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Sphero's Star Wars Force Band lets you control BB-8 using motion gestures

The Force Awakens is approaching a year old, but by Star Wars standards, the merchandising is only just beginning. A particularly new offering is the Star Wars Force Band, which lets you control Sphero's tiny BB-8 droid that has been rolling around since the film hit theaters. But instead of doing so using an on-screen interface, you use the Force.

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Flipboard reaches 500 Million installs on the Play Store

I don't "read" news anymore. If you saw what my Gmail inbox looks like every morning, you'd understand why reading something, anything really, other than the 300 or so emails we get at Android Police every day is a bit of an optimistic dream that I stopped entertaining a long time ago. I do listen to news though, in the form of podcasts that I've cherry-picked to my preferences and that I enjoy while driving or walking.

Back when I did read the news though, Flipboard was something I liked. It had a beautiful magazine-style approach, interesting articles and curated collections, and a large user base, which is crucial when your whole news network relies on user interactions and content too.

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InBrief
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The latest versions of Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides allow you to restore deleted files

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PSA: Today's update to the Oculus VR app on Samsung phones is causing heavy battery drain

Those of you with a newer Samsung phone might want to take a peek at the battery usage today. Many users are reporting substantial battery drain after an update to the Oculus VR app. The only fix right now appears to be completely uninstalling the app.

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Google is rolling out a ton of new navigation voice commands

Driving is serious business—you're in control of a rolling pile of metal and glass weighing thousands of pounds, and one moment of inattention can have very messy consequences. So, for goodness' sake, don't screw around with your phone while driving. Google Maps has voice commands while in navigation or driving mode to help you keep your hands off the phone, and today there are a lot more available.

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SwiftKey Beta gets a big update with support for 5 simultaneous languages, new neural network languages, and more

SwiftKey has been making some big changes lately, and running the beta version of the keyboard gets you a sneak peek at what's coming next. In the latest beta update, there are new languages integrated with SwiftKey's improved neural network prediction engine, as well as support for using as many as five languages at the same time. SwiftKey loves multi-lingual users, apparently.

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News Pro is a new app from Microsoft Garage that personalizes the news

We all have our own unique ways to read the news. Some like RSS apps. Some like Flipboard, or Yahoo News Digest. Others prefer to read the news direct on the website. There's yet another solution now: News Pro is a new app from Microsoft Garage, a department of the software giant that seems to have an unlimited stream of Android apps, and it aims to center the news around you and your profile, finding content that'll interest you.

By logging in with social network profiles (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, alongside the customary email, are the options) News Pro will show relevant content that it thinks you'll like.

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Google Photos v2.1 adds rotation suggestions to quickly fix sideways pictures [APK Download]

It's fairly common for Google's app updates to be a little less feature-packed in the days leading up to major announcements. Whatever the reason, the changelogs – if there were any – probably wouldn't mention anything more than "bug fixes and performance improvements." The latest release of the Photos app isn't quite untouched, but it's pretty light on changes. The only clear addition is a settings toggle to enable rotation suggestions.

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Hopper adds Watch Filters to tailor price drop alerts to the flights that matter to you

I haven't traveled anywhere in the past year, but if I had, I would have surely used Hopper. The app, which was released a little more than a year ago, monitors flight prices and predicts the best time for you to purchase your tickets for the lowest possible price. However, there was one aspect to Hopper that was lacking: it just looked at all flights and didn't take into account your personal preferences.

That has changed with the latest update to the app and the new Watch Filters. Now you can specify whether you prefer your flight to be non-stop or you don't mind, if you like shorter layovers, and if you want it to dismiss all basic fare flights where you'd need to pay more for luggage or seat selection or food. Hopper would then only alert you to the best deals for flights tailored to these preferences.

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Spotify launches today in Japan on an invite-only basis, debuts song lyrics on mobile

Spotify today announced the official arrival of its music service in the Land of the Rising Sun. Both Spotify's ad-supported free streaming plan and ad-free subscription will be available in Japan, making it the only music service in the country to offer the choice between these two approaches — or so does Spotify claim.

But the service isn't yet available to all. Users will have to go to Spotify.com in Japan and request an invite to be able to join. Public availability for all is said to be coming later. If they opt for the paid plan, it will cost 980 yen (approx $9.67).

Regardless of whether they choose the freemium or paid subscription, they'll get the benefit of Spotify's wide catalog of international and Japanese artists, its smart curation algorithms with Discover Weekly and Release Radar along with Japanese-centric playlists, its portability from desktops to mobile, PlayStation, WiFi speakers, and more, and its Gaming and Running modes.

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