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Facebook is adjusting the newsfeed to make it easier to read and more conversational

Although it might not always seem like it, UX is paramount to Facebook's devs. They want to make engagement with the app as easy as possible in order to persuade users to keep coming back for more. Every change they make is rigorously tested, a difficult task given UI preferences are highly subjective among the app's billions of users. For that reason, we don't see too many changes. Over the next few weeks, Facebook is going to roll out some of the biggest visual adjustments we'll have seen for quite some time.

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Schlage announces Android support for its smart locks, plus a new Wi-Fi adapter

Smart locks, as with all smart home products, are becoming increasingly popular. With that in mind, lock maker Schlage has announced that its Sense Smart Deadbolt now includes support for Android phones. Previously it was only compatible with iOS devices. At the same time, the company also introduced the Sense™ Wi-Fi Adapter, which enables remote access to the smart lock via the Schlage Sense app.

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Alexa integration for Logitech's UE BOOM 2 and UE MEGABOOM is now available to everyone

A few months ago, Logitech released beta versions of its Ultimate Ears companion apps for the BOOM 2 and MEGABOOM on the Play Store. The key difference between the betas and their stable cousins was the ability to integrate with Amazon Alexa. The stable apps have now been updated to include the same functionality.

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InBrief
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Samsung Gallery is now available on the Play Store

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Instagram is rolling out threaded comments

Many years ago, someone on the internet invented comment threads to make conversations easier to follow. Now Instagram, one of the largest social platforms in the world, has finally discovered that comment threads are a good idea. It's adding comment threads to the service, but you probably don't have them yet.

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Allo for web hands-on: Works well enough, as long as you like Chrome

Google's newest messenger app, Allo, was released about a year ago. The app's momentum dropped shortly after release, but that hasn't stopped Google from continuing to improve it. At long last, Allo has gained a web client, but has it been worth the wait?

Setting it up

Unlike Hangouts and similar cloud-based messaging services, your phone acts as the intermediary between your computer and Allo. Anything you do (send/receive a message, start a new chat, etc) is actually performed by your phone, which sends the response back to your computer. As such, your phone will need a working internet connection for the Allo web client to work.

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[Update: Allo for web is live] Allo v16 prepares for hotword detection, sporting events, birthdays, and more

A new update to Google's Allo app began rolling out to users today, bringing it to version 16. We're still looking for new features that may have gone live with this release, but nothing has turned up yet and the Allo team still hasn't posted anything about what to expect from this update. While we keep looking – and waiting for that web client – there is quite a bit in this update that warrants a teardown. There are a lot of small tweaks and features on the horizon, so let's get straight to it.

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[Deal Alert] Tasker is currently on sale for just $0.99, saving you $2

Tasker is one of the most popular apps out there for modders and tinkerers, and it recently got a big makeover. The version 5 update included a major visual overhaul, bringing it in line with the material design we see in most modern Android apps. If you've been looking to try Tasker out but have been put off by the price tag, now's the time to give it a go. It's down to 99 cents on the Play Store (89 pence in the UK), which is frankly a steal for such a feature-rich app.

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[Update: Hidden upcoming features discovered] Google Contacts is now officially available for all devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop and above [APK Download]

For anyone tied into Google's ecosystem, storing and managing contacts is best done with the official Contacts app. The Android version recently saw some minor cosmetic changes, improving its already eye-pleasing material look, and the web interface has also employed the same consistent design language since the start of the year. Until recently, the app was only available on Google branded phones, but now compatibility has been extended.

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The Google Phone app could be getting an in-call floating action bar

If there's one thing that's certain in life, it's that Google is always testing some sort of interesting UI change in one of its apps. Some of them end up on the scrapheap, but some of them end up being integral parts of the experience we all have when using our Android devices. The latest test to be discovered is a floating bubble UI in the Google Phone app.

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