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Praise the Lord: Chase will add support for Android Pay on September 7th

To all of you Chase customers who have been longing for Android Pay support, it seems that your prayers have been heard. No longer will you have to purchase a Samsung or Apple device to be able to pay for things with your phone. According to an anonymous Chase employee, Chase will begin supporting Google's NFC-based payment system in just over two weeks.

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Opera VPN now available on Android, completely free and blocks ad tracking

Back in April, Opera introduced a free VPN integrated into the desktop Opera browser. That feature arrived in the Opera developer channel almost a year after they acquired SurfEasy, a Toronto-based company that created easy-to-use VPN applications. A standalone Opera VPN application was released on iOS in May, and now it's available for Android devices.

Opera VPN is notable because just like the VPN in the Opera browsers, it is completely free. You can choose between a number of countries including USA, Canada, Germany, Singapore, and The Netherlands (with more countries coming soon). The application also includes a built-in ad tracking blocker, to prevent advertising networks from tracking your behavior across websites.

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Nike+ Running becomes Nike+ Run Club as part of 2.0 update

I've never been much of a runner, so I've only taken my phone with me for a lap around the neighborhood a handful of times. When I did, it felt Runtastic. But the Nike+ Running app has been another option for people looking to set goals and track their progress.

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Lenovo partners with Microsoft to preload Office, OneDrive, and Skype on future devices

Microsoft is taking Android seriously, and that means more than sticking quality apps on Google Play. The tech giant is partnering with whomever it can to make its software the first you see when you power on your phone. Lenovo is the latest Android manufacturer to agree.

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Google Assistant can answer your voice messages in Allo

We've covered a lot of what Google Allo can do as a messaging application, but we haven't yet scratched the surface of one of its most interesting features: Assistant. It lives as a standalone chat, but also as a bot ready to answer any question inside your other conversations (not the Incognito ones though, as we've said before) by just mentioning @google.

Since Assistant is an evolution of Google Now / OK Google commands, and since Allo can send voice messages, there's a nifty feature you can easily deduce from the combination of the two: Assistant will interpret your voice messages in Allo. It's as cool as you might guess.

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28 new and notable (and 1 WTF) Android apps from the last 2 weeks (8/9/16 - 8/22/16)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

AccuBattery

Today's roundup is presented by AccuBattery from Digibites. Barring any accidents, the battery is the part of your phone that generally wears out the fastest, so it pays to keep an eye on its health.

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Kodi version 17 beta with new Estuary and Estouchy themes is now ready for download

Kodi version 17 is bringing a new look to the app that turns your Android device into a media center. Some of you may still recall the open source project by its old name, XBMC. Either way, the upcoming release has reached beta status. That makes now a good time to dive in if you can't wait to get what's coming next.

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Walgreens becomes first retailer to add their loyalty card via NFC to Android Pay

Walgreens has supported NFC payments for a number of years, even when other retailers were trying to fight it. They are taking it a step further by becoming the first retail store to support their loyalty card via NFC on Android Pay. There are many stores that support managing their loyalty/rewards cards in Android Pay, but Walgreens is notable for being the first to support their card via NFC.

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Google Assistant feature spotlight: What a nice poo

Google Assistant seems... fun. Taken from a prerelease version of Allo. (And yes, this is what will happen if you send Google Assistant a poo emoji in Allo.)

Official comment from Senior VP of Android, Chrome, and Google Play Hiroshi Lockheimer.

Huge if true.

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Google Allo doesn't seem to have a backup or cloud sync function (in the preview version)

I don't know what to think of this one. Of all the Allo features we've discussed so far, many are cool, some are interesting, and few are controversial. But the lack of a cloud save or backup/restore function? I am not on board with that, and I doubt anyone can justify it. But here goes.

In the preview test version of Allo that we've been getting our information from, the app seems to be very forgetful with all of your history. Whether you uninstall the app and reinstall it on the same phone, perform a device restore and have to install it again, move your SIM card to a new phone and need to authenticate Allo there, almost nothing sticks or carries around.

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