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Google Explicitly Bans Ad Blockers From The Play Store, Except All Those Ad-Blocking Web Browsers, Apparently

Google has a brand-new website for content policy on the Play Store that it unveiled today, and that's nice, but nestled away in that news was a far more interesting story regarding ad blockers. Google has long enforced a de facto ban on ad blockers on the Play Store, citing section 4.4 of the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement, going all the way back to 2013.

This involved a rather convoluted interpretation of a vague policy forbidding apps from interfering with third-party apps or services, but it's the official justification Google has used to date. Now, a new update to the Play Store Developer Policy Center (formerly Google Play Developer Program Policies) makes it clear via an example interpretation of said policy: no ad blockers.

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SoundHound's Natural Voice Search App 'Hound' Is Now Out Of Beta And Available For All

Google's various flavors of voice control are neat, not to mention extremely useful thanks to deep integration with Android. But Mountain View doesn't have a monopoly on speech interpretation: Microsoft has made a pretty compelling case for its cross-platform Cortana system, to say nothing of the similar entries from Apple and Amazon. SoundHound threw its hat in the ring last year with the semi-proprietary Hound app, though you had to be part of the beta to check it out. Today Hound gets a public launch, and everyone can play with it with no prerequisites.

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Sony Republishes Driveclub Companion App Over A Year After The PlayStation 4 Game's Launch

Sometimes things don't go as planned. Sony released Driveclub for the PlayStation 4 in October of 2014. At the time, a companion came out for Android, but Sony quickly pulled the app after less than a day on the site. The servers struggled to handle the load of everyone trying to play, so Sony delayed the PlayStation Plus Edition and mobile companion app in order to reduce the strain.

Now it's March 2016, and version 1.0 of the Driveclub companion app has returned to Google Play.

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YouTube App Starts Introducing A New Record And Upload Screen And Updated Camcorder FAB For Some Users

Have you compared YouTube on your phone to YouTube on a friend's phone lately? There are better than average chances that the two are at least slightly different. The video consumption app is a bit like a snowflake, at least in the sense that it's not the same experience for any two people. The latest experiment for some users is introducing a new icon for the floating action button (FAB) and an entirely new screen for uploading content to YouTube.

2016-03-01 14.59.592016-03-01 16.35.35

Left: older look. Right: new look.

There's not much of a change to the FAB itself, just a new icon. The somewhat generic upload icon has been replaced by a camcorder.

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Citrix Releases New GoToMeeting Beta App, Goes Back In Time To Call it v2.0

The GoToMeeting Android app is not the most attractive app out there, but it gets the job done most of the time. It hasn't been updated with new UI features for a long time, and tends to get buggy with new Android releases (see: current issues with Marshmallow Bluetooth). Citrix is working on a revamp, though, and you can try it right now with the GoToMeeting v2.0 beta. Never mind that the current app is already on v5.3.

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Former Google App Sky Map Gets Its First Update Since 2011

You'd be forgiven for forgetting that Google used to have an app called Sky Maps on the Play Store. As the title points to, it was a nice digital planetarium that you could carry around your pocket back in the Froyo and Gingerbread days of Android. Like many similar apps, Sky Map used your location and the direction you were pointing your phone at to map the space elements around you, from stars to planets to constellations and more. In January 2012, Google open sourced Sky Map, but development had ceased a while before, in August of 2011.

It looks like someone at the Sky Map Devs team has found the lost github repository and decided to give the app a breath of life.

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BlackBerry PRIV's Apps Get Updated: Slow Motion Video Capture, Improved Keyboard, Separate Work And Personal Apps In The Launcher

If you're one of the users who have committed to BlackBerry's first foray into Android with the PRIV, you'll be happy to know that the company isn't forgetting its early adopters or leaving them behind. It's been releasing security patches for its phones and now it's updating some of the preloaded apps on the PRIV: the camera, keyboard, and launcher.

The BlackBerry Camera app is adding a mode to capture slow motion video at 120fps (which can be played back at 30fps), but without any audio. The Keyboard app is getting plenty of enhancements to its prediction and usability, including learning from your social accounts and email, faster word deletion, and improvements to cursor control.

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GoPro Acquires Popular iOS Video Editing Apps Replay And Splice, Plans To Launch Android Versions Later This Year

These days, GoPro is the king of the hill for action and aerial photography. Sure, you could wrap some tape around your phone and send it up on a quadcopter or toss it into a sandwich bag and hope it doesn't spring a leak at the bottom of the pool, but those are terrible ideas—seriously, don't try them. Since you won't be putting your phone (or tablet) through near certain destruction, why not use it instead to edit those great videos? GoPro announced that it has acquired popular mobile video editing apps Replay and Splice. Both apps are currently iOS exclusives, but the company has plans to bring them to Android later this year.

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The Beeb's Official Music Streaming Service Comes To Android In The BBC Music App

What's up, British people... and Welsh people, and Scots, and Irish people who live in Northern Ireland but not the other parts of Ireland. (Did I miss anyone?) You probably watch the British Broadcasting Company's news or television shows, even if it's only in passing. And some of those shows probably feature some live music. If you like the music on those BBC shows, there's an app where you can watch and/or listen to it. It's called BBC Music. Go figure.

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Square Introduces Cash Drawer To Store Your Money Between Transactions

There are many ways to send money to a friend using your phone. PayPal, Venmo, Facebook, Google. Not long ago, Square introduced Cash as its own personal method for you to take money that's in your bank account and stick it in another's. Now the company is introducing a feature that lets you set aside money specifically for this purpose.

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