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Chromecast Preview Program lets you test drive new Chromecast firmware before they're released

Back in May, Cody unveiled strings in the Google Cast app version 1.15 that pointed to an upcoming "Chromecast Preview Program." It was clear from the code that the app would start offering an opt-in option for users to test new versions of the Chromecast firmware before they're released to the public. But for months, the Preview Program was nowhere to be found in the app.

In the last couple of days, we've received a couple of tips from users telling us that the option has now shown up for them inside the Google Cast app. And now it's finally been officially announced by the Google Cast team.

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[Update: Android app too] Google Maps' speed limits start showing up while driving... on Android Auto

There are some missing features in Android and some of Google's apps that are simply incomprehensible. Speed limits are one of them. In countries where speed limits are enforceable by the law and mandatory to respect (ie not here in Lebanon), it's quite unfathomable to me that you would be using a routing and navigation app that didn't show you the speed limit of each road you were taking so you could drive safely and lawfully.

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E! Now, NBC Universo Now, and Oxygen Now apps now available on the Play Store

What's the point of having one app to watch your favorite TV content when you can have alltheapps?! NBC Universal seems to think so and has released even more streaming apps for each of its channels. Previously, we had Bravo Now and SyFy Now (and USA Now and Telemundo Now), but now three more channels are joining the fold.

E! Now, NBC Universo Now, and Oxygen Now are all available on the Play Store for fans of the channels. You can stream episodes from your favorite shows the day after they air, and access some limited backlog of old episodes too. But you'll need to log in with your TV provider details so this isn't a free-for-all cord-cutting solution, just another way to feed your addiction even when you're not in front of your big screen.

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[Deal Alert] Motorsport Manager 0.10 worldwide, LapseIt Pro 0.10 in UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Russia

We love on-sale games and apps here at Android Police, and we've got another two for you, with LapseIt Pro on sale for 0.10 in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, and Russia, while Motorsport Manager is available for the same price worldwide.

LapseIt is a camera app which makes creating timelapses and stop-motion videos easy. In my testing, although I found the UI a little... cumbersome, the timelapses the app creates are excellent. The gap between each independent frame can be changed, in either milliseconds, seconds, or minutes - the default is set to 2 seconds. There's lot of other settings as well, including White Balance, Color effects, Scene Mode options, and even a buggy, in-development Material UI that did not work on my Nexus 6P.

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[Update: Live in SF, others 'soon'] Lyft announces Scheduled Rides, soon users will be able to plan their trips ahead of time

Lyft, the definitely-not-a-taxi service that is not Uber, is adding a useful feature: scheduled rides. This means exactly what you think, giving the option to call for a, well, Lyft for some future time. With that said, you probably can't use scheduled rides just yet as it is currently being piloted in San Francisco.

Assuming Lyft does roll it out to their other markets this summer as they say they will in their announcement, there will be some guidelines. The main thing is you cannot schedule your ride more than 24 hours in advance.

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Grab the leaked new Pixel Launcher here [APK Download]

A few hours ago, LlabTooFeR tweeted out some screenshots of the launcher formerly known as the Nexus Launcher. On the surface, the Pixel Launcher looks nearly identical to the Nexus Launcher, save for an icon change and a version number change; however, we have a post in the works on some new integration between the Google Calendar icon in the app drawer and Pixel Launcher.

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Google is testing a crazy new bottom bar interface in Maps

The current version of Google Maps has an Explore bar at the bottom of the screen, giving you access to nearby points of interest. It appears that some people have started seeing a different version of that bottom bar with options for seeing locations, driving, or transit details. It looks rather handy.

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The Nexus Launcher is being renamed Pixel Launcher, and it's not hard to figure out why

Following solid rumors that the next Google flagship smartphones will be designated Pixel and Pixel XL, we now have even more substantial evidence that the beloved Nexus nameplate will be retired. ROM developer LlabTooFeR has posted several screenshots of the rebadged launcher on Twitter.

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Chrome Dev and Beta add a Read it later/Keep tab feature to Custom Tabs

Read it later apps are massively popular, with examples such as Instapaper or Pocket being among the most downloaded apps on Google Play. Google is also getting into the game now, albeit in a different way, with the Chrome team adding a read it later feature to the development versions of the browser.

As alluded to, both Chrome Dev and Chrome Beta have this, but in slightly different guises.

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Some Google Maps beta users are seeing a new Explore interface

Android users (or at least the ones who read this site) love a good beta, because it means that they get to check out all the new bells and whistles before anyone else. So it goes with the beta version of Google Maps. Multiple readers tell us they're seeing a new user interface when opening Google Maps' Explore menu, which is an alternate view for finding local businesses and attractions. The new look, which is heavy on Google Now-style cards, is above. Compare it to the current version (on the standard non-beta app) below.

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