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[Update: APK Download] Chrome v42 With Site Notifications And Home Screen Links Set To Roll Out On Android Over The Coming Days

Google has announced a new version of Chrome for Android is hitting the stable release channel, and this one is a rather big deal for a few reasons. There are some interesting features, but it's also the last release for Ice Cream Sandwich. At least there's some good stuff.

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InBrief
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TWC TV App Updated To Stream TV Instead Of Just Crash On The Galaxy S6 And S6 Edge

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Google Handwriting Input App Enters The Play Store With Support For Handwriting In 82 Languages [APK Download]

Update Wednesdays are always exciting, but particularly so when Google releases a new app. Today, Google has hit "publish" on Google Handwriting Input, a new keyboard option that - as the name implies - allows users to type by handwriting text in 82 languages.

Google says the app supports print and cursive, written with or without a stylus. If you draw a smiley face, Handwriting Input will even suggest emojis.

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Of course the input method is styled to resemble Google's other input methods, using the same light grey and teal (or dark blue-grey and teal if you choose the dark theme) colors found in Google's main Keyboard app.

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Play Store Category Icons Are Showing Up In Searches For Some Users

Google often makes small improvements to the Play Store without any announcements or fanfare, and this appears to be happening with the latest update to the mobile Play Store search engine. Some (but certainly not all) users are seeing quick links to category pages when they make relevant searches on Android, complete with easy-to-spot icons right in the drop-down field. The icons are showing up both for straight searches and for popular related apps.

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The Play Store search has had integration with categories for a while now, so expect the interface tweak to appear for you sometime in the next few weeks.

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Hearthstone Update Adds Support For Android Phones, Free Card Pack After Your First Round

Hearthstone is one of the latest creations of the incredibly successful game developer, Blizzard Entertainment, the name behind famous titles such as Diablo and World of Warcraft. The company specializes in making immersive and addictive games and Hearthstone is no exception. Billed as "Deceptively Simple, Insanely Fun," Hearthstone is a card based strategy game with similar mechanics to other TCGs such as Magic the Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh. I'm not sure why I bothered explaining any of that, this is a site full of "Android enthusiasts" (read: nerds) and it's not like you need an introduction to anything created by Blizzard.

Up until today, Hearthstone has only been playable on Android tablets.

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Microsoft Updates Office Apps With Multi-Factor Authentication Support On Android Tablets

In early 2014, Microsoft started providing Office 365 users with the option to secure their accounts with multi-factor authentication. When signing in, folks have to respond to a phone call, text message, or phone notification after entering their password. The feature has since worked on PCs and smartphones, but when Office came to Android tablets, support was absent.

According to the identical changelogs accompanying the latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for tablets, that has changed.


What's new:
  • Multi-factor authentication for Office 365 accounts.
  • Support of Mobile Application Management with Microsoft Intune. This enables IT administrators to (1) restrict copying of company data from managed Office apps to personal apps, (2) enable app level encryption, (3) enforce an app level PIN, and (4) selectively wipe managed apps and related data on a device.
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Microsoft Office Delve Shows You The Latest Changes To Shared Office 365 Documents And Contacts

Wouldn't it be nice if every international tech company was as accommodating to competing platforms as Microsoft? The company's Android support for the last year or so has been nothing short of amazing - it must make all twenty Windows Phone users really pissed off at Google for its lack of reciprocation. The latest Microsoft app to make the jump to Android is Delve, a collaboration tool for Office 365 users.

Delve is basically a stream of all the changes made to shared Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files to which you have access. That might not seem like much, but for a team that runs on Office 365 it can be extremely useful.

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Opera Mini Browser v8 Gets A Big Visual Overhaul, Private Tabs, High DPI Support, And More

Opera Mini has attracted millions of users for all sorts of reasons, but its appearance hasn't particularly been one of them. Frankly, the app has felt dated for years.

With version 8, that changes. The zippy little browser now has a look and feel that looks more at home on Android (which we've been able to experience for a few months now in beta). It's not #materialyolo, but it doesn't clash nearly as much with Lollipop as the prior release.

OperaMini

Left: Old, Right: New.

Version 8 still positions the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, keeping buttons where users have come to expect them.

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Twitter For Android Updated With Support For Embedded Retweets

A week ago, Twitter announced that it was updating its browser and mobile apps with support for embedded retweets — a new way for you to repost what someone else has said, while keeping their original tweet intact and adding your own comment without wasting a lot of characters. At the time, the iOS app got the update immediately, but Android users had to wait (or use Talon, which doesn't like seeing Android treated as a second-class citizen) to be able to send these new retweets.

The update is now live for the Android app on the Play Store, but we've got an APK Mirror link in case it hasn't rolled out to you yet.

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[Hands-On] WhatsApp Goes Material With Cool Animations, FABs, And Lots Of "Purty"

Good things happen when I'm asleep. Or driving. Or offline. It's a fact of life that I have gotten used to. So was the case with WhatsApp's latest update and I woke up today to dozens of email tips (thanks, everyone!) about the new Material Design overhaul the app has received. It's not like all of you were waiting with bated breath for this update, na-ah, or like we had not one, not two, but tens of comments on every article we wrote about WhatsApp in the past months clamoring for a Material makeover. So you can all finally breathe a sigh of relief and go enjoy the good stuff.

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