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Nova Launcher's Google Now integration works on Lollipop too

One of the main downsides to using a custom launcher was that you couldn't have an easily-accessible Google Now pane. While your feed is just a swipe away on the Google Now and Pixel Launchers, other applications were barred from using it due to API restrictions. That is, until the developer of Nova Launcher found a way around it by creating the 'Nova Google Companion.'

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Google Play Music v7.9 adds search history and notification channels for Android O [APK Download + Teardown]

There's a new version of Google Play Music rolling out to users this afternoon, but the changes aren't terribly noticeable if you aren't looking for them. Hidden away in the Settings screen is a shortcut to view your music search history, and buried away in the system settings is a set of new notification channels so you can customize just how much Play Music interrupts you. A teardown also suggests audiophiles can look forward to some even more precise sounds coming from some tracks in the future.

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Periscope adds 'Super Hearts' that can be obtained only via in-app purchase

How do you tell a Periscope streamer you like what they've got? Hearts. How do you tell them you really like what they've got? Super Hearts. The latter is a new item in the Periscope app, and it'll cost you. Twitter has added in-app purchases for Super hearts to its live streaming app to squeeze some revenue out of the previously free service.

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Mobile Passport now works at LAX, adds Fastport Passport renewal service

It's easy enough to use your phone as a boarding pass, but did you know it can also double as your passport? Well, with Mobile Passport it can. And, it has just been updated on the Google Play Store to work in one more major US airport. Now users flying through LAX can also make use of the convenience.

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Here are 21 temporarily free and 36 on-sale apps for your Summer Solstice, plus the Game of the Week

Welcome to Wednesday! We're halfway through another week. I don't know about the rest of you, but the Summer Solstice is hotter than blazes here. If you're lucky enough to be in some comfortable air conditioning, then enjoy it. If you're like me and praying for a reprieve, then maybe you can distract yourself for a few minutes with today's app sales post... I can't wait for winter.

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CrossOver for Android Alpha 4 is now available, supports Android Nougat and fixes bugs

If you're not familiar with it, CrossOver is a program for Mac and Linux that allows you to run Windows programs through a compatibility layer (without actually running or owning a copy of Windows). It's based on Wine, and the developers frequently contribute code back to Wine, but CrossOver is commercial software and has a few additional features.

After three years of development, CodeWeavers (the company behind CrossOver) released an alpha build of CrossOver for Android in August of last year. Since then, CodeWeavers has continued to update it with new features and bug fixes, and today the company has released Alpha 4.

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Snapchat introduces the Snap Map, a location sharing heat map [APK Download]

If you suffer much from FOMO (Fear of missing out, as the kids say), then Snapchat's latest feature will ease your anxieties. The popular image messaging app now has something called the "Snap Map," a heat map overview of where your friends are. So the next time you want to know where all your friends are, a quick glance will let you know. 

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Spotify adds Group Playlist functionality to Facebook Messenger

Spotify has had a Facebook Messenger extension for over a year, but today it's getting a new feature. When you're chatting with friends, you can create a Group Playlist inside Messenger. Then, everyone can collaborate to build it up without leaving the chat. I'm sure that won't result in any arguments.

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WhatsApp will continue to support Android 2.3 until 2020

As a side effect of the version fragmentation that Android suffers from, even the latest apps tend to support Android versions a few years old. For example, most of Google's apps nowadays have a minimum requirement of Android 4.1 or 4.2. If you're still stuck on 2.3 Gingerbread, at least you'll get to keep using WhatsApp.

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YouTube Kids v2.28 sets up for user profiles and better offline video management [APK Teardown]

YouTube doesn't talk very much about what it has to offer for younger audiences, but through its Kids app, parents have easy access to a great library of child-friendly material. Not long ago, the app introduced a "reading" category built around the theme of books and literary characters. Regular updates to the app are also occasionally introducing new features. The latest update includes a few hints about some improvements that may be coming soon, including more control over offline videos and profiles for easily swapping content for different kids.

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