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Android Wear app v2.0 beta for developer preview 3 adds a Google account manager and removed some outdated settings [APK Download]

After an extensive delay, Google finally dropped the third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 yesterday. While the hot topic was a newly extended timeline that pushes a final software release to early 2017, there was also a new version of the Android Wear companion app made available.

It's important to note right away that this is a beta release and is currently only intended for watches running developer preview 3. In fact, it's pretty clear the only reason for releasing this update is to add the necessary interface for some of the new features. If you're planning to install DP3, and only if you're installing DP3, you'll want the 2.0 beta of the companion app.

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Action Launcher preemptively adds launcher shortcuts expected to debut with the Pixel Launcher

As you may have noticed in a recent teardown, Google's launcher shortcuts are most likely returning in Android 7.1 with the Pixel Launcher. This feature was part of the Nougat developer preview some months ago, but wasn't implemented in the final release. Now, an improved version is on the way, and Action Launcher continues its tradition of adding all the Pixel Launcher things before the Pixel Launcher even exists.

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Google Maps now integrates upcoming events from Google Calendar [APK Download]

Google is making use of its new company blog to announce a feature for Maps. The app now has improved integration with your upcoming calendar appointments, a feature that we spotted in a teardown the other day. When you include a location with your Google Calendar events, they'll now show up on the Map and in a special upcoming places tab.

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Gmail updated with minor tweaks, plus new empty inbox and spam folder graphics [APK Download]

There's a new version of Gmail rolling out today with a number of small changes. You may or may not notice these tweaks to functionality, but you'll probably notice the new graphics Google has added for an empty inbox or spam folder. It's kind of like Inbox.

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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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