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Friday App And Game Sales: Today Calendar, Star Command, Ticket to Ride, And More

You might have taken advantage of that cool Chromecast deal last week to get some free Google Play credit, but what can you spend it on? Maybe some of this stuff because it's on sale. Might as well make that free money go as far as possible.

friday

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Google Helpouts Is Shutting Down In April 2015, Android App Already Removed From The Play Store

Google introduced the Helpouts service, a special version of live video Hangouts specifically intended for instruction and guides, back in November of 2013. The Android app followed shortly thereafter, allowing users to access paid and screened experts for a variety of skilled or specialized tutorials. Apparently it hasn't been as popular as Google had hoped: the company has informed users that the service will be shutting down on April 20th.

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Facebook Is Testing A Version Of Its App With Material UI Elements

Facebook's app has long been a source of great discontent among the Android faithful. Facebook goes its own way with design and is slow to change direction, but it looks like some users are getting an updated version of the UI that has at least a little material influence. Specifically, there's a floating action button.

nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-02-13-08-13-50 nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-02-13-02-23-33 nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-02-13-02-23-13 nexus2cee_screenshot_2015-02-13-08-39-49

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Google Launches WebView Beta Channel In The Play Store

You're probably more aware of WebView after the recent dust-up over security issues in older versions of Android. WebView is a tool developers can use to display web content in an app without implementing a whole browser, and today Google is opening a beta test for WebView on Android 5.0 and higher. Simply head over to the Google+ page to join and get the latest tweaks and fixes.

image00

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Canadian Television App CTV GO Gets Chromecast Support, Revamped UI, And More

Google services may take a while to make the long trek north from Seattle to Vancouver, Detroit to Toronto, or from Portland to Montreal—but Canadians still get to enjoy Google hardware such as the Chromecast. Television network CTV has added support for the spiffy little dongle inside the latest version of its Android app (though this, too, kind of took a while).

CTV-Go-Chromecast

Chromecast support is the most exciting item on the changelog, but this release also tweaks the interface.

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HTC's Video Player Makes Its Way To The Play Store To Facilitate Faster Updates

HTC has been one of the most prominent OEMs to adopt the Play Store as its apps' update ground, decoupling them from the software and thus making it possible to update them separately and regardless of firmware versions, operator approval, and so on. The latest app to join the independent fold is HTC's Video Player.

This is the same video player that's built inside HTC's Sense UI layer, with multiple format decoding, gesture controls (two-finger swipes act as FF and RW for example), streaming, still image capturing, and subtitle support.

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Sony Live On YouTube App Updated With Many More Devices Supported And Full HD Broadcasting

Sony's Live on YouTube app, which allows you to offer live streams from your Xperia handset, has updated to bring more devices into the fray. First off, sorry, but this is still Xperia-only and is likely to stay that way. The other key feature addition is the ability to broadcast in full HD when the camera and local upload speed allows it.

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Nokia's HERE Maps Leaves Beta, Adds 3D Venue Maps, Design Tweaks, Background Downloads, Improved SD Card Support

Just yesterday, HERE Beta sent out an update with a few minor improvements. Today, they came out like gangbusters by dropping the beta label and adding some serious polish to the app. This navigation app, perhaps the most serious challenger to Google Maps, is developed by once-ubiquitous OEM Nokia. Now, they think they are ready for showtime.

collect-drive 3d-interaction routing

It's really a quite nice looking app and has become popular for its solid international support.

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Push Tasker Is A Straightforwardly-Named Plugin That Expands On What Pushbullet And Tasker Can Do Together

Push Tasker is an extension that takes two of the most Android-y apps out there and teaches them how to build a better relationship. The first half of the name refers to Pushbullet, a particularly stellar way to get stuff from one device to another. The second half deals with Tasker, the tool of choice for Android users who want to automate all the things. The two already know how to interact with one another, but this plugin turns things up a notch.

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Google Maps Is Adding Lane Guidance In 15 European Countries, Including Austria, Denmark, Finland, Greece, and Netherlands

Just days after its 10th birthday, Google Maps is not resting on its laurels. Maps is rolling out its lane guidance feature to 15 new countries, all of which are in Europe:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Finally, we can quit hearing about the lack of Maps features in Liechtenstein! While it has been over 6 months since lane guidance was added in the USA, it's always better late than never.

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