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Sony releases PlayStation Communities, an easier way to find friends to game with

The PlayStation Network is generally pretty good, but nothing's perfect, so today Sony is releasing a brand new app that takes the Communities feature of PSN and puts it in an app for Android (and iOS). This makes it a bit easier to find friends and people who have similar interests, which I've found PSN lacks in the past. This goes hand-in-hand with the PlayStation app, which is an entirely separate thing for some reason.

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Canary home security app adds Android Wear and tablet support

I recently reviewed Canary's home security and connected camera system and was pleasantly impressed by most of its features, especially the auto-arm/disarm based on geofence. Now the Canary app is receiving an update to add a couple of interesting features for Android users.

First up is a new Android Wear app that lets you monitor your cameras right from your wrist if you have a smartwatch. I've tested it today and it seems to do the essentials rather well, letting me see my location stats (temperature, humidity, and air quality), tap and hold on the mode icon to switch to Home, Away, Privacy, or Night, and scroll to view a thumbnail of the last recorded event.

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Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May launch new DriveTribe social network, Android app now on Google Play

If you're a car person, like me, you'll have been an avid fan of Top Gear - until the classic line up of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May departed for the big-budget 'The Grand Tour' on Amazon. The first episode aired almost three weeks ago now, but the three have something else in store: DriveTribe.

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Google Allo hit 5 million downloads in 5 days - two months later, its momentum seems utterly stalled

On September 28th, almost two months ago to the day, Allo co-lead Justin Uberti announced the app had achieved a staggering five-million downloads in just five days since its launch. It was impressive, though not exactly unexpected for a major Google app debut. Now, once at the top of the Play Store's app rankings, Allo sits below position #200, and shows few signs of momentum.

The app's download count remains at the 5,000,000-10,000,000 milestone it achieved back at the end of September, meaning that in over sixty days Allo has not managed to achieve again what it did in the first five it was available.

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The Starz streaming video app now integrates with Spotify, for some reason

Starz, the premium cable channel that offers movies and original series, now works with Spotify, the premium streaming music service. Which is... odd. An updated version of the Starz Android app now includes integrated streaming tracks from Spotify, all of which are either original music or soundtrack selections from those Starz series and movies. Apparently there are "more than 3,500" selections that are at least tangentially related to the Starz catalog.

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Microsoft's Clip Layer app lets you copy text from any screen by long-pressing the home button

Remember back in the early days of Android when it had copy and paste, and the iPhone didn't? Those were strange times. Copy and paste is just something you expect to be able to do now, but there are plenty of places in Android where the text isn't accessible. Microsoft's Clip Layer app aims to change that by binding a universal copy option to the home button.

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Now you can play games in your conversation threads within Facebook Messenger

Anyone remember the days of playing those silly Facebook games? Since the world has changed quite radically since the heyday of Zynga, it feels like that era was so long ago. Perhaps in a bit of nostalgia or an urge to incite over-competitiveness among friends, Facebook has rolled out games within the Messenger app.

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[Deal Alert] Get $10 of free Starbucks credit when you add $10 to the app via Visa Checkout [Updated]

Dear Starbucks: thank you for existing. Not for your overpriced smoothie-coffee or your approachable yuppie atmosphere. No, thank you for being a Wi-Fi-soaked escape from my rural family's home during the holidays - T-Mobile service is still crappy out there. And while I'm extending some holiday thanks, I might as well give a shout-out to Visa, which is giving Starbucks customers $10 of free credit via the Starbucks app. That's approximately 2.5 Frappuccinos.

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Lyft begins showing ride totals before you request in select cities

Ridesharing service Lyft has long had a disadvantage compared to Uber; it wouldn't show you an estimate of your ride total ahead of time. Now, the company is testing that feature in select cities across the US. The total isn't set in stone, but it should be accurate barring any unforeseen circumstances.

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Google announces massive update to Google Earth Timelapse, including four new layers of imagery

Google Earth has probably seen its usage fall pretty severely in the last couple of years - everyone I know who still uses or talks about it is of the older generation - but it still has some pretty cool features. One of those is Timelapse, the ability to see certain places change as time moves forwards. Today, Google is updating Timelapse with petabytes of new data, four layers of imagery, and sharper pictures across the board. This update utilizes imagery, new techniques, and resources used to update both Google Maps and Google Earth earlier this year.

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