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.

08
Oct
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Before we start: Square's Order service is still only for eateries in San Francisco and New York City, because those are the only two places where people use smartphones. If you fall paradoxically outside of the service area (like all but one of Android Police's staff), you can stop reading now. For everyone else, check out the sizeable upgrade to Square Order, now rolling out in the Play Store. The app, which allows you to order and pay for food at restaurant tables, gets a fresh new look and some other goodies.

08
Oct
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There are no fewer than one zillion ways to share photos. There are social channels like Facebook and Google+, NFC, Email, and more. Xim from Microsoft Research makes it easy to share photos without actually sharing them at all. Just pick the photos you want to share, and invite people to view them on their device. They don't even need to have Xim installed and the files don't go anywhere.

08
Oct
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Microsoft. Google. OnePlus. HTC. Fitbit. Ubuntu. The BBC. NPR. Jet Li. There are too many things called One. Add one (sorry) more thing to the list: the new official forum app for XDA-Developers. An alpha build of XDA One, the site's first in-house app, is available in APK form on this forum thread. The previous apps, XDA-Developers and XDA-Premium, will continue to be supported on the Play Store for the foreseeable future.

08
Oct
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Countless people out there have surely checked out Asus tablets in department stores around the world and walked away thinking, "I wish I could have that." You would think they were talking about the hardware (especially considering how cool the original Asus Transformer was at the time), but instead, they had their eyes set on the spiffy live wallpaper being used to show off the device. Lucky for them, Asus has now released the animated MyWater wallpaper into the Play Store and opened it up to competing electronics.

08
Oct
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The stable version of Chrome for Android has reached version 38, which came to the beta channel last month. Google hasn't posted a changelog just yet, but we can surmise what's going on from the last update of the beta. Update: Changelog below. This isn't going to be a radical departure for the app, but it might fix a bug or two that's been gnawing at you.

 2014-10-08 18.42.34

08
Oct
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There's a new Chromecast update (v1.8.22) making its way out to users today that finally enables custom backdrops. You should get the option to enable this feature upon opening the updated app. If you don't feel like waiting, we've got the APK below.

Screenshot_2014-10-08-09-10-13 Screenshot_2014-10-08-09-11-20 Screenshot_2014-10-08-09-11-09

08
Oct
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The latest version of the Google Play Movies app has been rolling out to users over the course of the past week, and while we found in the code that the changes had something to do with placing pre-orders, we had to wait for Google to flip a switch somewhere for the functionality to get exposed. Now that Google has taken to its social network with the news, consider that switch flipped.

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