09
Oct
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Sometimes you've just got to sit back and marvel at the ingenuity of some Android developers. While Motorola was busy putting expensive infrared sensors all over the front of the new Moto X to enable a few gesture controls, developer OnTheGo Platforms was adding it in with something that just about every smartphone already has. Behold, BrainWave, an app that lets you play, pause, and navigate your music like a frickin' Jedi.

09
Oct
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Motorola has pushed an update to its camera app in the Play Store with a few performance improvements and remote shutter for Android Wear, just like the official Google camera. The new version also includes KitKat compatibility, according to the changelog. Strange considering KitKat has been out for a year, but okay.

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Here's the full changelog just so we're clear.

  • Remote shutter control for Android Wear watches
  • Performance improvements and bug fixes
  • Updated application will be compatible with Android KitKat

Motorola has taken a lot of heat for mediocre camera performance, but at least it can offer camera updates in the Play Store.

09
Oct
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Active folks who fire up the latest version of the Fitbit app will see a new section tucked away in the sidebar: Challenges. Contained within is a way to take the fitness-minded company's Android experience and make it more social. Users now have the ability to challenge up to 10 people and compete with them in any of three contests.

Fitbit wearers can compete to see who can complete the most steps in a single day, over the weekend, or throughout an entire work week.

09
Oct
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When the Glympse app first came to Android, the idea of instantly sharing your exact location with someone was still novel. The function has lost much of its magic since, but it remains as useful as ever. Now the company is improving the service not by adding more features, but by gutting them out. The new Android-only Glympse Express app strips everything from the main app except for the essentials, the features you actually care about.

09
Oct
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The basic version of Autodesk's SketchBook app has been in the Play Store for a long time, but now the professional version has come to Android. Autodesk SketchBook has more advanced tools, a ton of brushes, layer support, and a lot of it can be accessed for free. Of course, the best stuff is behind a paywall, but it's not too expensive.

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09
Oct
HTCZoe

During its Double Exposure event yesterday, HTC announced that it was bringing Zoe out of beta and expanding it to all Android devices running Android 4.3 or higher. It also intends to bring the service to the iPhone later this fall. The company clearly has large plans for something that began as a camera perk exclusively available on a small number of its devices. Zoe has become a social network, and HTC wants as many people to use it as possible.

09
Oct
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Perhaps you've seen Artem's makeshift Google+ polls where you plus a comment to cast your vote. That's all well and good, but it's not very elegant. The newly announced poll support in Google+ will be much better. You might have to wait a few days for it, though.

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09
Oct
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Recently, we took a look at Ultra Violet, a new Hangouts app for Chrome that - at the time - was still in testing. It promised floating chats similar to Facebook's Chatheads feature, but for your desktop. Today, that app is finally a reality and available for download.

The premise is simple - as the video below demonstrates, a Hangouts bubble floats on the side of your desktop, opened from Google's Chrome app launcher, and subsequent conversations float above that.

09
Oct
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The "floating notification" style of app seems to be popular with a small but enthusiastic subset of users. Now those users have at least one more alternative, this time encompassing a wide range of texting and chatting apps. Meet Snowball, designed by a team that's being directly funded by a prospective investment from Google Ventures, among others. The idea behind the app is to create a unified messaging inbox that floats above the rest of Android.

09
Oct
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Out of the box, so to speak, Google+ users must manually refresh the site to see new posts. This may not be a problem for the average Joe, but there is no shortage of people who want the latest posts injected straight into their feed with no effort from their part. Some may even want to have a spare tablet that they use to monitor the network 24/7. If you're such a person, you've come to the right place.

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