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Audiobooks.com app update adds Android Wear 2.0 support

Of all the stock smartwatch frames to use, Audiobooks... of all the stock frames! They had to pick the Samsung Galaxy Gear, a discontinued smartwatch that runs Tizen OS and has nothing to do with Android Wear 2.0. A Samsung Gear Live would have been slightly better, because even if it's never getting Android Wear 2.0, at least it runs Android Wear so it's in the same... Galaxy. But let's not let the mistake of the graphics and marketing team at Audiobooks.com take away the spotlight from the prowess of their developer team.

The latter has updated the Android app to be fully compatible with Android Wear 2.0, less than 10 days after the platform's official release.

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[Updated] Ecobee's Android app may not work properly on some devices with root or custom firmware

Like Nest and Honeywell, ecobee makes smart thermostats that you can easily schedule and control remotely from your smartphone through an app. The ecobee Android app received an update at the start of the month that added support for the new cheaper ecobee3 lite, but it made one drastic change that broke the app for many users. Instead of the app launching like usual, it shows the error message "Security credentials error," and exits.

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'Email' is an Inbox-like mail app from EasilyDo with a few neat tricks

Have you always wanted to try Google's Inbox email application, but don't have or use a Gmail address? EasilyDo, developer of EasilyDo Assistant, has released the appropriately-named 'Email.' As you can imagine from the name, it's yet another email application trying to sort your messages intelligently.

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Facebook Messenger can insert GIFs from Google's Gboard

Inserting GIFs in Facebook Messenger has been available for over a year now, after it began as a trial in 2015. A GIF button shows up in the text entry box, next to the picture, emoji, and voice message options, and lets you search for the perfect animated reaction to send to your friends or family. But it looks like Messenger only searches one repository for GIFs, which is often (always?) Tenor.

If you want to check more sources for GIFs, you either have to download a separate app or you can use Google's keyboard Gboard. Since its release, Gboard has offered a GIF search option, but developers had to specifically enable it in their own apps.

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[Updated] Skype for Insiders becomes Skype Preview, the beta app aiming to replace the regular sluggish Skype

Last November, Skype unveiled its Skype for Insiders closed beta program, where registered users would be able to try a test version of the Skype app that would get new features first, then send feedback and suggestions to the team to help improve it. The goal of the program was to enhance the ease of use and reliability of Skype.

Today, the Skype for Insiders app has been published on the Play Store, though still under an unreleased beta state and with a new name: Skype Preview.

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AccuWeather releases standalone Android Wear 2.0 app

AccuWeather has supported Android Wear for a while now, but the companion app has always been somewhat feature-light. It only showed data for your default location, and only displayed predicted temperatures for a few hours into the future. Now AccuWeather has released a full standalone application for Android Wear 2.0 - no smartphone app required.

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Google Phone v8.0 makes voicemail shareable, fixes a mismatched icon, and begins work on an RCS-based calling feature [APK Download + Teardown]

An update to the Google Phone app came out a few days ago, but left many people wondering what the changes were. This version doesn't have a whole lot to show off, but a close examination does reveal a couple of interesting things both active and hidden inside the apk. Users now have the option to easily share voicemails as regular files, meaning you can email them to friends or easily stash them in cloud storage. From the perspective of a teardown, Google has also added the first signs of RCS support, meaning we can look forward to some new calling features to come along in the future.

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[Update: Use any audio file as an alarm or timer] Google Clock app updated to v5.0 with more informative time zones, layout tweaks, and more [APK Download]

A smartphone is the only clock many of us need, and Google has a solid clock app on Android. It ships pre-installed on a few devices, and you can always grab it from the Play Store. This app has just gotten an update to v5.0 in the store, and while it's not a huge change, you'll notice the alterations if you use it regularly.

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Facebook videos in the News Feed will now play with sound on, other changes too

Facebook's had video for a while now, and while it doesn't yet rival YouTube for overall views, it's definitely seeing more and more people watching things as they browse. Accordingly, we're all used to scrolling through the Facebook News Feed and flicking a video's sound on. Everyone is going to have to get used to not having to do this anymore, as Facebook has announced sound will be on by default for any video as it's scrolled past.

Videos will play with sound as they're scrolled through in the News Feed, then stop once they've disappeared from view. This change is almost certainly going to be controversial.

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[Deal Alert] Whispering Willows and Aqualert Premium are this week's 10 cent deals (not in the US)

Here we are with another week underway and another duo of an app and a game being discounted on the Play Store. This week's titles are Aqualert Premium and Whispering Willows.

The most interesting of the two is the game, Whispering Willows. It's a hand-drawn 2D adventure game originally funded on Kickstarter. You play as Elena who's on a journey in the Willows Mansion to find her missing father and who does so by solving puzzles using her astral projection.

As for Aqualert, it is a water drinking tracker and reminder app that makes it easy to enter how much water you drank and see how many more cups you need to reach your daily goal.

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