (search icon), and then the blue word bubbles that have 2 duplicate suggestions from the ones above.

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Google Keep adds 4 new note colors [APK Download]

Call this a teaser or a weird rollout that hit one platform before another... or just typical Google behavior. Google Keep is showing users 4 new possible color options for notes, for a total of 12, but only on the desktop version. If you're using Keep on Android, even if you're on the latest v3.4.881, you get none of these and you still only see 8 colors.

The 4 new colors are dark blue, purple, pink, and some sort of light brown.

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Google Contacts v2.2 updates the contact pages with quick access bar, full-width photos, and other UI improvements [APK Download]

If you've been craving some visual changes on your phone, an update to Google's Contacts app is rolling out with a few tweaks that are pretty noticeable. This version brings back full-bleed contact photos and adds a quick access bar. There are also a few other visual tweaks and a filter for the contact list has been moved. As always, you can grab the latest update from the APK Mirror link at the bottom.

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[Notch-our Average Look] These two apps give your Android phone the $999 iPhone X blackout for free

Ever since the Essential phone and                                                             X were announced, do you find yourself staring longingly at your fully rectangular display (rounded corners don't count) and wish, just hope, that part of it would disappear and you'd get a black notch up top? Something to hide that ugly middle of the notification bar, something to make you feel as if only 3 or 4 icons on each side of it mattered, and anything else can go to hell?

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Speedtest reaches 100 Million downloads on the Play Store

The procession of apps reaching 100 Million downloads on the Play Store continues, and the latest to join the club is the famous Speedtest by Ookla. If you've never heard of it before, then you probably never had to test the speed of your data or WiFi connection to brag in front of friends or to complain to your ISP.

Speedtest does its job and does it well. I don't keep it installed on my devices, but I always rush to grab it when something feels iffy about my connection, whether it's uncharacteristically fast (yeah, that dream happened once or twice) or much much slower than usual.

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YouTube Gaming introduces sponsorships as paid channels are shut down

We've been hearing for a while that YouTube was planning to do away with paid content and now it's finally taking effect. It's no longer possible to create paid content, and from December paid channels will no longer be accessible at all. Individual purchased videos will still be available to the whoever bought them until 2022, however. Fortunately, for gamers at least, Google is introducing an expanded version of sponsorships for YouTube Gaming, which have been in testing for some time.

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Apple Music 2.2 adds user profiles and integrates better with Android: OK Google voice search, app shortcuts, one more widget

Apple Music had a lot of promise when it launched, but the app didn't stick well with the times, especially on Android. It seemed as if the developers behind it just didn't want to bother with anything specific to the Android platform, preferring to stick with the basic features and not making use of all the APIs that were available to them. But with the last release of v2.2, it looks like Apple Music is finally realizing some of its potential on our beloved platform.

But before we focus on that, the headline here is the addition of user profiles so you can now share your favorite music and playlists with friends and discover what they've shared as well.

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Xiaomi brings Mi FileExplorer, with FTP server, to the Play Store for all devices [APK Download]

Xiaomi is following in the footsteps of many OEMs and releasing its apps onto the Play Store for faster updates, which avoids the long waits of firmware upgrades. However, Xiaomi is doing something differently: it's allowing users of other brands' devices to use its apps. After the capable Mi Calculator, now we have Mi FileExplorer on the Play Store. The app is still marked as "Unreleased" so it's still in beta, but from my tests it seems to work quite well.

Mi FileExplorer reminds me of the built-in file browser I've seen on my Samsung and LG devices: there's a regular directory browser, but also a per-type categorization that lets you view all your stored images or videos or APKs or documents (and other types) regardless of which folder they're in.

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